A cousin of the English Foxhound, American Foxhounds, like English foxhounds, were originally bred to participate in foxhunts. The image that comes to mind when you think of a dog in a foxhunt is pretty close to an accurate image of dogs in the American Foxhound breed. They are medium-sized dogs, fast runners, and with a strong scent of smell.
Historical notes: If the legend is to be believed, the American Foxhound has quite a pedigree. According to Wikipedia, American Foxhounds can trace their roots back to the father of our country! Legend has it that George Washington received French Foxhounds as a gift from Lafayette, the great French general in the American Revolution. Washington bred his dogs with some others, creating the present day American Foxhound.
Country/Region of Origin: United States
Original purpose: hunting, especially wild animals rather than just foxes.
Here are the characteristics of the American Foxhound breed as determined by the American Kennel Clubs published breed standard.
American Foxhounds have been described as looking like a tall, slender, long-legged Beagle. The average adult males will run 22 to 25 inches to the withers and adult females will range 21 to 24 inches to the withers. American Foxhounds average from 65 to 75 pounds. They have a hard medium length coat and are average shedders. The coats come in four colors: red, black, tan and tri. The average life span is twelve years. They will love their human families and get along particularly well with children. Their pack leading instinct may lead them to be very protective of their human family. The pack instinct will also make them excellent with other dogs. However, with their strong prey instinct, they may not be trusted with some non-canine pets. How much cats are problem depend if are socialized properly.
American Foxhounds are a first-rate hunting dog. But to be a first-rate pet, the American Foxhound should be well trained from a young age. Without good training, the hunting instincts, particularly scent tracking, may cause the dog to ignore human commands and be prone to extreme independence and stubbornness.
American Foxhounds Behavior
Recommended for: hunting, housepet
Despite being the terror of foxes for the last couple of centuries, the American Foxhound can be quite lovable. Foxhounds are still keen hunters, however. Once they pick up a scent, they tend to follow it, no matter how hard you might command them to stop.
Remember that breed only provides a general clue as to any individual dogs actual behavior. Make sure to get to know dogs well before bringing them into your home.
American Foxhounds Physical Characteristics
- Size: male: 22-25 inches tall;
female: 21-24 inches tall
- Coat: medium-length and close to the body.
- Color: varies
- Eyes: brown/hazel, large, and not close together.
- Ears: long and wide
- Skull: long and slightly domed.
- Muzzle: medium-long, straight and square-cut
- Nose: No information in the official AKC breed standard.
- Tail: moderately high
American Foxhounds Origins and History
How to Feed Your American Foxhound
As a hunter, the American Foxhound has an intense prey drive, a keen sense of smell and is fast in the chase. Its musical bark will alert hunters and hounds from great distance that the chase is on. As a family dog, the American Foxhound is gentle, loving and kind.
Health and Nutrition
The American Foxhound is blessed with no special genetic health issues related to the breed. Though an occasional problem, hip dysplasia is far less than other larger breeds. The breed is known for chronic ear problems.
The American Foxhound is a very active, energetic breed and needs plenty of exercise. More than crave exercise, they will likely demand it by barking and acting out. When they get their proper exercise they will be a very happy dog. They are very playful and will gladly wear their owners out with a game of fetch.
Besides exercise, to keep an American Foxhound healthy the dog needs to be fed properly. Nutritional requirement for this breed are a fairly straightforward mixture of protein, carbs, vitamins and minerals.. When using standard commercial dog food, be sure and use very high quality. There is a lot of junk content out there and many manufactures have standards lower that they should be. The food may be filled with filler ingredients and other things not fit to eat. Check ingredients labels and make sure it is not the kind that is mostly sugar and fat. You must do your own research.
Though American Foxhounds tend to be tall and lanky, they do have a problem with obesity. When the dog gets older the problem may grow even worse. Caloric intake will need to be controlled and the diet changed as the dog’s needs change.