Often compared to a Beagle on stilts, the American Foxhound is a noble breed, dating back to our first President of the United States. Bred specifically to hunt fox, this beautiful American hound is a wonderful hunter and companion, though he has sadly become quite rare with the popularity rise of the Retrievers and Pointers and the decline in fox hunts.
American Foxhound History
It’s said that the American Foxhound is descended from a pack of hunting hounds, which were brought to America in 1650, by one Robert Brooke. Highly valued for their hunting ability, these dogs would remain with family for almost 300 years. George Washington had many dogs that were descended from this family line. He would then be gifted with a French Foxhound, Grand Bleu de Gascogne, by the Marquis de Lafayette. When the two lines were crossed, the American Foxhound would eventually become the end result.
In time, Irish Foxhounds would be bred with line, in order to create a dog that was faster and possessed more stamina, making them better able to hunt the more wily red fox. Each with different characteristics, there are several strains of American Foxhound found today; the July, Goodman, Penn-Marydel, Trigg and the popular Walker – each with their own unique look, but each considered an American Foxhound.
American Foxhound Appearance
In most cases, the American Foxhound is often compared to a long-legged Beagle. However, depending on the strain of American foxhound that you choose, some can closely resemble the Beagle while others seem to take more after the traditional hound. In most cases, the American Foxhound is tall and leggy, narrow in chest, and tucked up in the flanks – the body of an athlete, capable of tracking quarry for miles through the brush.
American Foxhound puppies can be found in all different colors, ranging from solid shades like red or black, to shaded varieties such as the black and tan, or the spotted varieties like the parti or tri-colored Foxhounds. Some can even be found in the popular Bluetick hound shades.
The AKC Standard calls for American Foxhounds to be 21-25 inches tall at the shoulder though, with better food and more select breeding, Foxhounds measuring even taller are quite common.
American Foxhound Temperament
The American Foxhound is generally good natured and well-behaved, as opposed to wary or aggressive – such behaviorisms have been bred out of the breed with each passing year. However, some will give sound when they hear a disturbance, though they aren’t the most reliable of watchdogs due to their friendly nature.
American Foxhounds are notoriously independent and stubborn, though with time and patience, they can be taught and can make wonderful and loving companions.
American Foxhound Exercise Info
American Foxhound puppies require a great deal of exercise and, not surprisingly, this continues long into adulthood. Because of this, the American Foxhound is not well-suited for city or apartment life and, in many cases, even suburban surroundings are questionable. American Foxhounds do best on farms or, at the bare minimum, require a large back yard and a doggie door to come in and out at will. They are busy dogs and always on the go.
Failure to provide them with adequate access to exercise may result in scratched doors, chewed shoes and/or furniture, and incessant baying – all of which should be avoided.
American Foxhound Grooming Info
The American Foxhound has a very short and slick coat which is ideal for those who don’t want to spend hours brushing their dog – a weekly brushing will help to remove dead hair and dander, making his coat shine with health.
Because he has drooped ears, the Foxhound’s should be checked weekly for a buildup of dirt and/or wax. This can be done using a Q-tip though it should never be put into the ear canal and should only clean the outed edges of the ear.
American Foxhound Training Info
Training the American Foxhound takes time, patience and perseverance. Don’t ever underestimate this beautiful dog, however – he’s far from dumb, though you might accuse him of some things with his “inability to learn” though, in truth, chances are he’s been very wily and is actually testing the limits!
The American Foxhound is notoriously stubborn and independent, and he reacts all the more belligerently to negative reinforcement. Use patience and positive reinforcement and he’ll eventually come around.
American Foxhound Health Info
The American Foxhound is known to be an extremely healthy and robust breed, with very few genetic disorders. At this time, there are no screening requirements for these dogs. In some instances, they can suffer afflictions of the eye or Canine Hip Dysplasia, but this is uncommon.
American Foxhound Right Breed Info
American Foxhound puppies are nothing short of adorable – However, this does not mean this is the breed for you. Relatively rare in the United States, a good dog can be rather costly and they do require certain modifications to the back yard – they aren’t dogs you buy on a whim.
The Foxhound can be notoriously stubborn and difficult to train, but once he believes he wants to do what you were trying to get him to do, he’s quite cooperative.
If you have the patience and the room, you may find that the beautiful American Foxhound is the right pet for you!