American Foxhound (Dog Breed Information)

American Foxhound-The Gentle Eyed Canine

This very rare gentle eyed canine is a medium-sized dog breed that is home to the hound group.  They were originally bred to hunt foxes by scent purely for sport. However, that is not really the case anymore.  They now make wonderful family pets. The American Foxhound loves spending time with their family, and they are extremely loyal.

If you are looking for a sweet gentle soul that gets along with just about anyone and are a very active family, then look no further than the American Foxhound.  

At A Glance

  • Breed: American Foxhound
  • Breed Group: Hound
  • Temperament: Friendly, Independent, Loyal
  • D.H.T. Outdoor Ranking: -5/10 For Temperate Climates
  • Worldwide Popularity: Low
  • Breed Origin: United States of America

General Information And Breed History

History

The American Foxhound as stated above was originally bred to hunt foxes purely for sport.  These canines date back to the late 1700s. they are said to be descended from Irish, French and English hounds who were brought into America by European settlers. 

American hound breeders were looking to make a hound that had a little bit more than the other hounds.  Specifically, a better sense of smell, speedier, taller and lighter. These new and improved physical traits made it easier to conquer the terrain and catch prey in this new country. 

George Washington, the first President of the United States of America bred these dogs.  He was a proud owner of a pack of American Foxhounds. Mr. Washington bred them with French Foxhounds given to him by Marquis de Lafayette. Lafayette was a good friend of Washington and the two of them fought together War of Independence.

General Information 

Most hounds are can be stubborn, and this includes the American Foxhound. They can hunt very well on their own, and don’t really like taking orders from their human.  However, these dogs are very fun-loving, gentle and make great family pets. 

The American Foxhounds were bred to hunt in packs, so they very well with other dogs.  They do get along in a single companionship. But you must be ready to give this dog the daily physical activity it needs, and it needs a lot.  These dogs have been known to become destructive if they get bored and are not getting the physical activity it requires. 

Foxhounds have quite a singing voice, which makes it hard for city living.  Their voice can carry for miles, and neighbors may not appreciate this. This canine is better suited for country living with lots and lots of land to run and hunt on. 

General Appearance

American Foxhounds are a medium-sized dog that stands at 25 inches and weighs between 45 and 65 lbs.  They have the kindest eyes and most gentle face.

Body

The body of an American Foxhound very long, strong and muscular which makes them great runners.   They are also very lean and do not have any folds in their neck. The chest is deep with well-sprung ribs for good lung space.  

Their skull is long and domed with their cranium full and broad.  Ears are low and long. When erect they can almost reach the tip of their nose.  The muzzle long as well and square off at the end. Eyes are either hazel or brown with a soft gentle expression. 

Coat

American Foxhounds have a coat that is medium in length that is close to their body with a rough texture.  This protects the dog from things like burs and brush while they are out in the field for their daily adventure.

Their coats come in many colors, but black, white and tan are most common is this breed.  They do shed a lot so daily brushing is a must to help keep hair off your floor and furniture.

Legs & Feet

Foxhounds have fox-like little feet, that are hard and well padded.  Toes have a very high arch. Their front legs have a good amount of muscle and dense bone.  Very good for all that running they do.

Tail & Hindquarters

Their tail is long and set pretty high with a slight brush.  It curves slightly over the back but not too much.

General Statistics

  • Life Expectancy: 11-13 years
  • Height (at the withers)Male: 22-25 inches (55 cm – 63 cm)
  • Height (at the withers)Female: 21-24 inches (53 cm – 60 cm)
  • Weight Male: 65-70 lbs (29 kg – 31 kg)
  • Weight Female: 60-65 lbs (27 kg – 29 kg)

Recommended Dog House Dimensions

The recommended dog house dimensions can be found on the dog house dimensions charts for 440 recognized breeds which includes this dog breed that looks like a wolf.  But to save you time, here are our dog house minimum size recommendations:

  • Door Height: 27.5 inches (70 cm)
  • Door Width: 17.5 inches (44 cm)
  • Inside Ceiling Height: 33.8 inches (86 cm)
  • Interior House Length: 55 inches (140 cm)
  • Interior House Width: 35 inches (84 cm)

Expected Costs

Breed Average Puppy Cost: $500 USD

Starter Costs: $2,000

This is our estimate for initial purchase, shots and a few things like food, a bed, leash, that sort of thing.  Basically, this will get you set up but the costs will be greater once the dog is old enough to get spayed or neutered.

Anticipated Annual Care Cost: $500 – $1000

How The American Foxhound Reacts To

Babies/Children: 

The American Foxhound gets along with babies and children especially if they are raised with them.  This dog is one of the gentlest kind breeds that you will ever meet. They are very patient and are even known for letting children hold on to their tail while learning to walk.  How sweet is that?

Remember to never leave a young child and dog alone unsupervised.  Even though the two may have the best intentions, sometimes things can happen.

Other Dogs:   

American Foxhounds were bred to hunt in large packs.   So, this dog is used to being around lots of dogs. They get along quite well, and there is really no fear of any aggression. 

It is probably best to have another dog in the house for your foxhound.  These dogs tend to get bored if left alone for hours. Most of us leave the house for hours due to work, and this pup will find ways to keep entertained if bored.  If they have a buddy during the day, they can entertain each other, and no worries about coming home to find your couch has been pulled apart. 

Cats: 

Foxhounds are pretty easy going and cats are not really a problem for them.  Although, American foxhounds that are raised with a cat is the best way for these two to become best friends for life.  The dog will consider the cat family and even protect it if it feels the need for it.  

Once these two friends, you can expect lots of running around and playing in the house.  

Other Animals:

American Foxhounds will get along with other family pets like rabbits if they are raised with them.  Remember this is a hound, and hounds are hunters. Slow introductions are recommended and remember never leave the two alone and unsupervised until you are fully confident that they are friends.

Care Requirements

Exercise 

These speedsters were bred for long hours of hunting out in the field.  Therefore, they need hours of physical activity per day. This breed is not for city living as they are too loud and need way too much exercise.  So, a walk to the dog park just doesn’t cut it.  A good two to three hike with difficult terrain is just what this dog needs.

The American Foxhound does well with dog sports.  Specifically, rally, tracking and coursing ability tests.  Dog sports are a great way to for a highly energetic dog to get the physical and mental exercise it needs daily.  Dog sports are also a great way for you and your dog to make new friends. 

Since this dog is quite the hunter,  when on walks always keep the leash on. Unless of course, you have a huge plot of land that is secured so that the dog cannot take off after every little animal that crosses its path.

Grooming & Coat Info

The American Foxhound’s beautiful coat is on the short side and very close to their body.  Their coat is made up of hard hair that protects them from things like burs and brush while they are out hunting. The coat is low maintenance meaning that you really don’t have to do a lot of work to keep it healthy.

Get your self a rubber grooming mitt, hound glove or bristle brush.  Once a week is all this dog needs. They really do not need to be bathed a lot unless they get dirty, but they tend to like to keep clean. 

However, this breed does shed a lot so you may want to keep your broom and vacuum at the ready!

Health & Nutrition

The American Foxhound is a generally healthy breed.  Breeders will check their breeding stock for the following

  • Hip dysplasia 
  • Thromcocytopahty (blood disorder)

American Foxhounds will do best on high-quality dog food.  Check with your veterinarian for the best brand for your pup.  Also, remember to follow the portions. These dogs love and I mean love to eat.  They are like eating machines. That being said, they are prone to weight gain.  

YOu may decide that you would like to give your dog some human food.  Before you do that, make sure you know what is safe and what isn’t. IF you are unsure, check with your veterinarian.

Training

The American Foxhound is very independent, and they don’t really like taking orders from us.  Therefore, this can make training a little difficult. It is highly recommended for this dog to be enrolled in Obedience classes.  Especially since they are scent hounds. It is hard to keep off a leash and they really should not be off a leash unless you have a large piece of land that is secure.

Even if the Foxhound is raised in the home you have to keep at it with training them to be house trained. If they are left alone for too long they can become destructive and you may find some things in the house that are broken.  

Not to worry though, as long as this dog gets the exercise it needs, and the proper training which may take a while, this dog will be a well-mannered lovable, loyal companion.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Difference Between The American Foxhound and The English Foxhounds?

American foxhounds were bred to be fast and more agile than the English Foxhound.  Therefore making them a better hunter. The American Foxhound is also taller than their cousin the English foxhound.  However, both breeds are super friendly and affectionate towards people and other dogs.

Can The American Foxhound Swim?

The American Foxhound is able to swim, and some really enjoy it. Before you dump your dog in the drink, make sure to have a personal floating device for the dog. These dogs are highly active and being in the water can tire them out. So you want to make sure they are safe in the water at all times.

Once the dog gets used to the water and does not seem to tire easily, you can supervise them without the floating device. Never leave your dog in the water unsupervised.

Bibliography

  1. The Encyclopedia of Dog Breeds- D. Caroline Coile Ph. D.
  2. American Kennel Club
  3. Wikipedia
  4. Google Scholar
  5. Canadian Kennel Club

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