English Foxhound

Other names: Foxhound

English Foxhound

The English Foxhound is a proud and very active dog, a family man who loves to work outdoors and may feel restrained by city life. While the Foxhound can make a great addition to the right home, it is worth noting that – sadly – his bounteous skills and energies are mostly exploited for foxhunting, rather than as a pet. Pet owners can satisfy his urges with long walks and runs, and games of fetch. If you can make this fast chasing-dog out from the blur he leaves when running, you’ll find him a handsome and noble creature.

Key facts about the English Foxhound

Life expectancy :





Temperament :


Size :

Access the rest of the content after the ad

Loading advertisement ...

Origins and history

Up until the middle-ages, the fox was generally hunted by farmers and working people to protect livestock. But with the dwindling of the British stag population, the aristocracy – who had, until now, sated their bloodlust with the hunting of deer – elected to hunt foxes for sport instead. Around the 16-17th century, efforts were made to develop a dog breed that took the tracking skills of traditional stag hounds and the pace and agility of nippier dogs, and the English Foxhound was born. He has remained in work ever since, only rarely becoming a house dog, and even then not until his retirement years. Since the 18th century, the British Foxhound Association has been managing the Masters’ book of origins, which lists the genealogies of all Foxhounds.

FCI breed nomenclature

FCI Group

Group 6 - Scent hounds and related breeds


Section 1 : Scent hounds

Physical characteristics of the English Foxhound

  • English Foxhound
    English Foxhound
  • English Foxhound
    English Foxhound
  • English Foxhound
    English Foxhound
  • English Foxhound
    English Foxhound
  • English Foxhound
    English Foxhound

    Adult size

    Female : Between 23 and 25 in

    Male : Between 23 and 25 in


    Female : Between 55 and 77 lb

    Male : Between 55 and 77 lb

    Coat colour

    Type of coat

    Eye colour



    The Foxhound may be kind of pretty, but he’s also tall and strong. This barrel-chested sportsman has a large skull and a medium-long beak which nestles beneath two dreamy and somewhat melancholic eyes. His ears are seductively flappy, his coat beautifully patterned, and his tail firm and erect. But like so many sportsmen, he is susceptible to piling on the pounds when out of training – so if you spot a dog that matches this description, perhaps on the portly side, you may have found yourself an English Foxhound. N.B. This creature is slightly stouter and shorter in the leg than his near-identical cousin the American Foxhound.

    Good to know

    This dog is not commonly kept as a pet and it can take some time to find an available puppy. The English Foxhound is one of the ancestors of the very popular breed: the English Pointer.


    • 66%


      The Foxhound can be very affectionate towards his nearest and dearest.

    • 66%


      This dog loves to play, and educational games will help with training. 

    • 66%


      He has high energy levels but can be both tolerant and gentle, especially if he has had a busy day.

    • 66%


      The English Foxhound is intelligent, and can take advantage of an overly lenient human.

    • 100%


      This dog is first and foremost a hunter, and loves the chase.

    • 100%

      Fearful / wary of strangers

      He is not usually nervous or aggressive towards strangers but may be aloof or reserved in their company.

    • 66%


      This is a dog who can fulfil the role of a pet, but is particularly independent and needs a lot of physical exercise. 

      Behaviour of the English Foxhound

      • 33%

        Tolerates solitude

        This dog does not appreciate alone time and may become very destructive if neglected.

      • 33%

        Easy to train / obedience

        The Foxhound can be stubborn, and a good understanding of foxhound mentality is recommended.

      • 100%


        This dog barks and howls like nothing you’ve ever heard outside of the cartoon realm.

      • 100%

        Tendency to run away

        He loves his family but will give them up in an instant if he catches an irresistible scent.

      • 100%


        This dog is powerful and also gets powerfully lonely; leave him alone for a long period of time and your three-piece suite may become a several-hundred-piece suite.

      • 66%

        Greedy / Gluttony

        Treats are very much appreciated, and a great motivator for training.

      • 100%

        Guard dog

        His natural mistrust of strangers and his sense of territory make him a good guardian. However, he is never aggressive.

      • 33%

        First dog

        He can be a bit much to handle for first-time owners, since he has high energy needs, tricky training requirements, and generally prefers life working among other dogs.

        Access the rest of the content after the ad

        Loading advertisement ...

        Is the English Foxhound right for you?

        take the test


        • 33%

          English Foxhound in a flat

          Not recommended. He’s too big and requires a lot of exercise. A large house, preferably in the countryside, is ideal.

        • 100%

          Need for exercise / Sporty

          He will happily follow (or lead) you for miles and miles everyday, and certainly requires more than an hour of adventure to sate his needs and keep him trim.

        • 66%

          Travelling / easy to transport

          His size means that he is not ideal for public transport, but if acclimatized to car travel from puppyhood it should not be a problem. He would rather follow his master than be left alone.


          • 33%

            English Foxhound and cats

            He should tolerate the family cat if accustomed to it from puppyhood, but it might not be a good idea to leave them alone together. The size of a cat can be similar to the size of a fox (his favourite prey), and so they are liable to draw pursuit from this avid hunter.

          • 66%

            English Foxhound and dogs

            The Foxhound is a real dog-dog and loves the company of his fellow canines. If raised in a private home, it is important to ensure he is well socialised with other dogs from a young age.

          • 100%

            English Foxhound and children

            The Foxhound is usually gentle and loving with children, as long as they respect the usual dog boundaries.

          • 66%

            English Foxhound and the elderly

            The Foxhound can be a grand companion, so long as his human counterparts are capable of taking him for extensive daily exercise.



            Between £350 for Non KC Registered Dogs, and £1,050 for KC Registered Dogs. Looking after a dog such as the Foxhound typically costs between £60 to £100 a month, including food, medical/insurance, and incidental expenses.


            This dog’s coat is durable and requires little grooming. Weekly brushing, with special attention paid to the ear flaps, is recommended.


            Moderate shedder.

            Nutrition of the English Foxhound

            Three cups of high quality dog food divided over multiple meals each day should give the Foxhound what he needs. He’ll gladly eat more if offered, but he should not run on a full belly.

            Health of the English Foxhound

            Life expectancy

            The Foxhound is generally a healthy dog with an average life expectancy of 10 to 12 years.

            Strong / robust

            This is a tough and durable dog.

            Withstand heat

            Fairly well, but it’s not recommended to work this dog too intensively during a heat wave.

            Withstand cold

            His fur gives him fairly good protection from the cold.

            Tendency to put on weight

            His high energy helps him to maintain his trim form.

            Common illnesses

            Leave a comment on this breed
            Connect to comment