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 :

5

17

10

12

Temperament :

Hunter

Size :

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

Section 1 : Scent hounds

Physical characteristics of the English Foxhound

Adult size

Female : Between 23 and 25 in

Male : Between 23 and 25 in

Weight

Female : Between 55 and 77 lb

Male : Between 55 and 77 lb

Coat colour

Black
White
Brown
Blue
Red
Sand

Type of coat

Short

Eye colour

Brown

Description

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.

Temperament

  • 66%

    Affectionate

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

  • 66%

    Playful

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

  • 66%

    Calm

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

  • 66%

    Intelligent

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

  • 100%

    Hunter

    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%

    Independent

    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%

      Barking

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

    • 100%