American Foxhound

American Foxhound
American Foxhound

The American Foxhound is a handsome and athletic hunting dog, the longer-legged cousin to the English Foxhound. This is one lovely dog, a pleasant and affectionate lady who all the same harbours a dynamic secret: she’s got a lot of energy, and if not put to work she’ll use it how she wants to use it. Perhaps that is why she is seldom considered to be a pet rather than a colleague. Home life with an American Foxhound can be tough if the owners (and their neighbours) don’t have the tolerance and determination to make the relationship work.

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Key facts about the American Foxhound

  • Life expectancy : Between 11 and 13 years
  • Temperament : Hunter
  • Size : Large
  • Type of coat : Long
  • Price : Between £350 and £1050

FCI Group

FCI Group

Group 6 - Scent hounds and related breeds

Section

Section 1 : Scent hounds

Physical characteristics of the American Foxhound

Adult size

Female dog Between 21 and 24 in
Male dog Between 22 and 25 in

Weight

Female dog Between 62 and 71 lb
Male dog Between 66 and 75 lb

Coat colour

Most colours are available.

Type of coat

Medium length and hard to the touch.

Eye colour

Brown or hazel.

Description

The English Foxhound’s American cousin looks very similar, except that she has apparently grown towards the sun, since her legs have become a little longer and more defined, plus her loin is a little arched. Her skull and muzzle are both quite long, her ears also. Her eyes are large and – guess what? – houndlike. Her chest is deep, reflecting her ability to hold a lot of breath when giving chase. If in good shape she appears lanky, but if allowed to pile on the pounds she soon becomes a bit of a whopper.

Temperament

Affectionate

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These dogs can be affectionate if their nature is respected. However, she’s a working dog and some individuals among her kind have been known to be more about work than family.

Playful

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As an energetic and driven character, she loves a game, but only if it has a purpose.

Calm

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The American Foxhound is not known for being calm – she can be quite a handful if she doesn’t have something to occupy her.

Intelligent

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Moderately so.

Hunter

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She is such a keen hunter that, once she’s caught a scent, it can be difficult to recall her.

Fearful / wary of strangers

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She is generally suspicious towards strangers, and can also get protective or defensive.

Independent

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She’s an independent character which can be challenging for some owners.

Behaviour of the American Foxhound

Tolerates solitude

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Not very well.

Easy to train / obedience

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Firm training is essential and possible, although she is generally stubborn and easily distracted. 

Barking

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Oh yes. She’s a real howler which is one reason she’s not a common pet.

Tendency to run away

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She is easily tempted to stray by enticing scents.

Destructive

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Absolutely, if her need for energy expenditure is not met.

Greedy / Gluttony

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 Treats, in moderation, will be very appreciated, and help motivate her during training.

Guard dog

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She is very territorial, and therefore makes for a great intruder alarm.

First dog

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Not recommended as she is difficult to train and live with, and won’t suit a lot of domestic arrangements.

Lifestyle

American Foxhound in a flat

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No thanks. She needs space and ample opportunity to express her energies. The American Foxhound is a country dog.

Need for exercise / Sporty

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Lots. This dog’s reason for being is the thrill of the hunt. A couple of hours of exercise a day, plus plenty of mental stimulation, are essential. Feel free to take her on hikes and adventures.

Travelling / easy to transport

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She can follow her master wherever she is welcome, but her independent nature means that she should not be considered a companion dog.  

Compatibility

American Foxhound and cats

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If socialised well from youth, she can get along with the family cat. Otherwise, she may hunt him.

American Foxhound and dogs

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She is good with other dogs as she is bred to work with them.

American Foxhound and children

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She is patient and affectionate with children, though caution should be taken due to her power and energy.

American Foxhound and the elderly

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This dog requires a lot of intense exercise, which may be too demanding for frailer people.

Price

Between £350 for Non KC Registered dogs and £1050 for KC Registered dogs. The estimated cost of looking after a dog such as this would be from £60 to £100 a month.

Grooming

Her coat is designed for all kinds of outdoor wear-and-tear so it doesn’t require much grooming to keep it in shape. Brushing should be weekly, nail-clipping as required, and bathing rare.

Shedding

She sheds seasonally to a degree, especially if not brushed regularly. Otherwise, this dog loses very little hair.

Nutrition of the American Foxhound

2-3 carefully measured cups of quality food per day, divided over two meals. This dog is could gain weight if her feeding habits are undisciplined. 

Health of the American Foxhound

Life expectancy

Her average life expectancy is 12 years.

Strong / robust

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This is generally a tough and hardy dog, with some possible health problems.

Withstand heat

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Very well.

Withstand cold

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Her coat gives her good protection against bad weather.

Tendency to put on weight

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If provided with adequate exercise and moderate diet, she should maintain her sporty form. 

Common illnesses

Good to know

This dog is very rarely kept as a pet in the UK, and those American Foxhounds who do live among us have generally been imported to boost hunting stock for bloodthirsty aristocrats.

Origins and history

The first U.S. president George Washington was among a number of pretentious Americans of his time who took to fox-hunting, wrongly believing this barbaric pastime to be sophisticated. Along with his peers, Washington kept British hounds, from whom today’s American Foxhound can be traced. They each added different imported dogs to the mix to create the hunter they wanted. As such, there are a number of strains of American Foxhound today who are all considered to belong to the same breed.

Names

Todd, Rookie, Georgia, Lady

Find out more dog name ideas here

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