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.
Key facts about the American Foxhound
Life expectancy :
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.
FCI breed nomenclature
Group 6 - Scent hounds and related breeds
Section 1 : Scent hounds
Physical characteristics of the American Foxhound
Female : Between 21 and 24 in
Male : Between 22 and 25 in
Female : Between 62 and 71 lb
Male : Between 66 and 75 lb
Most colours are available.
Type of coat
Medium length and hard to the touch.
Brown or hazel.
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.
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.
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.
As an energetic and driven character, she loves a game, but only if it has a purpose.
The American Foxhound is not known for being calm – she can be quite a handful if she doesn’t have something to occupy her.
She is such a keen hunter that, once she’s caught a scent, it can be difficult to recall her.
Fearful / wary of strangers
She is generally suspicious towards strangers, and can also get protective or defensive.
She’s an independent character which can be challenging for some owners.
Behaviour of the American Foxhound
Not very well.
Easy to train / obedience
Firm training is essential and possible, although she is generally stubborn and easily distracted.
Oh yes. She’s a real howler which is one reason she’s not a common pet.