The American Foxhound is a breed of dog that is known for its speed, endurance, and a strong sense of smell. This is a breed that was developed in the United States to hunt foxes, and as such, it has a strong prey drive and a love of the outdoors.
This breed has an interesting history that dates back to the early days of the United States. They were developed from a variety of hounds brought over from England, Ireland, and France. Over time, these breeds were selectively bred to create a dog that was particularly well-suited to the terrain and climate of the American South.
|Medium to Large
|60-70 lbs (females), 65-75 lbs (males)
|21-24 inches (females), 22-25 inches (males)
|Short and dense
|Friendly, Energetic, Independent
|Good with Children
|Good with other pets
|Yes, with proper socialization
Physical Characteristics of the American Foxhound
The American Foxhound has a lean, muscular body that is built for speed. They have a broad head with a long muzzles, and their ears are long and floppy. Their eyes are usually a light hazel or brown color, and they have a kind and intelligent expression.
Size and weight
This is a medium to large-sized breed. Males typically weigh between 65 and 70 pounds and stand about 22 to 25 inches tall at the shoulder. Females are slightly smaller, generally weighing between 60 and 65 pounds and standing about 21 to 24 inches tall.
Coat and colors
The American Foxhound has a short, dense coat that comes in a variety of colors. The most common colors are tricolor (black, white, and tan) and bicolor (black and white or tan and white). However, any color is acceptable according to the breed standard.
Temperament and Personality of the American Foxhound
The American Foxhound is known for its friendly and easy-going nature. They are typically good with children and other animals, and they enjoy being part of a family. They are also very energetic and require plenty of exercise to keep them happy and healthy.
Interaction with children and other pets
Despite their hunting origins, American Foxhounds are typically very gentle and patient with children. They also get along well with other dogs, particularly if they have been socialized properly. However, due to their strong prey drive, they may not be a good fit for homes with small pets like cats or rabbits.
The breed’s energy level and needs for exercise
American Foxhounds are a very energetic breed. They require a significant amount of exercise each day to keep them happy and healthy. This could include long walks, runs, or playtime in a secure, fenced-in yard.
Health and Lifespan of the American Foxhound
The American Foxhound is generally a healthy breed with few breed-specific health issues. They are a robust and hardy breed, with a lifestyle that promotes good overall health.
Common health issues in the breed
Despite their general health, American Foxhounds can be prone to certain health issues. These can include hip dysplasia, a common problem in many large breeds, and ear infections, which can occur due to their long, floppy ears.
Lifespan and factors affecting it
The average lifespan of an American Foxhound is between 10 and 12 years. Factors that can affect their lifespan include their diet, exercise levels, and access to quality veterinary care.
Care and Maintenance of the American Foxhound
Feeding and diet
The American Foxhound is an active breed, and as such, they require a diet that is high in quality protein. They should be fed a high-quality commercial dog food that is appropriate for their age, size, and activity level.
As previously mentioned, the American Foxhound is a highly active breed that requires a lot of exercise. They are happiest when they have a large, securely fenced area to run and play in. They also enjoy activities like jogging or hiking with their owners.
The American Foxhound has a short, dense coat that is relatively easy to care for. They should be brushed weekly to remove loose hair and to keep their coat looking their best. They only need to be bathed occasionally, as too much bathing can strip the natural oils from their coat.
Training and Behavior of the American Foxhound
Trainability and intelligence
The American Foxhound is a highly intelligent breed that is generally easy to train. They are eager to please their owners and are quick to pick up new commands. However, they can sometimes be stubborn, so a consistent and patient training approach is best.
Common behavioral traits and issues
Some common behavioral issues in the American Foxhound can include barking, howling, and a tendency to follow their nose. They have a very strong prey drive and may chase after small animals. They can also be prone to separation anxiety if left alone for long periods of time.
Tips for effective training
When training an American Foxhound, it’s important to start early and to be consistent. Positive reinforcement methods, such as treats and praise, work best with this breed. Socialization from a young age is also important to prevent any potential behavioral issues.
Living Conditions for the American Foxhound
Suitability for apartment living
Due to their high energy levels and need for exercise, American Foxhounds are not typically recommended for apartment living. They are happiest in a home with a large yard where they can run and play.
Requirements for outdoor space
American Foxhounds need a large, securely fenced area where they can run and play. It’s important to remember that this breed was developed for hunting, so they have a strong instinct to chase and may try to escape if given the opportunity.
The American Foxhound is a versatile breed that can adapt to a variety of climates. However, they do best in moderate climates and may struggle in extreme heat or cold.
Breeding and Puppies of the American Foxhound
The breeding process
Breeding American Foxhounds should be left to professional breeders who understand the breed’s specific needs and health concerns. It’s important to ensure that both parent dogs are healthy and have been tested for common breed-specific health issues.
Puppy care and development
American Foxhound puppies are energetic and playful. They require a balanced diet and plenty of exercise to support their growth and development. It’s also important to start socialization and basic obedience training from a young age.
What to look for when getting an American Foxhound puppy
When getting an American Foxhound puppy, it’s important to choose a reputable breeder who provides health clearances for both parent dogs. The puppies should be raised in a clean, caring environment and should be well-socialized.
Role of the American Foxhound in Society
American Foxhound in hunting
The American Foxhound was originally bred for hunting foxes, and they still excel in this role today. Their strong sense of smell and high energy levels make them excellent hunting companions. However, it’s important to note that hunting with dogs is regulated in many areas, and potential owners should familiarize themselves with local laws.
Participation in dog sports and competitions
American Foxhounds also excel in many dog sports, including agility, tracking, and obedience competitions. Their intelligence and eagerness to please make them highly trainable, and they enjoy the mental and physical stimulation that these activities provide.
Use as service or therapy dogs
While not as commonly used for these purposes as some other breeds, American Foxhounds can make excellent service or therapy dogs. They are intelligent, trainable, and have a calm and friendly temperament that is well-suited to these roles.
Where to Get an American Foxhound
Considerations for adoption vs. buying
When deciding whether to adopt or buy an American Foxhound, there are several factors to consider. Adoption is a great way to give a dog in need a second chance at a loving home. However, buying from a reputable breeder ensures that you know the dog’s background and health history.
Reputable breeders vs. puppy mills
It’s crucial to choose a reputable breeder if you decide to buy an American Foxhound puppy. Reputable breeders prioritize the health and temperament of their dogs, while puppy mills are primarily concerned with profit. Avoid breeders who can’t provide health clearances or who won’t let you see where the puppies are raised.
Rescues and shelters
There are many wonderful American Foxhounds in rescues and shelters who are looking for their forever homes. Adopting from a rescue or shelter can be a rewarding experience, and it’s a great way to give a dog in need a second chance.
The American Foxhound is a breed that is full of energy and love for life. Their friendly and easy-going nature, combined with their intelligence and trainability, make them a joy to own. Whether you’re looking for a hunting companion, a participant in dog sports, or a loving family pet, the American Foxhound is a breed worth considering. While the American Foxhound is a wonderful breed, they are not the right fit for every family. They require plenty of exercises, and they may not be suitable for homes with small pets due to their high prey drive. However, for the right family, the American Foxhound can make an excellent pet.