The American Foxhound is most commonly known as a hunting dog. In terms of their appearance and some characteristics, they are similar to the English Foxhound. However, their tall legs, agile bodies, and quicker speed differentiate them from the English Foxhound.
What you will love about this dog breed is that they are very loving and compassionate, even when they are primarily hunting dogs. When indoors, they are composed and well-behaved, however during their playtime outdoors, they love to exercise their limbs and are very energetic.
Their medium-length coat and moderate shedding make them low-maintenance dogs. With regular gentle brushing, you will be able to keep their coat healthy and avoid matting.
Healthy American Foxhounds are known to live for a minimum of 11 years or up to 13 years.
About American Foxhound Dog Breed
In the history of this dog breed, it is important to note the name of George Washington, the first President of the United States. George Washington hunted and bred all types of Foxhounds during his life.
To enhance the characteristics of the earliest breed of American Foxhounds, the French hounds were imported from France sometime in the 18th century. They were used in the breeding process of the hounds in order to increase the size of the American Foxhound.
When this was achieved, the Irish hound dogs were imported into the United States somewhere between 1830 and 1839. The purpose of using these dogs for breeding was to improve the speed of the American Foxhound.
History of the American Foxhound
As the name suggests, the American Foxhound originated in the United States and is one of the very few dog breeds to have emerged in the country. It is also among the first to be recognized in America.
The American Foxhound gets its name from the English Foxhound, a dog breed that was created to hunt foxes and was popular all throughout the western part of the European continent.
This dog breed was first introduced in America during the mid-1600s and became popular as a black and tan color variant of the English Foxhound. Later they established their own separate identity.
The group of American Foxhounds brought to America by Robert Brooke is the earliest known breed of this dog. These are considered to be the cousins and ancestors of all the American Foxhounds that live today.
The American Foxhounds that live today are an all-American breed that has been cross-bred with the English, French, and Irish hound dogs. They are large dog breeds with improved agility and speed.
Initially, they served in packs as hunting dogs, specifically for hunting foxes. However, today they are still used as a “pack hunter” and are considered to be the favorite option for American hunters as “pack hounds”. This is true because of their increased sense of smell and their speed and agility.
This dog breed was first recognized by the American Kennel Club in the year 1886. However, not surprisingly the registration number for the American Foxhound remained low. This was due to the fact that these dogs are extremely rare.
Because most of the American Foxhounds still serve as hunting dogs, they are also registered by the International Foxhunter’s Studbook, published by The Chase.
American Foxhound Facts
Now that you have become familiar with the history of the American Foxhound, let’s take a look at a few interesting facts about this dog breed.
- American Foxhounds are known to break into tiny musical concerts on a daily basis. Their howls help in the hunting process and are music to the ears of the hunters.However, if you are planning to get an American Foxhound as a pet, you should train them to avoid howling, as it might not sound very musical to your neighbors.
- The shape of the American Foxhound’s head is known to resemble that of a dome.
- This dog breed has earned its status as the “state dog” of Virginia.
- A female dog of this breed typically delivers around 7 American Foxhound puppies.
- If not spayed or neutered, the American Foxhound can give birth to more than 6,000 puppies in 6 years.
- The American Foxhound dog has multiple strains that are linked to the same breed. These are named Walker, July, Goodman, and Penn-Marydel among others.
- They may not be the best option for people living in cities. This is because their howls can be carried over several miles and can be annoying for the people that reside nearby.
- These dogs were initially bred for some of the most powerful and rich families in Maryland.
- They used to hunt foxes in small packs of around 15 to 20 dogs.
- The number of muscles in the ears of an American Foxhound is twice as many as the number of muscles in the ears of humans.
- Their vision is better in low light due to the light-reflecting layer placed at the back of their eyes. This layer is special and cannot be found in humans.
- A year-old American Foxhound has a physical maturity equal to that of a 15-year-old teenager.
American Foxhound Appearance
The American Foxhounds have an appearance similar to that of the English Foxhounds, but their long legs set them apart. They have a wide back that appears to be slightly curved towards the back and feature well-defined muscles all over the body.
Their eyes are soft, set wide apart, and can be either hazel or brown in color. Their ears are just as wide as their eyes and are set low on their heads. They also have dark-colored noses, which can be either black or brown.
In terms of size, the male American Foxhound is only slightly taller than the female one. The average height for males is 22-25 inches, whereas that of females is 21-24 inches.
When it comes to weight, males are heavier than female dogs of this breed. The male American Foxhound is known to weigh anywhere between 65 to 70 pounds, whereas the females have a weight of around 60 to 65 pounds.
The length of the coat of an American Foxhound is medium with a normal density or covering. Their coat is also slightly curly and hard so it helps in protecting them when they are racing through rough surroundings.
American Foxhounds are typically tri-colored dogs with the most common color combination being black, white, and tan. However, you can also find some dogs with a red or blue coat that is almost dark enough to appear black.
American Foxhound Temperament and Personality
The American Foxhound is a calm, mild-natured, and easy-to-love dog. You would be the first dog owner to have an American Foxhound and not end up falling in love with it.
For families with children, the American Foxhound is the ideal pet to have. They show great affection, attention, and kindness toward children. It will also be safe to say that you can leave your young babies alone with the American Foxhound as they know how to behave around children.
It is known that many infants have learned to walk with the help of this pet dog. Their behavior is equally loving for other pets in the house.
When it comes to strangers, however, this dog is not always polite or forthcoming. In fact, it can almost be hostile and suspicious.
One thing that you should take special care about is not leaving an American Foxhound alone for an extended period of time. They almost crave human companionship or the company of other dogs, pets, and animals.
If isolated for a long time, they will howl and bark incessantly. This is something that you do not want them to do under any circumstance seeing as the sound of their howls is carried over many miles. They can also develop other unwanted or destructive behavior which you will see in the shape of destroyed furniture or scratched surfaces.
As is clear by now, the American Foxhound will try and get human affection any chance it gets. If a stranger pets this dog once, you will find that the dog will keep running back to the stranger for more.
American Foxhounds have a prey instinct. For puppies that grow up within your environment, it is easier to adjust to other pets such as cats, guinea pigs, or small dogs. They also learn to get along with them really well.
However, if you have adopted an adult dog, it is recommended that you provide them with the necessary training. Leaving such dogs alone with smaller animals would not be such a great idea as they would consider them as prey.
The dogs of this breed are very energetic and playful and love the time it gets outdoors. They have a huge stamina which allows them to run for several miles without getting tired.
If you are living in a rural setting, it would be best to allow these dogs to race children or adults as they ride bicycles or horses. They would also love to go on a short hike with you. In urban areas, you can take them for a jog in the park.
However, these dogs have the tendency to run off in search of prey, so they should be kept on a leash at all times. This may not be required if you are in a space that is high-fenced and secure.
Families that have a very active lifestyle should not think twice before getting an American Foxhound. This dog will go camping, swimming, hiking, or running with you any time. However, it can also be a big couch potato if you want to spend time cuddling or watching a movie.
In addition to physical exercise, they also need mental stimulation. Dog puzzles and training games are good ways for them to let out their energy.
Overall, the American Foxhound is a mild dog that can be an ideal pet for active families or families with children.
American Foxhound Health and Care
The American Foxhound is generally a very healthy breed, however, it can develop certain health conditions over its lifespan.
Thrombocytopenia is a disorder of the blood platelets in the body of your dog. This happens because the body is unable to carry out the natural process of clotting. This can lead to extreme and/or prolonged loss of blood, internal destruction of the platelets, or damage to the bone marrow.
Thrombocytopenia can be a result of genetic health problems or it can be due to viral infections, bacterial infestations, chemotherapy medicines, swollen spleen, or autoimmune diseases. As a result of this, the dog can experience short-term or even long-term deficiency of platelets.
An astounding 5 percent of all dogs that step inside the vet clinics are diagnosed with Thrombocytopenia. However, in most cases where the loss of blood is not toward the higher end, the transfusion of blood can help in stabilizing the condition of your dog.
Hip dysplasia is a genetic condition that is commonly found in American Foxhounds.
There are two imperative hip joints in the dog’s body: the pelvic coxofemoral joint and the femoral head. In the condition of hip dysplasia, the two joints do not properly fit with one another.
This causes grinding of the two joints and leads to excruciating pain for the dog. In extreme cases, hip dysplasia may result in limping or lameness.
The first step in curing this disease is proper diagnosis. If your dog is suddenly less active, does not move around a lot, shows lethargic behavior when moving from one point to another, avoids stairs, howls when sitting or standing up, or displays a change in the thigh muscles, these are all clear symptoms of this condition.
The American Foxhound has the kind of ears that are prone to developing ear infections. There are three common types of ear infections that your dog can get.
The most commonly occurring type of ear infection is the otitis externa. There are cells on the outer end of the dog’s ear canal. Under this condition, there is an inflammation of these cells.
When the mid part of the dog’s ear canal gets inflamed, it is the condition of the second most common type of ear infection. This is called otitis media.
The inner part of the dog’s ear canal can also get inflamed. Although less common than the other two, this condition is also likely to occur and is called the otitis interna.
Otitis media and interna only occur when otitis externa is not timely cured and contained and the infection spreads to the inner parts of the ear. In extreme cases, dogs are known to develop deafness, facial paralysis, and vestibular issues.
The early detection of this disease is therefore important. If you see your dog scratching its ear or shaking its head, or spot redness or swelling in the ear canals, ear scrubs or crusts, bad odor, or a dark-colored discharge from the ears, these are all clear symptoms of an ear infection.
It is common for American Foxhounds to develop dental diseases. Unfortunately, these issues are more common in these dogs than you would think and may take a toll on them when they are just puppies. The problem starts with tartar or plaque on the surface of the teeth, which then spreads to the gum and roots.
If proper oral hygiene is maintained and the dog’s teeth are brushed regularly, these issues can be avoided. However, if adequate care is not taken, your dog may end up losing most teeth.
Care and Grooming
It is easier to care for an American Foxhound, unlike most other dogs. This breed has a short smooth coat that does not shed heavily. Therefore, all it takes is brushing that coat once a week by making use of a bristle brush, rubber grooming mitt, or hound glove. This will keep their coat healthy and get rid of any excess hair.
When it comes to bathing, you need only lather them up if they get dirty or stinky. In most cases, a few baths every year is more than sufficient for them. This might not be true if you have a very active lifestyle and go on frequent hiking, swimming, or camping trips.
Since the American Foxhound is prone to get ear infections, it is important to regularly inspect its ears for any signs of redness, swelling, or bad smell. You should also clean the dog’s ears and keep them dry instead of leaving them moist after a swim or a bath. All of these preventive measures help keep ear infections at bay.
Monthly trimming of the nails is a must. You do not want your dog to give you a scratch as it jumps up excitedly to sit on your lap. The most obvious indication that it is time for a trim is when you hear them scratching against hard surfaces or the floor.
Daily brushing of the teeth is also recommended. This, along with dental chews and regular rinsing, helps prevent dental diseases and maintains oral hygiene.
With proper care and attention, American Foxhounds are known to live for a minimum of 11 years or up to 13 years.
American Foxhound Training
American Foxhounds are intelligent and easy to train. But they can also be very stubborn and independent at the same time.
Hence it is ideal to start training these dogs as soon as you bring them home when they are just puppies. When they are just 10 to 12 weeks old, you might also want them to get enrolled in a kindergarten class. This helps in early socialization and they learn to get along with other dogs.
Positive reinforcement in the shape of dog treats and praises works best during the training process. These dogs do not respond well to firm commands and you do not ,want to end up honing their obstinate nature instead of turning them into well-behaved dogs.
As the name suggests, the American Foxhound originated in the United States and is one of the very few dog breeds to have emerged in the country. This dog breed was first introduced during the mid-1600s and became popular as a black and tan color variant of the English Foxhound.
The American Foxhound is a calm, mild-natured, and easy-to-love dog. The dogs of this breed are very energetic and playful and love the time it gets outdoors.
They have a huge stamina which allows them to run for several miles without getting tired. The American Foxhound is a mild dog that can be an ideal pet for active families or families with children.
As purebred dogs, American Foxhounds are intelligent and easy to train. But they can also be very stubborn and independent at the same time. Positive reinforcement in the shape of dog treats and praises works best during the training process.
The American Foxhound is generally a very healthy breed, however, it can develop certain health conditions over its lifespan. With proper care, attention, and high-quality dog food American Foxhounds are known to live for a minimum of 11 years or up to 13 years.
Hope this article helped you make up your mind about getting a Foxhound puppy for your family!