American Foxhounds are among the first breeds developed in the US. Revolutionary war heroes, they kept early settlers fed and clothed on their march toward independence.
Ranked as the 192nd most popular breed by the American Kennel Club, it’s likely you’ve never seen an American Foxhound before despite their history. Let’s take a deep dive into this breed so you can be fully informed if you are considering acquiring one.
How Big Do American Foxhounds Get?
|Male||22″-25″ at the shoulder||60-65 lbs|
|Female||21″-24″ at the shoulder||65-70 lbs|
What Do American Foxhounds Look Like?
American Foxhounds weigh 60-70 pounds. Sturdy but lean, they’re longer-legged than their British cousin, the English Foxhound, and significantly smaller than the similar Beagle. Chin-length ears frame a well-defined muzzle and soulful brown eyes.
Their short coats are dense and glossy. AKC-approved colors are:
• Black, White and Tan
• White, Black and Tan
The tan color ranges in shades from red to russet. Color is less important than conformation. Look for a broad chest, strong back, and a curved tail held high that matches their cheerful expression.
What Is The Personality Of An American Foxhound?
American Foxhounds are friendly but not needy. Happiest living outdoors, most are kept in kennels and hunt regularly. Prey-driven, they require supervision around cats but enjoy the company of other dogs.
Trustworthy with children, few breeds are more tolerant of kids’ antics. They’re protective enough to be watchful without being aggressive — they bark before they bite.
Independent and somewhat less adaptable than other breeds, American Foxhounds thrive on routine. Affectionate but with a stubborn streak, they’re best for an active rural family with experience training hunting dogs.
How Much Exercise Do American Foxhounds Need?
American Foxhounds are high-energy companions that need brisk daily exercise. Bred to accompany fox hunters on horseback, they’re fast, and they love to run. Plan on an hour or more daily.
They need a secure outdoor space where they can burn off energy. They’ll be loud, miserable and destructive if confined. They make willing running partners but beware — if they pick up an interesting scent, be prepared to work up a sweat.
If they don’t have other dogs at home to play with, they’ll appreciate trips to a dog park. But most owners like to keep a pair or more. Pack hunters, they’re more relaxed in a group.
How Much Grooming Do American Foxhounds Need?
American Foxhounds have short glossy coats that shed moderately year-round. Weekly brushing with a slicker or hound glove maintains their trademark shine and keeps their fine hair off the floor.
Although their coat is moisture- and soil-resistant, they have more doggy odor than other breeds. A shampoo every few months controls unpleasant smells.
Like any long-eared dog, American Foxhounds are prone to ear infections. Their heavy pinnae obstruct the flow of air into the canal, creating the dark, moist conditions in which bacteria and yeast thrive. Cleaning them monthly with an alcohol-free, pH-balanced solution reduces wax build-up and helps prevent itch and irritation.
Always on the move, most Foxhounds wear their nails down naturally as they run on abrasive surfaces, but a monthly trim with a grinding tool smooths out any rough edges that could snag on brush outdoors.
What Kind Of Dog Food Is Best For American Foxhounds?
Personally I believe that most foods are fine for most dogs. Some dogs may not do well on some foods. However, as a rule I don’t blanket-prohibit any dietary ingredient from any breed at this time.
As a veterinarian, I tend to lean towards dog foods from the larger, more established dog food companies. They tend to have less recalls and issues with production than the smaller boutique companies. More times than not, if a patient is having GI upset due to food, it’s from one of these newer, “boutique” companies.
Best Puppy Food For American Foxhounds:
Best Adult Food For American Foxhounds:
- Purina Pro Plan Large Breed
- Eukanuba Adult Dry Dog Food
- Nutro Natural Choice Large Breed Adult
- Merrick Classic Healthy Grains Dry Dog Food
Please don’t listen to the folks at the pet store trying to convince you to buy a grain-free diet for your dog. There’s zero science behind that and vets are actually seeing diseases now related to feeding grain-free foods.
It’s very important they remain at their optimal weight throughout their life. Have your vet go over with you exactly where to feel to know when your dog is too big.
How Long Do American Foxhounds Live?
11-13 years based on information from the AKC
What Health Problems Do American Foxhounds Have?
All Foxhounds are fairly healthy but there are a few health concerns that you’ll need to watch out for including:
- Orthopedic issues such as arthritis as they get older secondary to issues such as hip dysplasia or ACL tears
- Obesity (they get lazy when they get older)
They can still have all the other possible issues any dog can get – allergies, urinary tract infections, cancer, etc. However, as a breed I consider the Black and Tan Coonhound to be of excellent quality!
Where Can I Learn More About American Foxhounds?
Where Can I Find An American Foxhound?
Interesting Facts About the American Foxhound
The American Foxhound has a rich heritage.
Did you know?
• America’s First Dog
Developed shortly after the arrival of the first colonialists, the American Foxhound is among the first known breeds created on US soil. Descended from dogs imported from England in 1650, written records are scarce but suggest it may have been the very first. They were voted into the American Kennel Club in 1886.
• George Washington Owned Dozens
George Washington was a dog enthusiast, so it’s no surprise he owned more than 30 American Foxhounds. An avid breeder, it’s said he contributed to the evolution of the Foxhound we know today.
• Luck of the Irish
American Foxhounds are primarily descended from the English Foxhound. But early examples were selectively bred with Irish Foxhounds to improve their speed and stamina. It’s also thought that French hounds gifted to George Washington contributed genetically.
• Fox Chasers — Not Fox Killers
Many wonder how a skilled hunter earned a reputation for being a softie with kids. But few know that the Foxhound‘s job was to chase to foxes, exhausting them and finding their dens. They weren’t bred to attack.
• Maestro, Please!
American Foxhounds howl and bay — their voices carry for miles. It’s music to a hound lover’s ears, but since they rarely wait for a Maestro’s cue, a country home where their performances won’t upset the neighbors is a must.
• The Virginia State Dog
A fixture in Virginia since the colonial days, the American Foxhound was named its official state dog in 1966. It was the first US-bred dog to be honored with the title.