Complete Guide To The English Foxhound: Personality, Exercise, And How To Find One

English Foxhounds are as influential to British heritage as the monarchy. As gracious and proud, they keep calm and carry on. These are not very common dog in the States, but they are practically a UK staple across the pond.

I’ve not yet seen this breed in my veterinary practice, but I’d be likely to confuse them with the almost-as-rare Harrier (although I do have one of those I see). These are likely a dog that you’d be interested in if you were interested in competing in

How Big Do English Foxhounds Get?

HeightWeight
Male24″ at the shoulder60-70 lbs
Female24″ at the shoulder65-75 lbs

What Do English Foxhounds Look Like?

English Foxhounds weigh 60-75 pounds. Tall, broad-chested and lean, they strike a stately, statuesque pose. Chin-length ears frame a square, aristocratic muzzle and thoughtful brown eyes that make you wonder what they’re thinking.

Their short glossy coats come in the typical hound colors of black, tan and white or white and some shade of tan, such as lemon or yellow. Unlike some breeds, color is less important in the ring than conformation with emphasis put on balance and symmetry. Utility matters more than appearance.

What Is The Personality Of An English Foxhound?

English Foxhounds are affectionate but not needy or demonstrative. Pack hunters, they enjoy human companionship but prefer the company of other dogs. Athletic and independent, they’re happiest outdoors with room to run and won’t be happy in confined settings — bred for fieldwork, they’re reluctant house pets.

Highly instinctual, Foxhounds on a mission have a singular focus and will stay on a scent until they’re exhausted. Non-sporting dogs need early socialization to be comfortable in an all-people world. But with the right training and an active family, they can be sterling family companions.

How Much Exercise Do English Foxhounds Need?

English Foxhounds were bred to run in packs and chase foxes, accompanying hunters on horseback. They need the type of vigorous exercise that doesn’t fit in most people’s daily schedules. Having a secure outdoor space where they can roam at will helps them burn off physical and mental energy.

Well-trained, they make willing running partners. But if they catch a whiff of something more interesting than where you want to go, be prepared to follow. If they don’t have canine friends at home, they’ll appreciate visits to the dog park.

How Much Grooming Do English Foxhounds Need?

English Foxhounds have short double coats that shed moderately year-round and more seasonally. But grooming is nearly effortless with the right approach. Consistent care tames shedding and maintains their glossy luster.

Their hair is naturally soil- and moisture-resistant, but weekly brushing with a pin brush or hound glove removes dirt and dead hair while distributing moisturizing skin oils. A shampoo every six months is plenty unless they get visibly dirty — overbathing strips their coat of shine.

Like most hounds, English Foxhounds are vulnerable to ear infections. Their long pinnae obstruct their ear canals, creating ideal conditions for bacterial growth. Occasional cleaning with a gentle, alcohol-free solution removes excess wax and helps prevent irritation.

Active, most Foxhounds will wear their nails down naturally on abrasive outdoor surfaces, but they have sensitive feet prone to discomfort if their nails overgrow. Check them monthly and trim them as needed.

What Kind Of Dog Food Is Best For English 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 English Foxhounds:

Best Adult Food For English Foxhounds:

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 English Foxhounds Live?

10-13 years according to information from the AKC

What Health Problems Do English 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 English Foxhounds?

UK Kennel Club Profile

AKC Breed Profile

Where Can I Find A English Foxhound?

I would start by contacting the Masters of Foxhound Association of America. They undoubtedly would know the best breeders (of which there are few for this breed) and lead you in the right direction.

AKC Marketplace occasionally has puppies available as well

Interesting Facts About the English Foxhound

The English Foxhound has a long and noble history.

Did you know?

They Were Once Stag Hounds

The development of the English Foxhound is well-documented since the 1800s, but they’ve existed since the 13th century. Once bred to hunt stag, they became fox hunters only when the deer population waned. From the 1200s to the 1800s, they were selectively bred for changing needs as their quarry shifted but have remained virtually unchanged for the past three centuries.

• Fox Hunting Is Controversial

Foxes are predators, so in some nations, hunting them is a service to farmers. Animal rights activists, however, suggest it’s a brutal practice that should be ended.

The controversy continues today, especially in Great Britain where many want to continue the traditional fox hunt as a means of preserving their heritage. It was banned in Scotland in 2002, and in the US, it continues but without harming the foxes — the pursuit ends when they “go to ground,” hiding in their dens.

Few Are Kept as Pets

Very few English Foxhounds are kept as family pets in the United States. Most are collaboratively owned by hunting clubs that care for the dogs in kennels, running them daily to keep them physically and mentally fit. There are over 100 packs in America today.

They’re Ancestors to Many American Hounds

Early American colonialists and the British gentry hunted different prey, so their dogs needed unique skills. For settlers, it was a matter of survival, so they quickly bred hounds to track fox, raccoon, deer and more using English Foxhounds as foundation stock. There’s a bit of this manor-born dog in many American breeds from coonhounds to the American Foxhound.