American Foxhound Dog Characteristics, Origin & Lifespan

The American Foxhound dog is a large breed of dog. It is a cousin of the English Foxhound. It is actually a scent hound, which is bred to hunt foxes by scent. It is also known by it’s common nickname ‘Foxhound‘.

In 1650, Robert Brooke sailed from England to Crown Colony in North America with his pack of hunting dogs, which were the root of several strains of American Hounds. Dogs of this bloodline remained in the Brooke family for nearly 300 years.

George Washington received French Foxhounds, Grand Bleu de Gascogne, (which look much like an American Bluetick Coonhound) as a gift from the Marquis de Lafayette. Many of the dogs Washington kept were descended from Brooke’s, and when crossed with the French hounds, helped to create the present day American Foxhound.

The American Foxhound dog is known to have originated in the states of Maryland and Virginia, and is the state dog of Virginia. The breed was developed by landed gentry purely for the sport of hunting foxes.

With the importation (or migration) of the red fox, Irish Foxhounds were added to the lines, to increase speed and stamina in the dog, qualities still prevalent in today’s dogs.

One quality that the American Foxhound is famous for is its musical bay that can be heard for miles. This is actually one reason why this breed does not do well in city settings.

The American Foxhound dog breed was first recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1886. Today, there are many different strains of American Foxhound, including Walker, Calhoun, Goodman, Trigg, July and Penn-Marydel. Though each strain looks different, they are all recognized as members of the same breed.[1]

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American Foxhound Dog Characteristics

The American Foxhound dog is taller and rangier than it’s cousin, the English Foxhound. The breed is also known to have a musical bark, called a bay, when it is hunting that can be heard for miles (probably inherited from the Grand Bleu de Gascogne’s signature howl).

The legs of the American Foxhound dogs are long and straight-boned. Their chest is rather narrow. They have a long muzzle and a large, domed skull. The ears are wide and low set. Their eyes are hazel or brown, and are large and wide set.

The American Foxhound dogs are traditionally tri-colored (black, white and tan), but they can be of any color. They have well laid back shoulders, a moderately long back, fox like feet and slightly curved tail.

The American Foxhound dogs have a close, hard hound coat of medium length, and any color. Though, the combination of black, white and tan is prevalent. These dogs tend to shed a good amount of hair, but a weekly brushing will decrease shedding.

The standards call for the American Foxhound dog to be about 21 to 25 inches tall to the withers, and weigh anywhere between 25 and 32 kg. But many of them are large in structure, with males standing 26-29 inches and females 25 to 28 inches, and typically weight between 20 and 29 kg.

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Temperament

The American Foxhound dogs have a very docile and sweet demeanor. They are generally gentle, easygoing, and get along with children and other animals. However, they may act shy and reserved when around strangers.

It’s not uncommon for the American Foxhound to act sheepish or timid with unfamiliar surroundings. With any dog breed, the typical manner associated does not explicitly mean the dog will display said traits.

Lifespan

Average lifespan of the American Foxhound dog is between 10 and 12 years.

Feeding

How much a mature dog eats depends on it’s size, age, build, metabolism and activity level. Dogs are individuals, just like people, and they don’t all need the same amount of food. Generally 2 to 3 cups of high quality dry food is recommended daily. Although, you can consult with your vet for better recommendation.

Caring

The American Foxhound dog is a very active breed with very high energy. They have longer legs, so they are very fast dogs. They generally require a lot of exercise and do best in habitats where they have room to run. If they live in a suburban area such as a neighborhood, they should have a fenced-in yard and be taken on multiple walks daily.

Obedience training is essential for the American Foxhound dogs due to their independence and natural instinct to follow a scent. A Foxhound who picks up a scent will follow it while ignoring commands; training requires patience and skill because of the breed’s independence and occasional stubbornness.

Because of its strong hunting instinct, American Foxhound dogs should not be trusted off-leash. Most scent hounds are bred to give “voice,” but the Foxhound does not make a good watchdog.

Health

The American Foxhound dogs are generally healthy and are not known to have any hereditary illnesses. But like all other dog breeds, they are also prone to certain health conditions. Their common health problem is thrombocytopathy. Keep good contact with a vet in your area.

Breed NameAmerican Foxhound
Other NamesAlso called simply as Foxhound
Breed SizeLarge
Height21 to 25 inches tall at the withers
Weight25 to 32 kg
Good as petsYes
Climate ToleranceAll climates
ColorTricolor, red, black and tan, blue
LifespanBetween 10 and 12 years
Good for childrenYes
RarityCommon
Country of OriginUnited States

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