American Foxhounds are good-natured, low-maintenance hounds who get on well with kids, dogs, even cats, but come with special considerations for prospective owners. They are closely associated with Revolutionary heroes and the rolling estates of old Virginia.
Friendliness towards other pets
Friendliness towards strangers
Foxhounds are an excellent dog for active, rural families. They love being outdoors and have the endurance to keep moving all day long – and then move some more. Foxhounds get along great with children and other dogs (cats should be kept away, however), and if possible, should be raised alongside other dogs. Foxhounds are incredibly versatile – after spending all day in the field hunting with the guys, they'll come home and romp with the kids, then sleep at mom's feet when it's time to go to bed.
Care - Nutrition
The American Foxhound should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Foxhounds love to eat and can be prone to getting overweight, so to prevent obesity it can be better to feed an adult two measured feedings per day rather than allowing him to free-feed all day. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.
Care - Grooming Needs
The American Foxhound’s handsome coat is short and lies close to the body. The coat’s hard texture protects the dog from the underbrush he courses through while on the hunt—and the coat also happens to be extremely easy to take care of. A short, once-a-week session with a bristle brush, a rubber grooming mitt or tool, or a hound glove is usually all that is needed. The Foxhound should not need to be bathed unless he gets into something particularly messy while outdoors. As with all breeds, the American Foxhound‘s nails should be trimmed regularly.
Care - Exercise
Bred to be a fast hunter who can run for miles, the American Foxhound needs a substantial amount of exercise. If he's not going to be a hunting companion, he'll need daily runs or some other form of exercise to help him burn off his natural energy. He's best suited to a home with a yard — or better yet, an acre or two; he's probably too loud for condo or apartment living.Often raised in outdoor kennels with a pack of dogs, the American Foxhound is used to roughing it, and can live outdoors if he's got a good shelter and another social dog to keep him company. If he's an only dog, however, he should live indoors with his human pack so he won't get lonely.Obedience training is highly recommended to help the independent Foxhound view you as leader of the pack. He won't respond well to punishment-based training, so use treats and praise to reward him for doing as you ask. And "ask" is the operative word. Hounds will flat-out ignore you if you try to boss them around. Keep an old Southern adage in mind when training an American Foxhound: you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
Major concerns: none Minor concerns: thrombocytopathy Occasionally seen: none Suggested tests: (blood) Life span: 10-13 years
Breed Fun Facts/History
When the first European settlers arrived in the American colonies, some of them brought their hounds with them. In the late 1700s, the descendents of these dogs were bred with imported Irish, English, and French hounds. The American breeders were aiming to develop a Foxhound that would be lighter, taller, and faster than his English cousin, with a keener sense of smell, to better suit the game and terrain of their new country.George Washington was among the early American breeders. He kept a pack of American Foxhounds at Mount Vernon and tried to improve his dogs by breeding them to imported British hounds. He also bred them to French foxhounds given to him by his friend the Marquis de Lafayette, a wealthy Frenchman who fought with him in the American War of Independence.These days, there are four types of American Foxhounds: field trial hounds, which are known for their speed and competitive spirit; slow-trailing hounds, which are known for their musical baying and used for hunting foxes on foot; drag hounds, also known as trail hounds, which are raced or hunted using an artificial lure instead of real prey; and pack hounds, used by hunters on horseback in packs of 15 to 20 or more.