The American Foxhound is a hunting dog, bred specifically to hunt foxes, hence the name. They are known for their trademark howl, which can be heard for miles around. These hunting dogs are descended from George Washington’s French Foxhounds, which he received as a gift from the Marquis de Lafayette. The scent hound was bred with Robert Brooke’s English hunting dogs, giving rise to the American Foxhound and several other types of hunting hounds.
This hound is primarily a scent hound. After finding a scent, they will follow it unrelentingly, sometimes for hours, until the game that they seek out is tuckered out or forced into a corner. It can sometimes be difficult to call off an American Foxhound because of their natural hunting instincts. These hunting dogs can work independently or with companions to hunt packs of animals like foxes or deer. This dog breed is not a bird dog and are usually not used in water.
American Foxhounds have a natural independence and a strong instinct to follow a scent. They can be tempted to run off on their own to chase something they smell, making obedience training very important for this dog breed. These hunting dogs are generally not to be trusted off-leash because of their strong instinct to hunt. This instinct can also cause a hound to become distracted by other types of game on a hunt, so it is a good idea to train a American Foxhound only for one type of game to keep it from getting sidetracked. Trainers should be patient when working with this sometimes-stubborn dog breed.
American Foxhounds have medium-length coats that can shed quite a bit and can come in any color or combination thereof. The American Foxhounds has long legs and a narrow chest. It has a long muzzle, a large skull, and low-set ears. These hound dogs’ eyes are large and wide-set and are usually colored hazel or brown. Males can stand 22 to 25 inches at the shoulder and weigh 45 to 65 pounds. Females can stand 21 to 24 inches at the shoulder and weigh 40 to 60 pounds.
The American Foxhound, being a hunting dog, is also a very active dog breed. They require regular exercise in order to curb unhealthy behaviors and weight gain. They have a very calm and sweet temperament and can get along well with children and other animals. They are easygoing, but not outgoing, so they may be shy around strangers.
This hunting dog is generally very healthy. However, American Foxhounds can become overweight if their diet and exercise are not regulated properly. These hounds, like all dog breeds, thrive on activity and healthy nutrition. A rare condition seen in American Foxhounds is a platelet disease called thrombocytopathy. It is rare, but many owners and breeders have their hunting dogs tested for blood disorders as a precaution. The average lifespan for an American Foxhound is 10-13 years.