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American Foxhound: Complete Breed Information

Are you always on the go? Do you have children who like to run around all day? Wouldn’t it be great if you had a companion to join you on your walks or keep up with your kids? There is not any greater friend than to have than the American Foxhound.

Loyal, kind, and intelligent, the American Foxhound is a trusted canine among dog owners. Full of energy, these dogs have plenty of stamina to keep up with you or your family. This hound makes an amazing pet because it thrives on interaction and enjoys staying by your side.

The American Foxhound loves to explore the outdoors and enjoys hiking trails or walking on the beach. Although they were originally bred to hunt, the American Foxhound makes a caring and loving pet. With its long floppy ears and gentle eyes, you will fall in love and instantly connect with this charming breed of canine.

American Foxhound Characteristics (Physical)

You might have first heard of a hound dog from the famous animated film, The Fox and the Hound. Although known for hunting foxes like the dog in the movie, the American Foxhound appearance is more similar to a Beagle. The coats might look alike, but the Foxhound has unique characteristics of its own.

The American Foxhound is a scent dog, meaning that it has one of the best senses of smell among all canines. It has a powerful nose that can pick up a scent and track it for miles.

One of the first things you will notice is its large eyes are set apart and have a charming appearance. The ears are long and hanging, resting on the top of its head. They are somewhat floppy and do not point back up.

The American Foxhound’s mouth looks relaxed and gives off a gentle expression. Combined with other facial features, this dog has the capability of cheering you up with one friendly glance.

The American Foxhound chest is deep to allow it to take deep breaths while running. Its front and back legs are well-toned and built to make giant leaps when chasing down foxes.



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A wagging tail is a sign that your dog is happy! The American Foxhound has a long, high tail with a slight curve and tapered, brush-like tip at the end. When the Foxhound wags its tail, it looks like an artist swaying a paintbrush onto a canvas.

These adorable canines have short coats that are easy for owners to maintain. When it comes to coat colors, the American Foxhound has different combinations that can set them apart from each other.

American Foxhound Size

Male American Foxhounds can grow between 22 to 28 inches tall with a weight between 45 to 65 pounds. Female American Foxhounds are just a tiny bit smaller. They weigh between 40 to 60 pounds and can grow to 21 to 24 inches tall.

Large dog breeds can be intimidating for some people, and tiny dogs might not sound appealing to others. The American Foxhound is the perfect medium-sized dog that can easily fit in an apartment or large home with a huge backyard.

It is light enough to sit on your lap and not big enough to accidentally drop you when it is standing on its hind legs. Its medium size is perfect for kids during playtime. You won’t have to worry about your small child trying to carry this dog around like a baby since the Foxhound is too heavy for them.

American Foxhound Personality

You are starting to get an idea of what this dog looks like, but what is this dog’s temperament like? What kind of personality does it have? Each American Foxhound is unique in its own way, but the breed has some common personality traits.

Companionable

Like most dog breeds, the American Foxhound thrives on interaction, whether it be another dog, cat, pet, or small child, Foxhounds tend to be really friendly and protective of their families. They’re used to being part of a pack, so they enjoy the company of others.

Energetic

The American Foxhound was bred to chase foxes for miles and miles non-stop while also keeping up with their owners on horseback. In the absence of hunting, the American Foxhound enjoys spending its high energy level on playtime. They’re extremely playful and enjoy entertaining kids or joining you on a bike ride.

Intelligent

The American Foxhound is pretty smart and enjoys learning everything it can. Aside from being full of stamina to run around, these dogs enjoy games that keep their minds sharp. To keep them stimulated, try hiding their favorite treat and watching them use their powerful nose to find it.

Their intelligence might make them a little stubborn; this trait comes with most breeds in the hound dog group. When an American Foxhound picks up a curious scent, it becomes single-minded and follows its trail until it finds the source. While they might ignore your commands in this state of mind, you can train them.

Docile

This dog is not easily angered. Though they bark at unwanted intruders, they act shy and reserved when people come over. The American Foxhound has a sweet nature and can easily get along with anyone that comes over, especially if they are socialized well.

a dog standing in the street

American Foxhound Exercise

Exercising is vital for both people and dogs. It keeps our bodies and mind in good health. This is especially true for the American Foxhound.

This dog breed has so much energy, so they require about one to two hours of daily exercise. This dog can stay active for a few hours before taking a break. If you enjoy long walks and running every other day, this hound can keep up with you and is an excellent running partner.

If you don’t need its exercise needs, the American Foxhound can become restless. A lack of exercise may also lead to destructive behavior. Keep your American Foxhound breed active, or else you may come home to holes in your yard and scratched-up doors.

American Foxhounds will generally do better in homes with plenty of space for them to run around and satisfy their exercise needs. This hound breed may also benefit from participating in canine sports. Events involving tracking games, obedience rallies, and course ability tests are some of the ways to keep this dog full of exercise and happiness.

Training an American Foxhound 

If all dogs were born well-trained, then everyone would own a dog. Some people might feel discouraged about the amount of training required for dogs. But, taking the time to train your American Foxhound will only benefit you and your canine companion.

Dogs are more likely to obey if they identify you as the alpha of the pack. American Foxhounds are very independent and will not respect an inexperienced or weak-minded trainer. But, if you hold firm boundaries and treat them with kindness, this breed will form a strong bond with you.

Do you want a dog that listens to your commands every time? Then get your American Foxhound enrolled in training classes, especially if it is a puppy.

Don’t punish your dog if it is struggling with training. That is a big no-no! You wouldn’t like being punished for not being able to learn something right away, so don’t put your Foxhound through that.

Instead, use calming treats and positive reinforcement to train your American Foxhound and keep it encouraged. Whether you received it as a puppy or adopted it at an older age, it is essential to give it proper socialization training.

A dog that’s been socialized as a puppy, or in general, will have an easier time getting along with other pets and people. You and your American Foxhound will be at ease knowing it won’t get scared or nervous when family members and friends pay a visit.

American Foxhound History

Hound dogs were popular hundreds of years ago because they were used for hunting smaller animals for sport. This was especially true in pre-colonial times in the United States.

An English colonizing settler named Robert Brooke introduced the earliest hound dogs in America in the mid-1600s. For the next hundred years, these dogs were bred with other European hounds, such as French foxhounds and the English Foxhound.

Does the name George Washington ring a bell? Not only is he the person on the one-dollar bill, but he also bred and owned Foxhounds. He even kept extensive breeding records of the Foxhounds he owned.

George Washington and a French aristocrat named Marquis de Lafayette became close friends during the American Revolutionary War. Marquis de Lafayette gifted him with French hounds in 1785. Washington and other d American breeders continued to breed the dogs over the next couple of decades, and thus it eventually resulted in the American Foxhounds we know today.

By 1886, the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized the American Foxhound as its own dog breed. Although they are mostly kept as pets, American Foxhounds are still used for hunting.

Common American Foxhound Health Problems

No matter how much we try to avoid it, our dogs eventually reach old age and face some health concerns. The American Foxhound is a very resilient breed. A healthy American Foxhound has a life span of eight to fifteen years.

But, there is an encyclopedia of health issues dogs might face. Whether you are adopting a puppy or rescue, you must know its health history. Although the chances are low, you always want to be on the lookout for issues so you can bring your dog to the vet for early treatment.

Always be wary of shady breeders or pet stores. A certified breeder or rescue organization should notify you of any potential health concerns so that you may plan accordingly and consult a vet.

Thrombocytopathy

Thrombocytopathy is a fancy medical term for a blood platelet disorder. An American Foxhound with this health issue might have bleeding abnormalities if received a cut wound. With the help of a vet, this condition can be treated.

Hip Displaysia

Hip dysplasia is one of the most common diseases canines encounter. It is not unique to just the American Foxhound. A dog with this health issue might limp, have trouble jumping, or lose muscle in the thighs.

It can also lead to severe arthritis in some cases. Dysplasia can be treated with supplements, weight loss, though severe cases may require surgery. An American Foxhound will display symptoms immediately since they enjoy keeping their legs active.

Ear Infections

There is no denying how adorable the American Foxhound’s ears are. As cute as they are, American Foxhound ears are prone to infection. If left unchecked, their ears can build up bacteria or yeast infections.

a dog chewing a stick

How to Care for an American Foxhound

Basic American Foxhound care should include plenty of affection, playtime, and a cozy bed with a bowl of food and water, right? Yes, but there are always ways to go above and beyond for your adorable American Foxhound friend.

Caring for a dog can be a huge responsibility, and many people are not fully prepared or do not have enough time to commit to American Foxhound care. Your American Foxhound will lead a healthier life if you meet its care expectations. Keep them in top-notch shape by completing these things.

  • Feeding: Don’t let your dog develop bad eating habits. Be mindful of how many treats or side dishes you share with your American Foxhound. Choose a dog food brand that best suits your dog and follow feeding instructions.
  • Sleeping place: Make your dog feel safer at home by creating a little place for it to sleep or hide during a thunderstorm. You clean your bed sheets, so make sure to clean your American Foxhound’s bed too.
  • Exercise: American Foxhounds are highly energetic and require playtime and exercise. Ensure you are willing to dedicate an hour or two each day to help keep your American Foxhound mentally and physically happy.
  • Grooming: Dedicate one day or two out of the week to check your dog’s ears for debris or wax. Brush your American Foxhound’s coat and teeth once a week. Keep their nails trimmed to prevent them from overgrowing.
  • Veterinarian Checkups: This should be done yearly. It can help detect potential issues with their bodies earlier, which is key to successful treatment.

All these Foxhound care tips may sound easily doable. And that’s because they are! Once you begin putting in the time and effort, these tasks become easy.

Nutrition and Feeding for an American Foxhound

We recommend feeding your American Foxhound 2-4 cups of food per day, split into two meals. That may seem like a large variance, but remember that this active dog breed’s eating requirements can depend on its size, age, weight, and health. A puppy will require less food than a fully mature American Foxhound that weighs 55 pounds.

Avoid overfeeding your American Foxhound, or it may become obese. This puts them at risk for other health problems. One of the breed’s physical traits is a visible ribcage. Do not take this as a sign that your American Foxhound is starving and continuously feed it.

Related: How Heavy Should My Dog Be? 5 Ways to Tell if Your Dog is Overweight

Always select dog food of the highest quality and made with all-natural ingredients. The most reputable dog food brands include a feeding chart to help you measure out their food more accurately. Feed your American Foxhound twice a day and be mindful of how many treats you give throughout the day.

Bad Foods

Everyone has a certain food they don’t like or avoid indulging in an unhealthy snack (sweets or chips). Some food just does not sit right with our stomachs. Dogs are the same, and they are especially sensitive when it comes to human food.

All dogs are curious creatures that might ingest something toxic to their bodies. Common symptoms include vomiting, upset stomachs, panting, increased thirst and urination, and some potentially life-threatening issues. If you notice any of those symptoms, it might have been caused by your American Foxhound eating one of the following:

  • chocolate
  • garlic
  • cinnamon
  • raw meat or eggs
  • alcohol
  • onions and chives
  • sweet and salty snacks

If you are unsure about sharing your food with your Foxhound, play it safe and don’t do it. You may also refer to online resources such as the American Kennel Club for more advice on human food that is safe for dogs. If you suspect your dog may have ingested something toxic, contact your local animal hospital or an animal poison control center.

Coat Color And Grooming

American Foxhounds stay looking good with their coats. Each Foxhound has the potential of wearing a coat unique to itself.

This breed can have a combination of white, black, and tan with the possibility of blue, red, and cream shades as well. With so many types of coats possible, the American Foxhound is one stylish dog breed.

The American Foxhound has a short to medium-length coat that is easy to groom. Brushing helps remove dirt, debris, and dead skin cells while spreading healthy skin oils. You can brush your dog on an “as needed” basis, perhaps every week or two. 

This hound is not as furry as other dog breeds, so brushing is quick and painless. A special grooming glove or dog-specific brush is all that is required. A good time to brush your dog’s coat is after a long walk while they rest by your side.

Aside from keeping its coat healthy, you should also maintain the following routines to keep your Foxhound in tip-top condition.

  • Dental Hygiene. Dog mouths are susceptible to plaque buildup, and they may experience tooth loss if their dental care is neglected. Your American Foxhound can maintain a cleaner mouth if you dedicate time to brushing their teeth. Special dog toothbrushes and hygienic treats are available for your hound.
  • Clean Ears. Keep your American Foxhound and their adorable long ears clean by removing any wax, dirt, or debris on a regular basis. You can clean their ears with warm water and a vet-approved wipe (just remember to dry thoroughly after!). Your dog may potentially get an ear infection if ears are left uncleaned.
  • Pawdicures. Keep track of our Foxhound’s nail length and trim their nails periodically. Untrimmed dog nails may make it difficult to do everyday activities such as walking, running, and jumping.

Children And Other Pets

You will feel at ease knowing your American Foxhound can get along and be patient and affectionate around your kids and other children.

Some dog breeds are fine being on their own. The American Foxhound thrives on companionship. This breed enjoys being part of a pack.

That pack can include children and other pets such as cats, other dogs, horses, and even pigs! American Foxhounds exposed to other pets and small children as puppies will be more gentle and tolerant.

a brown and white dog

Rescue Groups

Owning a dog is a serious investment. If you know the American Foxhound is the dog for you, we suggest adopting one from legitimate rescue groups. Certified American Foxhound rescue groups are available with a quick Google search.

Some dog clubs like the American Kennel Club offer resources to help you find a rescue group that works best for you. Whichever rescue group you decide to go with, make sure they can disclose any information about your future Foxhound.

Breed Organizations

Some people find puppies too irresistible and prefer purchasing an American Foxhound puppy instead of adopting. Reputable breeding organizations should be fully transparent and ethical with their breeding methods.

It isn’t uncommon for people to be tricked into buying an American Foxhound puppy that may have underlying issues that are not healthy. One way to find a safe dog breeding group is through dog organizations like the American Kennel Club.

More About This Dog Breed

What’s your reward for reading through and reaching this section? How about some cool Foxhound facts! Impress your family and friends next time you have trivia night!

The American Foxhound is the official state dog of the state of Virginia. Virginia is where this breed originated from.

American Foxhounds love to sing! This breed likes to bay, which is akin to melodic barking or howling. It bays to communicate with other dogs or seek attention from its owners. It is very loud and can be heard for miles, which can potentially upset some neighbors who are not fond of being kept awake from the noise.

Like any pet, taking care of an American Foxhound is a serious responsibility, but one that reaps plenty of rewards. You will have a dog that enjoys the company of others and is gentle with kids too. Consider the American Foxhound as your best friend you wish you always had!



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