American Foxhound

American Foxhound
american foxhound book

The American Foxhound dates all the way back to 1650, along with the first records of fox-chasing hounds coming from England. During the 1700s, riding with the hounds was very popular with the elites. For instance, even George Washington found it a favorite activity.

In fact, George Washington bred descendants of these foxhounds with the French foxhounds, which was given to him by the Marquis de Lafayette. And these are the dogs that are behind the American Foxhound of today.

Also, introductions from France, Ireland, and England helped further shape the breed. The pedigrees of the foxhound have been on record in America, going back to 1850. During this period, the sport became immensely popular and spread to the southern United States, mostly in Tennessee and Kentucky.

american foxhound relaxing after long hunt

The American Foxhound breeders in those areas favored a faster dog with the capability to start, chase, and kill a fox by itself as well as give chase to deer.

As time went on, the dogs developed a more streamlined appearance than their English counterparts. They continued to grow into different strains, and the most popular ended up being the walker.

This particular strain descended from a dog named Tennessee Lead. According to legend, he was stolen from a deer chase by a dog breeder, who turned around and sold him to George Washington Maupin. Maupin then bred this fast running foxhound, which produced some of the best running dogs seen to that time.

Since then, dogs that came from that strain are called walker hounds. Other strains of this breed are Hudspeth, Calhoun, July, Goodman, and Trigg.

American Foxhound Breeder Facts

Energy levelWatchdog ability
Exercise requirementsProtection ability
PlayfulnessGrooming requirements
Affection levelCold tolerance
Friendliness toward dogsHeat tolerance
Friendliness toward other petsFriendliness toward strangers
Ease of training
  • POPULARITY: very rare
  • FAMILY: Scenthound
  • ORIGIN: the United States
  • DATE OF ORIGIN: 1600s
  • ORIGINALLY BRED FOR: Trailing fox
  • TODAY’S ROLE: Trailing fox
  • OTHER NAME: None
  • WEIGHT: 40 – 65 pounds
  • HEIGHT: Male: 22 – 25 inches; Female: 21 – 24 inches

One of The First Breeds Recognized by The AKC

These dogs ultimately became specialized as both running hounds or show hounds, with the former being even further devoted as competitive field hounds and pack hounds. However, breed enthusiasts consider the pack type to be the ideal Foxhound.

The American Foxhound combine endurance, extreme speed, and jumping ability with a sharp nose and willingness to give chase as a pack member.

In 1886, this dog became one of the first breeds recognized by the AKC, though registrations have never been remarkably high. However, the small AKC registration figures contradict the Foxhound’s fame because they keep most Foxhounds in large packs by hunters with little to no interest in the AKC registration process.

Two Foxhound puppies playing with a stick

Many Foxhound hunters register their hounds with specialty studbooks, most notably the International Foxhunter’s Studbook, which the Chase Publishing Company publishes.

The American Foxhound can, therefore, lay claim to being one of the most unpopular popular breeds in the United States.

The American Foxhound is lesser of bone and higher on the leg than the English Foxhound, with more hindmost angulation and arch over the hindquarter. These characteristics give it greater speed and quickness for hunting over coarse land. It has a musical voice when on the trail. The coat is hard and of medium length. The look is gentle and beseeching.

American Foxhound Temperament and Upkeep

Traditionally, the American Foxhound is not a house pet. However, it behaves itself pretty well in the home. They get along well with both human and dog companionship. This breed is gentle, amiable, and tolerant, even though they’re not overly affectionate. They’re reserved with strangers most of the time. It requires daily exercise in a safe area. These dogs are forever ready to hit the trail for the hunt.

American Foxhound temperament

These dogs will follow a scent gleefully, heedless of commands. The American Foxhound is not a city dog; they crave the outdoors.

The Foxhound requires daily exercise, preferably in the form of a long walk or a good run. If possible, let them run off-leash in a closed-in and secured area. It is easy to maintain the coat which requires occasional brushing to remove dead hair.

The American Foxhound is a fairly healthy dog. There are no main health issues; however, keep an eye out for thrombopathy. Its lifespan is 11–13 years.

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