Foxhound Breed Summary
Energetic, Athletic, Stubborn and Gentle
These dogs are very strong and large in size! It's therefore no surprise that they were originally bred to hunt in packs alongside 'hoomans' in the past. They are not traditionally seen as being an animal that one would keep as a pet or for companionship. They are good and very popular in the show ring.
They are very sociable dogs and really only do best in packs. However they do need to be trained and socialized in a very unique way, which doesn't make them the best breed for first time owners.
Fun Fact: These dogs are only ever counted in “pairs”. There are typically anything from 20 to 30 couples in a pack!
|Kennel Club Group||Hound|
|Lifespan||13 - 14 years|
|Height (at the withers)||Males 22in - 25in, Females 21in - 24in|
|Weight||Males 65lb - 70lb, Females 60lb - 65lb|
|Coat||Coats are both Short and Dense|
|Color||Badger Pied, Badger Pied Mottle, Black & White, Black & White Mottle, Blue White & Tan, Blue White & Tan Mottle, Hare Pied, Hare Pied Mottle, Lemon & White, Lemon & White Mottle, Lemon Pied, Lemon Pied Mottle, Red & White, Red & White Mottle, Tan & White, Tan & White Mottle, Tricolor, Tricolor Mottle, White|
|Eye color||Hazel or Brown|
|Common health issues||Osteoarthritis, Heart murmurs, Kidney disease, Congenital deafness|
These long-legged dogs are known for their great enthusiasm and bravery! They have huge amounts of energy and can run and run for miles and miles. Typically, they are not kept as family pets, mainly due to the fact they aren't bred to live within a home environment but once they reach retirement age, many are re-homed as family pets. However, even in their golden years, these guys have extremely high energy and must have owners who know how to handle the breed. Training can take a while with these guys as they are not the most obedient and normally only respond to commands given by the Master of the Hounds or whippers-in. They also have a very high prey drive, which must be taken into consideration for any potential owner, especially if you have other animals in the house! However, for the right family, they can make great companion dogs, providing you with years of both exhaustion and joy!
Another cherished British institution upheld at Mount Vernon was the traditional English foxhunt, with scores of equestrians and hounds thundering across the countryside in pursuit of the wily fox. Washington was an avid foxhunter. He kept a pack of hounds bred from British imports and kept meticulous records of his breeding program. He refined his pack with French breeding stock given to him by his friend the Marquis de Lafayette. Washington didn’t invent American Foxhounds single-handedly, but he was a key player in the breed's development. The Jeffersons, the Lees, and the Custises were among other famous families of America’s founding generation for whom horses and hounds were a way of life.
In post-Colonial times, further refinements were made to the American Foxhound throughout the South until the breed was distinctly separate from its cousin the English Foxhound. Until the coming of the Civil War, foxhunting with hounds was the principal field sport of the American gentry. Today, the American Foxhound is the state dog of Virginia.