A thoroughbred hunter
Soft appearance, lop-eared, soft, easy-care coat and an average size: an American Foxhound is often seen by laymen as a faithful companion for everyone – from retirees to families with children. But the original hunting dog is stubborn and demanding. Fans of this breed should therefore be well informed before purchasing this purebred dog.
This is what a dog with stamina looks like
The American Foxhound was made for hunting and long-term walking – beauty is not an important factor in breeding stock selection. However, you cannot see that in the dogs. It’s all about fitness and speed. This can be seen from the physique: the dog is sinewy and muscular with a large chest with room for a large lung capacity. The hard coat is tight and all colors are allowed. The American Foxhound has lop ears that hang forward. Compared to its close relative, the English Foxhound, the American is slightly taller and more graceful. The weight varies between 30 and 34 kilograms with a height of 53-63 cm. However, there are some exhibition animals that are larger and heavier: Male dogs can reach a height of up to 74 cm.
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Origin with many facets
The blood of hunting dogs from different countries flows through the veins of the American Foxhound. The British Robert Brooke sailed with some English dogs to Maryland in the United States in 1650. At that time, hunting was still common as a fun activity for the nobility. Many hunting dogs descend from these “English Hounds”, which are believed to be black and tan Irish Kerry Beagles. The nobility in the US soon used the dog for fox hunting.
The import of faster red foxes from Europe aroused the need for faster foxhounds again, which led to crossbreeding. This breed is one of the oldest bred breeds in America – some dog experts even consider it “the oldest American breed”. George Washington, the first president of the United States (1789-1797), Like a fox hunter and dog lover, he was also active as a breeder and made a major contribution to the breed. He gave his four-legged friends emotional names such as “Sweet Lips”, “True Love” or “Vulcan”.
In 1785 he received some French hunting dogs as a gift from General LaFayette. He crossed these with Foxhounds. Around 1830, faster Irish hunting dogs were crossed. Eventually, from crosses between British, French, Irish hunting dogs, and also German hounds, the American hunting dog evolved over the years. In 1886, the American Kennel Club recognized the breed. Since 1966, the American Foxhound has held a special position in the land of unlimited possibilities: He is one of the “state dogs” and represents the state of Virginia.
In total, eleven states have a “State Dog”, a breed that is historically very closely associated with the area concerned. The American hunting dog today also has many facets: There are different types of the breed, such as the Trigg or Walker. Though they all look different, they all belong to the American Foxhound. The number is estimated at about 100,000 animals worldwide.back to menu ↑
Use: Passionate hunting dog
Like its close relative, the English Foxhound, the American Foxhound is a sniffer dog. He is an excellent hunter especially suitable for hunting in the platoon. His job during the hunt is to chase the foxes until they are exhausted. He can’t kill them. When hunters brought the red fox to the US, hoping for exciting hunts, it also had a positive effect on breeding, eventually creating the American Foxhound. Originally there were only gray foxes, which are slightly slower than red foxes but can climb trees. Hunting dogs were especially popular during the feudal period when the nobility had entire landscapes set up as hunting grounds.
They then went on horseback hunting with many hunting dogs. The American Foxhound therefore also gets along well with riders and horses. Although these extravagant hunts ended with the decline of the nobility, some countries still hunt today. For example in France. In Germany and Great Britain, fox hunting is banned in packs – dogs follow artificial tracks during the hunt. While his British family is still active on the hunt – especially fox hunting – the American Foxhound is now used as a show dog. He can often be found at exhibitions. Because of his hunting instinct and his great urge to move, he is not very suitable as a companion dog.
While his British family is still active on the hunt – especially fox hunting – the American Foxhound is now used as a show dog. He can often be found at exhibitions. Because of his hunting instinct and his great urge to move, he is not very suitable as a companion dog. While his British family is still active on the hunt – especially fox hunting – the American Foxhound is now used as a show dog. He can often be found at exhibitions. Because of his hunting instinct and his great urge to move, he is not very suitable as a companion dog.back to menu ↑
Personality: stubborn and sociable
As a hunting dog, an American Foxhound is generally quite stubborn: the animals are bred to walk independently at a distance from the hunter and still maintain contact with the hunter. Therefore, this breed is less focused on humans. He does listen to normal instructions, although he does so without much enthusiasm.
They feel like fish in water in the company of other dogs. The American Foxhound is often friendly with strangers, but some show their watchful side when they encounter strangers. Incidentally, American Foxhounds have a special feature that allows their owner to recognize them even in the dark at a great distance: the breed is known for its characteristic bark.
It sounds more like a kind of singing. Due to the volume – which can be heard miles away – an American Foxhound is not suitable for noise-sensitive environments. Hunting dogs like to eat small animals – this should be taken into account when purchasing, as adult animals are difficult to keep in combination with smaller prey-sized pets.back to menu ↑
Too many calories in combination with little exercise can quickly lead to overweight in the American Foxhound. The dog must be sufficiently challenged and the choice of food is also of great importance. Adjusting the feed amounts can make a big difference. The breed has a genetic predisposition to the disease thrombocytopenia, a lack of platelets in the blood, which can cause even minor injuries to profuse bleeding. Some dogs are predisposed to hip dysplasia – when purchasing a puppy, make sure to educate yourself about parental testing. The four-legged friends have an average life expectancy of 11 to 13 years.
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A dog for hunters
The American Foxhound is an excellent hunter and only subject to a good companion dog. Some experts do not recommend keeping the dog as a companion unless a professional hunter in the family can take him to work every day. Incidentally, the same applies to his close family, the English Foxhound, who also feels best when his owner is a hunter. The reason for this is his extreme urge to move and the great hunting instinct of the breed.
To steer this in the right direction, hunting training is needed. Only an American Foxhound that is sufficiently challenged is a fine companion in everyday life. Few can satisfy his hunger for exercise. Fans of the breed should be informed by the breeder about the different types within the breed. When it comes to the urge to move, the show dogs are generally a little less demanding than other species. However, one should also think carefully about purchasing a hunting dog. As charming as he is, keeping him in the right way is still quite a task.
There are plenty of breeds that can be kept as companion dogs. If you are not a hunter and are looking for a dog, there are plenty of alternatives. This breed prefers to live with other dogs – there should be at least one other dog, but rather more. The American Foxhound is generally nice to children. But relaxed living with cats and other companion animals generally never succeeds. The American Foxhound is not suitable for a city home.
Despite outings in the woods, the dogs know a garden, which they can fool around in and which they can’t escape, is very much appreciated. When purchasing a dog of this breed, you should also think about the long term: think about the holiday care, regular expenses (pet food, vet) basic necessities (line, basket, troughs, blankets, brushes, etc.), and any additional expenses in case of illness. Also, think about how much time you need for this four-legged friend and be realistic.back to menu ↑
Easy to care for
Grooming an American Foxhound is child’s play: once a week brushing is enough. To ensure that fewer hairs end up in the living room, it makes sense to also brush briefly every day, especially during the moult.
Education: best with hunting training
From the start, it is best if the American Foxhound becomes raised by people who understand it because idiosyncrasies of the breed must be taken into account during education. It is more difficult to teach obedience to a dog of this breed if he spent more time in his litter as a puppy than with people. All four-legged friends of this breed need a lot of attention, training, and time to get used to life as a family dog. An American Foxhound is stubborn and also has a strong hunting instinct. Living together works best if the dog gets real hunting training. The upbringing requires patience as the breed is quite stubborn – especially if the animals follow a trail.
Activity for the sociable “work animal”
An American Foxhound belongs to the so-called “tracking dogs”. It is a dog that needs a lot of exercises. He needs to exercise several hours a day. During the hunt, the dog can easily last five to six hours at one place. Dogs of this breed also like to go jogging. This is usually not even enough to give him enough exercise. It’s a problem that this passionate hunter can’t get off-leash because of his great hunting instinct. An American Foxhound that does not have enough challenge and exercise will become restless and nervous. In many cases, obedience training is recommended for representatives of this breed.
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Where can I find an American Foxhound?
American Foxhounds are not common in Europe. This has to do with the fact that the breed mainly belongs in the hunter’s hands. There are few private dog owners who can properly keep the demanding dog and meet all the requirements. It can be difficult to find an American Foxhound breeder as there are not many of them in Europe.
It is best to go to a dog breeding association in your area. They can often help you further. You can also make a trip to America, the country of origin because the dogs are much more common there. Of course, you can also search for a breeder on the internet.
Make sure that the breeder is affiliated with an association and that the health care of the parents is of paramount importance. Serious breeders have nothing to hide – usually, you can get to know both the puppy and the parents during a visit. You can also ask the breeder questions. He will also have some questions for you to make sure his puppy is in good hands. Of course, he wants to know if you can meet the high demands of the dog.
In general, they only give the American Foxhound to people who will use it to hunt. You will receive the vaccination certificate, health certificate, and papers during transfer. If it can also be an adult dog, it is best to search on the internet. For example, there are associations that focus on selling hunting dogs. They occasionally have an American Foxhound or family thereof. If you are not a hunter but a fan of the breed, you can look around shelters – here are often crosses that resemble the American Foxhound. These dogs are often better suited as family dogs.
We wish you a lot of fun with your four-legged friend!