History of the American Foxhound Breed
Although this dog is truly an American breed, the American foxhound is believed to have descended from English hounds which were brought to America in 1650 by Robert Brooke. As the story goes, it was more than a century later that descendents of those English foxhounds were bred with a French dog that had been presented as a gift to George Washington from Lafayette. So the combination of French and English foxhounds created the American foxhound breed. It is believed that by the 1700s, this breed became quite popular with the upper class (including George Washington) as a hunting companion. Pedigrees for the American foxhound date back as far as 1850, when hunting spread to the southern portion of the country. Hunters preferred the foxhound because of its ability to hunt, chase, and even kill a fox by itself. The American foxhound is considered to be more streamlined than its English cousins. Eventually, the American foxhound was split into different strains. One of the more popular types is the "Walker," which descended from a dog named Tennessee Lead, who was owned by George Washington Mauphin - a man some consider to be the father of the breed. Careful records were kept regarding the Walker strain of American foxhound. The foxhound is a dog that combines incredible speed with endurance and jumping ability and also has a strong scenting capability.
Size and Appearance of the American Foxhound Breed
Built with speed and endurance, along with excellent jumping ability, the American foxhound has straight front legs and fox-like feet. The hindquarters of this breed are strong and well-muscled to provide superior propelling power. The feet feature full, hard pads and strong nails. The long ears are broad and rounded at the end. The large eyes, usually brown or hazel in color, convey an expression of pleading and gentleness. The muzzle is described as straight and square-cut. The neck blends smoothly into sloping, muscular shoulders. The tail of the American foxhound is carried with a slight curve. The coat of this breed is a typical hound coat: close and hard, of medium length, and in any color.
American Foxhound Temperament
While the American foxhound is not traditionally considered a house pet, it can be a friendly family companion. It usually gets along well with everyone in the family, including children. It is considered to be a gentle, friendly dog, but it does not often demonstrate its love for people. This breed is usually reserved around strangers, but it gets along well with other dogs. It is not recommended for homes with non-canine pets. Its hunting ancestry is evident, as it is always ready to follow a scent. This dog is not recommended for city dwelling. It likes to be outdoors. Many will bay, and if this breed picks up a scent, it will likely ignore your commands. Some may be difficult to housebreak.
American Foxhound Recommended Maintenance
The smooth coat is easily groomed by occasional brushing with a firm bristle brush which will remove dead hair. This breed should only be bathed when necessary. The American foxhound is considered to be an average shedder. This breed must be provided with exercise on a daily basis to keep it happy and healthy. This may include long walks or jogs. It should only be let off the leash in safe, enclosed areas. The
American foxhound should not be kept in an apartment. This energetic dog should be provided with plenty of space in which to run and explore.
American Foxhound Health
Life span: 10 - 13 years
Major concerns: none
Minor concerns: thrombocytopathy
Occasionally seen: none
Suggested tests: (blood)