History: When the first European settlers arrived in the American colonies, some of them brought their hounds with. In the late 1700’s, the descendents of these dogs were bred with imported Irish, English, and French hounds. The American breeders were aiming to develop a Foxhound that would be lighter, taller and faster than his English cousin, with a keener sense of smell, to better suit the game and terrain of their new country.
George Washington was among the early American breeders. He kept a pack of American Foxhounds at Mount Vernon and tried to improve his dogs by breeding them to imported British hounds. He also bred them to French foxhounds given to him by a friend.
These days, there are four types of American Foxhounds: field trial hounds, which are known for their speed and competitive spirit; slow-trailling hounds, which are known for their musical baying and used for hunting foxes on foot; drag hounds, also known as trail hounds, which are raced or hunted using as artificial lure instead of real prey; and pack hounds, used by hunters on horseback in packs of 15 to 20 or more.
Description: Similar to its English cousin, the American Foxhound has been developed by its breeders to be lighter and taller, to have a keener sense of smell, and to be even faster in a chase. A large handsome hound, its front legs are long and very straight-boned. The head is long with a slightly domed, large skull. THe ears are broad and pendant, framing the face. The eyes are large and wide-set, either brown or hazel, with a sweet, imploring expression. The ears are wide and flat to the head. The tail is set moderately high with a slight upward curve, but is not turned forward over the back. The short, hard coat may be any color.
Size: Height: 21-25 inches
Weight: 65-75 pounds
Temperament: The American Foxhound is sweet, affectionate, gentle and loving at home, but they are also brave and intense warrior in the hunt. They are excellent with children and get along well with other dogs because of their pack-hunting background, but should not be trusted with non-canine pets. Friendliness to strangers varies widely. They are very friendly dogs, however if a particular dog is allowed to see himself as a pack leader to humans he may become protective. The American Foxhound will take off after an interesting scent if it gets a chance. They like to bay and have a melodious bark; so in fact, that its tones have been used in popular sogns. Foxhounds don’t always make good house pets due to their history as outdoor pack kennel hounds. Make sure to provide plenty of exercise.
Grooming: The smooth, short-haired coat is easy to groom. Comb and brush with a firm bristle brush, and shampoo only when necessary. This breed is an average shedder.
Lifespan: About 10-12 years An average litter size is 5-7 puppies.
Health Problems: This breed doesn’t have much for health problems. its a fairly healthy breed. They are free of many genetic diseases, such as hip and bone problems, that plague other large breeds. Gains weight easily; do not overfeed.