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s): (American) George Washington was instrumental in the creation of the American Foxhound. He was an avid dog lover, and it’s likely that many American Foxhounds can trace their family tree to the White House. (English) The English Foxhound is surprisingly a good choice for people who are allergic to dogs—they shed very little, and much of their excess hair can simply be rubbed off with a damp cloth. While no dog is hypoallergenic, the English Foxhound comes pretty close.Read Full Breed Description
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The English Foxhound can, in many ways, be described as the granddaddy of most American hounds. They have been immensely popular in Great Britain since the 16th century, where they are still used as pack hunting dogs. When they made their way to the New World with the British colonists, they were a success, as well. They were soon bred and improved upon to create the American Foxhound along with a variety of other breeds.
In the 16th century, deer became so scarce in England that noble hunters needed a new animal to hunt. They decided that foxes seemed like a good substitute, but the dogs they used to hunt deer for hundreds of years weren’t very good at hunting foxes. They needed a new breed, and the English Foxhound was born. They created them by mixing other breeds, such as the Fox Terrier, the Bulldog, and the Greyhound—all very different breeds that provided the Foxhound with different talents and characteristics.
Because they were bred to hunt in packs, English Foxhounds naturally get along very well with other dogs. They love people, including children, and they make excellent family pets provided that they are given enough exercise. They also get along well with other animals, including cats and horses, provided they are exposed to them at a young age. They are very hardy and have a lot of stamina—adequate mental and physical activity is a must.
As a result, English Foxhounds aren’t well suited for apartment or city living. They were bred to run for many miles in pursuit of foxes, so a quick walk around the block won’t make English Foxhounds very happy. They do much better in the suburbs or, even better, in the countryside.
They need to be well trained to be suitable housedogs. However, because they love people so much, they are relatively easy to train—they want to please their owners. Be careful, though. Because English Foxhounds are scent hounds, once they catch a whiff of something interesting, they are liable to continue sniffing it no matter how many times they are called. Because of this, they should not be let off leash unless they are in an enclosed area.
American Foxhounds, the American cousin of the English Foxhounds, are a lucky breed because their history and ancestry are well documented. They came over to the New World in 1650 with a man named Robert Brooke, who sailed from England to Crown Colony in North America (now modern day Maryland and Virginia). This pack of hunting dogs, beloved by the Brooke Family for hundreds of years, evolved to become the American Foxhound. The Brooke hounds were likely mixed with French hounds that were also brought to the Americas, and it was this mix of European breeds that eventually gave us our beloved American Foxhound.
Despite a history that had spanned a couple hundred years, the American Kennel Club didn't officially recognize American Foxhounds until the 1880s. They were rarely kept as pets but were instead prized for their exceptional abilities as hunting dogs. Today, they are kept as pets and hunting dogs in nearly equal measure. While they have a very sweet demeanor and are excellent family dogs, American Foxhounds are not the right breed for every family.
American Foxhounds are extremely high-energy dogs and require a great deal of exercise to stay healthy and happy. If they are deprived of space to run and time to burn off steam, they can become bored, destructive, and even depressed. They also have a tendency to put on weight quickly if they are allowed to be sedentary. They will absolutely do best in a rural or suburban home, and they will greatly benefit from a large, fenced in area. They absolutely cannot be trusted without a leash because of their tendency to run off if they smell or see something interesting—and it’s unlikely that they will come back if called, no matter how well-trained. They aren’t an especially easy breed to train because they have independent personalities—they're stubborn. So train them early and temper expectations.
American Foxhounds can make lovely family pets. They are very sweet with children and very much enjoy the company of other dogs, thanks to their history of working in packs. In fact, they may even prefer a household with multiple dogs because they love company. If they don’t have other canine friends, they will make their family their “pack” and will follow them around the house with a look of adoration.
Male: 64-75 (American Foxhound), 60-75 (English Foxhound lb
Female: 44-64 (American Foxhound), 55-70 (English Foxhound) lb
Male: 22-25 in
Female: 21-24 in