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"There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face."

Ben Williams
 



 

American Foxhound

The American Foxhound is a breed of dog that is cousin to the English Foxhound. They are scent hounds, bred to hunt foxes by scent.

Appearance
While standards call for the American Foxhound to be about 21-25 inches (530-640 mm) tall to the withers, and weigh anywhere between 65-75 pounds (29-34 kg), many of them are larger in structure (especially the show strains), with males standing 26-29 inches (660-740 mm) and females 25-28 inches (640-710 mm) and smaller in weight, typically between 40-65 pounds (20-29 kg). Some breeders have theorized that this is due to the considerably improved diet the dogs receive. For years it was traditional to feed Foxhounds on a diet of "dog bread", a variation on cornbread. The legs of a Foxhound are very long and straight-boned. The foxhound’s chest is rather narrow. It has a long muzzle, and a large, domed skull. The ears are wide and low-set. The eyes are hazel or brown, and are large and wide-set. The coat is short and harsh. Overall, they are very similar to the Beagle, only standing higher and being larger.

Temperament
The American Foxhound is sweet, kind, loyal, and very loving at a home. As with all hounds they need careful training, constant socialization, and owners who are willing to give them ample exercise: a bored foxhound will find ways to keep themselves entertained and can be very destructive, some examples of destruction include everything from scratching at doors to tearing apart objects and, being rather long, they have the ability to take things from counter-tops. If routine walks are not an option, access to a secure yard is a good alternative; however the best option would be constant access via a dog door and a secure yard.

Intelligent creatures as they are, many foxhounds quickly learn to open gates or scale small fences to go wandering. While on the hunt the foxhound is a warrior, once a scent is picked up he or she will follow it neglecting any commands. Because their hunting instinct is strong they should never be trusted off-lead. Foxhounds are rarely street savvy and will follow a scent trail into the street where they could get hit by a car.

Foxhounds are easy to live with and thrive as members of a family; however, they are not ideal apartment dogs and shouldn't be left alone indoors for extended periods of time. They do however, get along very well with children, especially small children; although one must always keep an eye when children and animals are interacting as it is not beyond any animal to bite or claw when they feel they are threatened.

Foxhounds do not make good watchdogs; while more skittish hounds may howl when they see a newcomer, more often than not they will greet the newcomer affectionately hoping for treats or scratches behind the ears. This is due to centuries of breeding; any hound that growled or bared its teeth at its master would not be bred or in some cases put down.

Most scent hounds are bred to give "voice". Foxhounds are not nuisance barkers but they do have loud, deep voices that carry a great distance. Although most people love the sound, many urban or suburban neighbors do not appreciate the deep barks or melodious howling of a foxhound.

They cannot be expected to act like retrievers because, though affectionate, they are independent by nature. Although a few foxhounds have been trained in obedience, most will not follow commands unless it suits them. Training a foxhound can be a trying experience, training a retired foxhound that grew up in a Fox Hunt can be even worse, they can be stubborn and don’t respond to negative reinforcement well.

 

Am FoxhoundNicknames: Foxhound
Country of origin: United States
Weight: Male - 65-75 pounds (29-34kg)
Height: Male - 21-25 inches (53-64cm)
Coat: Short, hard
Litter size: 5-7 puppies
Life span: 10-13 years

Health
This breed is not generally a breed that carries genetic disorders. Overfeeding these dogs can easily cause them to gain weight. A minor health risk in American Foxhounds is thrombocytopathy, or platelet disease. While dysplasia was largely unknown in Foxhounds, it is beginning to crop up occasionally, along with some eye issues. It is not typical or customary for Foxhound breeders to screen for any hereditary disorders at this time.

The breed's lifespan is generally 10-13 years.

The American Foxhound is an energetic breed. It needs plenty of exercise, for example, a fairly long walk followed by a game of fetch.

Grooming
Eskies have a long, dense coat and need regular grooming. This means brushing them once a week, or more often if necessary. They shed, but it can be maintained with regular brushing. They "blow" their coats twice a year, once in May or June to shed their winter undercoat and once in November or December to shed their summer coat. Many Eskie owners use an undercoat rake, a tool available at most pet stores, for grooming. Some owners in hot climates do shave their Eskies, but if this is done, the dogs should be kept indoors as much as possible to prevent sunburn. Some people believe that once a dog is shaved, the coat will grow in with a coarser, woollier texture than it would have had it been left alone, but reporting of this by people who have clipped or shaved their dogs varies.

Eskies have drier skin than most other dogs, and because of their dry skin, they need to be bathed only every two or three months, unless they soil their coat with large amounts of dirt or substances with strong odors. Regular brushing maintains a clean coat in most cases. Eskies are a very clean breed and constantly groom themselves.

History
In 1650, Robert Brooke sailed to Crown Colony in America with his pack of hunting dogs, which were the root of several strains of American Hounds. These dogs remained in the Brooke family for nearly 300 years.

George Washington received French Foxhounds, Grand Bleu de Gascogne, (which look much like an American Bluetick hound) as a gift from the Marquis de Lafayette. Many of the dogs Washington kept were descended from Brooke’s, and when crossed with the French hounds, helped to create the present day American Foxhound.

Though there has long been a rumor that the new breed was originally used for hunting Indigenous peoples of the Americas, this is not true. The breed was developed by landed gentry purely for the sport of hunting foxes. With the importation (or migration) of the red fox, Irish Foxhounds were added to the lines, to increase speed and stamina in the dog, qualities still prevalent in today's dogs.

Today there are several different strains of American Foxhound, including Walker, Goodman, Trigg, July and Penn-Marydel. Though the different strains look quite different, they are all recognized as members of the same breed. Most show hounds are Walkers, many of the pack hounds (used with hunting foxes on horseback) are Penn-Marydel and hunters use a variety of strains to suit their hunting style and quarry.