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 (530ï¿½640 mm) tall to the withers, and weigh anywhere between 65-75 pounds (29ï¿½34 kg), many of them are larger in structure (especially the show strains), with males standing 26-29 inches (660ï¿½740 mm) and females 25-28 inches (640ï¿½710 mm) and smaller in weight, typically between 40-65 pounds (20ï¿½29 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 dog is a Virginia Common pet.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. Their coats come in four colors: red, tri, black and tan, and blue. 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 including toilet paper, being very rambunctious 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 would be killed. 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 have a special bark: a normal bark followed by a high-pitched howl. 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, as they can be stubborn.
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 a bunch of 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.