Life span: 10-13 Years
Height: 56-64cm (Male); 53-61cm (Female)
Weight: 40-60 pounds
This singing dog loves giving out concerts, so be sure you can handle them. Contrary to what his looks may say, this breed is friendly with other animals and people. It does especially well with children and loves having running buddies such as other dogs. Even so, they can live without other animals or kids in the household, but will need the exercise these would otherwise provide.
The American Foxhound has a short protective coat that is close to the skin and hard to the touch. Its coat can be various colors such as white, black, tan, red and blue, and is usually tricolor. It has a deep chest and a long, muscular back made for running, along with its legs, which are straight from the elbow down and with paws that can withstand rough terrain. Its ears are long and floppy, almost reaching the nose when extended. Its eyes can be hazel or brown, and its nose black or brown.
These dogs were originally used for hunting. Its ancestors were brought to America in the 1700s and were later crossbred to create this breed, aiming for it to be better suited to the American ground, and with a better sense of smell than the English Hound. George Washington, after being gifted a pack of American Foxhounds, began breeding them, crossbreeding them later on with Irish hounds for more speed. This way, they would be able to hunt grey and red foxes in open fields and valleys. Sport hunting was their most common use for many years, until the civil war. Nowadays, this dog is the state dog of Virginia, and has become a household pet, although its hunting instincts remain.
The American Foxhound is a friendly dog that will unconditionally love its family, and does well around children and other pets such as dogs and cats. Given their hunting nature, however, they have to be properly introduced to small pets such as rabbits, or they may give chase to these. If there are no other animals in the household for it to play with, they will need the extra exercise these would otherwise provide. Although they love vocalizing when hunting, they are generally shy around strangers, and are therefore not good watchdogs. Due to their stubborn nature, you have to be able to make them recognize you as its pack leader, or training might become difficult. When exercising or being taken outside, there is always need for a leash, or its hunting instincts might take over. They need daily exercise or they may develop a destructive behavior.
This breed tends to be healthy and does not have any specific hereditary diseases. Although unlikely, they can suffer from:
Hip dysplasia, a hereditary disease in which there is an abnormal formation in the hip socket, that may eventually cause painful arthritis. It may also be affected by the environment they reside in.
Ear Infections, which can be prevented by constant cleaning of any debris or excess wax.
Overheating, even though they don’t have as much fur as other breeds, they can suffer from this during hunts.
Thrombocytopathy, which can result in excessive bleeding from minor bumps due to dysfunctional platelets.
Given their short coats, these dogs do not need as much brushing. However, brushing might help bond with them and reduce the amount of baths needed, especially because of its sensitive skin. Although they can live in any weather, they highly prefer cold weather.
This breed needs a lot of exercise and space, as such they are not comfortable in apartments or cities, and prefer open fields much more. They are perfect as a running companion or for any other activity such as cycling. If not exercised properly, they may develop destructive behavior, as mentioned before. They are prone to overeating and must have a balanced diet to keep them from becoming overweight and falling into depression.