American Foxhound Dog Breed Caring and Family, Social Life, Physical Traits, Diet Information

American Foxhound Dog Breed Caring and Family, Social Life, Physical Traits, Diet Information

The American Foxhound’s love of running and stamina level make excellent running partners for active family members. The mild nature of these dogs makes them exceptional family pets, but they will need a lot of exercise. American Foxhounds’ affection for their human families, and their low-maintenance needs, make them unsuitable for apartment living. The living conditions a dog dad offers an energetic Foxhound play a significant role in sharing a long, happy life with a healthy Foxhound companion. 

American Foxhounds have large, soft eyes with an expression described as gentle and pleading. The typical Foxhound is friendly and gentle, especially with kids. Foxhounds are reserved but protective toward strangers, taking the cue from their human family. Once they are satisfied that the strangers pose no threat, they will relax but remain alert.

Foxhounds are pack animals, and they tend to be happiest with families who have more than one dog. Raised along with cats and other pets, they may be okay, but their prey drive might put the lives of small critters at risk. American Foxhounds’ overall health is good, and they are expected to live between 10 and 14 years.

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What are the Breed Traits and Characteristics of American Foxhounds?

American Foxhounds are loyal family dogs that crave the attention of their human families. They can be stubborn, a typical trait of very intelligent dogs. American Foxhounds don’t make the best watchdogs, but they are incessant howlers, which might chase intruders away. American Foxhounds are wary of strangers, which could become excessive if their owners don’t socialize them properly. Socialization and proper introduction to strangers typically help them accept strangers their owners deem safe. Below are more of the character traits of American Foxhound dogs.

American Foxhound 

Characteristics

Relationship with Family

Friendly, affectionate, craving attention

Relationship with Children 

Friendly, affectionate, playful

Relationship with Other Dogs

Sociable, but not to be trusted with other small pets

Shedding Level

Low

Drooling Level

Low

Coat Type

Close, hard, hound coat of medium length

Coat Color

Any color combination of white, black, and brown

Grooming Frequency

Low, brushing once per week

Smelly

Low

Barking frequency

Average, more known for howling and baying

Relationship with Strangers

Reserved and wary at first

Playfulness Level

Love playing with adults, children, and pets

Adaptability Level

High, as long as space is not limited.

Trainability Level

Easy

Energy Levels

High 

Exercise needs

High

Mental stimulation needs

High

Protective of territory and family

Average

Guard dog ability

Average

American Foxhounds need a lot of exercise, especially if they are pure companion dogs and don’t get to spend energy on hunting trips. This is not to be disregarded because being idle could cause depression in hunting dogs. Some become destructive and keep themselves occupied by digging up gardens, chewing furniture, etc. 

What are the Physical Traits of the American Foxhound Dog?

During the day, American Foxhounds keep their noses to the ground while searching for exciting activities, but their expressive faces can be seen as if they are asking for some playtime. Their tri-color coats are shades of black, white, and tan, and they range in weight from 60 to 70 pounds, each Foxhound with its unique markings.

Physical Trait

Description

Size

Large

Weight Range

Male between 65 and 70 pounds

Females Between 60 and 65 pounds

Height at the withers

Males between 22 and 25 inches

Females between 21 and 24 inches

Shoulders

Firm but not overly muscled

Chest

Deep and broad with well-sprung ribs

Head

Broad and full

Muzzle

Broad and square, well proportioned in width and length with the skull

Ears

Fairly broad, long ears set moderately low on sides of the head

Eyes

Large, set well apart, brown or hazel-colored with a gentle, hound-like pleading expression

Legs

Straight from elbows to feet

Tail

Set moderately high, carried gaily, but not turned forward over the back

Exercise Need

High

Litter size and frequency

Average 5 to 7 puppies once per year

Life Expectancy

10 to 14 years

What is the General Information about American Foxhounds?

American Foxhounds were one of the first breeds to be developed in the U.S. They were bred to chase but not kill foxes while working closely alongside horses. George Washington owned 36 Foxhounds with names like Tipsy, Sweet Lips, Tipler, Searcher, Jewel, and Chloe. American Foxhounds are well known to have musical voices, and their bays and howls can carry for many miles. Once Foxhounds identify a scent, it is almost impossible to call them back. 

How Does the American Foxhound Interact with Family?

Independent, even-tempered and energetic, the American Foxhound temperament is unique to this breed. If dog dads socialize their American Foxhounds properly, they have gentle, sweet characters and make excellent canine companions for children and loyal family dogs. American Foxhounds have easygoing natures, kindness, loyalty, and overall sweetness, which are all qualities that make them the best companion dogs for any family. Although foxhounds are not traditional house pets, they are actually well-mannered in the home. They love being with humans and canine companionship. American foxhounds are tolerant and amiable, not obviously affectionate because they are not demonstrative. So, although your Foxhound will not try getting onto your lap, being near their humans is how they show affection. Most Foxhounds are reserved with strangers.

How Do American Foxhounds Interact with Other Dogs? 

American Foxhounds love the company of other dogs because they were bred as hunting dogs, which often work in packs. Therefore, American Foxhounds are good for families with one or more other dogs. Good choices for dog-friendly companions for your American Foxhound include Labrador Retriever, Bernese Mountain Dog, Golden Retriever, Havanese, and a Beagle.

However, you can have your Foxhound as a single companion if you can keep up with your Foxhound’s exercise needs. Dog dads whose canine companions can share their jogging, hiking, rollerblading, or other fun activities can compensate for the exercise they would otherwise get romping in the backyard. At the same time, sharing such activities will strengthen bonds between Foxhounds and their families.

How to Feed an American Foxhound?

American Foxhounds do best on high-quality dog food, whether homemade with veterinarian guidance or commercial dog food. Any diet should be life-stage appropriate, like Foxhound puppies, adults, or seniors. Dog parents should note that Foxhounds love food and if their feedings are not measured or controlled, obesity might be on the horizon. Dog parents are advised to feed their Foxhounds their daily food in two or three measured meals instead of one meal per day or free-feeding all day. Although treats are necessary aids in training your American Foxhound, over-treating can also cause weight issues and obesity.

  • Food for American Foxhound Puppies:
      • Fresh Food Option: Nom Nom veterinary nutritionists offer four recipes, including beef, pork, chicken, and duck, combined with real, fresh foods, good enough for people to eat, and developed for your Foxhound’s unique needs.
      • Dry Kibble Option: Wellness Complete Health Puppy Deboned Chicken, Oatmeal & Salmon Meal Recipe Dry Dog Food is natural dry food for puppies, specially formulated to provide a balanced, healthy dry dog food for your American Foxhound puppy. It is designed to encourage healthy brain development, optimize energy levels and ensure healthy skin and coat while promoting whole-body health. It is developed without any GMOs, meat by-products, fillers or artificial preservatives so you can be sure Rover is always getting the right food.
  • Food for American Foxhound Adult Dogs:
      • Fresh Food Option: Ollie’s 100% human-grade recipes step up to the plate with real, high-quality ingredients for happier, healthier mealtimes for Adult American Foxhound dogs.
      • UnKibble Option: Spot & Tango’s UnKibble recipes are made with 100% fresh, whole ingredients and contain no artificial preservatives, fillers, or additives. Unlike kibble, UnKibble is not extruded and contains no meat meals or powdered “mystery meats.” They offer three GMO and hormone-free recipes gently dried using our unique Fresh Dry™ process, which maximizes nutritional integrity. Recipes: Duck & Salmon, Beef & Barley, Chicken & Brown Rice.
  • Food for American Foxhound Senior Dogs:
    • Fresh Food Option: Farmer’s Dog Choose from a variety of fresh, personally portioned recipes, including chicken, beef, turkey, and more.
    • Dried Kibble Option: Senior American Foxhounds need uniquely formulated food like AvoDerm Natural Chicken Meal & Brown Rice Senior Formula. It contains ample protein for lean muscle mass with moderate fat for energy, and it is supplemented with glucosamine and chondroitin, as well as essential nutrients for balanced nutrition.

What are the nutritional needs of the American Foxhound?

The nutritional needs of an American Foxhound Dog include high levels of specific nutrients. The essential nutrients for Foxhounds are listed below:

  • Protein: American Foxhound Dogs need natural animal protein, valuable for the amino acids they contain that are essential for Foxhound health. Equally important is the fact that protein builds lean muscles and provides energy.
  • Fat: Animal protein also provides adequate fat, an additional energy source that boosts the American Foxhound Dog’s metabolism. However, there is a fine line between enough and too much. Excessive fat levels in the dog’s daily diet could result in weight gain and, ultimately, obesity. Most importantly, adult and senior Foxhounds need lower fat levels than puppies.
  • Carbohydrates: Although carbs are not essential nutrients, they are crucial energy sources. Giving the American Foxhound Dog sufficient carbs will provide energy, encouraging the body’s absorption of protein to build lean muscle. Beware, though, too much carbohydrate can lead to obesity.
  • DHA: DHA is one of the components of omega-3 fatty acids. It promotes proper eye and brain development in American Foxhound Dog puppies. DHA develops cognitive development in puppies and slows cognitive decline in older dogs. Furthermore, omega fatty acids benefit aging dogs by treating chronic kidney disease and canine arthritis. Omega-3 oils improve the coat health of American Foxhounds.
  • Micronutrient: Taurine is one micronutrient that aids heart health, and other valuable micronutrients for the promotion of strong joints in American Foxhound Dogs are chondroitin and glucosamine.
  • Minerals: Beneficial minerals for a Foxhound’s growth include a healthy balance of phosphorus and calcium. Pre- and probiotics and chelated minerals provide additional health to the diets of American Foxhound Dogs.

How Much Should an American Foxhound Puppy Eat?

The American Foxhound Dog is a large breed. Guidance for feeding puppies is listed below.

  • American Foxhound Dog puppies need slow, sustained growth to help prevent orthopedic problems, such as hip dysplasia. Raise them on a diet designed for large-breed puppies. Whatever diet you choose shouldn’t overemphasize protein, fat, and calorie levels.
  • American Foxhound Dogs should be fed according to a schedule, spreading meal times over two or three times per day. Getting the puppy accustomed to meals at specific times is better than leaving food out to allow feeding throughout the day.
  • American Foxhound Dogs with medical conditions like hypoglycemia or low blood sugar are the exceptions because they need to nibble bits of food throughout the day.
  • Never feed your puppy from the table. It only encourages begging. Everyone in the family must follow this rule.

American Foxhound Puppies should eat a healthy, balanced diet because of the intense exercise they need every day. American Foxhounds have a tendency to become overweight as they get older, so it’s important to monitor how much food they’re consuming from the time they are puppies. In addition, they have a risk for hip dysplasia, and joint supplements can keep them feeling healthy.

What are the American Foxhound’s breed-related Health Concerns?

American Foxhounds are a healthy breed, but regular veterinarian checkups remain essential. 

The amount of time American Foxhounds spend outdoors increases their risk of heartworm, and preventative care is crucial. American Foxhound Dogs are predisposed to several health problems, some of which are listed below.

  • Thrombocytopathy is caused by poorly functioning platelets and results in abnormal or excessive bleeding from minor bumps or cuts. The treatment is based on the cause and severity of the condition.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy, also called PRA, is an inherited progressive disease of the retina that leads to blindness in affected American Foxhound Dogs.
  • Ear infections are common conditions in dogs, especially those with floppy ears, such as Bassets, Spaniels, Coonhounds, and Foxhounds.
  • Hip dysplasia is a deformation that occurs and develops as Foxhound puppies grow. It is caused by loose joints that prevent the ball part of one bone from sliding smoothly in the socket of the other joint bone. Instead, it grinds and rubs in the joint, causing painful wear and tear damage as the Foxhound grows and becomes heavier. Although it could start in puppyhood, it usually only becomes evident in adult dogs, making annual medical examinations crucial.

American Foxhound owners are recommended to have the following three health tests done:

  1. Hip Evaluation
  2. PRA Optigen DNA Test
  3. Ophthalmologist Evaluation

What are the Exercise Needs of an American Foxhound?

American Foxhounds are first and foremost hunters, ever ready to hit the trail. Foxhounds need daily exercise in safe areas. Once on a scent, it will follow gleefully, heedless of commands. These are dogs that like the outdoors. Foxhounds were bred to hunt for hours at a time. That’s why American Foxhounds require at least one hour of daily exercise. Boredom might lead to destructive behavior or even depression without enough exercise. They can fit in just about anywhere if they get enough physical activity. 

While American Foxhounds are happy living indoors with their human families, they make excellent hiking or walking partners. However, they were bred to follow a scent when hunting animals, and they should only be off-leash in securely fenced areas. Foxhounds have strong prey instincts, and once they detect a scent and start following it, there’s no calling them back. Hence the need for leashes when Foxhounds are taken on walks. American Foxhounds also exercise mind and body by participating in canine sports such as tracking, rally, coursing ability tests, and other activities that can be enjoyed together by dog and owner. However, for less organized activities, jogging, cycling, rollerblading, and hiking will have the same benefits with a bonus of strengthening bonds between dog dad and Foxhound companion. 

What is the Shedding Level of an American Foxhound?

The American Foxhound’s coat is short and close to the body. The coat’s texture is hard enough to protect the Foxhound from the underbrush he courses through while on the hunt, and the coat requires minimal care. A short, once-a-week brushing session is usually all that is needed. The Foxhound should only be bathed if he gets into something particularly messy while outdoors. However, Foxhound owners might not realize that sudden changes in normal shedding volumes could be a red flag indicating underlying medical issues. The signs that might indicate the need for medical checks are listed below.

  • Poor nutrition
  • Food allergic reactions
  • Parasites, fleas, lice, and so on
  • Pregnancy for female dogs
  • Bacteria problems
  • Cancer
  • Kidney, liver, thyroid diseases
  • Immune problems
  • Specific medication
  • Sunburn
  • Contact with irritating materials
  • Self-caused injury from licking

Discuss any unfamiliar excessive shedding in your American Foxhound Dog with a vet. You can avoid the most severe health conditions in your Foxhound with early diagnoses.

What are the Social Traits of the American Foxhound?

While most people think of American Foxhounds as outdoor dogs, nothing could be further from the truth. Foxhounds love their people, especially children, and miss human companionship when they’re not around. They should certainly have access to a securely fenced yard, but the Foxhound should be with the family when the family is home. American Foxhounds are good-natured, low-maintenance hounds, and their social traits are listed below.

  • Child Friendly: American Foxhound Dogs are kid-friendly and patient canine companions, making them ideal for families with children.
  • Family Friendly: American Foxhounds are loyal, and although they are affectionate, they are not too demonstrative. Foxhounds will show affection by sitting or lying close to their human family members, but they will not go as far as climbing onto their laps. The innate pack mentality will undoubtedly have the Foxhound vie for pack leader status, needing a firm owner to take the lead. 
  • Stranger Wary: American Foxhound Dogs watch their owners for cues on treating strangers. Any sign of threat to their family will trigger their defensive skills.
  • Dog Wary: American Foxhounds have a natural pack mentality. Their hunting skills include working in packs with other dogs. Foxhounds are ideal for families with more dogs.
  • Seniors Friendly: American Foxhound Dogs are as friendly with older people as other family members. However, the exercise requirements of Foxhounds would likely overwhelm older people who are no longer active. 

Is the American Foxhound Playful?

American Foxhound puppies are very energetic, and they can never get enough of playing. Even if all the kids are at school, American Foxhounds will find something to play with, and if there are no toys around, they may become destructive; digging up the garden or chewing furniture might be their choice of activity to stay busy. Foxhounds do well in families with more dogs as playmates.

Is the American Foxhound Protective?

American Foxhound Dogs are protective of their families, but they are typically wary and reserved with strangers. Foxhounds tend to alert their owners that strangers are around, and they are likely to react to any potential threat, whether it is the mailman, a stranger, or a squirrel in the garden. However, once the Foxhound senses the family’s approval of a stranger, the Foxhound will warm up to strangers who enter the house.

What are the Adaptability Levels of American Foxhound Dogs?

The American Foxhound dog will do well wherever you take it. However, the most significant consideration when thinking about adopting this breed or relocating with it is whether or not the lifestyle will allow the dog owner to commit to giving the Foxhound plenty of exercise. American Foxhounds are athletic dogs overflowing with energy, and they won’t do well in homes without lots of opportunities for physical movement. Give them that, and your American Foxhound will be your loyal canine companion for life.

What are the Personality Traits of the American Foxhound?

American foxhounds were prized historically for their pack hunting skills, and today they remain a popular choice among hunters, particularly those on horseback. Due to the Foxhound’s easygoing nature and friendly disposition, the breed has gained popularity as a companion dog in recent years. It is essential to remember that this breed is highly energetic and needs to be exercised daily to avoid undesirable behaviors. If you can provide the American Foxhound with the right environment, you will have a loyal and calm dog. 

How to Train an American Foxhound?

The American Foxhound is a friendly and easygoing dog. However, training them can be a patience-testing exercise as they can be stubborn and independent. You may never be able to let them off-leash as scenthounds, so obedience classes are recommended because following their noses can get them into trouble. Once Foxhounds’ senses have them focused on an exciting scent, there’s no stopping them. Foxhounds’ prey drive is strong, and a forceful pull on the leash could knock the person on the other end over. Even so, owners will need patience and persistence when training them, and hounds can develop unwanted behaviors if not given enough exercise. 

Physical exercise is not enough for highly intelligent dogs like American Foxhounds, and they need mental stimulation as well. Mental stimulation involves using the Foxhound’s mind and external surroundings in activities involving puzzles and other interactive toys and games like scenting games involving hiding treats to be sniffed out. Hide and seek is another perfect way to stimulate American Foxhounds. Exercise and movement are vital to ensure an American Foxhound remains flexible and mobile, maintains a healthy weight, and has a low risk of developing medical problems throughout its life. Mental stimulation is essential for an American Foxhound to function optimally.

Where to Buy or Adopt an American Foxhound?

Prospective customers for purchasing American Foxhound Dogs should not rush into it. It is essential to do some research to find a reputable breeder. Fortunately, there are online services that bring breeders and clients together. Therefore, instead of researching several breeders, the online service can identify a reputable breeder in your area. You can speak to previous clients and, ideally, you should visit the breeder before purchasing. Take the time to ask questions and learn more about the breeder’s previous experience, the lineage of parent dogs, and the general living conditions of the animals. In addition, you should find out which vaccinations your puppy will come with and the documented proof that the necessary health tests are part of the purchase. A few American Foxhound Dog breeders are listed below.

  • Petland Pickerington, Ohio
  • Furry Babies, Rockford, Lombard, Aurora (Fox Valley), Portage, Illinois
  • Full Cry Trigg Foxhound Kennel, Kentucky)Deluxe Dalmatians & Hounds, Missouri

Generally, purebred Foxhound puppies are hard to come by because they are not one of the most popular breeds, and they cost between $600 and $1000. However, papered American Foxhound puppies are likely to cost significantly more. However, falling into the online traps of backyard breeders or puppy mills could cause financial and emotional trauma if the puppy is not healthy.

Where to find Rescue Clubs for American Foxhounds?

American Foxhound Dogs of different ages can be found at rescue centers worldwide, and online rescue services are there to ease the search for the right pup. Still, people must remember the money-chasing puppy mills, backyard breeders, and even pet stores lurk online, offering puppies of questionable breeding techniques at discounted prices. Some even offer discount vouchers if you buy more than one puppy. Please do not fall into their trap.

A few reputable online services are listed below. 

  • Adoptapet is an online service to direct prospective American Foxhound parents to rescue centers in their areas.
  • American Kennel Club Marketplace is another online service with rescue facilities nationwide.
  • The Westminster Kennel Club in New York.
  • Heart Bandits is a nonprofit organization with chapters across the USA and Canada. 

Importantly, facilities like those listed here will not risk their reputation by putting people in touch with questionable breeders or rescue facilities. Rescue centers charge about $200 to $300 to cover the costs of caring for the puppies while they wait to be adopted. Although online services make life easier for those seeking American Foxhound, do your due diligence to ensure you get a healthy African Foxhound puppy.

What is the American Foxhound’s History?

Foxhounds have existed for centuries. In 1650, Robert Brooke sailed from England to Maryland with his pack of hunting dogs. Many years later, a cross between English Foxhounds and French Foxhounds was done in America in an attempt to create the perfect foxhound. George Washington, one of the United States’ founding fathers, was the breeder who did this cross. American Foxhounds were not invented by Washington alone, but he played an essential role in their development. Jefferson, Lee, and Custis are just a few famous American families that grew up riding horses and keeping hounds.

In the Post-Colonial period, the American Foxhound was further refined in the South until it became distinctly different from its cousin, the English Foxhound. Foxhunting with hounds was the primary field sport of the gentry of the United States until the Civil War. American Foxhounds are the state dogs of Virginia today.

How to Name an American Foxhound?

Naming an American Foxhound Dog might require different criteria than new Foxhound parents might expect. It is never the actual name the pup responds to; instead, it is the sound and how it is said. There might be a specific inspiration like history, a movie, nature, or the night sky.

The building blocks for naming an American Foxhound include the significance of the sound. The Foxhound’s name will mean something to the humans in the dog’s life, but as far as your canine companion goes, only the sound matters. American Foxhound Dogs respond best to two-syllable names that are not short enough to be confused with single-syllable command words like “sit,” “come,” and “down.” However, the names should not be long enough to become puzzling.

  • Considering a name for your American Foxhound might remind you of the breed’s link to George Washington or Virginia since the American Foxhound has the status of Dog of the State of Virginia.
  • If the Disney Movie, The Fox and the Hound, is your inspiration, you could go for Chief or Copper, the two hunting dogs, or even Tod and Vixey, the two sly foxes in the animated movie.
  • What about an expansion on Copper as a color? Other colors linked to American Foxhounds are Cinnamon, Rusty, or Auburn. They are all two-syllable names, suitable for boy and girl Foxhounds.
  • One more option is to use hunting as your inspiration. There’s Hunter or Bear, for example. However, Bear would work better if you stretch it into two syllables when you call out your Foxhound’s name. You could stretch it to make “Bea–hear” or simply add an “o” to make it “Bear-O” whenever you call him.

Remember, dogs love you more if you call their names in a sing-song way. Develop a call-tune that your American Foxhound will recognize from far.

What are the Different Types of American Foxhound Dogs?

The American Foxhound breed is one of the oldest breeds developed in the United States, and also one of the rarest. The four different American Foxhound types within the breed are based upon their unique skills and the work each type does. The types are listed below.

  1. Field-trial Foxhounds: This group of American Foxhounds skills includes speed and competitive spirits. They participate in athletic events testing and judging their skills in field performance in the four aspects of hunting: pointing, retrieving, trailing, and flushing out prey. These athletic events originated in England around 1866.
  2. Fox-hunting hounds: This group carries out their tasks slowly and uses their musical voices throughout.
  3. Trail hounds: This group participates in a hunt or race following an artificial lure.
  4. Pack hounds: This event involves large packs of Foxhounds participating in tests set by their accompanying hunter on horseback.

What Dog Breeds are Similar to the American Foxhound?

Hounds are one of the oldest dog groups in the world. With a powerful sense of smell and an athletic body, they have assisted humans in the hunt for prey almost since the dawn of civilization. There are two different types of hound dog breeds the sighthound, which uses sight and speed to track its prey, and the scent hound, a much more patient hound that patiently tracks the scent of the prey from a distance. Examples of these hound types are listed below:

  • Scent hounds: American Foxhound, Basset, Beagle, and Bloodhound
  • Sighthounds: Italian Greyhound, Spanish Greyhound, Scottish Deerhound, Greyhound

The skills of these hounds often overlap. Sighthounds use their sense of smell as a secondary skill while hunting. Likewise, scenthounds typically have their noses on the ground, their sight provides additional hunting skills.

Michael Brady

Michael is an animal-lover who specializes in marketing. He started running Dog Food Care with his mother, Sarah, after leaving his office job. Michael gained enough flexibility in his schedule to be able to adopt a dog of his own and welcomed Emmie the dachshund into his home in 2020.