American Foxhound: Dog Breed Profile and Information

American Foxhound
Photo by giovannistrapazzon

The American Foxhound is a dog breed related to the English Foxhound. They’re scent hounds, bred to track down foxes using their sense of smell.

Scientific classification

Scientific NameCanis lupus


When the first European settlers arrived in the American colonies, some carried their hounds with them. In the late 1700s, the descendants of these dogs were crossed with imported Irish, English, and French hounds.

The American breeders aimed to create a smatter, bigger, and stronger foxhound than his English counterpart, with a better sense of smell, to better fit the game and terrain of their new homeland.

Early American breeders included George Washington —he kept a herd of American Foxhounds at Mount Vernon and sought to improve them by breeding them with imported British hounds.

He also crossed them with French foxhounds given to him by his friend, the Marquis de Lafayette, a wealthy Frenchman who fought alongside him during the American Revolutionary War.

Field trial hounds are famous for their stamina and competitive spirit. Slow-trailing hounds are renowned for their harmonic baying and are used for hunting foxes on foot.

Drag hounds, also known as trail hounds, are raced using an artificial lure rather than real prey; and hunters use pack hounds on horseback in packs.


Males range in height from 22 to 25 inches and weigh 45 to 65 pounds; females range in height from 21 to 24 inches and weigh 40 to 60 pounds.


While American Foxhounds are mostly sweet and easygoing, they have the independent and stubborn nature that hounds are known for.

They’ve been raised to hunt with no guidance from their human friends, and they don’t see why they should have to follow your instructions.

Foxhounds raised in a pack rather than with a human family may be difficult to train since they have formed stronger bonds with their pack than with humans.

To help them adjust to life as a family dog, they’ll need more time, attention, and training.

When they’re young, Foxhounds, like all dogs, need early socialization, which includes exposure to various people, dogs, sights, sounds, and experiences; socialization aids in developing a fun, well-rounded Foxhound puppy.


This is a mostly stable breed that hasn’t been linked to any genetic diseases. An American Foxhound can develop the following condition on rare occasions:

  • Thrombocytopathy: It is triggered by poorly functioning platelets and results in abnormal bleeding from minor bumps or cuts. The treatment is determined by the cause and severity of the problem.


The American Foxhound, raised to be a fast hunter who can run for miles, needs a lot of exercise. He’ll need regular runs or some other kind of exercise to help him work off his natural energy if he’s not going to be a hunting partner.

He’d do well in a house with a yard, or even better, an acre or two; he’d be too noisy in a condo or apartment.

The American Foxhound is used to a rough environment, having been raised in outdoor kennels with a pack of dogs.

He can live outside if he has a good shelter and another social dog to keep him company. If he’s an only dog, he should live with his human family indoors, so he doesn’t get lonely.

Loyalty training is generally advised to make the independent foxhound see you as the pack leader. He won’t react well to punishment-based training, so use treats and affection to reward him for doing as you ask.

And “ask” is the operative term. If you attempt to order the hounds, they will ignore you.

Food and diet

Because of the American Foxhound’s active lifestyle, they need a consistent diet of high-quality meat and vegetables. When they hunt with their owners, they are traditionally fed horsemeat, but they can also eat oatmeal.

Boiled eggs and broccoli are favorites of the breed, but they should be provided in moderation to prevent digestive distress or flatulence.

Grooming and maintenance

The coat of the American Foxhound is short and dense. Brushing the coat once a week for hygiene purposes will remove all the dead hair and aid in distributing skin oils.

You will prevent unnecessary fur anywhere by brushing their coat regularly if they shed moderately.

Bathing American foxhounds can only be done when necessary. Their nails and ears will also need to be washed. Brushing their teeth would be necessary for overall dental health as well as to keep their breath healthy.

American foxhound Puppies

Puppies ought to be taken care of in the same manner that you would take care of an adult dog. However, it would be ideal to begin training the puppies sooner rather than later so that they grow healthy habits and are easier to train.

Puppies’ meals should be divided into several small portions to allow their small stomachs to absorb the food.

American foxhounds and Kids

These dogs have a reputation for being excellent with children. They adore children and are very patient with them.

They also aid in the development of toddlers’ first steps. These canines make excellent playmates.

Dogs similar to American foxhounds

If an American foxhound isn’t the best fit for your family, there are still plenty of other dog breeds to consider.

Some dogs that are similar to the American foxhound are mentioned below:

  • Bluetick Coonhound: These dogs, like American foxhounds, are hunting dogs known for picking up scents with their “cold” nose. However, they are much heavier, weighing in at about 80 pounds when fully grown.
  • Beagle: These dogs are friendly, caring, and quite curious. They also have cute faces and are very popular with families.
  • Basenji: These hunting dogs are marketed as “barkless dogs.” They are much quieter than American foxhounds but not entirely silent.
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