English Foxhound: History, Temperament, Care, Training & more

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English Foxhound Dog Breed Information

English Foxhound
Level of Energy  
Exercise Needs  
Level of Affection  
Climate Tolerance   
Good With Children  
Tolerance of Animals  
Suitable as Watch Dog    

English Foxhound – Just The Facts

  • AKC Popularity:  177
  • AKC Breed Group: Hound
  • Size of Male:  55-75 lbs, 22-25 in.
  • Size of Female:  55-75 lbs, 21-24 in.
  • Color:  Black, Tan and White
  • Average Lifespan:  10-13 years
  • Breed Origin:  Two different Fox Hounds
  • Purpose:  Trailing Fox

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General Description

The English Foxhound is approximately 21 to 25 inches tall with a large skull and long muzzle. They have very expressive eyes and are athletic hunting dogs. The ears are low-set and the eyes are brown. The legs are straight and the coat is glossy, short, dense and hard. They are an extremely agile and courageous hunter.

Origin and History

The precise origin of this breed is not known. However, it is more or less an acknowledged fact that, during 1750, the English Foxhound came into being as a dog that could trail a fox even if the scent was very faint and could sustain the chase for a prolonged period of time.

It is assumed that this dog breed came into existence as a separate breed by constant breeding amongst various hounds such as the Greyhound, the Fox Terrier and the Bulldog. Subsequent careful breeding among chosen breeds created what we see today.

Towards the end of the 1800s, fox hunting had gained immense popularity in England and there were around 140 packs registered in England itself. Every pack comprised of approximately 50 dogs and the first dog of this breed was registered in 1909 by the AKC.

English Foxhound Temperament

The English Foxhound is a very passionate and courageous hunter, and it is a very lively and active breed. Since they were initially kept in packs, they bond well with other dogs and pets. They are particularly fond of horses amongst all other pets.

This dog breed is an extremely friendly animal that is very affectionate towards children and good with people. They are trainable to respond to orders but dog training in some of the breeds may be a time-consuming process.

This breed likes to sniff and trail and is best suited for vast country side with ample space to roam and explore. They are generally friendly and gentle and are not very demonstrative. However, with strangers they may become reserved. These dogs may prove to be independent and extremely headstrong at times and so owners with some degree of experience of handling dogs would be ideal for them.

Care, Grooming, Diet & Exercise

Living Environment – The English foxhound is an outdoor dog and is fond of running miles on end. This breed thrives in temperate climates and needs warm place with adequate bedding and another foxhound preferably for company.

Grooming – The only recommended coat care is the occasional combing and brushing to remove hair. A regular rub with a rough cloth is also suggested. The dog should be bathed only when absolutely necessary. This breed is an average shedder.

Diet & Exercise – Since these dogs are a very lean and muscular breed of dog, this physical characteristic needs to be kept in mind while preparing its diet. One should remember the original diet pattern of the breed, which consists of smaller animals such as fox and hare.

They are capable of storing huge amount of protein during their prolonged hunts and they require large quantities of water during exercise. Commercial food rich in fiber content is ideal for them and the source of carbohydrates must be wheat, oats and potato. Meats from lean horse and beef are highly recommended.

One must try to avoid yellow corn, poultry, soy and ocean fish of any kind.

This breed requires ample exercise to be fit and happy. They should be taken on long brisk walks or jogs with the dog tailing the human or walking beside them. According to the dog’s perception, it has to be led and the leader is always the human who keeps it on a leash.

One can put a backpack on the dog to drain their energy faster.

Biking or jogging with the dog by the side is the best way to exercise them, as this breed can run for long distances without getting tired. Remember that if there is lack of physical and mental exercise, the English Foxhound may become irate and display destructive behaviors.

Since it is an active hunting breed of dog, one must provide it with plenty of exercise and keep it away from places inhabited by its prey, as they may take off even if they get a whiff of the scent of a hare or a fox.

Health – These dogs are generally healthy and are of robust health. They have very few health-related problems and live until about 13 years of age. Some of the dogs may exhibit liver ailments towards their later years.

English Foxhound Trainability

They are not highly trainable and require a lot of persistence and patience to be trained. Generally, they have a very pleasant temperament and are nice social dogs. However, one may opt for moderate dog training to impart basic socialization skills and manners.