Grace, elegance, beauty, aristocracy—the American Foxhound is the textbook definition of these terminologies. These pups are loyal, and friendly and make great family dogs. You can take them along with you for walks, you can take them jogging, etc.
They can be a great addition to families with young kids, as they will protect the kids and play with them. Let’s delve into the American Foxhounds’ strange and playful world and learn about the various aspects of owning them.
|30 minutes to 1 hour daily
|Energetic, Social, Loyal, Easy going
|United States of America
Origin of the American Foxhound
(You would not believe who was behind the origin of this breed! But let’s rewind to how they appeared in the first place!)
American Foxhounds are a medium-sized dog, that originated in the United States around the 18th century. Fox hunting, among the elites, was a popular sport in the 18th-century United States. Hound dogs were initially bred for hunting purposes. The former first president of America, George Washington, had a significant role in creating this breed (article).
George Washington wanted a hound perfect for hunting in the American terrain. Thus, he imported a couple of hound breeds from English countries. Few of them being the English hound dogs and French Hounds.
These dogs are well-known for their hunting prowess, chasing, and tracking skills. American Foxhounds are always brimming with stamina, which makes them a great companion for prolonged hunting sessions.
Now, we know you are not one of those “take lives for fun” kind of person. So, what purpose will these furry besties serve you?
Appearance Appreciation Time!
American Foxhounds could fit into your perfect high school movie’s rugby team!
Why do we say so? This breed of hounds is known for its athleticism and elegance. Here’s how:
1. Body structure
They have a well-proportioned and muscular body (such hunks!) Their tail lies high and loose, which does not curl at the back but instead tapers at the end. Foxhound legs and feet are muscular and straight, adding further elegance to their stance.
2. Facial features
American Foxhounds have a medium-sized head with a straight, well-defined skull. Their ears always hang low and remain close to the head. With an adorable snout, which is moderately long and tapers towards the nose, you just can’t help yourself from boop-ing it. These dogs also have broad shoulders and a muscular neck and chest.
American Foxhounds have a short, dense coat that lies close to their body. Their coats are mostly tri-colored. The color ranges from black, white, and tan marks. With a saddle-like pattern over their back being one of their signature features, they always have an alert yet friendly and sociable expression.
Now, let’s discuss why these are an excellent choice for athletic dog lovers.
Personality and Temperament
Although they are instinctive hunters, that does not take away one bit of their good-boy traits. They are everything you would want if you seek an affectionate fur companion. Their personality traits are:
Foxhounds are generally considered to be amiable dogs. Known to enjoy the company of people, they are surprisingly excellent around kids and sometimes even cats.
Due to their friendly nature, it’s really no surprise that they are social animals, and get along well with other dogs. (These dogs have been trained often hunt in packs and prefer staying around hounds, if that’s your concern).
However, they are shameless attention seekers (in a paw-sitive way). Unlike most dog breeds, they do not shy away from making heads turn and asking for pets from people wherever they go.
Note: This would only be the case if you socialize them from an early stage. They can be very reserved and protective of their handlers around strangers.
3. Highly energetic and alert
American foxhounds are always bustling with energy and require plenty of physical activity to stay satisfied and healthy. They love going on runs, hiking, and exploration adventures.
Their strong presence of mind and awareness often make them wary of their surroundings. Hence, this makes them excellent watchdogs, as they always watch for unusual activity.
These dogs can quickly adapt to different living conditions and experiences. But you need to ensure their regular mental and physical stimulation. If you have space in your uncle’s farm and in a suburban area, they can easily thrive.
Beige Flags to Watch Out For
While the American Foxhound makes for an amazing pet, similar to most dog breeds, they are a mixed bad as well. Hence, some traits of this breed can be both positive and negative:
- Curiosity: They are naturally very curious. Even though this makes them adorable, they can sometimes drag you into unwanted situations.
- Determined: They are known for their determination. This trait is great for hunting roles. But for a general dog lover, this might make them a little stubborn and hard to train.
- Independent thinkers: While obedient if appropriately trained, American foxhounds can also be independent thinkers. This trait results from their hunting history, where they had to make decisions on the go.
Again, this trait can make it hard for their handlers to train them. Obedience training and paw-sitive reinforcement are great ways to tackle that.
American Foxhounds are known to be quite the musician! Known for their musical barking, these dogs communicate in a distinctive manner while hunting.
What Health Concerns Do You Need to Keep in Mind?
These sweet babies can be prone to various health risks. These include infections, obesity, dental diseases, etc. Some additional health risks are:
1. Hip dysplasia
This is a genetic condition where the hip joint does not develop properly, and leads to potential arthritis.
American Foxhounds can easily catch on to bacterial and viral infections (rabies, parvo, etc.) Since their ears are floppy, they can easily trap moisture, leading to ear infections. Regular ear cleaning and medical treatment can help prevent such conditions.
2. Progressive retinal atrophy
Known to be a cluster of genetic eye disorders, it can lead to visual impairment.
Furthermore, some American Foxhounds can be much more susceptible to heart diseases, while some can be prone to seizures and epilepsy. Frequent full-body health checkups can save them from potentially fatal health conditions.
Grooming Needs of the American Foxhound
American Foxhounds are low maintenance but require you to care for them:
1. Weekly brushing
An American Foxhound’s coat is short and lies close to the body. The coat’s tough texture protects them from the underbrush they go through while hunting.
But don’t worry. The coat is extremely easy to take care of. All you need to do is brush them once a week with a bristle brush. You can even include other items such as a rubber grooming mitt or a pair of hound gloves. This makes them paw-fect if you have a busy lifestyle or cannot find a pet groomer nearby.
2. Don’t require regular baths
The Foxhound should only be bathed if they get particularly dirty or smelly. The nails of the American Foxhound should be trimmed regularly, as long nails can cause injuries and impact their motion and movement.
Exercise and Training Needs
As discussed above, American Foxhounds were bred for hunting on rugged terrains. This required them to be highly agile and physically active.
1. Daily exercise
These dogs require daily exercise and training for mental and physical stimulation. You can get them their needed physical activities by running, hiking, or playing fetch. This not only benefits them, but you get your needed health boost as well.
2. Allow them to explore
American Foxhounds have a strong sense of smell and are curious little fur buddies. Providing them opportunities to sniff, search, or work for rewards can help them stay active. This will also keep their wild hunting skills alive.
3. Mental stimulation
As for mental stimulation, you should incorporate treat puzzles in their playtime. This will help them search for their food and slow down while eating, which is great for digestive issues.
Play time should include rigorous activities like tug of war, swimming, etc. This will help build trust between you and your pupper while stimulating bodily functions.
To train them, you should start obedience training from an early age. American Foxhounds are independent thinkers, which can make them stubborn. Positive reinforcement and slight strictness can help prevent behavioral issues. Set clear boundaries with them, as they need to understand how to be respectable to the household.
Are American Foxhounds Hypoallergenic?
American foxhounds are not considered among the hypoallergenic dogs. They shed dander moderately, a common allergen that causes allergies in humans.
It is not necessary that if a dog is not hypoallergenic, then you WILL have allergic reactions. We always recommend that you spend some time with the breed you are about to adopt before you get any new pets. Look out for reactions and choose wisely.
If you LOVE outdoor activities, these pups are an excellent choice!
Their stamina and perseverance will get you your daily dose of energy burn and keep the household healthy and thriving. These friendly dogs get along well with familiar people and will keep the party going!
But you should also make sure that you socialize them from puppy stages. They can be wary of strangers and get aggressive. If you are a responsible pet paw-rent, you need not worry much. Train them well, groom them well, keep their health in check, and there you go… a fantastic friend for life!
Frequently Asked Questions
While they can be greatly affectionate, be extreme cuddlebugs, and be great with kids, these traits do not develop out of thin air. You need to train them constantly in order to maintain good behavior.
American Foxhounds, just like most dogs, are prone to separation anxiety. They can be uncomfortable if left alone for a long period of time. If that is your necessity, train them to be independent from an early age.
Engaging yourself in your dog’s playtime is always best. But if you do not have the time to play with them, you can keep plenty of puzzle toys and slow-feeder toys in their playtime. This helps to keep them stimulated, and they get a tasty treat from time to time.