This pack hound has been bred for more than 150 years and is used primarily for fox hunting, but with plenty of exercise he can also make a fine family companion. His size and voice make him best suited to a rural home. Overview Bred in England since the 1800s, English Foxhounds have been bred in over 250 packs. Coming to America in the 1900s, the breed is meant to hunt foxes on foot next to a hunter on horseback. With a strong nose and ability to run for miles, this breed is an active and gentle dog. The English Foxhound has a stately bearing, but beneath his classic good looks lies a dog who’s always ready to rock and roll. This is a dog bred to run full throttle over hill and dale, hot on the heels of a fox. Expect to provide him with lots of strenuous daily activity. A bored Foxhound with energy to burn will create his own entertainment, and you probably won’t like it. He’s also noisy, with a loud bay that carries long distances. It’s not a good idea to keep him in an urban environment. Highlights
English Foxhounds need a large fenced yard and daily exercise of 30 to 60 minutes per day.
English Foxhounds are not recommended for apartment living. They are an active breed indoors, which makes them unsuitable for small dwellings.
Before you purchase your English Foxhound, research the breed and to talk to breeders. The English Foxhound is not the breed for everyone, and because the information about him is limited it is easy to purchase this breed while failing to properly understand its limitations and idiosyncrasies.
English Foxhounds need a strong owner who is fair and consistent. Obedience training is a must and should begin at an early age.
This breed does well with children, but English Foxhounds are quite active and bouncy when they are young. For that reason, they are not recommended for homes with small children.
Being pack dogs, English Foxhounds do well with other dogs and actually do better in homes where there are other dogs. They can become bored and destructive when they are the only dog in the home.
English Foxhounds are a rare breed and it may be difficult to find a responsible breeder. Breeders with puppies available may have a long waiting list.
Bred to pursue prey, the English Foxhound still possesses this drive. For this reason, they should have a fenced yard and should be walked on leash as they may not come back if they are in pursuit of something interesting.
The English Foxhound generally does well with other animals in the home, but it is important to understand that they are prey driven and may chase smaller animals.
English Foxhounds have a loud bark. This makes them wonderful watchdogs, but it may also make them unliked by neighbors.
To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. Look for a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs to make sure they’re free of genetic diseases that they might pass onto the puppies, and that they have sound temperaments.
Other Quick Facts
The English Foxhound has a short coat that can be any hound color but is typically a tricolor of black, tan and white.
English Foxhounds are typically kept in packs by hunt clubs, but occasionally they are placed as companion dogs.
English Foxhounds are the rarest of the foxhound breeds.
English Foxhounds usually train for six months to a year before they are ready to go out with the pack.
The English Foxhound has a rich, deep, mellow voice.
One of the greatest English Foxhounds was a dog named Belvoir Gambler, who was admired for his beautiful proportions and rich color.
The English Foxhound was created in the late 16th century, as a result of the perception of the depletion of deer in England. Nobles and royalty had hunted deer for both food and sport, using the Deerhound or Staghound for this purpose. During the reign of Henry VIII, it was perceived that a new prey was needed, and the fox was selected. The English Foxhound was then created by a careful mixing of the Greyhound, for speed, the Fox Terrier, for hunting instinct, and the Bulldog, for tenacity in the hunt.
English Foxhound circa 1915.
During the British Raj, English Foxhounds were exported to India for the purpose of jackal coursing, though due to the comparatively hotter weather, they were rarely long lived. Foxhounds were preferred for this purpose over greyhounds, as the former was not as fast, and could thus provide a longer, more sporting chase.
Studbooks for the English foxhound have been kept since the 18th century.Breeding lines and the work of people involved in breeding hounds is extremely important in the continual development of this working breed. Puppy shows are important events in the hunting calendar and allow the local hunt followers and visiting hound breeders examine the latest generation from the hound pack. The International Foxhound Association was created in 2012 for the promotion of the English Foxhound as a breed.
Foxhounds are an excellent dog for an active family. They love being outdoors and have the endurance to stay active all day long. Foxhounds get along great with children and other animals, and in fact do best when they are part of a large pack (human or canine). They are versatile enough to spend all day hunting with dad, only to come home and romp around with children. Foxhounds are adaptable and easy going and are an excellent choice for rural families.
The average life expectancy of the English Foxhound is between 9 and 11 years. Breed health concerns may include epilepsy, hip dysplasia and kidney ailments. These are remarkably healthy dogs.
Bred to be a fast hunter with a great deal of stamina, the English Foxhound requires a substantial amount of exercise. If he can’t hunt in a field as he was bred to do, take him on daily runs or provide other exercise that will help him burn off his natural energy.
He’s used to kennel life and can live outdoors if accompanied by another social dog and provided with appropriate shelter. If he’s an only dog, however, he should live indoors with his human pack so he won’t get lonely.
It is important to crate train your English Foxhound puppy. Puppies explore, get into things they shouldn’t, and chew things that can harm them. It can be expensive both in fixing or replacing destroyed items as well as the vet bills that could arise. Crate training ensures not only the safety of your puppy but also of your belongings.
English Foxhounds are not recommended for apartment life. They are very active indoors and do best with acreage.
Like most other hound breeds, English Foxhounds are highly independent and can sometimes be stubborn. Therefore they require firm, assertive leadership and consistent training. They are also bred to hunt in packs and require this firm leadership to be well-balanced. Obedience training can however take time and patience. Owners may experience trouble with the “come” command, especially when walking this dog without a leash. Their prey instincts are easily aroused and they can run off in pursuit of interesting ‘prey’ if walked off leash.
Foxhounds need a lot of exercise, and their overall temperament is shaped by how much daily exercise they receive. A Foxhound who does not get enough daily activity can become reserved, anxious, or begin to exhibit dominance, whereas a Foxhound who gets plenty of exercise will be even tempered, social, and obedient. Expect to vigorously exercise this breed at least one hour per day. Those who are not hunters or who do not already jog, hike or bike daily should look to another breed, as should apartment or condo dwellers.
Foxhounds are hard working hunting dogs and can be utilized as trackers in the field. They can move for hours on end without getting tired, and once they catch a scent they become 100% focused on tracking it. This trait can backfire in home life, so when Foxhounds aren’t in the hunting field they should be kept on a leash or in a fenced-in area to keep them safe.
Foxhounds do best in multiple-dog homes. While they enjoy the company of people, they only truly thrive around other dogs, so adopting two at a time would be the most ideal situation for a Foxhound.
The English Foxhound’s short, dense coat is easy to groom. Brush it weekly with a hound mitt or rubber curry brush to remove dead hairs and distribute skin oils. The dogs shed moderately, and regular brushing will help prevent loose hairs from settling on your floors, furniture and clothing. Bathe the dog as needed.
The rest is basic care. Trim the nails every few weeks. Keep the rounded hanging ears clean and dry so bacterial and yeast infections don’t take hold. Brush the teeth for good overall health and fresh breath.
Children And Other Pets
The English Foxhound is great with older children who are a match for his energetic and bouncy nature. He’s not recommended for homes with small children simply because they’re too easily knocked over by the swishing tail or enthusiastic antics of a rambunctious dog. Kind as they are, English Foxhounds, like all breeds, should never be left unsupervised with young children.
Being pack dogs, they love the company of other dogs, especially other English Foxhounds, and they’re quite comfortable around horses. They generally do well with other animals, but with their strong prey drive, they may chase smaller pets. Supervise interactions with cats, smaller dogs, or other animals until you’re sure everyone gets along.
Is this breed right for you?
If you’re not a fox hunter, then this breed is perfect for someone with an active lifestyle. A great companion for running, biking, hiking and more, this dog needs a lot of activity in his life. If left bored, he may act out and break any rules given to him. Good with children, this dog does well with other pets and prefers the company of other dogs.
Did You Know?
The typical quarry of the English Foxhound is the red or gray fox, but they are also used to hunt coyotes. But don’t worry: a hunt is all about the chase, not the kill, and the quarry lives to run another day.
A dream day in the life of an English Foxhound
Ready for a hiking trip first thing in the morning, this pup will be up for any challenge regardless of the length. Following his master, he’ll run the trail, picking up every scent he can. A strong animal, he loves to climb rocky terrain with you and other dogs or people too. Once the hike has ended, he’ll be happy to chill out and socialize with his owner before hitting the dog bed.