The Tireless American Foxhound

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American Foxhound
Weight: 40 — 65 lbs
Height: 21” — 25”
AKC Rank 2008 #156
Lifespan: 11—13 yrs
Group Hound
Origin: United States

Dog Breed Info - American Foxhounds

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Breed Overview

Origin: 1600’s. Original function: Trailing fox. Today: Trailing fox.

Around 1650 the first fox-chasing hounds arrived in America from England. They shared ancestry with the English Foxhound but had slightly longer legs and were a little faster. Riding to the hounds became quite popular by the 1700’s and included George Washington. Hounds imported from England, France and Ireland helped shape the breed. Foxhound pedigrees have been seen in America since 1850. These dogs were found in great numbers in the mountains of Kentucky and Tennessee where the sport was particularly popular among the upper class. Hunters there wanted a dog that was fast, could start, chase and kill a fox and chase deer too. The best known of this breed was the Walker hound. The strain comes from a dog named Tennessee Lead. Other strains of foxhounds include the Trigg, Goodman, July, Calhoun, and Hudspeth. These dogs became specialized at either running or show hounds. The American Foxhound was recognized by the AKC in 1886 but most of the dogs were never submitted to the AKC so their numbers were never counted. This Foxhound is one of the most unpopular breeds in the country.


The American Foxhound can be difficult to obedience train due to it’s wild pack-animal nature. It is a natural hunter and training in that area is easy. The dog is friendly and good-natured so it is pretty easy to work with. Use clicker training with positive reinforcement for good results in a minimum of time. There are other approaches, including the teachings of the Dog Whisperer, (the TV celebrity) Cesar Millan which are also excellent. This dog can even be trained for agility.

Crate Training

Want to crate train your Foxhound puppy? It's easy and if you're interested, take a look and you'll see what to do. Crate training your puppy will save many headaches and problems.

Potty Training

The ’American Foxhound puppy is hard to house train, potty train, toilet train, housebreak or whatever you want to call it. They learn slow and it takes patience and practice. If you have a puppy, decide if you want to crate or paper potty train it. For the best results, we have a page at Crate vs Paper Potty Training which will help you decide and from there you can get all the information you need to get the job done. Always praise the pup profusely when she goes potty in the RIGHT PLACE so she knows she has done a good thing. Either method will work for this breed

If you have an older dog, take the dog outside every two hours until she gets the idea which door leads to her potty area. Older dogs catch on to the potty or housebreaking pretty fast once they are shown what to do.

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Generally, the Foxhound is not considered to be a house pet, although some are kept for that reason. Around the house, they are well-mannered, gentle, friendly but are not known to be overly affectionate. This breed can not be kept closed in and must get out and run. They need a LOT of exercise every day. The Foxhound is very sociable and needs the company of humans or dogs. While very friendly, they are reserved with strangers. When this dog gets on the scent of prey, it will follow to the end and ignore all commands to come back. Thus, if you play games with the dog, do it in a fenced area where he can’t run off. If you plan to get one of these dogs as a house pet, it is advised to select from the show dog strain and not from the hunting dog group. The “show dogs” are a bit more calm, quiet and do better confined to a house but still, this dog is NOT a city dog. These dogs bay or howl, which can be irritating, especially to neighbors.

If you happen to get an American Foxhound with a separation anxiety problem, that can be dealt with by investing a few hours of work on your part and some "tough love."

Friendly Toward Other Dogs

Known to be very friendly with other dogs. They are used to hunting in “packs” with dogs and are not aggressive.

Friendly Toward Other Pets

Should not be trusted with cats unless raised with them. Okay with dogs, lizards, gerbils and pet spiders.

Friendly Toward Strangers

Reserved, wary of strangers.


Fairly playful. Enjoys fetching balls but mostly enjoys running and agility.


Not too affectionate. Friendly, yes but not a lapdog.

Good with children?

Does well with well-mannered children that have been taught how to behave around a dog. This is a very active animal and might be too active for some kids. He does enjoy play and an outdoor romp with the kids would be good. The breed is quite tolerant and gentle.

Good with Seniors over 65?

No. Needs too much exercise.

Living environment

Prefers a farm or ranch with plenty of open space to run. This is a high energy dog that can not be kept closed in. He can live outdoors in a temperate climate with adequate warm shelter but he MUST have constant companionship with either humans or other dogs. They are very sociable.

Energy level

Very high energy. Rate this about 9 bars out of 10.

Exercise needs, daily

Needs a LOT of exercise. 2 daily walks + play time such as fetch or Frisbee. OR, the American Foxhound makes a great jogging partner, bicycle buddy or hiking companion. They love most of all to cut loose in the field and run for miles after things.


Good watchdog.

Guard dog

No, too friendly.


Moderate shedding.


Brush once a week with a stiff bristle brush to remove dead hair. No other care is needed. Check the ears and clean any wax or oil with a cotton swab to prevent bacteria from forming.

American Foxhound READING

Books on the American Foxhound are scarce. There is only 1 reference book available. Title: American Foxhound: A Complete and Reliable Handbook

Tracking Dog: Theory & Methods

American Foxhound Breeders

In the event you decide to go looking for American Foxhound puppies, be SURE to find reputable breeders that really know what they are doing. Be sure the puppy has been VERY well socialized and started in obedience training. American Foxhound Breeders with puppies for sale. As I write this, the link is showing only 10 breeders world wide. Try an online search for American Foxhound breeders or puppies for sale.

American Foxhound Rescue

In the event you are seriously considering the adoption of an older dog and are looking for an American Foxhound Rescue group, here is a link that might help:
Petfinder - American Foxhound Rescue Look under “Foxhound.” As I write this, Petfinder is showing only 3 dogs available to adopt in the USA. In case you want more selection, go online and search for American Foxhound Rescue or Clubs or kennels. This is a VERY rare breed. If you do find one to adopt, try to locate any dog health records and save for possible future reference.

Dog Health Issues For American Foxhounds
Below: The dog illness / illnesses or medical problems listed for the American Foxhound by various vets.

This is basically a healthy breed. These are the dog illness and medical problems this breed is prone to that have been listed by various veterinarians at different times over the past decade or so and some pertain to puppies and very young dogs that a breeder would deal with.

The information contained herein has been gathered from numerous books by veterinarians and is intended as general information only. Every dog and situation is different. You must see your vet. Our information is for general interest only and not intended to replace the advice provided by your own veterinarian.

  • Hip dysplasia CHD- Hind end limping, hind/back leg acts lame, can't move, weak legs. Wear and time causes the femur to fit poorly into the pelvic socket with improper rotation causing the Plott great pain, weakness and difficulty walking. You may notice the dog “hopping”” like a rabbit when running plus hesitating to climb stairs, all due to pain in the hind quarters. The problem actually starts as a very young puppy with an abnormal formation of the hip joint and grows progressively. A vet can locate this with a diagnostics test.

  • Thrombopathy—A blood disorder. Abnormal blood platelets.

  • Deafness—Hereditary or caused by: Excessive loud noise, Intolerance to anesthesia, drug toxicity, and Otitis (middle ear infection), In some cases, one ear can have no hearing from birth and the other ear can be losing the ability to hear over time, undetected, then suddenly one morning the hearing is totally gone. There is no reversing once that happens.

  • Obesity—The breed tends to gain weight. Keep an eye on the food bowl and number of treats.

Other health problems could occur with your American Foxhound. If you notice any problems with your dog, take it to the vet immediately. This website is for general information only and is not intended to, in any way, be a medical guide.

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