American Foxhound

American Foxhound-dog-pet-dog breeds

The American Foxhound is a breed of dog that is a cousin of the English Foxhound. They are scent hounds, bred to hunt foxes by scent.

Description

Appearance

While standards call for the American Foxhound to be about 21–25 in (53–64 cm) tall to the withers, and weigh anywhere between 55–71 lb (25–32 kg), many of them are larger in structure (especially the show strains), with males standing 26–29 in (66–74 cm) and females 25–28 in (64–71 cm) and smaller in weight, typically between 45–65 lb (20–29 kg). For years it was traditional to feed Foxhounds on a diet of "dog bread", a variation on cornbread. The legs of a Foxhound are very long and straight-boned. The foxhound's chest is rather narrow. It has a long muzzle, and a large, domed skull. The ears are wide and low-set. The eyes are hazel or brown, and are large and wide-set.

Coat

A close, hard hound coat of medium length, and any color, though the combination of black, white and tan is prevalent. American Foxhounds do tend to shed a good amount of hair, but a weekly brushing will decrease shedding.

Defining physical characteristics

The American Foxhound is taller and rangier than its cousin, the English Foxhound. Also, this breed is known to have a musical bark, called a bay, when it is hunting that can be heard for miles, probably inherited from the Grand Bleu de Gascogne's signature howl. If competing in a dog show, some physical characteristics that judges would look for would be a slightly domed skull, long, large ears, large eyes, straight muzzle, well laid-back shoulders, a moderately long back, fox-like feet, and a slightly curved tail. Though they are traditionally tri-colored (black, white and tan) they can be any color. They are one of the rarest breeds in the American Kennel Club.

Behavior

Temperament

The American Foxhound has a very docile and sweet demeanor. A typical dog is gentle, easygoing, and gets along with children and other animals. However, they may act shy and reserved when around strangers.

Activity level

The American Foxhound is a very active breed and very high energy. They require a lot of exercise and do best in habitats where they have room to run. If they live in a suburban area such as a neighborhood, they should have a fenced in yard and be taken on multiple walks daily.

Trainability

Obedience training is essential for this breed due to their independence and natural instinct to follow a scent. A Foxhound who picks up a scent will follow it while ignoring commands; training requires patience and skill because of the breed's independence and occasional stubbornness. Because of its strong hunting instinct, American Foxhounds should not be trusted off-leash. Most scent hounds are bred to give "voice," but the Foxhound does not make a good watchdog.

Health

This breed is not generally a breed that carries genetic disorders. However they can easily become overweight when overfed. A minor health risk in American Foxhounds is thrombocytopathy, or platelet disease. This comes from poorly functioning blood platelets and can result in excessive bleeding from minor bumps or cuts. The treatment is usually based on the severity of the disease. Owners will often have their American Foxhounds undergo blood tests so that the condition can be caught early on. While dysplasia was largely unknown in Foxhounds, it is beginning to crop up occasionally, along with some eye issues. It is not typical or customary for Foxhound breeders to screen for any hereditary disorders at this time. The breed's lifespan is generally 10–12 years. The American Foxhound is an energetic breed. According to some veterinarians and trainers, it needs plenty of exercise, for example, a fairly long walk followed by a game of fetch.

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