In 1650, Robert Brooke sailed to Crown Colony in America with his pack of hunting dogs, which were the root of several strains of American Hounds. These dogs remained in the Brooke family for nearly 300 years. George Washington received French Foxhounds, Grand Bleu de Gascogne, (which look much like an American Bluetick Coonhound) as a gift from the Marquis de Lafayette. Many of the dogs Washington kept were descended from Brooke's, and when crossed with the French hounds, helped to create the present day American Foxhound. The American Foxhound is known to originate from the states of Maryland and Virginia, and is the state dog of Virginia."Code of Virginia". 1–510. Retrieved 28 March 2011.Though there has long been a rumor that the new breed was originally used for hunting Indigenous peoples of the Americas, this is not true. The breed was developed by landed gentry purely for the sport of hunting foxes. With the importation (or migration) of the red fox, Irish Foxhounds were added to the lines, to increase speed and stamina in the dog, qualities still prevalent in today's dogs. One quality that the American Foxhound is famous for is its musical howl that can be heard for miles. This is actually one reason that this breed does not do well in city settings. The breed was first recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1886. Today, there are many different strains of American Foxhound, including Walker, Goodman, Trigg, July and Penn-Marydel. Though each strain looks quite different, they are all recognized as members of the same breed. Most show hounds are Walkers, many of the pack hounds (used with hunting foxes on horseback) are Penn-Marydel and hunters use a variety of strains to suit their hunting style and quarry
While standards call for the American Foxhound to be about 21–25 inches (530–640 mm) tall to the withers, and weigh anywhere between 45-60 pounds (29–34 kg), many of them are larger in structure (especially the show strains), with males standing 26–29 inches (660–740 mm) and females 25–28 inches (640–710 mm) and smaller in weight, typically between 40–65 pounds (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 dog is a Virginia Common pet. The ears are wide and low-set. The eyes are hazel or brown, and are large and wide-set.
While similar to its English cousin, the American Foxhound has been developed by its breeders to be lighter and taller, to have a keener sense of smell, and to be even faster in the chase. A large, handsome hound, its front legs are long and very straight-boned. The head is long with a slightly domed, large skull. The ears are broad and pendant, framing the face. The eyes are large and wide-set, either brown or hazel, with a sweet, imploring expression. The ears are wide and flat to the head. The tail is set moderately high with a slight upward curve, but is not turned forward over the back. The short, hard coat may be any color.
Height: 21 - 25 inches (53 – 64 cm)
Weight: 65 - 75 pounds (29 – 34 kg)
American Foxhounds are not recommended for apartment life. They are very active indoors and do best with acreage.
The American Foxhound is moderately easy to train. He learns new commands at the average rate. He is neither difficult nor easy to train.
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-lead. Most scent hounds are bred to give "voice", but the Foxhound does not make a good watchdog.
About 10-12 years
Regular combing and brushing should be done with a firm bristle brush. Bathing should only be done when necessary. It is important to frequently check the ears of this breed often for debris. The American Foxhound is a relatively healthy breed. They have a tendency to gain weight if overfed.
The American Foxhound breed has a coat that is of medium length, is weather-proof, hard in texture, and lays close to the body. The American Foxhound is an average shedder.
The American Foxhound was bred to run, so they are an ideal pet for those who live in rural areas or on large farms. They can do well in smaller areas, however, with owners who provide them with adequate exercise. Hounds raised in the home tend to be mild tempered and easy going, getting along with children and most other pets. Their short coat is easy to care for, but owners will need patience and persistence in training, as the breed can be stubborn and independent.