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American Foxhound

American Foxhound Dog Breed

The American Foxhound is categorized under the AKC (American Kennel Club) category of Hounds. The American Foxhound is considered to be a rare breed, and the breed itself originates from the United States of America. A descendant of the English Foxhound, the American Foxhound is known for its excellent sense of smell, speed, and its musical bark.

American Foxhounds have an average height of 21 – 25 inches (53 – 64 centimeters) and an average weight of 55 – 75 pounds (29 – 34 kilograms), depending on gender. They have an average lifespan of 11 – 13 years.

History/Origin

A direct descendent of the English Foxhound, the American Foxhound originated around the year 1650, when European settlers arrived on American soil. The American Foxhound was a product of the wishes of American breeders to develop a foxhound that possesses a better sense of smell as well as being quicker and lighter. This would enable the new breed to be better suited to the terrain in American instead of the terrain in Europe. With additional crossbreeding between the French and Irish Foxhounds, the American Foxhound was developed.

Bred with the main purpose of fox hunting, the present day American Foxhound continues on with it’s roots, but with new methods of hunting; some hunt foxes on foot, some hunt with an artificial lure, and some hunt in packs of 15 or more. In addition, some American Foxhounds are used in field trial competitions as well as scenting dogs.

Physical Appearance

Taller and lighter than the English Foxhound, the American Foxhound boasts long and lean front legs along with a long head and broad ears. Their tails curve upwards, and their coats are short and tough. Their coats come in a variety of colors.

Personality/Temperament

American Foxhounds are extremely active and they pack high endurance levels. They are perfectly capable of being active for an entire day, thus proving to be great companion choices for the active. They are very friendly towards children and fellow canine breeds, but should be kept away from felines and other non-canine animals. A curious breed, the American Foxhound may sometimes stray off when it catches an interesting scent. Due to their activeness, American Foxhounds need to have constant exercise or else it will develop destructive tendencies.

They are known for their musical bark, and tend to bark when it’s night time or when they are home alone. This trait is very difficult to train out of an American Foxhound, so individuals who live in a densely populated area (e.g. In an apartment or condominium) should be aware that neighbors will likely complain. American Foxhounds like company, and they are better off in homes with multiple dogs.

General Care & Health

The coats of American Foxhounds should be brushed once or twice a week with a firm brush in order to remove dirt and distribute skin oils along the coat. American Foxhounds do not need to be bathed regularly; only when another gets too strong or when they get too dirty for a brush down to work. Their teeth should be brushed two to three times a week minimum, and their nails should be trimmed regularly. Clean their outer ears with a cotton swab and a solution obtained from the breeder/vet. During grooming, one should be on the lookout for signs of infection in areas such as ears, nose, mouth, and eyes.

The recommended daily amount of food an American Foxhound should be getting is 2 to 3 cups of dry food, divided into two or three meals throughout the day. Note that as Foxhounds have a hearty appetite, food should not be left out past mealtimes in order to prevent overeating and obesity. Despite the presence of a guideline, the amounts can be altered if the dog is highly active or otherwise.

American Foxhounds are generally a very healthy breed and are not known to carry hereditary diseases. They are, however, prone to the following disease:
• Thrombocytopathy – this disease is caused by malfunctioning platelets and will result in abnormal/excessive bleeding from minor injuries.

Summary

Famed for their musical bark as well as known for their extremely active nature, American Foxhounds are not recommended for city-dwellers. They prefer yards to cramped apartment spaces, and will demand extensive daily exercise. American Foxhounds are sweet with children, strangers, and other canine breeds, and are moderately easy to train.


Image Credit

Photo by Svenska MässanCC BY 2.0

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