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English Foxhound

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Athletic, strong and bursting with energy, foxhounds were bred to work. They are sociable dogs but are not the best choice as pets until they have retired from their hunting duties. Even then, these dogs require owners who understand their specific needs and they can be a bit if a handful, not to mention noisy!

Which breed group is the English foxhound in?

Breed group: Hound

English foxhound breed history

When deer hunting began to take its toll on wild deer populations during the sixteenth century, fox hunting began to rise in popularity. The large breeds used for hunting deer did not possess the stamina nor the agility to pursue foxes. This resulted in the early development of the Foxhound. It is believed that this dog was evolved from crossing greyhounds, fox terriers, and bulldogs but the precise origins of foxhounds are not known.

Foxhounds were bred to exhibit impressive stamina, great strength and a good turn of speed. Their numbers have fallen since the ban on fox hunting, but breeders are working to ensure that they don’t disappear completely.

English foxhound breed characteristics

Handsome and with genuine presence, the English foxhound is a well-balanced dog with an alert expression. They boast long, square muzzles and large nostrils. Their hazel or brown eyes are medium in size and their ears hang down. Their well-developed necks are slightly arched and their shoulders are muscular. These dogs are incredibly athletic, and their backs are level. Their feet are round and their tails are carried gaily.

Foxhounds boast short, dense coats which provide protection from the elements. The accepted breed colours include black and white, badger pied, blue, white & tan, lemon and white, red and white, tan and white, tricolour and hare pied.

Enthusiastic and brave, foxhounds are sociable dogs which get on with dogs, people and horses. However, they are not the most obedient of animals and they tend to bark – a lot. They have oodles of energy and very strong prey drives. Younger dogs are not well-suited to the home environment and would be a handful for any owner.

  • Lifespan: 13-14 years
  • Height: up to 64cm
  • Weight: up to 30kg
  • Athletic
  • Muscular
  • Brave
  • Short coats in a variety of colours
  • Tend to bark
  • Energetic
  • Friendly
  • Get on with dogs and horses

Health issues with the English foxhound

One of the healthiest breeds, foxhounds are prone to only a handful of health issues as follows:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Heart murmurs
  • Kidney disease
  • Congenital deafness

What is the English foxhound bred for?

The foxhound was bred specifically to hunt foxes in packs.

What sort of owners does the English foxhound suit?

It is usually only retired foxhounds which are kept as pets. These dogs can be fabulous companions but require firm handling. They are good with children and sociable with other dogs. However, they need plenty of exercise and may not be very obedient. As such, foxhounds are best suited to experienced owners who are familiar with their specific needs and who live in the countryside. These dogs don’t cope well being left on their own and so they require owners who are at home all day and who have time on their hands to spend entertaining their pet.


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