American Foxhound – Full Breed Profile

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
Not sure what's the biggest difference between the American Foxhound and English Foxhound? Read on and discover.
Dog Breed Group:
Hound Dogs
21 to 25 inches tall at the shoulder
40 to 60 pounds
Life Span:
12 to 13 years

Breed Characteristics:

Apartment Friendly


How well will this breed adapt to apartment living? Is the apartment size the most important factor when it comes to proper living conditions? Is the breed suitable for apartment living?

Good For First-Time Owners


Some dogs aren't suitable for first-time dog owners. Is this breed a good match for someone with no dog experience? Can training help them be on their best behavior with owners with no dog experience? Are they suitable to be handled by someone who is just entering the canine world?

Overall Sensitivity


Some dogs are sensitive. Certain breeds are rough on the outside, while having the softest heart on the inside. In other words, some dogs are 'thick-skinned' while some are 'easygoing.' Is this breed prone to sensitivity?

Tolerates Being Alone


Separation anxiety in dogs is a serious condition that can affect a dog's life quality. Is this breed prone to this condition? Can you leave him alone for hours? How destructive this breed can become when bored, neglected, or not loved enough?

Affectionate With Family


How affectionate this breed will be around his humans? Will he welcome new family friends easily or he will choose to be shy? Some breeds can be clingy with owners, while others don't attach a lot. Will this breed act as the family's best friend?



Some dogs will tolerate children, while others will adore well-behaved ones. Dogs and children should always be supervised, no matter how well trained the dog might be. Will this breed act as a nanny dog or he will stay away from children?

Friendly Toward Other Dogs


Some dog breeds cannot wait to run to the dog park and run with others. Others prefer to be with their humans, and not to be a part of a multi-pet household. Is this breed dog lover or not? How friendly this breed will be toward other dogs?

Friendly Toward Strangers


Some dog breeds tend to be reserved toward strangers and highly suspicious. Others are fast to walk away with them easily. How welcoming this breed is toward strangers?

Drooling Level


If you love to clean all the time drooling level in dogs is a trait that you should mind. Is this breed less likely to drool, or you will always need a towel on hand?

Easy To Groom


Heavier shedding during the shedding season is something that every dog needs to go through. However, some dogs shed just a bit all year round. Is this breed one of them? How often should you groom this dog?

Overall Health


What can you expect from this breed in terms of health? Are there any genetic conditions to vary about? Is obesity a major issue in this breed? By knowing more about the dog's health, you are learning how to help him live a longer and healthier life.

Prone To Obesity


Treats are a great addition to training sessions. Dogs love sweet bites of dog treats but they should be served in moderation. Treats can lead to obesity, next to poor nutrition. Can this breed gain extra weight from treats? How prone to obesity this breed actually is?

Trainability Level


Training some dogs is easier than others. How easy this dog will be to train? What can you expect? Some dogs are huge people pleasers and they will master commands easily, while others will try to outsmart you.

Intelligence Level


Dogs are smart beings. We do our best to train them, but they do still end up training us to adapt to their needs. How intelligent is this breed? Will he try to outsmart you? Or he will need multiple training sessions to master basic commands?

Prey Drive


Dogs were bred for a specific purpose. Those who were bred to hunt have natural instincts to hunt, even today. This is why many dogs, like Terriers, will chase other animals. They will also have a hard time concentrating on your commands when there is something small moving. Is this breed prone to following his prey instincts?

Barking Level


How vocal this breed is? Can you expect neighbors to ring you often to calm your dog? Or you can sleep without worries of hearing your Fido bark? Some breeds are highly vocal, others have unusual sounds, and some are silent. Is this breed prone to barking?

Energy Level


Low-energy dogs are happy with regular walks and indoor chill times. High-energy dogs are always ready for action. Is this breed a couch potato, energetic dog, or somewhere in between?

Exercise Needs


Some dogs are more than happy with a slow stroll down the street. Others need hours of active time to stay happy and fit. Is this breed demanding in terms of exercise? How much exercise this breed needs to stay happy and healthy?

Playfulness Level


Some dogs never lose that puppy spirit, not even in their senior years. Others are more serious and prefer having a job to do. Is this breed demanding in terms of playfulness? Can you expect playfulness in their senior years as well?

American Foxhound is a historical breed. Often associated with Revolutionary heroes and old times, these hunting dogs are best-known for their speed, strong endurance, and amazing working ethic.

They are gentle dogs who get along perfectly with other dogs, younger children, and even cats – that is how tolerant and sweet they are.

The American Foxhound is a great addition to families of any size. They are a relative of another famous breed – the English Foxhound.

These two breeds are similar in appearance, but it’s easy to separate them. The American Foxhound has longer legs and is more boned.

This breed is for experienced dog owners who know how to handle breeds with high energy levels.

They need a lot of exercises to keep them happy and engaged. Otherwise, they will become destructive and depressed.

Destructive behavior is something that you want to avoid in your dog. It’s treatable and manageable but isn’t something that will disappear overnight.

Foxhounds are not for first time dog owners. If you are a first time dog owner you might think about a breed that is more suitable to new owners, such as Bichon Frise or Golden Retriever if you are more into larger dog breeds.

The American Foxhound has loud bawling, which can be disturbing to your neighbors if you are city-based.

This is why proper training and house rules are important for creating a well-behaved and silent American Foxhound.

Quick Facts

Real name: American Foxhound
Other names: Foxhound
Origin: States
Breed type: Hound Dogs
Weight: 40 to 60 pounds
Height: 21 to 25 inches tall at the shoulder
Lifespan: 12 to 13 years
Litter Size: 5 – 7 puppies
Color: Standard colors are black white and tan, and white black and tan
Coat: Medium-length coat

American Foxhound History

The Foxhound is one of the oldest of American breeds and is also one of the rarest breeds in the American Kennel Club.

The earliest documents of this breed go back to 1650. By the 1700s, riding to the hounds has become a matter of class.

Upper-class citizens popularized these dogs so much that even George Washington described these dogs as his favorite breed.

As the interest for the hunting sport grew, hunters expressed their interest in faster dogs with a strong ability to start and chase a fox alone.

As result, the American Foxhound stood out and took advantage compared to the English Foxhounds and their abilities. The American Foxhound is the state dog of Virginia.

American Foxhound Physical Appearance

American Foxhounds are dogs with long and well-boned bodies. Their legs are long, while the chest is narrow.

The ears are low-set, while the eyes are large and give a soft and gentle appearance. Eyes are always either hazel or brown.

Their coat is of medium length, and any color may be present. They are commonly seen in the combination of black, white, and tan.

Skull is fairly long, while the neck is muscular, but not heavy. Ribs are well-sprung, while the forelegs and feet are well boned and muscular.

Nails are strong, ribs are flat, and forelegs are crooked. The tail is set moderately high, while the coat is hard and of medium length.

Commonly, they are tri-colored (black, white, and tan), but they can be of any color. As a general rule, females are slightly smaller than males.

It’s common for the American Foxhound to keep their noses down. They will always sniff over the ground in search of exciting activities, which is their unique way of searching for a job to do.

American Foxhound Personality

The American Foxhound is a sweet dog with calm nature. This is a gentle and easygoing dog, who gets along nicely with children, other dogs, and other animals.

As hunting dogs, they are used to being surrounded by other dogs. As long as you introduce dogs in a safe environment, and territory that is familiar to both of them, there should be no issues.

The American Foxhound will usually be shy around strangers. As such it’s not uncommon for this breed to be fearful of unfamiliar environments and surroundings.

With his family and other dogs, he will show nothing but love and care. They should never be left alone. They thrive on human companionship, and will strongly suffer when left alone for too long and too frequently.

If you are not sure that there could always be at least one family member with this dog, you might think about getting a breed with a more independent nature.

American Foxhound Training

All in all, the American Foxhound is a friendly and intelligent breed with a strong need to be close to his family members. They hate being left alone, and are prone to developing separation anxiety.

American Foxhounds need either a human companion or another dog to keep them in balance and stress-free. Since this breed was bred to run for miles and be active the majority of the day, exercise is crucial for their well-being.

When introduced properly to other animals they will befriend them easily. They are intelligent and are more than eager to learn new tricks, especially when there is a yummy treat.

Training from the start is the best way to keep your dog entertained, happy, and well-behaved. After all – a tired dog is a happy dog.

American Foxhounds are easy to train if you have experience as a dog owner already. They are easygoing and approachable if you know your way around dogs.

If you feel like you need extra support during the training process, think about hiring a dog trainer. One on one puppy classes can be a great way to bond with your dog even more.

No matter how well-behaved your American Foxhound might be, never trust him that he will behave off-leash. Their noses will inspire them to explore around, and extra smells will usually lead them into trouble.

Foxhounds raised in the home tend to be calm, devoted, and easygoing dogs who love spending time with children.

Yet, educate your children on how to behave around dogs. Explain to them why house rules for dogs are important and why they shouldn’t disturb them while eating, resting, drinking water, or just playing with toys in their crate.

Knowing rules and following them will help put accidents to a minimum. No matter how well-behaved dogs and children are, they shouldn’t be left alone, without supervision.

Like with any other breed, training and early socialization will demand time, a lot of energy, and persistence. If they are not given enough exercise they might become bored.

Boredom will eventually lead to destructive behavior. Before any training process, it’s always handy to do additional research on the breed.

By knowing the breed’s traits and attributes, you can actually create more beneficial training sessions.

For example, the American Foxhound has an instinct to follow a scent. As such they may enjoy long sessions sniffing around the house, and searching for a treat.

American Foxhound Exercise

Foxhounds were bred carefully to spend long hours outside being active. Their primary role was to spend hours chasing after prey. This is why this breed cannot be happy with only regular walks.

They need an extra hour or two of exercise every day. If they don’t get it, Foxhounds will become bored and destructive.

On the other hand, if they get the exercise that they need, they would be great for any occasion and activity. They will be happy to follow you on the long hikes and runs, and they will overall be great outdoor companions.

If you are thinking about providing exercise time leash-off, make sure that it happens in well-secured areas. If American Foxhound starts running away from you, you won’t be able to catch him.

They adore mental stimulation as well, which is why canine sports are a great option.

Think about agility, tracking, and any other activity that can be enjoyed both by your canine and you, such as kayaking.

American Foxhound Grooming

Getting a dog is much more than having someone to follow you around and learn tricks.

Training a dog is great, having someone to go on hikes and runs all year round is amazing, but being a responsible dog owner goes beyond this.

Being a dog owner is a lot about planning, investing, adn tracking. Dog’s don’t speak human, so knowing a dog’s body language is what may save your dog’s life.

Being a responsible dog owner is a lot about providing for your dog and keeping his healthy. To do so you need to invest in regular veterinarian check-ups, vaccination, and high-quality food.

You should also know which human foods are really bad for your dog, and which are fine to share from time to time in small amounts. Being a responsible dog owner is also a lot about brushing.

Brushing is a weekly commitment that should keep your dog healthy and shiny, at least in terms of a coat.

Grooming is a big process of a dog’s well-being, and you should do your best to keep that practice as effective as possible.

Brush American Foxhound’s coat weekly. Do so by having the right grooming tools on hand. A hound mitt or rubber curry brush should be enough to remove the dead hair and debris.

These tools should be enough to distribute skin oils and keep your dog entertained during the brushing sessions.

Regular brushing is a great bonding experience and an opportunity to check your dog’s health.

During the brushing process, you get to expect the dog’s skin, search for any sign of skin infection and etc.

Regular brushing will keep your place in order, as loose hair won’t get stuck to your furniture, on floors, and clothing.

The rest is basic care:

  • Bathe only when needed
  • Trim or grind nails regularly
  • Learn when and how to clean dog’s ears
  • Check gums weekly
  • Check eyes daily for any sign of eye infection

If you have doubts about a dog’s grooming techniques talk to your veterinarian or a professional dog groomer.

If grooming a dog takes too much of your energy and time, you can always take him to a professional dog groomer. It will cost you more, but it will save you some serious time.

American Foxhound Health

The American Foxhound is considered to be a healthy breed. They are long-living dogs who thrive on proper care, great nutrition, and a supportive environment.

If you are buying a puppy, you should aim only to deal with responsible dog breeders. They will screen puppies for the most common health conditions, and present you medical documentation on their health.

If you are not presented with proper medical documentation you are probably dealing with puppy mills, and you don’t want to be part of that world – just walk away.

If you are adopting a dog, you should be still given documentation on the dog’s overall health from the local shelter representatives.

If you decide to adopt, you are most likely to get a dog with a microchip on, so make sure that you re-microchip the dog on your name and address.

No matter how you are planning to get your dog, you should take your dog to your veterinarian first. No matter how healthy a dog might be, you still want to introduce your dog to your veterinarian for a full check-up.

If your dog is just a puppy, it should be one of your goals to teach him how to be handled by a veterinarian.

This is far easier to do when he is just a puppy. Any adaption is much easier and faster if your dog is in his puppyhood.

Adult and even senior dogs can be taught new tricks and behaviors, but it will demand more time.

Although this is a healthy breed, there are still certain conditions that you may expect to see in this breed during his life:

  • Ear infections
  • Hip and elbow dysplasia
  • Thrombocytopathy
  • Pelger-Huet anomaly

Once you get a dog you are directly responsible for one of the most common diseases in dogs – obesity.

Obesity in dogs is a problem on the rise, across the States, and you want to keep your Fido away from that statistics.

Make sure that you know how much you should feed yoru dog, how often, and how large portions should be.

Learn the difference between canned and raw food, and if you want to introduce any new foods to your dog’s diet, talk to your veterinarian.

As general advice, you should know that dogs should never eat a grape, chocolate, and onion – some human foods are highly toxic to your Fido, while some are fine, like cucumber which can be a great summer refreshment.

Is American Foxhound For You?

If you are sure that American Foxhound is for you, you should know that by getting this breed you are actually getting a year’s long commitment.

Make sure that you are fine with that decisions, and that your family members support you in that decision.

Owning a dog is a big commitment and team work can make everything much easier and faster.

Here is what you can expect when you get American Foxhound:

  • A great family dog
  • A dog that gets great with children
  • A dog who loves to explore and spend hours outside
  • A dog who will love to run within the fenced area
  • A dog who hates being left alone for too long
  • A dog who shed quite a bit

Just like any other dog breed, if you or any other family member have any sort of allergies, this breed may not be for you.

In that case, you should think about Poodle or any other breed that is considered to be of lower shedding breeds.

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