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  • Temperament: Affectionate, Gentle, Sociable
  • AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 187 of 194
  • Height: 24 inches
  • Weight: 60-75 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 10-13 years
  • Group: Hound Group

    The AKC has grouped all of the breeds that it registers into seven categories, or groups, roughly based on function and heritage. Breeds are grouped together because they share traits of form and function or a common heritage.

English Foxhound head and shoulders facing forward
English Foxhound standing outdoors in three-quarter view
English Foxhound
English Foxhound standing in competition ring in three-quarter view
English Foxhound

Find a Puppy: English Foxhound

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APPEARANCE

Should be of full size, but by no means heavy. Brow pronounced, but not high or sharp. There should be a good length and breadth, sufficient to give in a dog hound a girth in front of the ears of fully 16 inches. The nose should be long (4½ inches) and wide, with open nostrils. Ears set on low and lying close to the cheeks. Most English hounds are “rounded” which means that about 1½ inches is taken off the end of the ear. The teeth must meet squarely, either a pig-mouth (overshot) or undershot being a disqualification

NECK

Must be long and clean, without the slightest throatiness, not less than 10 inches from cranium to shoulder. It should taper nicely from shoulders to head, and the upper outline should be slightly convex.The Shoulders should be long and well clothed with muscle, without being heavy, especially at the points. They must be well sloped, and the true arm between the front and the elbow must be long and muscular, but free from fat or lumber. Chest and Back Ribs – The chest should girth over 31 inches in a 24-inch hound, and the back ribs must be very deep.

BACK AND LOIN

Must both be very muscular, running into each other without any contraction between them. The couples must be wide, even to raggedness, and the topline of the back should be absolutely level, the stern well set on and carried gaily but not in any case curved over the back like a squirrel’s tail. The end should taper to a point and there should be a fringe of hair below. The hindquarters or propellers are required to be very strong, and as endurance is of even greater consequence than speed, straight stifles are preferred to those much bent as in a Greyhound. Elbows set quite straight, and neither turned in nor out are a sine qua non. They must be well let down by means of the long true arm above mentioned.

LEGS AND FEET

Every Master of Foxhounds insists on legs as straight as a post, and as strong; size of bone at the ankle being especially regarded as all important. The desire for straightness had a tendency to produce knuckling-over, which at one time was countenanced, but in recent years this defect has been eradicated by careful breeding and intelligent adjudication, and one sees very little of this trouble in the best modern Foxhounds. The bone cannot be too large, and the feet in all cases should be round and catlike, with well-developed knuckles and strong horn, which last is of the greatest importance.

COAT

Not regarded as very important, so long as the former is a good “hound color,” and the latter is short, dense, hard, and glossy. Hound colors are black, tan, and white, or any combination of these three, also the various “pies” compounded of white and the color of the hare and badger, or yellow, or tan. The symmetry of the Foxhound is of the greatest importance, and what is known as “quality” is highly regarded by all good judges.

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About the English Foxhound

The English Foxhound is the epitome of what serious dog breeders strive for: beauty, balance, and utility.

The long legs are straight as a gatepost, and just as sturdy. The back is perfectly level. And the chest is very deep, “girthing” as much as 31 inches on a hound measuring 24 inches at the shoulder, ensuring plenty of lung power for a grueling day’s hunt.

“Next to an old Greek statue,” a poet wrote, “there are few such combinations of grace and strength as in a fine Foxhound.”

National Breed Clubs and Rescue

Want to connect with other people who love the same breed as much as you do? We have plenty of opportunities to get involved in your local community, thanks to AKC Breed Clubs located in every state, and more than 450 AKC Rescue Network groups across the country.
English Foxhound

Find a Puppy: English Foxhound

AKC Marketplace | PuppyFinder

AKC Marketplace is the only site to exclusively list 100% AKC puppies from AKC-Registered litters and the breeders who have cared for and raised these puppies are required to follow rules and regulations established by the AKC.
Find English Foxhound Puppies

Care

NUTRITION

The English Foxhound should be fed a high-quality dog food appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior) and activity level. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet or the dog’s breeder if you have any questions or concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should always be available.

GROOMING

The English Foxhound’s short, hard, dense, and glossy coat requires minimal maintenance. A weekly brushing with a soft-bristle brush or a hound glove will help to remove dirt and loose hair and keep the dog looking his best, and an occasional bath (using a gentle shampoo) can help keep him from having a doggy odor. The ears should be regularly inspected and cleaned if needed with soft gauze and an ear-cleaning solution—the dog’s breeder or the veterinarian can recommend a good brand to use. The nails should be trimmed often if not worn down naturally, as overly long nails can cause the dog discomfort and problems walking and running.

Grooming Frequency

Occasional Bath/Brush
Specialty/Professional
Occasional Bath/Brush

Shedding

Infrequent
Frequent
Regularly

EXERCISE

The English Foxhound is an easygoing dog but does need plenty of daily exercise and outdoor activity. The breed is a good one for an active family with plenty of acreage. English Foxhounds are not recommended for city or apartment living, as their space will be too confined. They are high-energy dogs, but with the proper amount of exercise, they are gentle, social, and relaxed indoors. Since they are bred to run for miles, they can make good hiking and running companions. Daily long, brisk walks are important for this breed. As scent hounds, they may want to run off and explore an interesting scent, so it is important to keep the dog on leash unless in a safely enclosed area. The breed can participate in obedience, tracking, agility, coursing ability tests, rally, and other canine sports and activities.

Energy Level

Couch Potato
Needs Lots of Activity
Energetic

TRAINING

Like many other hounds, English Foxhounds generally have an independent nature and can be stubborn. Training takes consistency, patience, and an understanding of scent hound temperament. They respond well to calm, loving, but firm leadership and are willing and able to be obedient once the pack order is established. As pack hounds, they love the companionship of other dogs and people, so they do well in families with other dogs and children. Early socialization and puppy training classes are recommended and help to ensure that the English Foxhound grows into a well-adjusted, well-mannered companion.

Trainability

May be Stubborn
Eager to Please
Agreeable

Temperament/Demeanor

Aloof/Wary
Outgoing
Friendly

HEALTH

English Foxhounds are generally healthy dogs. There are several health considerations owners should be aware of; large and deep-chested breeds are susceptible to gastric dilatation-volvulus, or bloat, a sudden, life-threatening stomach condition. English Foxhound owners should learn what signs to look out for and what actions to take should they occur. Low-hanging ears such as the Foxhound’s can be prone to infection, so the ears should be checked regularly. The teeth should be brushed often, using a toothpaste designed for dogs. Regular visits to the vet for checkups and parasite control help to ensure the dog a long, healthy life.

 

English Foxhound
English Foxhound
English Foxhound

History

In medieval England, aristocrats and their hounds hunted stag in the vast forests that had overtaken Britain during the Dark Ages that followed the fall of the Roman Empire. The killing of foxes, those wily henhouse poachers, was considered merely a chore for lowly farmers and groundskeepers.

This changed with the waning of the Middle Ages, as the population grew, the forests receded, and the deer population dwindled. The British gentry, wishing to continue their ritualized horses-and-hounds pastime, slowly phased out stag hunting in favor of a new type of quarry: the red fox.

The traditional British foxhunt, with packs of bawling hounds and mounted hunters thundering over rolling acres of lawn and hedge, began in the 1600s. “Masters of hounds” developed a dog for this lordly pastime by breeding big stag-hunting hounds (for nose and endurance) to leggy Greyhound-type hounds (for speed and agility). The result was the English Foxhound, whose form and demeanor remain remarkably unchanged today.

By the 1700s, foxhunts were all the rage among the English upper crust. Colonial American sportsmen, including George Washington and his wealthy Virginia neighbors, re-created a bit of their mother country by staging English-style foxhunts on their plantations. Washington was a key figure in creating the American Foxhound, a slimmer, taller hound developed by crosses of English Foxhounds to imported French hounds from the kennels of the Marquis de Lafayette. It is likely also that English Foxhound blood courses through the veins of coonhound breeds developed by American frontiersmen.

Did You Know?

The first AKC registered English Foxhound was named "Auditor." Auditor was registered in 1909.
In England, as in America, these hounds have always been used for foxhunting as followed in the English fashion of riding to hounds.
In appearance, the English Foxhound is far stouter than its American counterpart.
The English Foxhound standard contains rules applying to both the hunt and to conformation.
In America, we have over a hundred packs of hounds, of which not over ten percent use hounds which would be eligible for the English Foxhound stud book, although the blood has been freely mixed with the American Foxhound.
English Foxhound pedigrees can be traced back in the English Foxhound stud book of America, published by the Masters of the Foxhounds Association of America.

The Breed Standard

APPEARANCE

Should be of full size, but by no means heavy. Brow pronounced, but not high or sharp. There should be a good length and breadth, sufficient to give in a dog hound a girth in front of the ears of fully 16 inches. The nose should be long (4½ inches) and wide, with open nostrils. Ears set on low and lying close to the cheeks. Most English hounds are “rounded” which means that about 1½ inches is taken off the end of the ear. The teeth must meet squarely, either a pig-mouth (overshot) or undershot being a disqualification

NECK

Must be long and clean, without the slightest throatiness, not less than 10 inches from cranium to shoulder. It should taper nicely from shoulders to head, and the upper outline should be slightly convex.The Shoulders should be long and well clothed with muscle, without being heavy, especially at the points. They must be well sloped, and the true arm between the front and the elbow must be long and muscular, but free from fat or lumber. Chest and Back Ribs – The chest should girth over 31 inches in a 24-inch hound, and the back ribs must be very deep.

BACK AND LOIN

Must both be very muscular, running into each other without any contraction between them. The couples must be wide, even to raggedness, and the topline of the back should be absolutely level, the stern well set on and carried gaily but not in any case curved over the back like a squirrel’s tail. The end should taper to a point and there should be a fringe of hair below. The hindquarters or propellers are required to be very strong, and as endurance is of even greater consequence than speed, straight stifles are preferred to those much bent as in a Greyhound. Elbows set quite straight, and neither turned in nor out are a sine qua non. They must be well let down by means of the long true arm above mentioned.

LEGS AND FEET

Every Master of Foxhounds insists on legs as straight as a post, and as strong; size of bone at the ankle being especially regarded as all important. The desire for straightness had a tendency to produce knuckling-over, which at one time was countenanced, but in recent years this defect has been eradicated by careful breeding and intelligent adjudication, and one sees very little of this trouble in the best modern Foxhounds. The bone cannot be too large, and the feet in all cases should be round and catlike, with well-developed knuckles and strong horn, which last is of the greatest importance.

COAT

Not regarded as very important, so long as the former is a good “hound color,” and the latter is short, dense, hard, and glossy. Hound colors are black, tan, and white, or any combination of these three, also the various “pies” compounded of white and the color of the hare and badger, or yellow, or tan. The symmetry of the Foxhound is of the greatest importance, and what is known as “quality” is highly regarded by all good judges.

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Colors & Markings

Colors

Description Standard Colors Registration Code
Black White & Tan Check Mark For Standard Color 034
Lemon & White Check Mark For Standard Color 115
White 199

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