English Foxhound

April 12, 2012

The English foxhound is a thoroughbred hunting dog. It has a very elegant look with an athletic body, long muzzle, and wide skull. They originated in Great Britain and have a lineage dating back before the 1800’s.They have had very selective breeding programs by the Masters who kept a good record of the breeding operations. English fashion of riding with the hounds specifically refers to this breed of English hounds.

They are very bold, active, and extremely loyal dogs who have a great stamina for running 5 to 6 hours every day. They have the tenacity to trot through brambles, bushes, and deep foliage to retrieve game. Due to a great deal of running and exercise they retire as hunting dogs by the age of 8, but make good house pets. As a hunting breed, they have a natural instinct of being alert, obedient, and can be trained quite easily. However, training requires a lot of patience and hard work.

They are versatile hunter companions who love to obey and can hunt any game. Good hunting hounds have rounded ears due to hunting requirements. They have a dense, short, and hard coat that requires very low maintenance. Coat colors range is usually in three colors – black, tan, and white. There may have two color patches on a white base. They have very muscular hindquarters and their legs are straight with round, cat like paws. The tail is long and held up in an arc. They have very deep brown, liquid eyes with a very gentle, intelligent expression. The ears lie flat on the head and are pendulum shaped.

They make very good pets as they enjoy social companionship as pack hounds and get along easily with farm animals, children, and other pets. The English Foxhound has a lot of energy and needs good exercise every day. They love to romp and play with humans and other breeds of dogs and friendly pets.

Information

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Appearance

The English foxhound stand between 22 to 25 inches as males and females are 21 to 24 inches. Their weight ranges between 65 to 70 lbs. This is the ideal requirement for good running and stamina. As good hunting dogs, they have a very compact body with clean cut and wide head with a long muzzle. The neck is long and hindquarters are muscular and strong to give it a free, long gait. Legs are straight with cat like rounded paws. Ears are low set, pendent in shape and lie close to the cheeks. One and one half inches are removed to give it a rounded edge. The teeth usually meet in square bite with a very strong grip. The tail is held up and is medium in length. They have deep brown eyes that have a kind, loving expression.

The English foxhound comes in three-color coats of intermingling colors of black, tan, and white. Sometimes they have two colors on a white base. The coat is dense, short, and hard which is good for easy maintenance. These kinds of coats give protection to the dogs when they need to penetrate into foliage and bramble. Having a water resistant coat helps them work in rough weathers and harsh climates.

They love to run but are slower than the American foxhound. They work best on large farms and houses that have enough space for running. With powerful bodies and hunting instincts, they make good pets, guard dogs, and can be employed on farms. With average shedding coat, maintenance is very easy and proper exercise and nutritious food can help with a longer, active life.

Personality

As English foxhounds are originally pack hounds, they are social animals who love to be with other dogs, horses, other pets, and human companions. They have an easy disposition so they get along well with small children and adults alike.

Temperamentally, they are normally gentle, social, and a tolerant breed of dogs thus they make excellent pets. However, the hunting English foxhounds are not suited to apartment life, as they turn destructive due to enclosed spaces. If you still want to get this breed of dog as a pet go for show lines, as the field dogs are too active for home living. They are obedient, lively, gentle, and active dogs that make excellent pets.

Care

English Foxhounds have a dense, hard and short coat which requires little care. They need to be brushed with a firm brush occasionally and shampooed according to need. As an average shedder, they are easy to maintain. They need a lot of patience while training even though they are obedient dogs. As they are hunting dogs, they need ample exercise every day, but under careful supervision.

English foxhounds need to be kept on a leash while taken for a walk, as they tend to take off after scents that interest them. Remember, their instinct is to hunt, so they will run after things they smell, no matter how much training they receive. This is why a leash is very important and a fenced in back yard. They normally live to be around 10 years of age if given proper care. They are very healthy dogs, which make them a great pet however, they do need lots of room to run and play.

History

English Foxhounds originated in Great Britain even before the 1800’s. The English Foxhound was developed through an intermixed breeding of different hounds and finally bred with a greyhound, bulldog, and the Fox Terrier. These latter breeds gave the English foxhound its great speed and energy much needed in hunting sprees. The British Masters of Foxhound Association that came into being during the 1800’s have kept a very carefully, maintained studbook of the breeding.

These dogs were especially created to fill the gap of an active, loyal, agile hunting dog. The final product of a good English Foxhounds came to be a favorable species in hunting dog’s breeds. With an easy nature, great speed, physically apt for running long distances, penetrating into thick foliage while braving rough terrain, and varying climates was the right choice for hunting parties.

English foxhounds have a lot of mention in literature of that era as foxhunting and riding with the hounds on hunting sports that was commonly practiced during that time. Even today, there are over 250 packs of hounds still available in Great Britain. In America, there are over 100 packs, of which maybe even 10% might not qualify for the English Foxhound studbook. In the beginning, the English Foxhounds and American foxhounds were one but since 1936, they have been bred separately.

English foxhounds entered USA in 1890, but there are many more instances of earlier private imports. However, the American Foxhounds are smaller in size than the English foxhound. English Foxhounds are still in style in the country regions in Great Britain where hunting is still practiced. They can hunt any game, but were originally used to hunt foxes and smaller game. They are now being specifically bred to be able to adjust to home living as domestic pets. Those who want to keep English Foxhounds should go in for show lines instead of purebred hunting dogs.

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