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American Foxhound Useful Information

Jun 11, 2008
The American Foxhound evolved from the dogs who were originally brought into this country as English Foxhounds by early settlers before the United States became independent from Great Britain.

Early colonists used these hounds in large groups called packs to hunt fox followed by humans on horseback. This type of hound has the typical "bay" when following their prey and become especially loud with a distinctive change in the vocalization when they corner the animal. Americans used their hounds more for hunting deer and fox with solitary dogs .

Most early colonists still maintained several dogs on their property and tended to keep them together in a group in their kennels however. Hunters who still used the dogs in packs tended to have smaller packs than were used in the English countryside. The breed gradually changed to a dog with finer bone structure and longer leg than its English counterpart and became known as a separate breed.

The American Foxhounds still maintain the "pack" nature and if raised as a kennel dog will behave as a dog that runs in a pack, being more "dog-oriented" than people oriented in nature. Most of these dogs even when kept as a lone hunting dog are more prone to be independent and relate more to dogs than people since this has for many many years been a part of their temperamental and genetic makeup. However, dogs who are socialized early can become great house pets and are generally very affectionate.

As a general rule these dogs make gentle and quiet household pets if they are brought up as part of the family. They make fine watchdogs as they will give voice when unusual things occur in their environment. They are easy to train if the owner establishes themselves as pack leader, but are independent and strong willed if left to their own devices. Foxhounds kept in the house do best when they do have other dogs in the household.

Dogs that have for centuries lived as part of the pack need companionship of other dogs or at least a pack mentality in their household and without this they can exhibit real problem behaviors. These behaviors can include separation anxiety and repetitive movements such as tail chasing or circling. They need plenty of exercise as do all dogs who are bred to be hunters.

The coat is short, the breed has a medium to long tail, with a well balanced and powerful neck and the typical "hound" appearance to the muzzle. The colors are black and tan and white generally in no particular pattern except that the areas of color are usually large in prominent patches rather than "speckled" or roan.

The head of the American Foxhound has natural tulip shaped ears which lop over and a soft expression to the eye. This breed has been consistently healthy through many years and exhibits few health problems. Of course any dog that will be used for breeding should be x-rayed for hip dysplasia but other than this there are few genetic conditions.
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For more information on the American Foxhound or a full list of dog breeds take a look at this Dog Training website.
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