English Foxhound

This Friendly, High-Energy Hunting Dog Loves Children

English Foxhound

This Friendly, High-Energy Hunting Dog Loves Children and Other Pets but Needs an Authoritative Owner to Control Obedience

The English Foxhound is a highly energetic dog with a sweet disposition and a keen sense of smell. Although it can be an excellent companion to owners who love to jog or hike, it can also be tempted to take off in pursuit of an interesting scent at any given moment. A little bit slower and stockier than its cousin, the American Foxhound, the English Foxhound still has the stamina to run for hours without interruption. Endearing to some owners and typical of wolves in the wild, this dog will howl at the moon with the same eerie baying sound it makes when it announces it has cornered its prey, usually at the foot of a tree.


The breed was established before 1800 in Great Britain and has been in America since the beginning. Lord Fairfax, who brought the breed to the US in 1738, used these dogs to develop the American Foxhound.

Originally developed to pursue the red fox, the English Foxhound's Stud Books were first published by the British Masters of Foxhounds Association, a group notorious for keeping accurate records. Over 250 packs of hounds in Great Britain have been established, all of which have had English Foxhounds within them. The United States boasts over 100 packs, but only about 10% use hounds that would be eligible for entry into the English Foxhound Studbook.

In the United States, the English Foxhound Studbook was established in 1890, but the bloodlines of some American packs precedes that time.


Stocky and robust, the English Foxhound is a formidable hound with a good nose. Wide-open nostrils characterize this most cherished feature. Usually tricolor, with black, white and tan markings, or also "bicolor" with a white background, the hard, glossy coat is comprised of short, dense hair and is very easy to care for.

In adulthood, English Foxhounds stand 21 to 25 inches at the shoulder and weigh 65 to 70 pounds.


Your dog's temperament will depend somewhat on the type of English Foxhound you get. There are two types: the field line, and the show line. Field line dogs are bred to be hunters and to do field trial work, while show line dogs are bred for conformation competitions. Both types will have similar personalities and boundless drive, but those bred for fieldwork will have even higher levels of energy.

Despite English Foxhounds' tireless personalities, they make good companion pets as long as you are highly active, too. A very friendly, sociable breed, this dog is an excellent addition to a dynamic family, one who thoroughly enjoys the company of children. Puppies may be a bit too boisterous for small children without proper supervision. Bred to work cooperatively within a pack of hounds, this dog also thrives on the presence of other pets, including horses, for which it has an innate understanding.

While other dogs can remain sedate indoors, this is a dog who will not be able to tolerate the confines of an apartment. In fact, it is best if you have acreage to allow this dog to run out its limitless energy on a daily basis. Without this essential exercise, an English Foxhound, particularly one without other canine exposure, can become destructive out of desperation for energy relief.

Also, whether you choose to jog, walk or hike with this dog, you must keep it on leash to protect its safety should it be lured to run into the path of traffic on an unexpected chase.

Although this breed is loved for its amiable temperament, the English Foxhound has been bred to use its own judgment in pursuit of its prey. That means that this dog will need extensive training to instill a respect for your wishes, which you must make known in a kind, consistent but authoritative manner. Even once this dog learns obedience is a must, there will always be the chance that a genetic trait will influence its behavior in certain situations, leaving you distraught if the dog chooses to bolt after some random attraction.

Proper Environment Optimally, this dog will need at least 30-60 minutes of vigorous exercise each day, if not more. Bred to run for up to 8 hours at a stretch, this dog has plenty of extra energy to expend. While out with your new puppy, satisfy its natural tendencies to be curious with exposure to a wide variety of situations and new people. This dog is gentle, friendly and playful and will enjoy making new acquaintances.

It helps to meet at least one of your puppy's parents to be sure to choose a dog that is approachable but not domineering, good-natured and not shy.

Experts recommend that you crate-train your puppy, since this dog’s strong desire to explore can get it into mischief. These puppies are also pretty substantial chewers, a danger if they swallow something harmful. When you crate-train, you help ensure obedience as your puppy grows, a wise route to your dog’s safekeeping.


English Foxhounds are pretty hardy, but they can have certain health conditions. Good breeders will give you health clearances from both of your puppy's parents for hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, elbow dysplasia and von Willebrand disease. You should also receive clearances for eye health and thrombopathia. English Foxhounds can also suffer from epilepsy and renal disease. Average life expectancy for your pet is between 10 and 13 years.


Brush your dog’s coat weekly with a hound mitt or rough cloth to keep shedding down. Check skin, mouth, eyes, and ears for any discharge, sores or infection. There usually isn't any need to bathe your pet, as this dog is naturally clean. However, if you must, use a gentle high-quality shampoo that won't dry out coat or skin. Trim nails as needed and brush your pet's teeth beginning in puppyhood so your dog will accept this as standard procedure. Good oral hygiene habits will help keep tartar, infection, and bacteria at bay as well as promote best overall health. If you can, brush your pet's teeth every day, but at least three times a week.


Adopt an English Foxhound.

Retrieved May26, 2014.

AKC Meet the Breeds®:

Retrieved May 26,2014.

English Foxhound.

Retrieved May 26, 2014.

English Foxhound.

Retrieved May 26, 2014.

English Foxhound.

Retrieved May 26, 2014.

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