Breeds, Hound Group

American Foxhound

Welcome to the comprehensive guide on the American Foxhound, a breed celebrated for its stamina, friendly demeanor, and melodious bark. This guide offers an in-depth look at the unique traits and characteristics that define this charming breed. Potential owners will find valuable insights and practical advice to ensure a harmonious relationship with these energetic hounds.

Whether you’re considering adopting an American Foxhound or simply wish to learn more about them, this resource is designed to equip you with the knowledge you need. Explore the joys and challenges of living with an American Foxhound and discover how to provide the best care for these affectionate companions.

American Foxhound – Size & Life Expectancy

American Foxhound Height

22-25 inches (male)
21-24 inches (female)

American Foxhound Weight

65-70 pounds (male)
60-65 pounds (female)

American Foxhound Life Expectancy
Life Expectancy

11-13 years

About the American Foxhound

The American Foxhound holds a prestigious place in the history of the United States. Originating in the early 1700s, these hounds are directly descended from the English Foxhounds brought to America by European settlers. Notably, George Washington himself played a significant role in the breed’s development, crossbreeding imported English Foxhounds with other European hounds to create a breed uniquely adapted to the varied terrain and hunting conditions of the New World. This breed was meticulously designed to chase foxes with relentless endurance and a keen sense of smell, traits that remain prominent in the breed today.

Characteristics and Temperament

American Foxhounds are known for their tall, lean builds and their incredible stamina. Typically, they stand between 21 to 25 inches at the shoulder and display a friendly and mild demeanor. Their coats, which can be any color, are hard and of medium length, providing both protection and endurance against harsh conditions. The American Foxhound’s melodious bark, often described as a bay, can carry for miles.

As pets, these hounds are as loving and gentle as they are determined on the trail. They thrive on interaction and do best with plenty of space to explore and run. Despite their size, they are remarkably gentle with children and friendly towards other dogs. However, their strong hunting instincts can drive them to chase after wildlife, so secure fencing and mindful training are necessities.

The Modern American Foxhound

Today, the American Foxhound is less commonly seen in the typical household compared to other breeds. Their need for extensive exercise and open space makes them best suited to rural settings where they can roam more freely. Nevertheless, they continue to be a favorite among hunters and competitive sport participants, excelling in both field trials and endurance tests.

The breed’s popularity in the domestic sphere may not mirror its historical stature, but among enthusiasts, the American Foxhound is highly revered for its agility, intelligence, and loyal nature. These dogs are often sought after by those who appreciate a more active canine companion and are familiar with the demands of a high-energy breed.


In conclusion, the American Foxhound is a breed rich in history and functionality. From the days of colonial America to the present, these dogs have proven themselves as more than capable hunters and loyal friends. Their adaptability to various hunting conditions and their unyielding vigor make them exemplary in the fields of sport hunting and competitive racing. For those who can meet their needs for space and activity, the American Foxhound offers a rewarding companionship filled with energy, affection, and history. Their enduring legacy as America’s hunting hound continues to resonate in the hearts of dog lovers and historians alike.

Traits & Characteristics of the American Foxhound

  • High Stamina: Excel in endurance, suitable for long hunts or extended exercise periods.
  • Melodious Bark: Known for their loud, musical baying that can be heard for miles.
  • Friendly Demeanor: Generally amiable and good-natured with people and other dogs.
  • Strong Prey Drive: Possess a natural instinct to chase wildlife, requiring secure environments.
  • Independent Spirit: Can be willful and determined, needing consistent training.
  • Active: Require significant daily exercise to remain healthy and content.
  • Affectionate with Family: Loyal and loving to their human families, enjoying interaction and companionship.

Owning an American Foxhound

Considering adopting an American Foxhound? This guide is designed to help potential owners understand the unique needs and characteristics of this distinguished breed. Known for their stamina and friendly nature, American Foxhounds make excellent companions for the right family.


American Foxhounds are generally healthy dogs, known for their longevity and robustness. However, like all breeds, they are prone to certain health conditions. Owners should be aware of common issues such as hip dysplasia, which affects many larger breeds, and ear infections, which can occur due to their floppy ears. Thrombocytopathy, a blood disorder, is also occasionally seen in this breed.

To maintain good health, regular check-ups with a veterinarian are essential. Keeping up with vaccinations and preventative care, such as flea and tick treatments, will help ensure a long, healthy life. Owners should also monitor their dogs for signs of discomfort or illness, especially as they age.


The exercise needs of an American Foxhound are considerable. Bred for endurance and speed, these dogs require ample space and time to run. Daily vigorous exercise is essential to keep them healthy and happy. Activities like long runs, hikes, or playing fetch can help meet their exercise requirements.

For owners without immediate access to large outdoor spaces, participating in dog sports such as agility or tracking can provide good physical and mental stimulation for this breed. Regular exercise helps prevent behavioral issues that arise from boredom and excess energy, making it a critical part of daily care for an American Foxhound.


The American Foxhound boasts a short, dense coat that is relatively easy to care for. Regular brushing, about once a week, is sufficient to keep their coat clean and reduce shedding. During shedding season, more frequent brushing may be necessary to manage loose fur.

Bathing should be done occasionally, only when the dog is visibly dirty or begins to smell. Over-bathing can strip the coat of natural oils and lead to skin irritation. Ear care is important as well; ears should be checked weekly for signs of infection or irritation and cleaned as needed.


Proper nutrition is fundamental for the health of an American Foxhound. A balanced diet suited to their age, weight, and exercise level is crucial. High-quality commercial dog food can meet their nutritional needs, though some owners choose to supplement with cooked or raw meats, vegetables, and appropriate grains.

Avoid foods that are toxic to dogs, such as chocolate, grapes, and onions. Also, be mindful of portion sizes to prevent obesity, especially since Foxhounds are prone to overeating. Consultation with a vet can provide personalized guidance on creating an optimal feeding schedule and diet.


Training an American Foxhound can be challenging due to their independent nature. They respond best to positive reinforcement techniques such as treats and praises. Early socialization and puppy training classes are highly recommended to help them develop into well-adjusted adults.

Consistency is key in training this breed. They benefit from a firm, patient handler who can provide clear and consistent guidance. Socialization helps mitigate their strong prey drive and ensures they are well-behaved around other animals and humans. Overall, while they may require more patience to train, the rewarding companionship of a well-trained American Foxhound is well worth the effort.

The American Foxhound Standard

The American Foxhound, an emblem of canine grace and endurance, is defined by a breed standard that captures both its appearance and spirit. This standard serves as the blueprint for judging at dog shows and reflects the qualities that breeders strive to perfect.

General Appearance

The American Foxhound is a dog of goodly stature, displaying a unique blend of strength and speed, essential for its traditional role in fox hunting. The breed exhibits a dignified demeanor and a body that is slightly longer than it is tall. The overall appearance should convey balance and proportion, with no single attribute exaggerated to the detriment of others.


The head of an American Foxhound is fairly long with a slightly domed skull. The expression is alert and gentle, reflecting the breed’s friendly nature. Ears are set moderately low, reaching nearly the end of the nose when drawn out. They hang in graceful folds, framing the face. The eyes are large and set well apart, usually hazel or brown, radiating intelligence and an eager disposition.


The neck should be of good length and free from excess throatiness, flowing smoothly into well-laid-back shoulders. The chest is deep and broad, allowing ample lung space for stamina. The back is straight and level from the withers to the slightly rounded croup. The tail is set moderately high and carried gaily, but not curled over the back.

Legs and Feet

True to its heritage as a tireless hunter, the legs of the American Foxhound are long, straight, and well-boned, set under the body to support swift and enduring movement. The thighs are strong and muscular, enabling powerful propulsion. Feet are of paramount importance; they are close-knit and strong with well-arched toes, equipped to handle long periods of activity over varied terrain.

Coat and Color

The coat is one of the simpler aspects of the breed standard; it is short and dense, providing protection from brush and weather. Color is generally not restricted, but typical patterns include tri-color (black, white, and tan), bi-color with a white background, or any combination that includes these colors.


Movement is a critical aspect of the breed standard, revealing the true essence of the American Foxhound. The stride should be effortless and smooth, with a long reach and powerful drive. The action observed from the side should show limbs moving in a straight line, with the back remaining level without rolling or pitching.


In temperament, the American Foxhound is friendly, loyal, and independent. While its demeanor should be gentle and affectionate, it also possesses a bold and adventurous spirit, ready to engage in vigorous activity at a moment’s notice. This combination of physical ability and agreeable temperament encapsulates the breed’s historical and contemporary roles as both companion and hunter.

These characteristics collectively form the breed standard for the American Foxhound, a guideline that ensures the preservation of its noble heritage and functional prowess.

American Foxhound – FAQ

Welcome to the FAQ section for the American Foxhound. Here, you’ll find answers to common questions about this breed’s characteristics, care requirements, and suitability as a family pet. Whether you’re a current owner or considering adopting one, this guide is your resource for understanding these distinctive dogs.

Alternatives to an American Foxhound

Several dog breeds share similarities with the American Foxhound, particularly in size, traits, and characteristics. The English Foxhound, a close relative, mirrors the American Foxhound in stature and purpose, bred for stamina and hunting prowess. Both breeds exhibit a keen sense of smell, robust energy levels, and a deep-rooted desire to follow scents.

Another similar breed is the Treeing Walker Coonhound, which possesses a comparable build and height. Known for its incredible speed and agility, this breed is also friendly, intelligent, and often used in hunting, much like the American Foxhound.

The Beagle, although smaller, shares many characteristics with the American Foxhound, including a strong hunting instinct and a melodious bark. Beagles are also social, friendly, and have a comparable energy level, requiring plenty of exercise to stay happy and healthy.

The Irish Setter stands out with its striking appearance and similar height. Known for its friendly nature and boundless energy, the Irish Setter thrives in active households, much like the American Foxhound. Both breeds benefit immensely from engaging in plenty of outdoor activities.

Finally, the Redbone Coonhound, with its deep red coat, presents a similar athletic build and friendly demeanor. This breed is renowned for its versatility in hunting and tracking, showing a comparable endurance and scenting ability as the American Foxhound.

These breeds, while distinct, share a heritage of hunting and companionship, making them well-suited to active lifestyles and those who appreciate the great outdoors.