The English Foxhound is an intelligent and energetic breed whose active nature demands plenty of exercise to remain healthy and happy. Since these dogs are pack hounds, they enjoy the company of both people and other animals, although they tend to do best in a household where the pet parent can manage a firm handling.
English Foxhound History
As is the case with most hounds, the English Foxhound was bred for a specific type of hunting. As fox hunting gained in popularity around the 1600s, breeders decided to cross stag-hunting hounds—which were known for their scenting abilities and endurance—with whip-fast Greyhound-type hounds, known for their speed and agility.
The resulting English Foxhound is pretty much the same in form and function as we see today. Slowly, fox hunting began to catch on with the British Empire’s rich and famous, including George Washington, who was key in creating the American Foxhound; it is essentially a thinner and taller version of the same dog, created by crossing the English Foxhound with imported French hounds.
English Foxhound Traits
This muscular hound has a full head with low-set ears and straight, strong legs. Its coat is dense, hard, and glossy. It has a level back and deep chest, which creates the strong and graceful appearance of a dog ready to spend hours on the hunt.
Coat and Colouring
The English Foxhound can be black, tan, white, or any combination of these three colors. An alternative version of the breed includes variations of yellow and tan.
Distinctive Physical Traits
The English Foxhound has a head that is full-sized but not heavy, with a pronounced brow and ears that are “rounded,” or taken off at the end of the ear by approximately 1.5 inches. The English Foxhound is a beautiful breed that was built to take a full day’s hunt in stride.
English Foxhound Temperament
The English Foxhound is a loyal and sociable companion who gets along well with people and other animals alike. These dogs do have a stubborn, independent streak—like most hounds—so proper training is key. Because of their attentive personality, English Foxhounds are also good guard dogs, protecting over their people in a steadfast fashion.
True to its hound nature, an English Foxhound wants nothing more than to take off on a good hunt. As such, it’s important to keep this breed leashed in unconfined areas.
The English Foxhound is an active and energetic breed that requires a lot of daily exercise to stay healthy and happy, and to remain out of trouble. The breed also bays, or howls, on occasion, and is somewhat inclined to be stubborn and independent.
However, with the proper training, English Foxhounds can make a loyal and social companion, as well as a good guard dog. They get along well with children and other pets, and are very social; they love to hang out with their people.
English Foxhound Care
English Foxhounds require a high-quality dog food that is age-appropriate—whether it’s commercially manufactured or homemade (with a veterinarian’s supervision and approval). It’s important to monitor the amount of food you give your English Foxhound. Reduce the portions or restrict calories if your pup gains weight. Your veterinarian is always a good source to help provide you with appropriate nutrition and feeding guidelines.
With a short, dense, hard, and glossy coat, the English Foxhound doesn’t need much to maintain healthy fur. A weekly brush and occasional bath keep this breed looking its best.
All dogs require regular dental care, including at-home teeth brushing and professional dental cleanings, and the English Foxhound is no exception. Maintaining good dental hygiene is important for overall long-term health.
This high-energy breed requires ample daily exercise, and there are a lot of options to satisfy them. Since hunting is their function, they enjoy running and hiking—and will be just as happy with long, fast-paced walks. The English Foxhound also excels at organized dog activities, like tracking and agility.
English Foxhounds carry with them many of the traits of the hound, including occasional stubbornness. Early training and lots of patience will guide your dog to become gentle and well-adjusted. They do best in a home where the pet parents can be firm and steadfast.
With training and socialization the English Foxhound is happily at home among families with kids and other dogs, and makes an excellent companion.
Reviewed 26 July 2020 by Laura Inman, DVM