Type: Scent Hound
Weight: Male dog – 29-34 kg
Height: Male dog – 21–25 in / 53-64 cm
Appearance: The American Foxhound is taller than its English cousin, with markedly long and straight boned legs. The coat is medium length composed of hard hair, the most usual colour combination is tri-colour black, white and tan but other combinations can be seen and all are acceptable within the breed standard. The head is slightly domed in shape with a long muzzle, large hazel or brown eyes which are wide set while the ears are long and low-set. The tail is slightly curved. Unrelated to appearance but characteristic of American Foxhounds is a bark which has been described as musical and owners note that it can be heard for miles. This is one of the rarest breeds registered by the American Kennel Club.
Temperament: American Foxhounds are generally kind and docile in temperament, sweet-natured and intelligent but with a strong streak of independence in their nature.They’re gentle and loyal towards family members but can be shy around strangers. These active and energetic dogs need lots of exercise, daily walks are a minimum requirement and they’ll benefit from having a safe outdoor space where they can run around too.
Skills: The breed, as the name suggests were bred to hunt foxes, doing so by scent rather than sight. This does mean that obedience training from a very young age is essential but their instinct to follow an interesting smell is so strong that they should never be entirely trusted off-lead. Like many hounds, American Foxhounds will ‘give voice’ when they smell something that arouses their interest but they aren’t regarded as especially good watchdogs.
Behaviour Toward Other Animals and Children: Socialisation is important in this as in any breed, American Foxhounds are great with children and generally with other dogs but may not make an ideal companion in a home with non-canine pets.
Common Health Problems: This is generally a healthy breed with no specific genetic conditions. Rarely they can suffer from Thrombocytopathy a condition relating to poorly functioning platelets and resulting in excessive bleeding from minor causes. Generally speaking the biggest threat to the health of an American Foxhound is their tendency to obesity if over-fed or under exercised.
Lifespan: 10–12 years.