The English Foxhound is thought to be the rarest breed of dog in the United States by AKC registration. It is thought to be rare because they are believed to have originated from sixteenth and seventeenth century England. The English Foxhound was created because there was an ongoing depletion of the deer population in England, since the royalty hunted deer as part of their sports and also for food.
For this reason, there was a mixing of several breeds to create the English Foxhound. The English Foxhound was created by mixing of Greyhound, for speed, the Fox Terrier, for hunting instinct, and the Bulldog, for tenacity in the hunt. These qualities all encompassed one breed: the English Foxhound.
Originally, because of how they were bred, these dogs were originally bred to live around horses and trained to trail foxes in the hunt. Today, throughout years and years, they are still used for those purposes. They were also originally bred to hunt by scent, thus being a scent hound.
The English Foxhound stands anywhere from about twenty-one to twenty-five inches tall and can weigh anywhere between sixty-five and seventy-five pounds. Their eyes have a sweet look about them and their paws resemble the roundness of a cat’s paw.
Because this breed was originally bred and raised to be a pack hound, they get along well with other dogs and enjoy their companionship. They also enjoy the company of humans, as they are a very tolerant, outgoing and gentle breed. They get along well also with children, horses and other pets. However, the American Foxhound can be hard to own as a typical house pet because of their very high energy level due to hunting. Because their energy level is so high, without almost constant daily exercise, they can be destructive as a form of releasing their energy. They are used to being part of a hunting pack.
Obedience training can be very challenging because the English Foxhound can be easily distracted by their powerfully keen sense of smell. The “Come” command is the most difficult to teach for this reason. Training must begin early to help overcome this obstacle and the “Come” command should be taught first. The trainer must be aware though that they will easily get distracted any time they pick up a scent and it can be hard to bring them back to the training once this has occurred. Patience is the key.
Although the English Foxhounds usually are fed in packs, when they are pets they can be fed anywhere from one to one and a half cans of a meaty product or three cups of a dry dog food. In a pack, they do not get fed the day before the hunt. Otherwise, this breed was trenched-fed with horse meat and an oatmeal mash called “pudding.”
Although the English Foxhound can be slower than the American Foxhound, he loves to run and if left to it, would run constantly. The owner must keep in mind that he is a very active breed that enjoys and looks for the hunt. This breed does very well in a suburban area with a lot of attention and exercise, therefore apartment living is discouraged. This breed can also be known to be vocal and noisy and would make a very good watchdog to ward off intruders.
- Affectionate, Gentle, Sociable
- AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 188 of 193
- Height: 24 inches
- Weight: 60-75 pounds
- Life Expectancy: 10-13 years
- Group: Hound Group