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Foxhound

Foxhound

The Foxhound is a large, powerful dog with a short, hard wearing and weatherproof coat. They have drop ears, a deep chest and muscular build with the strong tail held high. This playful dog is extremely affectionate and loyal, making Foxhounds amazing members of the family.

  • Dogs suitable for experienced owners
  • Extra training required
  • Generally healthy breed
  • Enjoys vigorous walks
  • Enjoys one to two hours of walking a day
  • Large dog
  • Some drool
  • Requires grooming once a week
  • Chatty and vocal dog
  • Barks and alerts to visitors/anything unusual
  • Generally friendly with other dogs
  • May need additional training to live with other pets
  • Great family dog
  • Needs a large garden
  • Best suited to countryside
  • Cannot be left alone

Key Facts

Lifespan: 10 – 12 years
Weight:  29 – 32kg 
Height:  58 – 64cm
Colours:  White base with tan, lemon, brown or black markings, or tricolour 
Size:  Large
UK Kennel Club Groups: Hound

Ratings

Family-friendly: 4/5
Exercise needs: 5/5
Easy to train: 3/5
Tolerates being alone: 4/5
Likes other pets: 5/5
Energy level: 5/5
Grooming needs: 3/5
Shedding: 3/5
Foxhound standing on the grass

Personality

The Foxhound is a working pack hound, bred for centuries to hunt, and to travel long distances at a trot and then further distances at a gallop, several days a week. Although sociable, friendly and affable in character when not working, this breed thrives on hard work, and will not be happy without it.

Foxhound in the fields

History and Origins

Country of Origin: England

As their name suggests, the Foxhound was bred to hunt foxes either on foot or followed by a mounted pack depending on the terrain they hunted. Individual hunts developed their own lines specific to their needs, so their breed standard is broad and they have never been a particular popular show or pet dog. Over the years the breed has been refined and altered with the addition of GreyhoundFox Terrier and Bulldog, along with outcrossings to different lines of Foxhound from other packs. Although recognised by the Kennel Club in the UK, the Foxhound almost never appears in Kennel Club run show-rings, instead being shown at agricultural shows as a pack or as couples (pairs of dogs) rather than as individuals. This is and remains very much a working hound. 

Health and Common Issues

The Foxhound is a very hardy breed with few health problems commonly encountered.

Exercise Needs

Two hours of dog exercise per day is the absolute minimum for a Foxhound. A mixture of walking, trotting and free running across a variety of terrains, plus scent work to use their inherent desire to follow a trail. They are bred to run miles each day, running alongside a horse or bicycle on non-hunting days, and galloping across hills, muddy plough, through ditches and over hedges on hunting days, which are two or three days per week. The Foxhound has incredible stamina and agility and is not shy of cold or wet weather. It is difficult for most owners to provide this kind of exercise. 

Space Requirements

This is a big hound, who wants to be out and about in all weathers. A home with space to provide a Foxhound with their own room, ideally with several other Foxhounds as company, and an extremely secure garden (and never leave a Foxhound unsupervised outside, they can scale, jump or dig under fencing with ease).

Suited to the countryside only, and to an owner who enjoys Cani-x, tracking, mantrailing and spending long hours retrieving their hound from muddy woodlands. Ideally an owner who does not work, as the Foxhound does not do well when left unsupervised or unoccupied!

Nutrition and Feeding

Large breed dogs, as well as having large appetites, benefit from a different balance of nutrients including minerals and vitamins compared to smaller-breed dogs. The Foxhound, with his deep chest, is more prone to bloating and stomach problems; smaller, more frequent meals can help minimise this risk. Discover more about how to offer your dog a balanced diet with our easy-to-follow guide. 

Grooming Foxhounds

The short, smooth coat of the Foxhound is dense, offering protection against the weather and also any hazards when hunting – brambles and so on. A quick brush once a week is all that is necessary to keep the coat in good order. The Foxhound on a scent is oblivious to injury however, so a daily check over to locate scratches, cuts, torn nails, cut pads and embedded thorns is sensible. Find out more about dog grooming and daily care with our article. 

Training Foxhounds

To train a Foxhound first you will need to understand how a Foxhound thinks. They think with their noses, and once the nose is down they follow the scent until they find their quarry. There is really no such thing as a ‘pet’ Foxhound, if you really must own one, you will need to find some form of work for your hound, every day, no matter the weather, and you must be more engaging and interesting than the surrounding environment at all times!

Work on recall and dog socialising with livestock and other pets is vital but should never be relied upon for the safety of either the dog or other animals. 

Best Family Dog Breeds

Although sociable and friendly when well trained, socialised and habituated to family life, the Foxhound is a big dog prone to clumsiness in small spaces. Better suited to older teens and families who do not mind a bit of knocking about by an enthusiastic hound, particularly as these dogs are happier in the company of other Foxhounds. 
 
While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children, all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with each other and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them. 

did you know?

Did You Know?

  • The Master of Foxhounds Association is the governing body for registered packs and maintains the Foxhound Stud Book which keeps all the records of Foxhounds born into each registered pack since fox hunting began. Foxhound studs are referred to as ‘stallions’, unusual in the dog world but this is related to their close link with horses and horse breeding.
  • Foxhounds briefly came to public attention with the 1981 Disney film The Fox and the Hound but despite its appeal, most people thankfully recognised it as the ultimate parable about the social pressures and expectations put on those from different groups or backgrounds to be adversaries.

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