The American Foxhound is similar to a beagle. It is much taller and thinner, though. All of the breeds in the foxhound group have a very similar appearance. Besides appearance, they are also similar in temperament and behavior with the beagle.
The American Foxhound was originally bred as a hunting dog. They are well known for their heightened sense of smell and long lasting stamina. They made a good hunting dog because once they caught their prey it was rare they would try to maul it since the whole part of the hunt they enjoy the most is the chase.
This breed is a happy dog with a lot of energy. They work well as a family dog because they are a pack dog and love to have affection and attention. They have an ease of step and a graceful movement about them. The head is long with a domed top and they have large floppy ears. The tail is held upright with a slight curve at the top. The coat is short, thick and coarse. This is perfect for hunting since it stays clean even when rustling through brush and woods. Some American foxhounds do have a softer, plusher coat.
They have long legs, the longest of any foxhound group. Their legs are one of their top features because they are what allow the foxhound to be able to run without tiring. American foxhounds are known for having much better stamina than any other foxhound breed.
The coat of the American Foxhound is short and thick. It can be soft but is most often coarse.
The foxhound group of dogs were brought to America from England as early as 1650. They were brought here for use as hunting dogs. Through breeding with the French Hounds, the American Foxhound developed its own look.
The American Foxhound can be a bit high strung and often can be vocal with howls and yips. They will bark a lot and many times at any person or thing they see. The howl is very loud and hound-like in nature. For owners it is a wonderful sound, but to neighbors it can be a nuisance. They do not, however, just sit and bark for the sake of barking. They much rather prefer to seek out attention in some other manner.
American Foxhounds love attention and affection. They are wonderful with children and make an ideal family dog that is loyal and like one of the family. They are very trust worthy, as well, and rarely will they have an aggression problem. They are fiercely protective. As a pack dog, they have the natural instinct to protect their family and they will.
They can be nervous in situations with a lot of unknown people or in an unknown place. Too many loud noises and strong aromas can also bother them. They will usually display destructive behavior when they are nervous or overwhelmed.
Due to their great sense of smell and natural hunting instincts, they will often stray. If they catch a smell they will follow it and usually ignore anything else until they find it. This poses the risk that they will run off. They need to be kept tied up or otherwise secure so that this can not happen. It is important to know they are clever, but stupid. Your dog may be able to unlatch a gate and then run into a busy roadway.
American Foxhounds are a generally healthy breed. They usually do not suffer from congenital defects or other inherited conditions. They also do not have problems with their hips and bones like larger dogs normally do. However, as the breed is being bred it seems to be getting larger and this could lead to hip issues. The taller the dog is, the more chance of a problem, so this is something to be made aware of.
Grooming the American Foxhound is not too difficult. The structure of their coat makes it easy to comb and keep clean. It is rare to have problems with tangles and matting. Regular brushing is still a good idea to help keep the skin healthy and the coat shiny. To make grooming easy the dog should be brushed two or more times a week so that he can get used to it and not fight it.
They also need regular nail care to prevent problems. They should be trimmed with care regularly to prevent over growth. The dewclaw is the biggest concern since it will not wear down with exercise.
Dental care is another important aspect of grooming. They can be given a real beef knucklebone once a month to promote good dental health. The teeth can also be brushed manually once a week.
American Foxhounds are an active dog that will need a lot of exercise. The type of exercise is not relevant, it is just important that they get plenty of movement and activity. They love to run in open spaces and will thrive if allowed to do so.
They can be destructive and display behavior problems if they are not getting enough exercise. They are not the type of dog who does well being kept inside all the time. It is also important to note that when outside they need to be kept secure and safe so they do not run away.
The American Foxhound is intelligent and can learn well. They are also stubborn and can be very unresponsive to training efforts. Their lively spirit and cheerful attitude, though, help make training less of a stressful process.
Control over barking is a must in this breed. They can be challenging to house train and may also have special liking for digging holes which should also be broke.
They respond the best to positive reinforcement in training methods. Training also requires an amount of patience because even well trained dogs can forget everything they know when they are excited.