The English Foxhound is an elegant and very athletic dog in the hound family. They have a long neck and muzzle to go with their wide skull. Their eyes are brown and large with a very affectionate expression. Their ears lie flat and close to their head. English Foxhound that are used all the time for hunting often have the bottoms of the ears shortened and rounded to avoid them getting torn or nicked up when they're hunting. The legs of the English Foxhound are straight with round feet like a cat. They hold their tail up in a merry way.
They are a very active breed of dog that enjoys hunting a lot but also enjoys spending time with their family. They love doing whatever it takes to please their owner, making them a great family or companion dog, even if you don't hunt regularly.
The coat of the English foxhound is hard, short and glossy. When it's brushed it has a beautiful gloss to it. Because of the shortness of the coat, they don't do well in extreme cold weather.
The English foxhound can be a variety of colors but are usually a mixture of black, tan and white, which are referred to as tri-colored.
The English foxhound got their origin in the 1500s when the English wanted a dog that would hunt for deer and sport. They believed the supply of deer was being depleted and wanted a dog that would hunt well. At first the deerhound and staghound was used, followed by the fox. The English then developed a breed just for hunting by combining the Greyhound (speed), the Fox Terrier, (hunting instinct) and the bulldog for their stamina. The result was the English foxhound. As early as the 1800s, the breed was kept in the studbooks. Today this dog is used a lot to chase fox with hunters on horseback. The English foxhound is also considered the rarest breed in the United States.
There's a lot of words that can be used to describe the temperament of the English Foxhound, but the one that describes everything this dog does is passionate. They are a bold and very active dog that loves hunting and is passionate about doing it. They love people as well specifically children, which they are great with. The English Foxhound enjoys being with other dogs and gets along well with them. Rather than bark, they love to bay, which is a sound all their own.
The English Foxhound can be a field hound or a show hound, with the names almost speaking for themselves. The field hounds love hunting and spend most of their time hunting while the show hound is more for the show ring. Generally, the show hound makes a better household pet because they are not so active.
The English foxhound is a very healthy dog with very few health problems. Occasionally there may be cases of hip dysphasia, renal disease and epilepsy. Epilepsy is a disease of the nervous system that causes dogs to have seizures. Sometimes the seizures will happen as a result of stress and other times it may appear out of nowhere. There may not be a cure for epilepsy, but the seizures can be treated with medication from the veterinarian.
Hip dysplasia is a problem that affects many canines causing the joint in their hips to wear down prematurely. If not treated early, hip dysplasia will cause severe arthritis and crippling lameness. A special x-ray of the hips can determine if the hound has hip dysplasia. Generally, if a dog has hip dysplasia, symptoms show up within the first year or two of their life.
Renal disease is a problem that affects the English Foxhound and causes them to have problems getting rid of waste in their body. Renal disease can become serious if it forces the waste to stay in their bloodstream causing more problems.
Because of the hard short hair the English foxhound has, they are very easy to care for and maintain. Their coat should be combed and brushed with a bristle brush. Do not shampoo the dog anymore than is absolutely necessary as this causes their bodies to lose the natural oils in their skin. This dog is just an average shedder but regular grooming will eliminate a lot of the shedding.
Because the English foxhound spends a lot of time outdoors, it's important to make sure their ears are kept clean and dry. You can clean their ears once a week with a moist cotton ball, making sure they are thoroughly dried to avoid an ear infection. If you see dark colored wax and a foul smell, this can be a sign of an ear infection and should be seen by a veterinarian.
The foxhound's nails should be regularly trimmed as well. They spend a lot of time outdoors and you don't want them to rip or tear their nails and injure the vein.
The English foxhound is one dog that needs a lot of exercise everyday. They are bred for hunting and love hunting and the running that goes along with the hunt. They are very energetic and full of ambition. You probably won't be hunting with them every day so it's important that they be taken for walks or runs every day. They have a lot of energy and it will take a lot for them to get tired. It will seem like they can run and run without ever breaking a second wind.
They are more energetic in their youth, which many believe is why they don't live real long lives or definitely don't hunt in their later years. When you take your hound out for a walk or run, make sure they are on a leash as they will chase animals if they see them. Remember, this dog was bred and trained to hunt. If they are not getting sufficient exercise, they may tend to get into mischief.
Training the English foxhound will be most successful if it is done in a hunting format, which they'll love and strive to do well. They love doing things with their owner and pleasing their owner. They do have a lot of energy and will want to be active. You may want to just walk the hound for awhile before the training begins to sort of tire them out so you're not dealing with quite so much energy.
This is also one dog that needs to be shown that you are the boss and they need to do what you want. Otherwise, all they'll want to do is run and hunt. It's a good idea to get this dog in basic obedience class at a very young age. Once they learn all their commands, they are a much happier and more productive dog that will enjoy the training.