Breeds 101

English Foxhound


A good voice, a keen nose, a rugged constitution and an ability to get on with other dogs are all hallmarks of the English Foxhound.

In 14th-century Great Britain, fox hunting became popular, creating a demand for speedy dogs.

From imported French hounds and native stock, fast, lean hounds eventually evolved.

By the late 1800s, foxhunting had become extremely popular with the wealthy, who built up great fanfare around the hunts.

The shape and size of individuals once varied across Great Britain. Hounds from Yorkshire were the fastest, while those from Staffordshire were larger and slower, with deeper voices.

Today, most English Foxhounds share a similar shape and personality.

The English Foxhound was brought to the U.S. and bred with other dogs to create the American Foxhound.

Although rarely kept as a domestic pet, the breed does make an excellent companion, and it solid voice and attentive nature make it a good guard dog.

It is gentle, affectionate and even tempered, although it can be rather difficult to obedience train.

It also has a strong instinct to chase and kill fox – sized animals.

Many people still regard the English Foxhound as the first choice when pursuing a traditional hunt.

Size: Large, 24 to 26 inches; females 60 to 80 pounds; males 75 to 90 pounds.

Color: Hound colors: black, tan, and white.

A pack Hound at heart; can be strong, stubborn, and independent. Amiable, gentle, tolerant. Reserved with strangers.

Energy level: High.

Best owner: Active, patient owner in a rural or suburban house.

Daily exercise (long leashed hikes) and activity to prevent boredom and destructive behaviors, fenced yard, consistent obedience training, companionship, occasional brushing.

Life expectancy: 10 to 13 years.