The American Foxhound is a breed of dog that is a cousin of the English Foxhound.George Washington received French Foxhounds, Grand Bleu de Gascogne, (which look much like an American Bluetick Coonhound) as a gift from the Marquis de Lafayette.
Many of the dogs Washington kept were descended from Brooke’s, and when crossed with the French hounds, helped to create the present day American Foxhound.
The American Foxhound is known to originate from the states of Maryland and Virginia, and is the state dog of Virginia.
Though there has long been a rumor that the new breed was originally used for hunting Indigenous peoples of the Americas, this is not true.
The breed was developed by landed gentry purely for the sport of hunting foxes. With the importation (or migration) of the red fox, Irish Foxhounds were added to the lines, to increase speed and stamina in the dog, qualities still prevalent in today’s dogs.
One quality that the American Foxhound is famous for is its musical howl that can be heard for miles. This is actually one reason that this breed does not do well in city settings. The breed was first recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1886.
This breed is not generally a breed that carries genetic disorders. However they can easily become overweight when overfed. A minor health risk in American Foxhounds is thrombocytopathy, or platelet disease.
This comes from poorly functioning blood platelets and can result in excessive bleeding from minor bumps or cuts. The treatment is usually based on the severity of the disease.
Owners will often have their American Foxhounds undergo blood tests so that the condition can be caught early on. While dysplasia was largely unknown in Foxhounds, it is beginning to crop up occasionally, along with some eye issues. It is not typical or customary for Foxhound breeders to screen for any hereditary disorders at this time.
American Foxhounds like the company of other dogs but can be a single companion dog if you’re committed to giving them the exercise they’d normally get running around with their canine friends, and to spending the time to help them bond with their human family. Despite their size, they’re mild-mannered unless they’re in pursuit of their quarry.
Then they become relentless in the hunt. Foxhounds who’ve been raised in the company of other dogs, rather than with a human family, can be challenging because they’ve bonded more with their pack than with people. They’ll need more time, attention, and training to help them get used to life as a family dog.
This dog is extremely energetic and tireless. It is very important that it gets daily vigorous exercise to prevent extreme indoor restlessness. This breed should not be taken on as a family pet unless the family can guarantee plenty of vigorous exercise.
They need to be taken on a daily, brisk, long walk, jog or run alongside you when you bicycle. While out on the walk the dog must be made to heel beside or behind the person holding the lead, as instinct tells a dog the leader leads the way, and that leader needs to be the human.