English Foxhound


Photo of English Foxhound


The Foxhound arose in the 1700s, the answer to the quest for a dog that could scent while on the run, enabling riders to follow it on horseback. Nobody knows for sure what went into its makeup, but by the late 1700s the breed was sufficiently established that careful pedigrees were already being recorded - longer ago than for any other breed. Foxhunting became the pastime of the wealthy, with ceremonies accompanying each hunt to the point that the killing of the fox was anticlimactic. As the esthetics of the hunt grew in importance, so did the esthetics of the pack, and care was taken to run dogs that matched each other in color (obviously, the aristocracy had time on their hands). By the late 1800s, 140 packs (each with about 50 hounds) were registered in England. Foxhounds came to America soon after their inception, but Americans preferred a faster dog, and that version of the foxhound is now called the American Foxhound. Neither foxhound has ever been popular as a pet, probably because it's always been thought of as a pack dog.


Foxhounds have been bred for centuries to live as a pack in the kennel, with few living as house dogs. But if you raise one in the home, you're in for a pleasant surprise. They are easygoing, calm, and gentle; good with children, other dogs, and other pets. They do tend to bark when excited and may start to bay when they really get going. They also tend to ignore your commands, but hey, nobody's perfect. Foxhounds are friendly, but not overly demonstrative. They are, however, ultimately agreeable, as long as they get enough exercise.


In many ways the English Foxhound looks like a tall Beagle. He's much stockier, with much larger bone than the American Foxhound. He has a squared head, pronounced brow, and low-set ears. His topline is level, and he carries his tail gaily. His forelegs are straight, with little slope to the pasterns. His short hard coat can come in any good hound color, which means some combination of tan, red, black, and white; the most common pattern is red with a black saddle and white trim.


He's a dog's dog, and he wasn't bred to follow human orders. It's not that he's obstinate (though he can be), it's just that it isn't in his nature to pay much attention to your ideas. What do you know about chasing foxes (or squirrels or rabbits or whatever)? What do you know about life as a dog? The point is, you need to show him your ideas are fun and worth attending to, by combining training with play or treats. He's smart, but don't push him past a short session. He does have his limits when it comes to studying. He's a doer,not a thinker.

Grooming & Care

The English Foxhound's coat needs only occasional brushing. Clip his nails, clean his teeth, and make sure those floppy ears stay clean and dry. Foxhounds were bred to run for miles, and they need the chance to stretch their legs and go for a good jog or a long walk every day.

Health Concerns

The English Foxhound has no health concerns of note, although hip dysplasia has been reported occasionally. Breeding stock should have hips screened before breeding.

Famous English Foxhound

In 1984, Ch. Mr Stewart's Cheshire Winslow won the Hound group at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show.

Ideal Owner
Activity Level 32
Schedule 6
Home 9
Children 10
Experience 53
Quick Facts
Grooming 13
Exercise 14
Challenges Super high exercise needs; will chase things.
Height 20 to 25 inches
Weight 45 to 75 pounds
Life 10 to 13 years
Home Alone 83
With Kids 21
With Strangers 22
Availability 95

This client information sheet is based on material written by: LifeLearn

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