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Home > Dogs > Dog Breeds > English Foxhound Dog Breed Guide: Info, Pictures, Care & More!

English Foxhound Dog Breed Guide: Info, Pictures, Care & More!

english foxhound dog_RobertArt_Shutterstock

English Foxhounds are far from the most popular pooches. According to the American Kennel Club, they’re one of the least popular pure breeds, ranked 188 out of 197. But don’t let that color your opinion of this incredible breed. These dogs might not be for everyone, but they can make incredible pets under the right circumstances. In truth, they were never intended to be companions and pets at all. Rather, these dogs were developed with a specific purpose in mind—hunting foxes.

Breed Overview

Height

23 – 27 inches

Weight

55 – 75 pounds

Lifespan

10 – 13 years

Colors

White, brown, black, tan, grey

Suitable for

Active families and individuals, hunters, those with additional dogs

Temperament

Affectionate, wary, loud, loyal, alert, friendly, loving, independent

Naturally, this meant that English Foxhounds needed to be physical specimens, possessing outrageous strength, endurance, and courage, which are all true of the breed. In the early days of America, the breed was more popular, with founding father George Washington even keeping English Foxhounds and holding regular fox hunts.

Today, this breed isn’t very popular, but they’re still beloved by hunters who understand what the breed represents and their incredible capabilities. Even so, they can make great companion pets and have even been shown to be excellent with children, making the English Foxhound a very versatile breed indeed.

English Foxhound Characteristics

Energy:
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High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Trainability:
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Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Health:
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Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Lifespan:
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Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Sociability:
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Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

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English Foxhound Puppies

english foxhound puppies_Angela Lock_Shutterstock
Image By: Angela Lock, Shutterstock

Even though English Foxhounds aren’t very popular, you shouldn’t expect them to come cheap. These are purpose-bred dogs, and they’re incredibly adept at what they do. As such, prices can climb rather steep, especially if you want breeding rights or a hound with a proven pedigree. You won’t find any show dogs here though; these are working dogs that are still bred with hunting in mind.

English Foxhounds will do well in a home that has other dogs. These dogs are loyal and always alert. You will want to prepare yourself because they are very loud.

Temperament & Intelligence of the English Foxhound

English Foxhounds are highly intelligent dogs with generally friendly dispositions. They tend to get along with most people, though they’re often wary of strangers. It should be noted that English Foxhounds have a strong independent streak. This independence is vital when the dog is out chasing down a fox, but it can make it more difficult to train and control the dog.

English Foxhounds are also loud. They bay when cornering their prey, though they may also bay at other times for no apparent reason, which can really irritate nearby neighbors.

english foxhound_Piqsels
Image by: Piqsels

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

This breed tends to do well in families. They’re pack animals, and they don’t seem to care too much if their pack is primarily human or canine. You’ll also find English Foxhounds to be quite affectionate once they warm up to you. Luckily, they’re the type of dogs that can love everyone in the family equally. They’re also known to get along well with children, being naturally gentle and playful with kids.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

As mentioned, English Foxhounds are pack animals. They prefer situations where there are other dogs in the same household. You can keep an English Foxhound with many other pets and they should get along just fine. However, smaller pets might be at risk due to the English Foxhound’s deep-rooted prey drive.

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Things to Know When Owning an English Foxhound

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

English Foxhounds are moderate-sized dogs, so they’ll require an average of about 3 cups of high-quality dry dog food each day. While the breed doesn’t have any special dietary needs, it’s a good idea to ensure your dog is getting glucosamine and chondroitin, either through its food or supplementally. These compounds can help to prevent hip dysplasia, which is one of the few health concerns that English Foxhounds are susceptible to.

English foxhound
Image credit: Mary Swift, Shutterstock

Exercise 🐕

This breed is high-energy and has incredible endurance to be able to chase down foxes all day long. As such, you’re going to need to invest substantial time and effort into exercising your English Foxhound. Failure to do so can result in a bored and anxious dog that turns to destructive behaviors.

You’ll need to spend a minimum of 30-60 minutes exercising your dog each day. These dogs do best when they have a large yard to play in and enjoy the rest of the time as well. They’re poorly suited for apartment living due to their high exercise demands.

Training 🎾

English Foxhounds are very smart canines that can be trained for advanced tasks such as hunting. However, you shouldn’t expect it to be easy. These dogs also have an independent streak that can make them more difficult to train than you might hope. Once you curb that independence, they can be trained more easily, but until then, many English Foxhounds have a mind of their own and will follow their own whims before listening to you.

Grooming ✂️

Thankfully, grooming your English Foxhound is a simple process that doesn’t take too much work. They have very short coats, so minimal brushing is required. Using a rubber curry brush or a grooming mitt to brush your dog once each week should be plenty. Like many breeds, English Foxhounds have natural oils in their coats that you don’t want to eliminate, so bathing should be limited to just once every 4-6 weeks.

Aside from coat care, English Foxhounds need only the basic ear cleaning and nail trimming performed regularly. You’ll also want to brush your dog’s teeth daily to prevent any dental issues from arising.

english foxhound dogs running on the road
Image Credit: Angela Lock, Shutterstock

Health and Conditions 🏥

For the most part, English Foxhounds are healthy and resilient canines. There aren’t very many health conditions that commonly affect this breed. The few conditions that are most likely to occur are listed below, though even these aren’t terribly common for this breed.

Minor Conditions
  • Deafness
Serious Conditions
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Epilepsy

Minor Conditions:

Deafness is hearing loss, and you’ll usually notice it first as your dog seems to ignore your cues and commands. While it’s not a dangerous or painful condition, it can make it harder to interact with your dog.

Serious Conditions:

Hip dysplasia is one of the most common joint disorders seen in dogs. This is when the hip and femur form abnormally, causing them to rub on each other and degenerate. The result is pain and a loss of mobility. Lameness can even occur in extreme cases.

Epilepsy in dogs isn’t too different from epilepsy in humans. It’s the most common neurological disorder that affects canines, and it’s characterized by recurring seizures that seem to occur out of nowhere. These seizures are caused by a brain abnormality, though there can be several causes for such abnormalities.

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Male vs Female

While some breeds seem to exhibit many noticeable differences between the sexes, English Foxhounds do not. Temperamentally, they’re quite similar and can be very difficult to tell apart. There’s very little physical difference between the genders either. Males and females alike tend to fall between 55-75 pounds with heights that range from 23-27 inches.

3 Little-Known Facts About the English Foxhound

1. They’re One of Four Foxhound Breeds

Foxhounds are a small and selective group of canines that includes just four breeds. Each of these breeds was created with the specific intent of hunting foxes, and they’re all incredibly well adapted for this purpose. The four foxhound breeds are English Foxhounds, American Foxhounds, Black and Tan Virginia Foxhounds, and Dumfriesshire Foxhounds.


2. English Foxhounds Are a Mix of Many Breeds

When the English Foxhound was first being created, the breeders wanted a large mix of traits, including incredible endurance, courage, physical attributes, and more. To achieve this, they mixed a great number of different breeds together, hoping to bring out the best traits from each genetic offering. Some of the breeds used to help create the English Foxhound include the Bloodhound, Greyhound, Fox Terrier, Bulldog, Whippet, Staghound, and Deerhound.


3. These Dogs Are Happiest with a Job

English Foxhounds are highly adaptable dogs. They can do just fine as companion pets, living the life of a family dog. However, they’re happiest when they’re given a job to perform and a pack to interact with. These are very social dogs, so they tend to prefer pack situations. If you already have other dogs and you can provide your foxhound with a job to perform, your English Foxhound will thrive. Just be aware of the breed’s strong prey drive. They should only be kept with other dogs of a similar size or larger.

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Final Thoughts

Don’t let the relative unpopularity of the English Foxhound fool you into thinking that there’s anything wrong with this breed. They’re just not a breed intended to be companion pets, even though they can make excellent companions. Truthfully, the breed is meant for hunting, and they were purpose-bred to hunt foxes. They’re happiest when given a job to do or a hunt to go on, so they’re the perfect fit for the avid hunter, even though they’re adaptable enough to make just as excellent family pets.

Just keep in mind that these dogs are highly active and you’ll need to invest quite a bit of time into helping them expend that energy. They also tend to be rather noisy dogs that bay a lot, so they’re not a great fit for apartment living. You’re best off with a fenced yard and no nearby neighbors if you want to keep an English Foxhound!


Featured Image Credit: RobertArt, Shutterstock

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