American Foxhounds are a breed of hunting dogs that sprung up in the United States. Like their name suggests, they were meant for hunting foxes, having been refined over the course of centuries for that purpose until they were distinct from their counterparts over in the United Kingdom. Nowadays, American Foxhounds aren’t at the heights of their fame, but they nonetheless remain an important part of the dog owner’s world. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about the American Foxhound:
1. Is a Cousin to the English Foxhound
There are a number of foxhound breeds. However, it can be confusing to discuss these different breeds because a lot of people will just drop the full name of the breed that is most familiar to them in preference for just calling it a foxhound. Regardless, the American Foxhound is a close cousin to the English Foxhound.
2. Is a Scent Hound
American Foxhounds are scent hounds, meaning that they are more reliant on their sense of smell than their sense of sight for finding their targets. Generally speaking, scent hounds are believed to have some of the strongest sense of smell in the canine world, which makes sense because of the considerations that went into breeding them.
3. Descended from Robert Brooke’s Dogs
In 1650, a man named Robert Brooke set sail from England for North America with an entire pack of hunting dogs. It is believed that the American Foxhound is one of a number of U.S. hunting breeds that are descended from these dogs.
4. State Dog of Virginia
American Foxhounds have been a part of U.S. culture for a long time. In particular, it is associated with the states of Maryland and Virginia, which are the places where the breed is believed to have come into existence. In fact, the relationship between it and the state of Virginia is so strong that it has been chosen to serve as Virginia’s state dog.
5. George Washington Played a Role in Its Development
It is believed that George Washington played a role in the development of the American Foxhound. In short, he received French hunting dogs from the Marquis de Lafayette. These French hunting dogs were bred with those of Washington’s hunting dogs descended from Brooke’s dogs, which has left a lasting influence on the nature of the modern American Foxhound.
6. Has Some Irish Foxhound In Them
There is some Irish Foxhound in the modern American Foxhound as well. What happened was that red foxes managed to make their way to the New World, whether because someone imported them or because they were transported there by accident. Whatever the case, the American Foxhounds of those times were bred with Irish Foxhounds, thus producing offspring with increased speed and stamina to make them even better for the hunt.
7. Good Nature
Generally speaking, the American Foxhound has what one might call a good nature that makes them well-disposed towards their family members. For example, they can get along well with their family members, which can include both children and other household animals. Furthermore, they tend to be pretty docile when it comes to their human owners, though they can have moments of disobedience.
8. Has Strong Instincts
In short, the American Foxhound’s instincts tell it to follow scents. Moreover, it was bred to be independent to an extent, which can combine with its instincts to make it disobedient when it is following a scent. Due to this, proper training is needed to overcome this potential issue.
9. Not the Best Dog for Cities
The American Foxhound can live in cities, but it is not the best choice for such environments. In part, this is because American Foxhounds have a musical bark that can be heard for miles and miles, meaning that they can create a fair amount of noise pollution that won’t make the neighbors happy.
10. Needs to Be Active
Speaking of which, people who own American Foxhounds need to make sure that they get plenty of exercise on a daily basis to maintain a state of good health on their part. This is particularly important because American Foxhounds can get fat surprisingly easily if their owners are not careful.