Dogs 101 - AMERICAN FOXHOUND - Top Dog Facts About the AMERICAN FOXHOUND
Dogs 101 - AMERICAN FOXHOUND Top Dog Facts About the AMERICAN FOXHOUND
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The American Foxhound, developed to chase foxes during hunts, is a cousin of the English Hound and one of America’s oldest native breeds. Its origin can be traced back to a pack of hunting dogs brought over from England in 1650. Some of these dogs were bred with French hounds owned by George Washington, and helped create the American Foxhound. In later years, it was further bred with the Irish Foxhound to improve on stamina and speed. While the breed was first developed in Maryland and Virginia, it really became famous for its hunting prowess in the mountains of Kentucky and Tennessee.
Surprisingly, the American Fox Hound is not a very popular breed in the US. It has a peculiar howl, which can be heard over long distances. That might be an advantage while giving chase in the forest, but not very desirable in a household setting.
Development of multiple strains of the breed means that there is a wider range in physical characteristics. Heights for the male hunters are in the range of 21 to 25 inches, and for the male show dogs 26 to 29 inches. Weight for males ranges from 65 to 75 pounds. Females are slightly smaller and lighter. The breed has a close hard coat of medium length hair, with a wide range of color. A combination of white, black and tan is the most common shade, but combinations of white with blue, brown, red or cream are also seen. The ears and muzzle are long; the skull is large and domed; the eyes are wide and hazel or brown in color; and the tail is curved.
Grooming: The American Foxhound is not a difficult breed to groom – another feature that makes them good for long jaunts in the forest. It does not shed a whole lot, and can easily do with a weekly brush. Use of a soft bristle brush or a hound glove is advised. Its long ears need to be cleaned regularly as they can hide moisture and bacteria. Regular trimming of nails and brushing of teeth are advised.
Temperament: The American Foxhound is a pack animal, and does not like living alone. It is very sociable with humans or with other animals. It can act shy with strangers, and is not the best guard dog.
Training: Training an American foxhound requires patience because of its independent nature and instinct to follow a scent to its source. It is a dog made for open areas, and apart from its voice this is another reason not to keep it in flats in the city. In the suburbs, a fenced in yard, where it can run around freely, is ideal for the dog. It needs to be taken out on walks multiple times daily and really enjoys a game of fetch, and can get depressed if it does not get its daily exercise.
Health: It is one of the healthier breeds. Hip dysplasia and ear infections are found, but these are not chronic problems. Blood platelet disease is found in some bloodlines. This disease causes disproportionate bleeding from minor cuts, but can be treated if detected early on. The lifespan is 10 to 12 years.
A truly American breed, an American Foxhound is really low-maintenance and a great choice if you can provide it space to roam. It is also a very friendly breed, and works very well if you have other pets like cats and rabbits.
Facts: • The American Foxhound is the state dog of Virginia. • Sweet Lips, Drunkard and Tipsy were some of the colorful names among the 36 Foxhounds owned by George Washington. • The Foxhound’s howl is considered so harmonious apparently that it has been used in songs. • An American Foxhound can get really difficult to call back once it gets onto a scent. • American Foxhounds have a long history of working with horses and are really friendly with them.