So you fancy yourself an American Foxhound as your next canine companion, but don’t know what to expect? You want to know, do American Foxhounds make good pets? Well, fear not! We’re here to give you the complete low down on this sweet-natured and easy-going breed.
Understanding the unique traits, personalities and care requirements of the breed you are planning to take on is an important part of the decision making process and can help you determine whether they will fit in well with your home and family life. Let’s take a closer look at this fascinating breed for the ultimate 411!
On a Personal Note
Many years ago I used to work in a dog and cat rescue center. As you can imagine there were many dog breeds I came across during my 2-year stint there. One of the sweetest dogs I ever came into contact with was an American Foxhound named ‘Shikari’. The center, unfortunately, had a struggle rehoming her through no fault of her own. She was, let’s say, a tad on the hyper side and required much more exercise and mental stimulation than most prospective owners were looking to offer.
Fortunately, she was rehomed just before I left the center and went to live with a lovely gentleman who loved nothing more than to go on long hikes and camp regularly. This was the ideal home for Shikari. In short, American Foxhounds are a lovely breed of dog to choose however they have some special considerations you must be aware of that do not suit everyone.
What are American Foxhounds Personalities Like?
American Foxhounds are energetic and full of life most of the time. They have a level of energy that does not suit everyone however are generally very sweet-natured and easy going. These larger than life characters are upbeat and make a great choice for active families where there is always a lot going on. They are considered to be pure and kind-hearted and can make great companions for the whole family.
American foxhounds are known for their independent personalities thanks to the breeds hunting background. They can become very strong-willed and single-minded when it comes to catching prey and therefore this is something that as a prospective owner you will need to manage well.
What are American Foxhounds Temperaments Like?
American Foxhounds have a very easy going, even temperament and although they are more often than not, full of energy they can make such wonderful family pets. This breed is quite possibly one of the most loyal dogs you will ever come across and they can become fond and protective very quickly of the younger members of the household.
American Foxhounds are known for their willingness to learn and this very intelligent breed can be easily trainable with the right guidance. Proper training is highly recommended for this breed since they can easily get out of hand and become destructive if their needs are not met.
American Fox Hounds Fact Table
|Personality||Easy going, Loyal, Sweet Tempered, Independent|
|Height||22-25 inches (Male), 21-24 inches (Female)|
|Weight||65-75 Pounds (Male), 60-65 Pounds (Female)|
|Life Expectancy||11-13 Years|
|Grooming Requirements||Short hair – grooming once a week|
|Exercise Requirements||High Energy – needs lots of exercise daily|
|Trainability||Medium – can be stubborn|
|Barking Tendencies||High – Frequently and loudly|
American Foxhound History
American Foxhounds originated from the United States and were originally bred as hunting dogs for blood sports such as fox hunting. The breed stemmed from the English Foxhound who was crossbred with various other European breeds to produce what we know as the American Foxhound. This breed is closely linked to revolutionary heroes and the rolling estates of Old Virginia.
Do American Foxhounds Make Good First Time Pets?
Although the American Foxhound can make a wonderful family dog and is known to be particularly great with Children this is not a breed that would necessarily make a good first pet. They require much more exercise than many other breeds of dog which can be time-consuming. They aren’t the easiest to train since they can be quite stubborn. Coming from a hunting background also has its challenges when going for walks. This may be a shock to the system for first-time owners.
Are American Foxhounds Easy Dogs To Look After?
American Foxhounds are not the easiest breeds to take care of. They require plenty of attention on your part and will need to be taken for long walks at least twice a day to let off some steam otherwise they can become destructive. Going for walks can be challenging thanks to their hunting instincts. They do not recall well when on the hunt and therefore walking on a lead at all times is preferable. Training can be challenging and will take plenty of patience on your part. On the plus side, this breed is relatively easy to groom.
Are American Foxhounds Easy To Train?
American Foxhounds are by far not the easiest to train however once you have their attention and they are focused on you they learn quickly. They are an intelligent breed, however, are renowned for being stubborn and strong-willed. They like to think that training takes place on their terms and if you have not had much experience with dog training, seeking professional help is probably a wise idea.
Are American Foxhounds Good With Kids And Other Dogs?
American Foxhounds are amazing with children. They are a kind, loyal and devoted breed that will do everything in their power to please the family. Many children, particularly those in their younger years are full of energy and this is something American Foxhounds love.
Introducing a new dog into the family is usually not an issue since this breed is considered to be dog friendly. Introducing a cat may be another story!
Do American Foxhounds Make Good Guard Dogs?
American Foxhounds are not the best guard dogs in the world since they were originally bred for hunting. They aren’t overly protective of the home however you can be sure that if they do decide that a threat is present you will know about it. This breed barks loudly and they do a grand job of it.
Do American Foxhounds Shed A Lot?
One of the key pluses to owning an American Foxhound is their low level of maintenance when it comes to grooming. This breed hardly ever shed and when they do it is minimal. The American Foxhound has a short coat that only requires a brush once a week and bathing is sufficient on an ad hoc basis.
Are American Foxhounds Aggressive Or Dangerous?
American Foxhounds are not renowned for being aggressive dogs and are generally very loving and caring towards their family and the regular people and animals in their life. Some dogs of this breed can become aggressive to outsiders especially if they see them as a threat however this will vary considerably from dog to dog and will often depend on the level of training they have received.
Do American Foxhounds Like To Swim?
If you fancy a swimming companion in your life then the American Foxhound is probably the one for you! This breed loves nothing more than to go for a good swim in the lake or pool. They generally learn to swim from a very young age and for this breed, it is considered to be as important as socialization. They do not, however, have the greatest levels of stamina and can tire out easily when swimming particularly those in their later years in life.
Tips For Training American Foxhounds
American Foxhounds can sometimes be tricky to train. Here are some top tips to help you along the way:
- Start training from an early age so your dog hasn’t got so set in their ways
- Use a praise and reward training method. Never use punishment.
- Get your American Foxhound used to voice and hand commands
- Keep training short, but effective
- Ask others in the household to get on-board with training techniques for consistency
American Fox Hound vs English Fox Hound
There are many similarities between an American Foxhound and an English Foxhound however there are also some clear differences between the two in terms of appearance and personality that should be noted.
The American Foxhound is much faster and more agile than the English Foxhound even though both have been specifically bred for hunting. The English Foxhound tends to be a lot more focused on their owners making training so much easier, whilst the American Foxhound has a mind of their own and can be a lot more stubborn and harder to train.
In terms of appearance, it can often be quite easy to see the difference between the two. The American’s legs are much longer and more finely boned in comparison to the English which sports much shorter legs and a straighter backend.
Is It Better To Get A Male Or Female American Fox Hound?
In terms of personality and traits male and female American Foxhounds are very similar. Males tend to be the bigger out of the two however all in all there isn’t much in it. Both have wonderful characters and are considered to be very loving loyal sociable dogs. The decision between the two will usually boil down to personal preference.
Can American Foxhounds Be Left Alone During The Day?
American Foxhounds are very social creatures and they tend to find it hard being on their own. It isn’t uncommon for them to suffer from separation anxiety which can result in excessive barking and destruction to the home. Proper training is vital for a well-behaved dog, particularly when there is a need to leave them on their own. This breed does best however with company whether that be the human or dog variety.
Do American Foxhounds Bark A Lot?
Yes, like with most hounds, this breed tends to bark a fair amount. They also can bark very loudly which may cause some conflict with the neighbors. American Foxhounds bark for a variety of reasons. Being left on their own is usually a favorite. Unwanted visitors at the front door. Disturbances such as sirens blaring in the distance or the sound of the TV. Excitement can also be a key instigator such as going for walks and playtime. Howling is not out of the question! If you are looking for a quiet life, this breed may not be for you.
Do American Foxhounds Bite?
The American Foxhound has a low-level tendency to bite. They are generally very sweet-natured dogs and adore their family and those closest to them. As puppies, they can often be quite nippy and bossy, but they soon grow out of this behavior with proper training early on. Although this breed is not renowned for being overly protective you shouldn’t rule out the possibility of them biting an intruder or someone they see as a threat.
How Much Exercise Do American Foxhounds Need?
One of the reasons that American Foxhounds are not as popular as some other breeds mostly boils down to the level of exercise they require. This is a highly energetic breed that has tons of energy to let out most of the time. For this reason, they require plenty of walks and playtime to keep them sane and non-destructive. It is recommended that American Foxhounds be taken out for long, active walks twice a day (ideally an hour each) and that plenty of playtime is brought into the mix. This can often be too much for lots of potential owners to take on.
Are American Foxhounds High Maintenance?
Some would consider American Foxhounds to be high maintenance compared to some other breeds. They require a high level of exercise which can often be too much for some owners. This breed can sometimes be difficult to train in the beginning thanks to their strong-willed and stubborn nature and therefore professional training may be required. They are also a highly sociable breed that doesn’t like to be left on their own for too long which can seem needy to some. Barking and howling is the norm with American Foxhounds and it is true to say this does not suit everyone.
Whether commercially produced or homemade, American Foxhounds do much better on high quality feeds. They love their food with a passion which can often result in them becoming overweight or obese. Ensure you stick to a regular feeding routine of twice a day with specifically measured out portion. Do not leave food out freely and try to avoid feeding too many treats (save these purely for training purposes).
How Expensive Are American Foxhounds to Buy?
American Foxhounds are pretty reasonable to buy. You should expect to pay on average between £300-£450 with prices rises based on the level of training a particular dog has received. Always ensure you know the breeding history of any dog you are purchasing which will give you a good indication of price.
So, do American Foxhounds make good pets? Yes! They absolutely do providing you are prepared to cater to all their breed-specific needs. They make such a wonderful family companion thanks to their kind and caring nature and get on well with children and other dogs. When deciding to take on this breed there are a few key questions you will need to consider:
- Can my family and I cope with the exercise requirements of a couple of hours a day?
- Can I dedicate the time to training that my American Foxhound needs?
- Will loud and frequent barking be an issue?
- Can we provide sufficient company to our American Foxhound?
- Will keeping your dog on a lead whilst out for walks be an issue for you?
Providing you can answer yes to the majority of these questions you may have just found yourself your new canine partner in crime!