One of the very first things prospective owners want to know when buying a dog breed is how much and often they shed their fur. This is a very important question since excess shedding can require much more upkeep on your part whether that be daily grooming or having to manage the fur shed into your home.
One of the questions were asked recently was ‘do American Foxhounds Shed A lot?’ and we decided to delve into this breed a bit deeper to let you know all the relevant facts about their shedding behavior and how you can keep this under control.
Do American Foxhounds Shed?
Like with all dog breeds an element of shedding is to be expected however, you will be pleased to hear that American Foxhounds shed in only moderate amounts. This means that the shedding habits of this breed are generally very manageable with the right amount of care so you are not likely to be drowning in lose fur every two minutes as with some other dog breeds (*cough *cough we mean you Huskies!).
Why Do American Foxhounds Shed?
Shedding is a normal process for American Foxhounds. Shedding is the process of removing old and damaged fur to make room for new, healthy hair to grow. Most hair will fall out naturally however grooming and using a de-shedding brush can also be helpful to aid the process. Shedding will usually occur a couple of times a year how as a dog owner you should expect an element of shedding in smaller amounts all year round.
What Type Of Coat Do American Foxhounds Have?
American Foxhounds have a short to medium-length coat. Their fur lies close to the body and has a rough, hard texture which historically protected their body from brushes and briars in the field during hunts. They do not have double coats as with some breeds which helps significantly with the level of shedding that takes place. This breeds coats come in a variety of colors, however, black, white and tan is prevalent.
Are American Foxhounds Hypoallergenic?
No, American Foxhounds are not known to be hypoallergenic. No dog breed is 100% hypoallergenic however it is fair to say that some breeds are much easier for allergy sufferers to be around. American Foxhounds shed far less than a lot of other breeds which means there is less dander clinging to their hair. Dander is the root cause for allergy sufferers and the less shedding that occurs, the more comfortable they are likely to be.
What Affects The Amount Of Shedding?
Several factors affect the amount of shedding you will experience with your American Foxhound. In general, you should expect shedding to occur a couple of times a year however there are some key scenarios when shedding is a given.
As your American Foxhound ages, you will likely find that they shed much more throughout the year. The hair gets much thinner and the roots a lot weaker when a dog reaches old age. This a natural process and not something to be concerned about, however, it may be the case that as your dog has aged their nutritional needs have changed somewhat.
A change in season is often a time when American Foxhounds tend to shed much more. Typically spring and autumn are the key times for shedding. In spring your dog will shed in preparation for the summer so they do not overheat with a thick coat. In autumn you will notice your dog’s coat starts to change in preparation for the winter which can also be a time that results in heavy amounts of shedding.
One of the key reasons for bathing an American Foxhound is to help deal with the level of shedding. There’s no doubt about it a dunk in the bath can result in removing all the loose fur in a confined space that would normally end up all over your home. American Foxhounds do not shed excessively all year round and therefore bathing is not required weekly as with some other breeds.
Heat Cycle Female
When a female American Foxhound is in heat many hormonal changes take place. During this time the estrus cycle is ramping up. This hormonal change can result in excess stress which in turn can result in hair loss and shedding. This is a perfectly normal scenario and you will find once the heat cycle is over, the shedding will decrease significantly.
How To Control Shedding
When your American Foxhound starts shedding it can seem like your home has become messy and dirty. There are a few ways in which you can help manage shedding as follows:
Clean The House
Cleaning up the house regularly when your American Foxhound is shedding is a given. Often owners leave the mess for far too long which results in a mass build-up of hair. Once you do decide to clean it can often be a big job you have on your hand. Hoovering daily can help keep your home clean and mess-free more often and will not leave you with excess tidying at the end of a long week.
Use A Brush
Brushing regularly can also have a massive effect on shedding. It is true to say that American Foxhounds are not the biggest shedders however a short brush once a week can help keep the loose hairs at bay. It will also allow you to confine the loose hairs to a brush rather than all over your home.
Fatty Acid Supplements
Providing your American Foxhound with fatty acid supplements can be a great way to help combat excess shedding. Supplements that contain Omega 3’s such as fish oil can help reduce shedding levels and are also commonly used for dogs with skin problems.
Shedding can also be controlled through your dog’s diet. If your American Foxhound is not receiving all the right nutrients they need, particularly in older age then shedding is likely to become more apparent. It is always best to feed your dog nutrient-rich meats that are easily digested and absorbed which can improve overall health including the reduction of shedding.
Best Tools For Brushing American Foxhounds
American Foxhounds have reasonably short coats that only require once a week grooming. The fur does not get tangled or matted very easily and therefore rubber grooming brushes are usually a good choice. They are gentle on the skin and easy for the groomer to use. These types of brushes will effectively remove all the loose fur and have great massaging effects which essentially means you can pamper and relax your dog at the same time. Furminator brushes are also a good choice as an alternative to rubber brushes.
Tips For Brushing Effectively
Here are some key tips for brushing your American Foxhound efficiently:
- Stick to a regular routine and brush on a weekly basis (dogs love routine)
- Brush down and out away from your dog’s skin
- Always brush in the direction the coat lies. Dogs hate when you brush them backwards
- Be gentle when brushing to avoid damaging and snapping the hair
- Try to detangle knotted hair gently by hand before intervening with the brush
- If you encounter tight mats of fur try loosening the knots with conditioner or may spray. This can help to release the fur so you can give it a god brush
- Do not over brush your American Foxhound. This can cause soreness and skin conditions.
What’s The Difference Between American And English Foxhounds?
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.
Should I bathe my American Foxhound?
American Foxhounds have reasonably short hair that does not tend to get tangled very easily or shed frequently. Weekly bathing is not necessary for this breed however bathing when your dog has become particularly muddy or dirty is usually a good idea. Once a month is an ample amount of bathing for an American Foxhound.
When will my American Foxhound shed?
American Foxhounds generally have a full shed twice a year. During this time you will notice much more hair around the home so investing in a good vacuum is a good idea. In-between these times American Foxhounds shed very little and therefore do not require large amounts of grooming.
What should I do if my American Foxhound doesn’t like to be brushed?
Not every dog likes a groom and American Foxhounds can be quite strong-willed and stubborn when they want to be. The key to brushing a dog that doesn’t like grooming is to make the process fun. Invest in a rubber brush with massaging effects to fool your dog into thinking they aren’t actually being brushed. Praise and reward is also key since dogs will literally do anything for a tasty snack as a reward for good behavior.
In conclusion, do American Foxhounds shed a lot? Well, they do shed like most dogs, but good the news is, thanks to their relatively short, manageable coat shedding is usually limited to a few times a year in small to medium amounts which vary from dog to dog. Shedding cannot be stopped completely however there are many steps you can take to reduce this natural occurrence. Always ensure you make time to brush your dog once a week. Make sure the food you feed is of good quality and has a high nutritional content to help reduce shedding. Fatty oil supplements can also be a great addition to your dog’s diet. Above all, hoover your home daily to stop a build of hair which can be a huge job if only attended to weekly.