The foxhound was first brought to America by European settlers, but American breeders wanted to develop a dog that was taller and faster, one that was more suited to the terrain of the New World. George Washington was one of the first American foxhound breeders, attempting to improve the pack that he kept at Mount Vernon by breeding them with hounds from Britain and France. Today, this breed is a hard-working hunter that loves to be a part of the pack.
Foxhounds are bred to be independent on the hunt, where they need little direction from their human companions. This independent streak can make training them a challenge, especially if brought up in a pack of other hunting dogs. If they're brought up with a family and bond with their owners early on, they can be a well-behaved companion, but it requires a lot of time, training, and attention.
Foxhounds are a healthy breed that can live as long as 13 years. They aren't known to have any hereditary conditions but are prone to developing thrombocytopathy. This condition can result in excessive bleeding from minor cuts and may or may not require treatment, depending on severity. Foxhounds grow to as tall as 25 inches at the shoulder and weight between 40 and 60 pounds.
This is not an apartment dog. They bay and howl loudly and do not like to sit around at home. Foxhounds need room to run and explore. They need a large yard to run around in or multiple long walks with a lot of time to explore. When a foxhound catches a scent, they're off, and there's not much you can do to stop them.
Foxhounds can run and explore for miles. They are often raised outdoors with a pack and are used to roughing it. If kept with another foxhound or two in a safe shelter, they do just fine living outside. If alone, though, they should be in the house with their families, so they don't get lonely.
All hounds like to eat, and the foxhound is no exception. Although they have a lot of energy to burn off, you still have to be careful not to overfeed them. Measure out their meals twice a day instead of leaving food out all the time, and be careful using treats as rewards.
Foxhounds have medium-length coats that are rather hard to protect them from the branches and brush they come in contact with while on the hunt. Their coats can be spotted with a number of colors, including black, white, brown, tan, and red. They also come in solid colors, like blue, red, and tan.
Grooming a foxhound is extremely simple. Use a firm brush once a week to remove dirt and spread the natural oils to keep their coat shiny. You only have to worry about bathing a foxhound when it gets visibly dirty or start to smell. Check their paws frequently, especially if they spend a lot of time outside, and clean and inspect the ears once a week.
Foxhounds are great with kids. They are so patient and loving that they have been known to let toddlers hold onto them when learning to walk. Foxhounds do have a lot of energy to burn off, though, so watch them carefully, especially with young kids. They can live with cats and small animals like rabbits when brought up together, but don't leave them alone unless you know you can trust them together.
Foxhounds love being around other dogs. They were raised in large packs and are always happy to be with their canine friends. It isn't hard for them to adapt to being the only pet, though, as long as you give them the attention, exercise, and socialization they need. If you're going to leave a foxhound at home alone all day, they tend to be happier with at least one other dog in the house.
Today, there are four types of foxhounds. Field trail hounds are known for their speed, and slow-trailing hounds have a musical bray and are used for hunting foxes. Trail or drag hounds compete using artificial lures instead of living prey, and pack hounds run in packs of as many as 20 dogs with hunters on horseback.
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