American Foxhound

Table of Contents

The American Foxhound, known for its stamina and endurance, is a breed deeply rooted in American history. Developed in the United States, this breed descended from English Foxhounds brought over in the 17th century.

They were later refined with French hounds to enhance their speed and hunting capabilities. Standing tall at 21 to 25 inches and weighing between 60 to 70 pounds, American Foxhounds exhibit a lean, muscular build. Their coat, which is short and hard, comes in various colors, including black, tan, and white. With a gentle and friendly demeanor, they are as much a companionable pet as they are a determined hunter.

This breed’s distinguishing feature is its incredible sense of smell and penchant for tracking. American Foxhounds are skilled at following scent trails, making them a top choice for hunters of fox and other game. However, their strong hunting instinct means they require ample space to roam and exercise.

Ideally suited for rural settings, these dogs thrive in environments where they can explore and stay active. Their melodious bark, a hallmark of the breed, was historically used to alert hunters, but it can be a consideration for those in more residential settings.

In terms of temperament, American Foxhounds are known for their kind and easy-going nature. They are generally good with children and other dogs, but early socialization is key to fostering their gentle demeanor.

Despite their laid-back attitude at home, they are energetic and require consistent exercise to keep them content. Their intelligence and independent streak call for patient, consistent training methods. With a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years, the American Foxhound is a loyal and enduring companion for those who can accommodate their love for activity and exploration.

Breed Snapshot

Life Expectancy:

11 to 13 years



Maintenance Level:


Shed Level


Best For

The American Foxhound is best suited for:

  1. Active Individuals or Families: Given their high energy and stamina, American Foxhounds thrive with active owners who can provide them with ample exercise. They’re a great fit for families who enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, jogging, or hunting.

  2. Rural or Suburban Settings: This breed is ideally suited for homes with large, fenced yards or farms where they have plenty of space to roam and explore. Their strong hunting instincts and love for the outdoors make urban living a challenge.

  3. Experienced Dog Owners: Owners with prior experience in handling and training hounds would be ideal, as American Foxhounds can be independent and may require patient, consistent training.

  4. Hunting Enthusiasts: Their exceptional tracking abilities and endurance make them excellent companions for hunting and tracking activities.

  5. Households with Other Dogs: Generally sociable with other dogs, they can do well in multi-pet households, especially when raised together from a young age.

American Foxhound Traits

Breed Characteristics

American Foxhounds are known for their endurance, strong scenting ability, and gentle temperament. They have a lean, muscular build and a melodious bark, making them excellent hunting companions and active family pets. Friendly and good with children, they thrive in spacious, rural settings and require consistent exercise. Their independent nature calls for patient training, and they generally get along well with other dogs.

When raising an American Foxhound, you can anticipate a range of qualities rated from 1 star (low) to 5 star (high). These traits, evaluated by various pet experts including dog trainers, veterinarians, and behaviorists, give an insight into the breed’s general characteristics. However, it’s important to remember that each American Foxhound is unique, and not all may align perfectly with these typical attributes.


Exercise Needs
Health Issues
Barking Tendencies
Grooming Needs
Shedding Level
Training Needs
Good With Kids
Good With Cats
Good As A Service Dog
Good For Apartments & Small Homes
Biting Tendencies
Energy Level
Good With Other Dogs
Sensitive to Cold Weather
Sensitive to Warm Weather
Good For First Time Pet Parents

Breed Appearance

The American Foxhound, a breed renowned for its hunting prowess and distinguished history, possesses a distinctive appearance characterized by several key traits:

1. Ears
Their ears are long and wide, hanging close to the cheeks, giving them a classic hound look.
2. Eyes
They have large, soft eyes that are usually hazel or brown, adding to their friendly appearance.
3. Nose
The American Foxhound typically has a nose that is large and black, a feature that complements their renowned scenting abilities, essential for a hunting breed.
4. Height
The breed is relatively tall, standing at about 21 to 25 inches at the shoulder.
5. Coat 

The coat of the American Foxhound is short, dense, and hard, providing protection in various weather conditions. The coat comes in a variety of colors, including black, tan, and white, often in a tri-color pattern.

6. Gait
The American Foxhound moves with a free and easy gait, covering the ground effortlessly. This is reflective of their endurance and speed, essential traits for a hunting dog.
7. Tail
The tail is set moderately high and carried gaily, but not curled over the back. It’s a defining feature that often shows the breed’s mood and energy levels.
8. Weight
As for their weight, they generally range between 60 to 70 pounds, a size that balances their need for agility and endurance in the field.

American Foxhound Temperament

The American Foxhound is known for its friendly and sociable temperament, marked by a mix of independence and affection. They are good with children and other dogs, making them excellent family pets. Energetic and playful outdoors, they require regular exercise and do well in active households.

Their intelligence and independent nature can sometimes challenge training, which requires patience and consistency. This breed is also vocal, known for its melodious bark, and thrives in environments where they have space to explore.

How to Care for a American Foxhound

Caring for an American Fox Terrier presents a rewarding journey, blending the joys of companionship with the excitement of engaging with an energetic and intelligent breed. Known for their spirited nature, these terriers demand an active lifestyle, complemented by consistent training and social interaction.

As a pet parent to an American Fox Terrier, you embark on a fulfilling path of nurturing a vibrant, affectionate companion who thrives on both physical activity and mental stimulation. Your commitment to their well-being not only ensures a healthy and happy dog but also deepens the bond between you and your spirited four-legged friend.

Grooming an American Fox Terrier is a straightforward yet essential aspect of their care, keeping them looking sharp and feeling comfortable. Begin with regular brushing, about twice a week, using a firm bristle brush. This routine not only removes loose hair and maintains their sleek coat but also provides an opportunity to bond with your pet.

Bathing your Fox Terrier every few months, or when they get particularly dirty, is sufficient. Use a gentle dog-specific shampoo to keep their skin healthy and coat shiny. Be sure to rinse thoroughly to avoid any residue that might irritate their skin.

Pay special attention to their nails, trimming them regularly to prevent discomfort or mobility issues. If you hear their nails clicking on the floor, it’s time for a trim. For those not comfortable with doing this at home, a professional groomer or veterinarian can assist.

Ear care is crucial. Check their ears weekly for signs of infection, irritation, or wax build-up and clean them using a vet-approved ear cleaner. Be gentle and avoid inserting anything deep into the ear canal.

Oral hygiene can’t be overlooked. Brush their teeth several times a week with dog-specific toothpaste to prevent tartar build-up and maintain overall dental health.

Finally, keep an eye on their eyes, wiping away any discharge with a soft, damp cloth and watching for any signs of irritation or unusual symptoms.

Incorporating these grooming practices into your routine ensures your American Fox Terrier not only looks their best but also helps in early detection of potential health issues. Plus, these moments of care strengthen the bond you share with your furry companion.

Training an American Fox Terrier is both a rewarding and challenging experience, given their intelligent yet sometimes stubborn nature. Start with basic obedience training early on, teaching commands like ‘sit’, ‘stay’, ‘come’, and ‘heel’. Consistency is key in training sessions – establish clear rules and stick to them, ensuring all family members do the same.

Positive reinforcement techniques work wonders with this breed. Use treats, praise, and play as rewards for good behavior. This approach not only encourages them but also strengthens your bond. Keep training sessions short and engaging to hold their attention, as Fox Terriers can easily get bored with repetitive tasks.

Socialization is crucial from a young age. Expose your Fox Terrier to different people, animals, and environments to develop their confidence and reduce any potential for aggressive or fearful behavior. Puppy classes can be a great way to socialize in a controlled setting.

As Fox Terriers are known for their high energy levels, incorporate training into play and exercise. Activities like fetch, agility courses, or hide-and-seek can be fun ways to train while burning off energy.

Address any signs of problematic behavior, like excessive barking or digging, early on. Understanding the root cause, whether it’s boredom, anxiety, or lack of exercise, helps in addressing these issues effectively.

Remember, patience and persistence are key. Some behaviors may take longer to train, but with a consistent and understanding approach, your American Fox Terrier can become a well-behaved and delightful companion.

Maintaining a balanced diet and proper nutrition is crucial for the health and well-being of an American Fox Terrier. Start by choosing a high-quality dog food that’s appropriate for their age, size, and energy level. An adult Fox Terrier typically thrives on a diet formulated for small to medium breeds with high energy.

Protein is a key component of their diet; it supports muscle health and overall energy needs. Look for dog foods where real meat, like chicken, beef, or fish, is listed as the first ingredient. However, balance is essential. Alongside protein, ensure their diet includes healthy fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals to support overall health.

Pay attention to portion sizes to prevent overfeeding, as Fox Terriers can be prone to weight gain. Use the feeding guidelines on the dog food packaging as a starting point, and adjust as necessary based on your dog’s activity level and weight. Feeding them two smaller meals a day, rather than one large one, can aid in digestion and energy management.

Fresh water should be available at all times, especially after exercise and during hot weather, to keep them hydrated.

Treats can be a useful tool in training, but use them sparingly. Opt for healthy treat options and remember that treats should make up only a small portion of their daily food intake.

Regularly monitor your Fox Terrier’s weight and body condition. If you notice any significant changes in their weight or eating habits, consult with your veterinarian, as they may require dietary adjustments.

Lastly, be mindful of foods that are harmful to dogs, such as chocolate, grapes, onions, and products containing xylitol. Keeping these out of reach ensures your Fox Terrier stays safe and healthy.

In summary, a balanced diet, controlled portions, and constant access to fresh water are the pillars of good nutrition for an American Fox Terrier, keeping them energetic and healthy throughout their life.

Exercise is a vital component of an American Fox Terrier’s daily routine, crucial for maintaining their physical health and mental well-being. This breed is known for its high energy levels and requires regular, vigorous exercise to stay fit and happy.

Start with daily walks or jogs, which not only provide physical exercise but also offer mental stimulation from the new sights, sounds, and smells they encounter. Aim for at least 30 to 45 minutes of brisk walking each day, which can be split into two sessions if more convenient.

Incorporate playtime into their exercise routine. Activities like fetch, tug-of-war, or frisbee not only burn off extra energy but also strengthen the bond between you and your dog. American Fox Terriers are also known to excel in dog sports, so consider agility training or obedience classes, which offer both physical exercise and mental challenges.

Ensure they have a safe, enclosed space for off-leash play. This breed’s strong hunting instincts mean they might chase after small animals or follow an interesting scent, so it’s important to exercise them in secure areas.

Mental exercise is just as important. Interactive toys, puzzle feeders, and scent games can keep their minds active and engaged, preventing boredom and potential destructive behavior.

Remember to tailor the exercise to your dog’s age, health status, and energy level. Puppies and senior dogs have different exercise requirements compared to adult dogs. Also, be mindful of weather conditions, providing plenty of water and avoiding strenuous activity in extreme heat or cold.

Regular exercise helps in managing potential behavior issues common in high-energy breeds like the American Fox Terrier, such as excessive barking or digging. By maintaining a consistent exercise regimen, you ensure your American Fox Terrier remains a well-rounded, content, and healthy companion.

The ideal environment for an American Fox Terrier combines ample space for exercise with a stimulating and interactive atmosphere. These energetic dogs flourish in environments where they have room to explore and play, making a home with a securely fenced yard an excellent choice. However, they can adapt to apartment living as long as their exercise needs are adequately met with regular walks, playtime, and mental stimulation.

Engagement is key for this intelligent breed. An environment that offers various interactive toys, opportunities for play, and involvement in activities like agility or obedience training can greatly benefit their mental health and overall well-being. The American Fox Terrier’s curious and active nature means they thrive on being part of family activities, whether it’s a hike in the woods or a game in the park.

Social interaction plays a vital role in their happiness. They generally get along well with other dogs and can live happily in multi-pet households, especially if raised together from a young age. Early and consistent socialization is important to nurture their friendly disposition.

It’s essential to consider that the American Fox Terrier has a strong prey drive. An environment that minimizes the temptation to chase small animals, or where such behaviors can be safely managed, is ideal. Secure fencing and vigilant supervision during outdoor activities are necessary to keep them safe.

Owners who can offer a balance of physical activity, mental challenges, and consistent training will provide the most suitable environment for an American Fox Terrier. In such settings, they not only thrive but also become well-behaved and enjoyable companions.

American Foxhound Health

The American Foxhound, known for its stamina and athleticism, generally enjoys robust health, but like all breeds, it has specific health considerations. Being aware of these can help ensure a long and healthy life for these hounds.

  1. Genetic Health Issues:

    • Hip Dysplasia: A common condition in many dog breeds, hip dysplasia is a malformation of the hip joint that can lead to arthritis and mobility issues.
    • Thrombocytopathy: This is a blood disorder found in some Foxhounds, affecting the blood’s ability to clot.
    • Ear Infections: Due to their long ears, they are prone to ear infections, which require regular monitoring and cleaning.
  2. General Health Care:

    • Dental Health: Regular dental care, including brushing and professional cleanings, is important to prevent gum disease and tooth decay.
    • Vaccinations and Parasite Control: Keeping up with routine vaccinations and preventive treatments for parasites like fleas, ticks, and worms is crucial.
  3. Diet and Nutrition:

    • Foxhounds require a balanced diet tailored to their age, size, and activity level. Overfeeding can lead to obesity, which strains their joints and can contribute to other health problems.
    • Fresh water should always be available, especially since Foxhounds can be quite active and may require more hydration.
  4. Exercise and Weight Management:

    • Regular exercise is key to maintaining their muscle tone and overall health. However, it’s important to balance exercise with rest, especially as they age.
    • Monitoring their weight is essential. Sudden weight gain or loss can be a sign of an underlying health issue.
  5. Routine Veterinary Check-ups:

    • Regular check-ups with a veterinarian can help catch and manage any health issues early. Annual visits are recommended, with more frequent check-ups for older dogs.
  6. Mental Health:

    • Mental stimulation is just as important as physical exercise. Foxhounds are intelligent dogs and benefit from activities that keep their minds active.
  7. Skin Care:

    • Their short coat is generally easy to care for, but regular grooming can help identify any skin issues, like allergies or parasites, early on.
  8. Aging Concerns:

    • As Foxhounds age, they may develop age-related conditions like arthritis. Adjustments in their diet, exercise regimen, and living arrangements (like providing softer bedding) can improve their quality of life.

By focusing on these aspects of health care, owners can help their American Foxhounds lead happy, active lives. Regular veterinary care, a balanced diet, and consistent exercise are the cornerstones of maintaining the he

American Foxhound Breed Comparison and Consideration

When considering an American Foxhound, it’s useful to compare them with other breeds to understand how they might fit into your lifestyle. Here’s a brief comparison with some popular breeds:

Compared to Beagles:

  • American Foxhounds are larger and generally more independent than Beagles. While both breeds are scent hounds with a strong sense of smell, Foxhounds are more energetic and require more exercise.
  • Beagles tend to be more adaptable to smaller living spaces like apartments, whereas Foxhounds thrive in environments with more room to roam.

Compared to Labrador Retrievers:

  • Labradors are typically more adaptable to various living situations and might be better suited for families with small children due to their gentle nature.
  • American Foxhounds have higher exercise requirements and a stronger prey drive compared to Labradors.

Compared to Greyhounds:

  • Both breeds are fast and athletic, but American Foxhounds have more endurance for long-distance activities, while Greyhounds are sprinters.
  • Greyhounds are quieter and may be more suitable for urban living, whereas Foxhounds are known for their loud baying.

Compared to Coonhounds:

  • Both being hounds, American Foxhounds and Coonhounds share many traits, such as a strong hunting instinct and a love for the outdoors. However, Coonhounds might be more vocal and have a stronger prey drive.
  • American Foxhounds are often more independent and may require more patience during training.

Considerations for Choosing an American Foxhound:

  • Ideal for active individuals or families who can provide ample outdoor space and exercise.
  • Their independent nature and strong prey drive require consistent, positive training and secure containment.
  • They are social dogs and do well in households with other dogs, but their interaction with non-canine pets should be supervised.
  • Not ideal for apartment living due to their need for space and potential for vocalization.

In summary, the American Foxhound is best suited for an active lifestyle in a spacious environment. They are a great choice for those who appreciate long outdoor adventures and have the patience to train a breed with an independent streak.


American Foxhounds are high-energy dogs that require significant daily exercise. Ideally, they should have at least an hour or more of physical activity each day, including walks, runs, and playtime.

Yes, American Foxhounds are generally good with children, known for their gentle and friendly nature. They can coexist peacefully with other dogs, but their high prey drive means caution is advised around small non-canine pets.

They are known for their distinctive bay, which can be quite loud. They might not be the best choice for noise-sensitive environments or apartment living.

They can be independent and sometimes stubborn, which might challenge training efforts. However, with consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement, they can be well-trained.

They are generally healthy, but some may be prone to patellar luxation, Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, and some cardiac issues. Regular vet check-ups are important.

Due to their exercise needs and independent nature, they might be better suited for experienced dog owners. However, with the right commitment to training and exercise, they can still be a good match for a dedicated first-time owner.

Their grooming needs are relatively low. They have a short coat that requires occasional brushing to remove loose hair and bathing as needed.

While they can adapt to apartment living, their size, energy levels, and vocalization might make it challenging. They are best suited to homes with more space, such as a house with a yard.

They are generally healthy, but some can be prone to hip dysplasia, ear infections, and thrombocytopathy, a blood disorder.

A balanced diet formulated for high-energy breeds is ideal. It’s important to monitor their food intake and ensure they maintain a healthy weight, as they can be prone to obesity.

Top Takeaways

The American Foxhound stands out as a remarkable breed for several key reasons. First and foremost, they are a bundle of energy, requiring ample exercise and space, making them perfect for active families or individuals who love outdoor adventures.

Their friendly and sociable nature means they fit well into family life, getting along with children and other pets, though their strong prey drive calls for mindful supervision. Training these intelligent yet independent hounds demands patience and consistency, but the effort pays off in developing a well-behaved companion.

They thrive in spacious environments, ideally a house with a yard, rather than in confined apartment settings. Their melodious bark is a breed hallmark, which, while charming, might not suit noise-sensitive living situations.

Low maintenance in grooming but high on the activity scale, the American Foxhound is a loyal, affectionate, and enduring companion for those ready to match their dynamic lifestyle.

American Foxhound Names

These are the top American Foxhound names as chosen by Pawstray pet parents!

Female Names


Ginger Adam









Male Names











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