Kind, loyal, easygoing, and sweet; the American Foxhound has a great stamina. This is a breed that loves to run around so he can be a great companion to people who are athletic and people who live in rural areas who can keep up with all the jogging and all the action. They have a love for the outdoors and they want nothing more than to be up and about the whole day. American Foxhounds get along well with children, as well as other dogs so it is easy to raise them along with other pets. One of the American Foxhounds’ best qualities is his love for swimming.
The Root of the Behavior
There are some dogs that seem to only dip a toe in the water but there are breeds which are certainly born for the water. They are developed to work in the water even though they are perfectly happy on land. If you want a companion that enjoys swimming as much as you do, the American Foxhound is for you. Bred to specifically hunt gray and red foxes in the open fields, river valleys, and woodlands, the American Foxhound descended from English hounds that were brought to the United States in 1650. The American Foxhound has plenty of energy and one way for them to use up that extra energy is by swimming. Being bred to run full throttle on the heels of a fox, a bored Foxhound will create his own entertainment, something which you probably will not like.
The Foxhound loves water because they were introduced to water in a pleasant way from an early age. Most foxhounds learn how to swim as soon as they learn to socialize. However, even if they swim well, they can also tire quickly, especially if they are at an advanced age. Some just seem to tire quickly because they do not know the concept of resting or treading water. All they want is to swim and just swim until they can no longer swim anymore. So, when you do swim with your Foxhound, you should not let him swim too far away from you. He can get into trouble quickly so you must always keep watch. One of the tips which you need to keep in mind is to rinse your dog after swimming. There are plenty of things that can damage his fur such as algae, chlorine, salt, and seawater minerals. If your Foxhound happens to have a flea collar, you should make it a point to remove it before letting him go in the water because water can easily wash off the collar’s active ingredients.
Encouraging the Behavior
Although as a breed the American Foxhound is known to be a good swimmer, there may be some dogs that are not able to. So, how do you get them to love the water as much as you do? Start slow and always use a floatation device. Never just simply drop a dog in water into the pool or any body of water. There are also some natural swimmers which need a little encouragement to get into the water but others just need to gradually get used to the water. If you notice that your dog is hesitant, you can try wading in the water yourself and encourage him to follow. Do not forget to give him plenty of praise if he does.
A shallow spot is a good place to get him used to the water. Once he is okay, you can gradually go into deeper water. Throw a floating toy for him to retrieve once you are sure they are comfortable swimming. Call him and encourage him to swim back to you and again give him praise. Another alternative to wading in the water yourself is to bring your pet to a group of swimming dogs. There are some dogs that learn faster when they are in the presence of their fellow canines.
Other Solutions and Considerations
Even though your dog loves to swim, you still have to take a few precautions to make sure he is safe while he is in the water. Dogs can seem like a tasty snack to alligators, sharks, and large snakes. There may also be parasites and bacteria in the water which can harm your dog. Always be cautious when taking your dog to unfamiliar bodies of water and always consult the veterinarian if you find him a bit sick after a swim. If you have a young American Foxhound, do not assume that he knows how to swim. Just because their breed is known as good swimmers, it does not mean that all of them know how to swim automatically.
The American Foxhound is a fairly healthy breed that will love being active with you. If you are looking for a canine companion that will gladly go on early morning jogs as well as swimming trips with you, then the American Foxhound is the right partner for you. However, you should always get to know the breed more as you would any other dog which you plan on getting.
By a Chow Chow lover Jhoana Carla de Toro
Published: 04/15/2018, edited: 01/30/2020