The English Foxhound is a healthy breed with very few congenital or hereditary illnesses. The breed was developed back in 1750 by mixing several kinds of hounds with other breeds to get a dog that could track a fox. They are a medium sized dog about 25 inches tall and 55 to 75 pounds. They come in many color combinations and they are built for endurance rather than speed. With their large brown eyes and gentle expression, the English Foxhound looks sweet and friendly. Although they were bred for hunting fox, they are also excellent companion pets and watchdogs. However, they can be noisy because they like to bay.
In the middle of the 1700s, fox hunters wanted a dog that could track and chase a fox for long periods of time. To do this, they crossed a variety of hounds such as the Bloodhound, Deerhound, Greyhound, and Staghound with the Fox Terrier, Whippet, and Bulldog to create the English Foxhound. At that time, this was a sport for the wealthy men who became more interested in running with their English Foxhounds than hunting foxes. They started breeding them in certain color combinations and markings to create attractive packs that contained 50 hounds or more. This became a popular pastime and then a business as more and more people of royalty began to buy these dogs for packs. They were brought to the United States by colonists from Britain in the 17th century. After the English Foxhound came to the United States in the late 1700s, American breeders crossed them with other dogs to create an American Foxhound. The English Foxhound was officially listed by the American Kennel Club in 1909 but is still not popular as a pet or show dog. They are one of four Foxhound breeds, which include the American Foxhound, Dumfriesshire Foxhound, and the Black and Tan Virginia Foxhound. They do make good house pets but are still happier being a part of a working or hunting pack and they get along well with other dogs. They are rare in the United States because the American Foxhound is much more popular. Some of the more famous owners of English Foxhounds include George Washington and Thomas Lord Fairfax from Virginia.
The English Foxhound is a careful balance of good looks, talent, and stamina. With straight, muscular legs, a strong, level back, and deep chest, they are ready for hunting or running any time you want. They have a long neck, full sized, flat head, large nose with big nostrils, pronounced brow, low lying rounded ears, complete scissor bite, and medium sized brown or hazel eyes. The coat is short, shiny, weatherproof, and dense in any color combination of hound colors. These colors include white, tan, and black. However, there is also a color combination of white and yellow and just plain white as well. Their feet are rounded and cat-like with a strong horn and knuckles while their legs should be strong and straight. The English Foxhound has a long tail that is carried upright but usually not curled over the back. In addition, they are shorter than the other Foxhounds at only about 25 inches tall.
The English Foxhound only needs to be brushed once a week with a rubber curry brush or hound mitt. This helps remove any dead hair to control shedding. It also helps distribute the oils from the skin, which conditions the coat naturally. You can bathe your English Foxhound as needed. Use a mild dog shampoo and conditioner approved by your veterinary care provider. During grooming, you should check their eyes for discharge or other issues and look at your dog’s ears to check for wax, dirt, and other debris. Because their ears are pendulous, they can have a tendency to hold moisture and cause infections such as otitis media. Yeast infections and mites are also common in dogs with pendulous ears. You may need to trim your dog’s nails once a month or so, depending on your dog. This can be done at home with a veterinary approved nail grinder or clipper or you can have it done by your veterinarian. Brush your dog’s teeth daily to prevent tooth decay and bad breath.