The Running Walker Foxhound breed was developed in Kentucky the
mid to late 1800s in order to track and hunt the red fox which had recently
migrated west from the Virginia area. A breeder by the name of George
Washington Maupin found that although his foxhounds were considered to be some
of the best in the region at hunting the grey foxes that were native to the
area, they had a tendency to lose track of the larger and farther ranging red
Maupin tried using both hounds from Virginia as well as English
Foxhounds to develop a dog with the proper temperament
and skill to hunt the red foxes, but his
hounds were still unable to bring the fox to ground. In 1952, Maupin found the
keystone to his new hound dogs in a rat-tailed black and tan hound of indeterminate parentage.
The hound, dubbed Tennessee Lead, was acquired from a man named
Tom Harris, who history tells us found the dog during a deer hunt near the
Kentucky border and carried him home prior to selling him to Maupin. Tennessee
Lead was a talented hunting dog in general, and
he was exceptionally adept at hunting the red foxes that had been giving the
other types of hound so much trouble.
Tennessee Lead was used extensively as a
stud dog, crossed with both Virginia and English Foxhounds as well as other
breeds of hound dogs. This mix led to or contributed to the development of
several different dog breeds, including Black and Tan Coonhounds, Treeing
Walker Coonhounds, the Trigg hound, and, of course, Running Walker Foxhounds.
While the Running Walker is similar in appearance to the other hound dogs out
of Tennessee Lead, their hunting style is different from many of the others.
While many other hounds specialize in tracking an cornering prey that climbs
trees for safety, the Running Walker Foxhound prefers to follow trails that
stay on the ground and has the tenacity to follow their prey for longer