American Foxhound facts for kids
The American Foxhound is a breed of dog that is a cousin of the English Foxhound. They are scent hounds, bred to hunt foxes by scent.
In 1650, Robert Brooke sailed from England to Crown Colony in North America with his pack of hunting dogs, which were the beginnings of several strains of American Hounds. Dogs of this bloodline remained in the Brooke family for nearly 300 years.
George Washington had French Foxhounds, many of the dogs Washington kept were descended from Brooke's, and when crossed with the French hounds, helped to create the present day American Foxhound. The American Foxhound is known to have originated in the states of Maryland and Virginia, and is the state dog of Virginia. The breed was developed for the sport of hunting foxes.
One quality that the American Foxhound is famous for is its musical howl that can be heard for miles. This is actually one reason why this breed does not do well in city settings.
Today, there are many different strains of American Foxhound, though each strain looks quite different, they are all recognized as members of the same breed. The breed was first recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1886.
While standards call for the American Foxhound to be about 21–25 in (53–64 cm) tall to the withers, and weigh anywhere between 55–71 lb (25–32 kg), many of them are larger in structure, with males standing 26–29 in (66–74 cm) and females 25–28 in (64–71 cm) and smaller in weight, typically between 45–65 lb (20–29 kg).
The legs of a Foxhound are very long and straight-boned. The foxhound's chest is rather narrow. It has a long muzzle, and a large, domed skull. The ears are wide and low-set. The eyes are hazel or brown, and are large and wide-set. The breed's lifespan is generally 10–12 years.
A close, hard hound coat of medium length, and any color, though the combination of black, white and tan is prevalent. American Foxhounds do tend to shed a good amount of hair, but a weekly brushing will decrease shedding.
The American Foxhound has a very docile and sweet nature. A typical dog is gentle, easygoing, and gets along with children and other animals. However, they may act shy and reserved when around strangers.
The American Foxhound is a very active breed and very high energy. They require a lot of exercise and do best in habitats where they have room to run. If they live in a suburban area such as a neighborhood, they should have a fenced in yard and be taken on multiple walks daily.
Obedience training is essential for this breed due to their independence and natural instinct to follow a scent. A Foxhound who picks up a scent will follow it while ignoring commands; training requires patience and skill because of the breed's independence and occasional stubbornness.
Because of its strong hunting instinct, American Foxhounds should not be trusted off-leash. Most scent hounds are bred to give "voice," but the Foxhound does not make a good watchdog.
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American Foxhound Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.