American Foxhound

Canis lupus

Last updated: April 11, 2021
Verified by: AZ Animals Staff

The American Foxhound is the state dog of Virginia.

American Foxhound Scientific Classification

Scientific Name
Canis lupus

American Foxhound Conservation Status

American Foxhound Locations

American Foxhound Locations

American Foxhound Facts

Fun Fact
The American Foxhound is the state dog of Virginia.
Distinctive Feature
Long legs and wide, flat ears
Mix of affectionate, loving, and stubborn
Average Litter Size
Common Name
American Foxhound
Sweet, kind, loyal, and very loving!

American Foxhound Physical Characteristics

  • Black
  • White
  • Tan
Skin Type
10 to 12 years

American Foxhound Images

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American Foxhounds have a rather bony and tall figure, giving them a much larger size than the closely related English foxhound. They have an incredible sense of smell to pick up any scent, and they have a strong, prominent neck.

All these characteristics allow these dogs to have a greater speed and agility, especially over rough terrains. These dogs are known to expressively vocalize everything that they want to communicate to their owners. Their coat is of medium length and is usually stiff. They usually have a pleading and gentle expression on their face, allowing their strong sense of smell to guide them to the scent that they pick up.

3 Pros and Cons of Owning an American Foxhound

Before you adopt any pet, you need to know what’s in store. The American foxhound is an incredible dog but getting a clear perspective of what this dog is like can ensure that you make the right choice. Here are some pros and cons of owning the American foxhounds:

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Pros! Cons!
Gentle: These dogs are known for their gentle nature, making them excellent family dogs. Barking: These dogs have personalities that are a mix of gentle and loud. As nice as they can be, they tend to bark a lot to get attention, alert owners of danger, and more. If you want a dog who stays silent, this might not be the perfect choice for you.
Friendly: If you are looking for a dog that copes well with constant interactions with guests, the American Foxhound’s disposition is well-matched for it. Exercise: These dogs require a lot of exercise. This demand is not a positive match for anyone that likes a quieter or more relaxed lifestyle.
Hunter: These dogs are used for hunting activities and are commonly made to engage in foxhunting. Their strong sense of smell improves their ability to find their prey. Not for apartments: These dogs are not for apartment dwellers as they need much more area just to themselves. Though a yard can help, they need room to roam.
The dog breed American Foxhound in a public park

American Foxhound Size and Weight

American foxhound dogs are taller than English foxhound dogs. The females are 21 to 24 inches in length, weighing about 40-60 pounds. The males are a little bigger, reaching 22-25 inches in length and weighing 45 to 65 pounds.

Height (Male) 22-25 inches tall
Height (Female) 21-24 inches tall
Weight (male) 45-65 lbs., fully grown
Weight (female) 40-60 lbs., fully grown

American Foxhound Common Health Issues

American foxhound dogs are generally healthy and not prone to many diseases, saving tons of money on veterinary visits. Hip dysplasia is one of the most common issues that can arise with this type of dog, due to their long legs. This condition occurs when the hip joint doesn’t line up properly in growth, and it can be incredibly painful.

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The issues that often plague these dogs have to do with their blood, including thrombocytopathy and Pelger–Huët. Thrombocytopathy covers a range of different blood disorders, impacting platelets in the blood. The Pelger–Huët anomaly impacts the white blood cells, though the issue is benign. American foxhounds are also prone to ear infections, which is easily treated.

Therefore, these are the health problems that are common in American foxhounds:

Health and Entertainment for your American Foxhound

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  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Ear infections
  • Thrombocytopathy
  • Pelger–Huët anomaly

American Foxhound Temperament

These dogs have a friendly temperament with both the owner’s family as well as other pets. They are affectionate, kind, and intelligent, making it a faithful companion for a family. They love to act as playmates of the family’s kids. However, American foxhounds can sometimes be aggressive with strangers.

These dogs have personalities that are a mix of gentle and destructive. The trigger for the destructiveness seems to be alone time since this pup becomes anxious when their owner goes away. As a way to satisfy the separation anxiety, they will start to chew, eat, and ultimately destroy things in your home. They’ll also whine to get their owners attention when they leave the room.

American foxhounds have great stamina and can run several miles at a time. However, they require a lot of exercise and are not suitable for apartment life at all.

How to Take Care of American Foxhounds

Every dog is different, and the American Foxhound has a few things that you should consider before you adopt one. Their diet, daily behavior, and even their early care as puppies will vary. However, with a few tips, understanding what they need is simple.

American Foxhound Food and Diet

With the outdoorsy nature of the American foxhound, a steady diet of both high quality meat and vegetables will keep their body strong. Traditionally, they are fed horsemeat when they hunt with their owners, and they’ll indulge in oatmeal as well. Cooked eggs and broccoli are favorites of the breed, though they should be given in moderation to avoid digestive upset or flatulence.

American Foxhound Maintenance and Grooming

The American foxhound has a short and dense coat. For grooming purposes, you would need to brush the coat once every week to remove all the dead hair and help in the distribution of skin oils. With moderate shedding, you can avoid excessive hair everywhere by brushing their coat frequently.

Bathing American foxhounds should be done on an as-needed basis. They’ll also need their nails and ears cleaned. Their teeth would need to be brushed for overall dental health, as well as to maintain a fresh breath.

American Foxhound Training

Training these dogs is not very difficult, though they can be independent and stubborn. You will have to be stern and firm for these dogs to effectively follow your training commands, lest they get their own ideas.

American Foxhound Exercise

These dogs require plenty of exercise daily. They have great stamina and can run for several miles at one time. If you ride a bike, you could allow your dog to run along with you while you cycle around.

Another possible exercise for them could be to allow these dogs to accompany you on your hiking trips. These dogs are also great jogging companions.

American Foxhound Puppies

Puppies need to be taken care of in the same way as you would take care of an adult dog. However, it would be great to start training the puppies earlier on so that they can develop good habits and can be trained easily.

The meals of the puppies should be broken into several small meals so that their little stomachs are able to digest the food.

American Foxhounds and Children

These dogs are known to be great with children. They absolutely love kids and are very tolerant towards them. They also help toddlers take their first steps. These dogs make great playmates.

Dogs Similar to American Foxhounds

If an American foxhound isn’t the right match for you, there are still many dog breeds that could find a happy place in your family. Here are some dogs that are similar to these dogs.

  • Bluetick Coonhound: Much like the American foxhounds, these dogs are also hunting dogs and is famous for picking up the scent with their “cold” nose. However, they are much larger, reaching approximately 80 lbs. when fully grown.
  • Beagle: These dogs are fun and loving and are very curious. They also have a sweet face and are very popular with families.
  • Basenji: These dogs are also hunting dogs and are advertised as “barkless dogs.” While they are not completely silent, they are much quieter than the American foxhounds.

Famous American Foxhounds

Some of the famous American foxhounds in history date back to the early formation of the United States. George Washington brought along two foxhounds, breeding them with French foxhounds.

Old Drum, the dog who was infamously killed by a neighbor of his owner in 1869, was an American foxhound.

Here are some of the popular names for these dogs:

  • Mickey
  • Jesse
  • Rudy
  • Gideon
  • Gaius
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American Foxhound FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Are American Foxhounds herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores?

American Foxhounds are Omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and other animals.

What Kingdom do American Foxhounds belong to?

American Foxhounds belong to the Kingdom Animalia.

What class do American Foxhounds belong to?

American Foxhounds belong to the class Mammalia.

What phylum to American Foxhounds belong to?

American Foxhounds belong to the phylum Chordata.

What family do American Foxhounds belong to?

American Foxhounds belong to the family Canidae.

What order do American Foxhounds belong to?

American Foxhounds belong to the order Carnivora.

What type of covering do American Foxhounds have?

American Foxhounds are covered in hair.

What genus do American Foxhounds belong to?

American Foxhounds belong to the genus Canis.

What are some distinguishing features of American Foxhounds?

American Foxhounds have long legs and wide, flat ears.

How many babies do American Foxhounds have?

The average number of babies an American Foxhound has is 7.

What is an interesting fact about American Foxhounds?

American Foxhounds are sweet, kind, loyal, and very loving!

What is the scientific name for the American Foxhound?

The scientific name for the American Foxhound is Canis lupus.

How much do American foxhounds cost to own?

Most breeders sell American foxhound puppies for $600 each.

Are American foxhounds good with kids?

Yes, these dogs are great with kids as they make great playmates.

How long do American foxhounds live?

American foxhounds live for about 10 to 12 years.

Why is the American foxhound Virginia's state dog?

American foxhounds were made to be the state dogs of Virginia after George Washington imported two foxhounds. Washington’s home was in Mount Vernon, which is amount 8 miles away from Alexandria, Virginia.

How do you train an American foxhound?

You have to be stern and firm while training your American foxhound so that they can effectively pick up your training commands.

Do American Foxhounds bark a lot?

They can sometimes park unreasonably which can result in excessive barking.

Are American Foxhounds aggressive?

They are usually loving and gentle. However, the American foxhounds can turn aggressive towards strangers.

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