The English Foxhound is an unusual pet, more often found with his nose to the ground working alongside horses. However, bred to be in packs, these are undoubtedly kind and social animals. When they’re not working in the field, they can be great with kids and other pets. Read on to learn more about the English Foxhound.
Description of the English Foxhound
These dogs are tall and lanky, with the normal look of a hound. They have doleful eyes and floppy ears that are not as prominent as those of their cousins the Bassets. These are athletic dogs, able to hunt for hours.
Hunters and breeders developed the English Foxhound to hunt foxes before the activity became a status symbol. Their breed comes from the genes of stag hunting dogs, to meet the need for speedier and more agile hunters capable of tracking down cunning foxes. In addition, these dogs helped simple farmers keep their flocks safe from wily predators.
This breed shows off its classic black, white, and tan coloration, though they can also be a pretty lemon and white.
Life Expectancy and Size
These dogs are larger than they look. Although quite lean and leggy, they can weigh anywhere between 60 and 75 pounds. They stand a substantial 24 inches tall.
Unfortunately, for a medium-sized dog, their life expectancy is rather short. Most English Foxhounds live between 10 and 13 years. However, they are usually relatively healthy and have free breed-specific issues.
This breed is known for its bark, though it is more likely to direct its attention at something interesting than at intruders. They may serve as decent watchdogs, interested in every new sight and sound. However, most English Foxhounds aren’t particularly wary of people or over-protective of their owners. Their barking is more likely to introduce a squirrel’s arrival than anything else.
The English Foxhound’s breeding is for doing a very specific job, which requires independent thinking, group mentality, and the detection of scent. Unfortunately, this can make it a little harder to train these dogs as household pets.
They are very distractible, so normal training may take longer to stick. It is important to show the English Foxhound why he should listen to you. Treats are often very helpful in this process. Even if your dog is learning slowly, make sure to remain positive and encouraging. Harshness will only lead him to shut down.
It’s advisable to limit distractions during training sessions, and work up to more overwhelming environments. Ignoring sights and sounds can be very hard for a young English.
It’s easy to think that these calm dogs do not need any exercise. At home, they’ll happily laze around all day. However, it’s important to provide the English Foxhound with daily activity. This will maintain his mental and physical well-being. These are not city dogs, and they do not do well in spaces where they won’t have the opportunity to stretch their legs.
What Living with an English Foxhounds is Like
Bred to hunt foxes, these dogs are unlike many other hunting breeds, as they have not made the transition to every-day pet. Of course, English Foxhounds may still make great family members. However, they may be more work-driven than other hunting dogs.
Most of these dogs are social and friendly. They’re generally great with children and other family pets.
Although this breed is relatively healthy, the English has a shorter life expectancy than most dogs of his size.
Care of the English Foxhounds
These dogs do not require pampering. They love the outdoors and have a short, easy-care coat.
Bred for cold and wet environments of the United Kingdom, adaptability is this breed’s talent. However, this excludes extreme cold and snow. Their short hair will not protect them in frigid temperatures.
Make sure to monitor your hound’s time outside and provide extra clothing if they seem to be getting cold. These outdoorsy dogs will not simply wait out the winter indoors.
As a hunting dog, the this foxhound still requires adequate exercise. Minimally, they’ll need a long walk twice a day.
However, these dogs prefer to stretch their legs in safe areas. They can make do with an enclosed yard, but prefer running through the countryside. The English Foxhound would love to join his owner for runs or hikes in the woods.
Shedding and Grooming
Although this breed has a short coat, it does shed. Weekly brushing with a hound glove can help to remove loose hair. These dogs are known to be smelly, and may need more baths than the average breed. Try not to over-bathe in order to avoid irritating the skin.
The English Foxhound’s long ears are especially prone to infection. Clean weekly and refer to your veterinarian with any concerns.
Ideal Home Environment
This breed would be great for an outdoorsy family, as they need a home with plenty of room to run around. Plus, their loud barking would likely annoy any neighbors that live too close.
The EF is usually great with kids and pets. If they’re not working or hunting, they’ll need a family that can commit to their exercise and activity level needs.
This breed is generally quite healthy, aside from a rather short lifespan.
Like many other breeds, they are susceptible to bloat, a life-threatening stomach disorder. The English Foxhound is also very likely to develop problems with their drooping ears. Clean regularly to avoid infection.
This breed doesn’t usually mean any harm. However, they consider prey beyond all else. This may cause them to ignore commands or run off. Begin obedience training early, and take care when the English is off leash.