The English Foxhound is a solid, well-built animal with lots of stamina, an essential ingredient in its development. They are stouter and slower than their cousin, the American Foxhound. English Foxhounds are almost entirely used for hunting as they can work for several hours without a break on a variety of terrain. They were bred for speed, enthusiasm, and a good voice for calling to their masters. Thusly, their bark is recognizable from far away. English Foxhounds have excellent endurance, able to run for an incredibly long amount of time.
They are friendly and kind towards humans, and are especially good around kids. They are not easily trainable, however, and should begin at an early age. They are very enthusiastic about hunting, and will not be called off if they follow a "hot" scent. They have a strong prey drive, and will attempt to hunt anything the size and likeness of a fox. They get along well with other dogs, as they are raised in packs that work together to find prey. They have a solid voice and good attention span. English Foxhounds are lively, strong and noisy. Their pack skills allow them to adapt easily to following a "pack leader", or owner. They enjoy the company of humans, and with training and exercise, can become an excellent family pet.
English Foxhound Temperament
Lively, friendly, and energetic, the English Foxhound is a breed that has a friendly nature and is eager and sociable. These dogs are agile and lively, and make for good companion pets, although they can take time to mature, which means that they may retain the stamina, playfulness, and energy of a puppy for longer periods than many other breeds. The English Foxhound can be a very independent and headstrong creature, and is therefore best suited to those with some experience of dog ownership. Training may not be an easy task, and patience combined with confidence and assertiveness will be required.
The English Foxhound loves other dogs and will get along well with them; however, the high prey drive of this breed means that you will need to be careful around smaller animals, as he may give chase - ensure that he is socialized early with other pets in the household. These dogs also get along well with children, although some may be a little too large and energetic for very young children. The English Foxhound may be friendly or reserved around strangers. These dogs will bark to indicate danger, and this can make them effective watchdogs. You need to ensure that your English Foxhound is not neglected, as boredom and lack of exercise can result in destructive behavior and chewing.
The English Foxhound is generally a low shedder when properly groomed, which means that he could prove ideal for those that suffer from allergies. Grooming requirements are not high for this breed, and an occasional brushing coupled with a wipe down with a damp cloth will keep his coat clean and glossy. You should also ensure that the ear canals are kept dry and clean for hygiene reasons and to reduce the chances of infection.
The English Foxhound actually originated from the breeding of various hounds and then continued with the intermixing of the Bulldog, the Greyhound, and the Fox Terrier to finally produce today's breed. Originally used in pack hunts by British Masters, the English Foxhound has a great nose for hunting as well as the stamina to keep up on longer hunts. Their speed helps them catch the things they hunt and they are passionate about finding what they are told to seek as well as everything else.
Considered to be the rarest breed in the United States. According to the American Kennel Club, there are only 17 registered at the present time.
What you need to realize right from the start is the English Foxhound is an athlete by nature and wants to work on those qualities in a training scenario. They want to run and to hunt and to be successful in what they do but all in an active way. Sometimes it can be confusing to watch this particular breed because they can seem to be calm and docile before launching into a full out sprint to something that your eyes can not see.
In order to control this type of dog, you will need to assert your authority. The English Foxhound has a strong idea of what a pack order is and looks to you to establish your position in it. If you are unable or unwilling to become the authority for this dog, you will have trouble training it as it will not look up to you for guidance. If this dog doesn't feel like you are in control, it may not trust your commands or feel they should be enforced.
To assert your authority, you will need to be consistent in your training skills as well as consistent in punishments and rewards. This will show that you are looking out for the dog as well as that you are outlining the 'right' and the 'wrong' for the dog in your eyes.
But another thing to keep in mind is that the English Foxhound really wants to have fun during training times. This might be a good time to engage the natural hunting abilities of this dog by having 'hunts' or taking this dog on actual hunts if they are still able to keep up. You need to have the creativity to keep training sessions fun for your dog and if you do not, the English Foxhound will hate the training sessions, making them unproductive and ineffective.
This will require a lot of energy on your part to keep up, but once the English Foxhound is trained, they are more than happy to listen to commands from their authority figure(s).
Another thing to consider about the English Foxhound is that it is not a naturally focused dog that will necessarily give you all of their attention naturally. This hound likes to run after things it finds interesting, so it can become distracted quite easily. You will need to keep this breed on task, though once you've established your relationship; this dog will look to please you at every turn.
The English Foxhound is generally a hardy and healthy breed, with a life expectancy of around 10-12 years. There are a few health problems linked to the breed, and this includes pancreas problems, renal disease, and HD. The parents of the English Foxhound should have OFA and CERF certificates.