The American Foxhound's origins trace back to the early 18th century in the United States, making it one of the earliest and few breeds native to the U.S. Englishman Robert Brooke brought hunting dogs to the colony of Maryland in 1650, which later became the basis for the American Foxhound. George Washington, an avid foxhunter, received several French hounds from the Marquis de Lafayette in 1785, which he crossbred with his dogs, further developing the breed. The breed played a crucial role in the development of several other types of hounds in the United States, including the Treeing Walker Coonhound and the Coonhound. However, despite its long history and influence, the breed is not widely recognized outside the United States.
American Foxhounds can suffer from degenerative myelopathy, progressive rod-cone degeneration, and factor VII deficiency (a specific genetic condition for which they should be tested). Genetic testing for these conditions can assist veterinarians with diagnosis and proactive care, as well as help breeders identify affected and carrier dogs.
American Foxhounds are known for their friendly, easy-going, and loyal nature. They are typically good with children and other animals, which makes them great family pets. However, due to their history as hunting dogs, they have an extremely strong prey drive and will typically chase after small animals. They are also highly energetic and require a good deal of exercise to stay happy and healthy.
American Foxhounds are independent and can sometimes be stubborn, making them a bit of a challenge to train. They are intelligent and can learn quickly, but they do best with patient, consistent training methods. They are also known for their musical howls and bays, which can be a source of noise concern for those living in more densely populated areas.
President George Washington, who owned 36 Foxhounds, is credited as a key player in the development of the American Foxhound breed.
The American Foxhound is the state dog of Virginia.
This breed is one of the first (if not the very first) dog breeds to be developed in the United States.