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English Foxhound
Characteristics, History, and Health

English Foxhound

The English Foxhound is a traditional British breed with a history that dates back to the 16th century. They were originally bred for hunting foxes, a popular sport among the British nobility. The Foxhound’s primary purpose was to pick up the scent of a fox and then lead a chase that could last for hours or even days. To fulfill this role, the breed was selectively bred for endurance, a keen sense of smell, and a willingness to work in a pack. Foxhunting with hounds was outlawed in the United Kingdom in 2005, but the breed is still used for drag hunting and trail hunting, where the hounds follow an artificial scent rather than a live fox.

Main Info
Alternate Names
Foxhound, The English
Life Expectancy
10-13 years
Average Male Height
22-25 inches
Average Female Height
21-24 inches
Average Male Weight
60-75 pounds
Average Female Weight
55-70 pounds
Coat Length
Coat Type
Coat Colors
Black White & Tan, Lemon & White, White
Coat Pattern

Genetic Predispositions and Health

The English Foxhound may suffer from amyloidosis (renal), brachygnathism, cerebellar ataxia (hound), epilepsy, hip dysplasia, prognathism, and renal disease. The breed is susceptible to bloat, also known as gastric dilation volvulus (GDV). This is a life-threatening condition that can come on suddenly, so it’s important to know the warning signs and get an affected dog immediate veterinary care.

Personality and Behavior

English Foxhounds are friendly, sociable dogs that get along well with other dogs and people. They are energetic and require a lot of exercise to keep them happy and healthy. While they are generally good-natured, their hunting instincts can make them determined and single-minded, especially when they pick up a scent. They are typically not aggressive but they can be stubborn and a bit challenging to train. Their natural inclination towards pack behavior makes them better suited to homes where they won't be left alone for long periods.

Fun Facts

English Foxhounds are considered a 'rare breed' in the United States, with fewer than 50 new registrations each year with the American Kennel Club (AKC).

They have an excellent sense of smell, second only to the Bloodhound.

Despite their energetic nature and stamina in the field, English Foxhounds are known to be quite relaxed and calm in the home.

The English Foxhound is the predecessor to the American Foxhound, a breed developed in the United States for similar purposes.