American Foxhound.jpg
Breed Group Group 7: Scenthounds and Related Breeds
Sub-group 7-A: Large Scenthounds
Origin Country United States
Weight Males: 60-75 pounds. Females: 60-75 pounds.
Height Males: 22-25 inches. Females: 21-24 inches.
Other Name(s) FoxHound
Breed Type Pure
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American Foxhound

Breed Group Group 7: Scenthounds and Related Breeds
Sub-group 7-A: Large Scenthounds
Origin Country United States
Weight Males: 60-75 pounds. Females: 60-75 pounds.
Height Males: 22-25 inches. Females: 21-24 inches.
Other Name(s) FoxHound
Breed Type Pure
click here for FULL BREED STANDARD

Origins

Hound-type dogs historically accompanied immigrants to the United States from Europe, and the foxhounds of England proved to be a particular favorite. Hunting was a way of life throughout the east and south, and these dogs were essential in putting food on tables, putting clothes on backs, and bringing in money for furs, as well as ridding farms, homesteads, and properties of animals that would threaten a family’s livelihood. They hunted an array of quarry, including squirrels, raccoons, foxes, coyotes, deer, and bears.

The origin of the American Foxhound begins in the mid-seventeenth century, when a pack of English foxhunting hounds was imported to colonial America by the Brooke family from England. These foxhounds were well-known and well-sought after for their incredible hard-hunting abilities. They were kept by the Brookes family for generations, with descendants from these original dogs being kept in the family for centuries to follow. They were gifted and traded with a number of Colonial noblemen, including George Washington, an avid fox hunter.

Other hunting dogs, such as the French and Irish hounds, were also imported to the area and were introduced to the lines, adding speed and voice to the dogs. Many prominent strains and lines became well-known for their hunting ability and style, including Calhoun, Trigg, July, and Penn-Marydel. In addition, native hounds and curs were also included to bring in fresh blood and instinct, as well as to produce dogs that were especially adept at hunting raccoons and other night quarry. Therefore, the ancestors of the American Foxhounds are also the predecessors of the Virginia Hounds and many American coonhound breeds.

For many years the foxhounds and coonhounds were typically lumped together, being called Fox and Coonhounds. Eventually, the dogs were divided according to quarry and even color, resulting in the Treeing Walker Coonhounds, Running Walker Foxhounds, Black and Tan Coonhounds, and Bluetick Coonhounds.

Breed Characteristics

Head: Somewhat long, yet mesaticephalic skull type, moderate in size, and in proportion to the rest of the body. The topskull is fairly broad and full, it may be flat or slightly arched in profile or from the front. The occiput is slightly arched and somewhat prominent. The head is clean-cut and without excess skin or wrinkle.
Eyes: Moderately large in size, oval, almond, or diamond in shape, and hazel to amber or medium to dark brown in color. The eye rims are well-fitted and well-pigmented. The eyes are never bulging. There should be sufficient bone in the surrounding orbital sockets to protect the eyes. Any signs of entropion or ectropion are incorrect for this breed.
Ears: The ears are medium to somewhat longer in length, but never overly pendulous. Length should allow ears to almost reach the nose when extended forward. They are set low on the skull, approximately level with the eye when in repose, and capable of being lifted some when alert. They are hound-type, gracefully hanging close to the head, and the outer edges may roll or turn.
Muzzle: The muzzle is fairly long, full, deep, and broad. The plane, or bridge of the muzzle, is straight. The muzzle may remain deep throughout, appearing as an elongated rectangle, and ending rather bluntly. Upper and lower jaws are well-developed, approximately equal in length, and have good bone substance, never appearing snipy or weak.
Nose: The nose is large, being well-pigmented and black or self-colored according to the coat. Slight butterfly nose is permissible. The nostrils are well-opened.
Neck: Moderate length allows for good head carriage, it is strongly muscled with a slight arch. The neck is powerful, yet graceful, tapering smoothly from the deeper and broader body toward the head. The neck is clean-cut and without excess skin, throatiness, or dewlap. Some loose skin where the throat and jaw meets is acceptable, so long as it does not form a pendulous dewlap.
Chest: Deep and broad, but never wider than deep. The brisket extends to the point of the elbows.
Body: Deep, solid, and of good substance. The body is never overly racy and refined, or heavy and cloddy. Width at forequarters is approximately equal to the width at the hindquarters.
Feet: Oval to round and compact, with well-arched toes and tough pads.
Tail: Set somewhat high, to neither high nor low, but as a natural extension of the topline. It is thick at the base and tapering toward the tip. The tail is carried in accordance with the dog’s mood and energy level, often fairly high to gaily above the level of the topline in a merry fashion, but never tucked or curled up over the back. The tail is of a moderately long length, with the tip of the last vertebrae extending to the hock joints when held down. The tail may be straight, sabered, or gently curved.
Movement: Strong, effortless, efficient, energetic, and enduring, the characteristics of healthy structure are evident: when moving away, the forelegs and rear pasterns should remain parallel to one another. When viewing movement from the front, the forelegs should remain parallel, with elbows and paws moving neither in nor out. From the rear, the back pads should be visible when the rear legs are extended. As speed increases, the forelimbs and hindlimbs will converge to the centerline of gravity. From the side, the topline should remain firm and level. Good reach of movement in the front allows the forepaw to extend out in a line with the nose. The width between the forefeet when extended should be approximately equal to the width between the hindfeet when extended, indicating balance, good reach, and good drive. Dogs that exhibit any sign of breathing or locomotive difficulty shall be disqualified from the show ring.
Temperament: Although wonderful around people, these dogs are highly driven and exceptionally instinctual. They are still bred for the sole purpose of hunting throughout much of the United States, making them much too hot for a general companion dog. Although bred for trailing and treeing, they are also great at crossing over into scenting events, such as tracking, article search, and scent discrimination. When paired with a well-suited home and active owner, they are reported to be even-tempered, intelligent, friendly, eager, and people-oriented (so long as there isn’t anything around to catch the attention of their noses). Any unprovoked aggressive or fearful behavior toward people is incorrect for this breed.
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Breed Standard

BREED GROUP 7: Scenthounds and Related Breeds

Proportions: Off-square to slightly rectangular with length of the body, measured from the point of the forechest to the point of the rump, being just slightly greater than the height at the withers. The length-to-height ratio is between 5:4 and 10:9. Distance from point of the shoulder to the point of the rump may be equal to, or just slightly greater than, the height at the withers. The body is well put together, with sturdy substance and moderate bone. It is capable of speed, endurance, stamina, and agility.

Head

General Appearance: Somewhat long, yet mesaticephalic skull type, moderate in size, and in proportion to the rest of the body. The topskull is fairly broad and full, it may be flat or slightly arched in profile or from the front. The occiput is slightly arched and somewhat prominent. The head is clean-cut and without excess skin or wrinkle.
Expression: Kind, pleading, houndy, alert, and fairly regal.
Stop: The stop is moderately defined.
Skull: The ideal muzzle-to-skull ratio is 1:1 to 5:4, with the topskull being equal to or just slightly longer than the muzzle.
The ideal muzzle-to-skull axis is parallel.
Muzzle: The muzzle is fairly long, full, deep, and broad. The plane, or bridge of the muzzle, is straight. The muzzle may remain deep throughout, appearing as an elongated rectangle, and ending rather bluntly. Upper and lower jaws are well-developed, approximately equal in length, and have good bone substance, never appearing snipy or weak.
Lips or Flews: Lips are fairly clean and fit rather tightly over the teeth and jaws. They should allow for just enough depth to give the muzzle a squared, rather than tapered, appearance, and should never extend beyond the lower plane of the jaw. They are never pendulous or “wet.”
Nose: The nose is large, being well-pigmented and black or self-colored according to the coat. Slight butterfly nose is permissible. The nostrils are well-opened.
Cheeks: The cheeks are smoothly muscled, appearing neither chiseled nor coarse.
Dentition and Bite: Forty-two strong, clean, white teeth. Bite may be level, scissor, or reverse-scissor. Contact must be made between the top and bottom incisors. Missing or broken teeth as a result of routine work is not to be penalized.
Eyes: Moderately large in size, oval, almond, or diamond in shape, and hazel to amber or medium to dark brown in color. The eye rims are well-fitted and well-pigmented. The eyes are never bulging. There should be sufficient bone in the surrounding orbital sockets to protect the eyes. Any signs of entropion or ectropion are incorrect for this breed.
Ears: The ears are medium to somewhat longer in length, but never overly pendulous. Length should allow ears to almost reach the nose when extended forward. They are set low on the skull, approximately level with the eye when in repose, and capable of being lifted some when alert. They are hound-type, gracefully hanging close to the head, and the outer edges may roll or turn.

Body and Tail

General Description: Deep, solid, and of good substance. The body is never overly racy and refined, or heavy and cloddy. Width at forequarters is approximately equal to the width at the hindquarters.
Neck: Moderate length allows for good head carriage, it is strongly muscled with a slight arch. The neck is powerful, yet graceful, tapering smoothly from the deeper and broader body toward the head. The neck is clean-cut and without excess skin, throatiness, or dewlap. Some loose skin where the throat and jaw meets is acceptable, so long as it does not form a pendulous dewlap.
Chest: Deep and broad, but never wider than deep. The brisket extends to the point of the elbows.
Topline: Level or slightly sloped from slightly prominent withers to croup. The back is broad, strongly muscled, and straight, yet supple. The loin is taut, flat and level, or slightly arched, yet supportive. The back is never swayed or roached.
Croup: Broad and gently sloped.
Underline: Slight to moderate tuck-up present. The underline is taut and firm, without any indication of sagging or excess weight.
Ribs: Long, well-sprung, well-laid-back, and oval-shaped, never barrel-chested or slab-sided.
Tail: Set somewhat high, to neither high nor low, but as a natural extension of the topline. It is thick at the base and tapering toward the tip. The tail is carried in accordance with the dog’s mood and energy level, often fairly high to gaily above the level of the topline in a merry fashion, but never tucked or curled up over the back. The tail is of a moderately long length, with the tip of the last vertebrae extending to the hock joints when held down. The tail may be straight, sabered, or gently curved.

Forequarters and Hindquarters

Forequarters: Forequarters are always in balance with the hindquarters. Forequarters are well-angulated with well-laid-back shoulder blades. Shoulder blades are long and approximately equal in length to the upper arm and forearm.
Elbows: Elbows are close to the body. The point of the elbows is approximately half the dog’s height at the withers.
Forelegs: Frontal View: Straight, of good muscle, of moderate bone, and parallel to one another.
Side View: The forelimbs appear straight with strong pasterns.
Pasterns: Never weak or broken.
Hindquarters: Upper thigh and lower thigh are long, equal in length, strong, sturdy, of moderate bone, and well-muscled.
Rear View: When viewed from the rear, the rear pasterns are parallel to one another.
Side View: Good angulation will allow the rear toes to align with the point of the rump or within one to two paw-lengths behind the point of the rump, with the rear pasterns remaining perpendicular to the ground and parallel to one another.
Stifle Joint: Well-angulated with a good bend to well-let-down rear pasterns.
Angulations: Angulation of hindquarters is always in balance with angulation of forequarters.
Feet: Oval to round and compact, with well-arched toes and tough pads.

Coat

Skin: Well-fitted, yet supple. The skin should never obstruct the outline of the dog.
Coat Type: The coat is short to medium-short, yet protective. It is smooth and close to the body throughout. The texture is harsh and glossy. The coat may be slightly longer on neck, forming a light ruff, and preferably forming a slight brush on the tail. No fringe or feather otherwise is permissible.
Coat Color or Pattern: All coat colors and patterns are equally permissible.

Movement

Strong, effortless, efficient, energetic, and enduring, the characteristics of healthy structure are evident: when moving away, the forelegs and rear pasterns should remain parallel to one another. When viewing movement from the front, the forelegs should remain parallel, with elbows and paws moving neither in nor out. From the rear, the back pads should be visible when the rear legs are extended. As speed increases, the forelimbs and hindlimbs will converge to the centerline of gravity. From the side, the topline should remain firm and level. Good reach of movement in the front allows the forepaw to extend out in a line with the nose. The width between the forefeet when extended should be approximately equal to the width between the hindfeet when extended, indicating balance, good reach, and good drive. Dogs that exhibit any sign of breathing or locomotive difficulty shall be disqualified from the show ring.

Temperament

Although wonderful around people, these dogs are highly driven and exceptionally instinctual. They are still bred for the sole purpose of hunting throughout much of the United States, making them much too hot for a general companion dog. Although bred for trailing and treeing, they are also great at crossing over into scenting events, such as tracking, article search, and scent discrimination. When paired with a well-suited home and active owner, they are reported to be even-tempered, intelligent, friendly, eager, and people-oriented (so long as there isn’t anything around to catch the attention of their noses). Any unprovoked aggressive or fearful behavior toward people is incorrect for this breed.

Faults

All dogs should be in proper healthy condition, free from disease or defect. Any departure from this description is considered a fault. Unless altered, all male dogs should have two fully descended testicles.