This breed is distinctly different from his cousin, the English Foxhound. He has a long history in America, brought here in 1650. Fox hunting gained such popularity that George Washington kept a kennel of American Foxhounds…The American Foxhound (”Am Fox”) gained his fame in the 1800s where he was loosed upon the foxes that plundered crops in Kentucky and Tennessee. He is lighter-boned and swifter that his English ancestors, developed by the Walker brothers breeders to also run down deer. Today he is swift, has incredible endurance on the hunt, the ability to effortlessly leap over objects in his way, works best in a pack, and has a powerful sense of smell. He was recognized by the AKC in 1934.
In temperament, the Am Fox is well-mannered in the home, but is not happy if he’s kept indoors. He isn’t appropriate for apartment or city life. He needs to be in a rural setting that can satisfy his high energy and need for exercise. He’s moderately amiable, playful and affectionate, but his mind is mostly on his job. He tolerates children well, but shouldn’t be trusted around pet rodents. He’s very friendly with other dogs and prefers the company of his pack more than with his family. Although he is friendly towards strangers as a watchdog he will bray the typical hound howl when a stranger approaches. He is not protective of his family, but a baying pack of hounds will serve to deter unwanted strangers. He’s not interested in playing fly-ball or frisbee; he prefers a brisk walk or run in the field on a long leash. Unleashed, the Am Fox will pick up a scent and run it down single-mindedly; he cannot be called back.
The Am Fox is a training challenge. Instinctively, he quickly learns the pack rules of the hunt. He doesn’t do well in obedience or agility training; he’s a bit stubborn in temperament and is easily bored by the rigors of obedience training. Yet in field trials, the Am Fox frequently wins top honors. He is especially challenged with night hunts; since he’s a scent hound rather than sight hound, he trails in quarry by smell even in damp weather.
The Am Fox is a sturdy, healthy dog with no particular health concerns. He is very easy to maintain, needing only a weekly brushing to remove dead hairs and dirt from his Beagle-colored coat of white, tan and black. His gentle, alert expression makes him a delightful hunting companion. This is a dog who hunts because he wants to, not because he’s been trained in the hunt. Praise, a good scratch behind the ear, and a treat will win his heart - and yours.
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