American Foxhound

AKC Hound Group


Photo copyright © Cook PhoDOGraphy. All rights reserved.

Photo copyright © Cook PhoDOGraphy. All rights reserved.

The American Foxhound originated when English and French hounds imported to the United States were interbred in an effort to produce a faster hound capable of starting, chasing, and killing a fox alone, or of chasing deer. The American Foxhound has an excellent nose, and is very fast when giving chase. He has great stamina for running and a musical bay. His song has even been used in some popular recordings. The American Foxhound is still primarily a hunting and field-trial dog (in packs and alone), though he has had some success as a companion dog.


The American Foxhound is a large, handsome hound, that’s a bit taller and lighter than the English variety. The front legs are long and very straight-boned. The ears are broad and pendant, framing the face. The short, hard coat may be any color, but is most often tan or red with white trim (tail tip, legs, nose, collar, and chest), with or without a dark saddle. The head is fairly long with a slightly domed skull. The backline is slightly arched, more so than the English Foxhound. The tail makes an upward curve, like a sickle.

Key Facts

  • Height: 22 to 25 in. (male); 21 to 24 in. (female)
  • Size: Large
  • Weight: 60 to 70 lbs. (male); 55 to 65 lbs. (female)
  • Availability: Very difficult to find
  • Talents: Hunting, tracking, and watchdog


Easy to care for, but don’t overfeed as he has a tendency to put on weight. Can be difficult to housebreak. Be careful; this breed will take off after an interesting scent if possible. Needs a great deal of exercise or he can become restless and destructive. Foxhounds don’t always make good house pets, due to their history as outdoor pack kennel hounds. If you are looking for a pet, try show lines rather than field types.


Sweet, gentle, and loving at home; brave and intense in the field. Friendliness to strangers varies widely—some are very friendly; some may even be protective.


  • Children: Excellent with children
  • Friendliness: Fairly friendly with strangers
  • Trainability: Somewhat difficult to train
  • Independence: Needs people a lot
  • Dominance: Low
  • Other Pets: Generally good with other dogs; do not trust with non-canine pets
  • Noise: Likes to bay
  • Indoors: Very active indoors
  • Owner: Not recommended for novice owners


  • Grooming: Very little grooming needed
  • Trimming and Stripping: No trimming or stripping needed
  • Coat: Short coat
  • Shedding: Average shedder
  • Exercise: Vigorous daily exercise needed
  • Jogging: An excellent jogging companion.
  • Apartments: Not recommended for apartments
  • Outdoor Space: Best with acreage
  • Climate: Does well in most climates
  • Longevity: Average (10 to 12 years)

Useful Links

AKC® American Foxhound Breed Standard

American Foxhound Breed Club

Search for a Breeder

Rescue Organizations

Books about the American Foxhound

American Foxhound Gifts