Welcome to the BarkPost guide to dog breeds where we belly flop straight into the depths of dog breed origin, evolution, and purpose. Follow along each week as we publish new guides that highlight the strangest, most interesting, and most surprising stuff about these creatures who have been our best buds the last 30,000 years.
(All dogs are individuals, which means any single dog from any breed can be any number of ways, both good and not so good. Keep that in mind as we discuss breed generalities!)
English Foxhounds are an affectionate, athletic, and admirable breed. They boast an impressive history as hunting companions for medieval England's elite and America's Founding Fathers. Furthermore, English Foxhounds are hailed for their genteel nature and stunning looks. A poet once wrote, "Next to an old Greek statue, there are few such combinations of grace and strength as in a fine Foxhound.”
The English Foxhound makes an excellent pet - even if you're not a British hunter or aristocrat from the Medieval Times. This social breed is quick to love both human and canine companions! The English Foxhound also makes an excellent exercise buddy given the breed's high activity level and athleticism! Read on to learn everything you need to know about the English Foxhound!
Also Known As…
Fast and Furry-ous. Gentle Giant. Bougie Brit. "The fourth jowliest breed of Hound in existence."
As the name implies, the English Foxhound hails from none other than the fox hunting grounds of England. During the medieval times, these posh pups accompanied British aristocrats in hunting stags - an activity that was reserved for the refined and elite.
As England's population grew and its forests receded, English Foxhounds were trained to swiftly hunt the red fox. The British fox hunt required dogs with stellar sniffing skills, endurance, speed, and agility. Training and selective breeding resulted in the athletic and graceful English Foxhound we know and love today.
Given their beauty, gentleness, and athleticism, it's no wonder why the English Foxhound has been the dog of choice for history's elite. In fact, George Washington was both a English Foxhound father and a Founding Father!
Females average 21 to 24 inches in height at the withers while males average 22 to 25 inches in height at the withers. Fun fact, these long-legged pups have "perfectly level" backs!
Both male and female English Foxhounds typically weigh between 55 and 75 pounds.
Seeking a pup who showers you and your family with love and loyalty? Look no further! English Foxhounds are super affectionate, especially towards their human and doggy companions. This beautiful breed is energetic yet gentle, out-going, and gregarious! Basically, English Foxhounds are the whole package with striking looks and loving personalities.
Intelligence / Trainability
This breed has brains! However, like many hounds, the English Foxhound typically has a strong sense of independence and can sometimes be stubborn. Though we celebrate independence (cue Miss Independent by Neyo), this can pose difficulties for training. The English Foxhound needs a persistent and patient trainer.
Best Training Techniques For English Foxhounds
Successfully training an English Foxhound requires consistency, patience, and firmness. This breed responds well to assertive, yet calm and loving, training. Reinforce positive behaviors with healthy treats and lots of love!
HillsPet suggests that English Foxhounds are "best suited suited for the countryside" due to their high activity level and vocal nature. However, if you're an English Foxhound fan without a sprawling ranch, don't fret! English Foxhounds can thrive in a suburban home with a yard and secure fence, as their noses can often take them beyond their homes' boundaries.
Given their high activity level and history as endurance hunters, exercise is vital for this breed. Be sure to give your English Foxhound plenty of exercise and playtime opportunities everyday, such as long, brisk walks, hiking, or agility courses. Since this scent hound often thinks with her nose, always keep your English Foxhound on a leash.
Good For Families And Kids?
English Foxhounds make great family dogs! They are affectionate, tolerant, and gentle. This laid-back and loving demeanor means they are especially great with children. Plus, these human-loving hounds are more than happy to join their family in trips to the park or hikes on the trails!
The typical life expectancy for an English Foxhound is 10 to 13 years.
With their long history as athletes, English Foxhounds are generally healthy dogs! However, as a large and deep-chested breed, these pups are prone to bloat and gastric torsion. As this is a very sudden and life-threatening condition, it is important that English Foxhound parents are well aware of bloat’s symptoms and causes.
While the English Foxhound's ears are oh-so fun and floppy, they're also prone to infection. So, be sure to occasionally clean and inspect your English Foxhound's ears to keep them fresh and healthy. Also, cases of hip and elbow dysplasia have been reported in this breed.
Despite their gentle, easy-going nature, English Foxhounds are packed-full of energy! English Foxhounds were originally bred and trained to have the remarkable speed and endurance necessary to catch swift foxes and stags. While your English Foxhounds may not catch anything but food scraps, she still holds the traits and instincts of her ancestors. Thus, most English Foxhounds have high activity levels and thus need plenty of exercise to prevent boredom, stress, health issues, and destructive behaviors.
Friendly With...(Dogs? Strangers? Cats/Other Pets?)
An English Foxhound could certainly win Miss Congeniality in a pageant. These personable pups are incredibly friendly and tolerant of other dogs, pets, and animals.
During their earliest days, English Foxhounds hunted stags and foxes in packs. Due to their history as pack hounds, English Foxhounds typically love canine companions and seek furry friendships!
Moreover, English Foxhounds love humans! Sometimes they are reserved around strangers, but grow very affectionate once they are better acquainted. It is important to be cautious when your English Foxhound is exposed to very small pets, such as rodents and rabbits. While these hounds are not typically malicious or aggressive, their strong hunting instincts may pose a harm risk for small animals.
Coat & Grooming
These beauties never have a bad hair day! English Foxhounds boast short, dense, hard, and glossy coats that require very minimal maintenance.
All they need is a weekly brushing with a soft-bristle brush or hound glove to keep their coats fresh and minimize shedding (they sure do shed)! Oh, and the occasional bath to keep that doggy odor in check.
Toys English Foxhounds Would Like Best
Tap into your English Foxhound's hunting instincts during playtime! These pups were literally made for the game of chase. Tease them with a Plush Toy or Tug Toy and wait until they're dying to capture it! (Bonus points if this toy looks like a little woodland creature.)
Toys are also a great tool in ensuring that your English Foxhound gets sufficient daily exercise. As hunters, fetch is in their blood! Furthermore, the game of fetch is perfect for exercising your English Foxhound's long legs with minimal movement on your part. Toys like "The Best Balls Ever" are a great investment for exciting and exhilarating games of fetch!
Recommended Diet Or Supplements
As with any dog, English Foxhounds should be fed high-quality, age-appropriate food (e.g. puppy, adult, or senior). Be careful not to feed too much, as under-exercised English Foxhounds may be prone to obesity. And yes, we know those begging, puppy-dog eyes are hard to resist!
This supplement is veterinarian-formulated, made with all natural ingredients (glucosamine, MSM, chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid), and comes in the form of 150 soft chews. Basically, it looks and tastes just like delicious treats, and it could really help your English Foxhound with their hip and joint issues. ($32.99.)
A dog that descended from noble beginnings deserves to sleep like a king! If your Foxhound has back or joint issues, or if they just need a comfy place to rest after a long day of running and playing, a nice, supportive dog bed is probably a good idea.
This ultra plush orthopedic dog bed provides support for active and lazy dogs alike! The combination ergonomic memory foam and gel foam relieves pressure points, and helps ease body aches caused by hip dysplasia, arthritis and other orthopedic issues. It offers the best therapeutic support for your Foxhound. ($27.99-64.99.)
Notable Rescues to Find the English Foxhound of Your Dreams
English Foxhounds are a somewhat uncommon breed, so it may take extra patience and determination in finding your future furry friend. However, this additional effort will undoubtedly be worth rescuing a unique, loving, and deserving English Foxhound! Be prepared for a million licks as their "thank you"! Here are some amazing rescues where you can find your newest furry family member:
The following sources feature rescued and adoptable English Foxhounds from a variety of rescues and shelters:
Notable English Foxhounds On Instagram
Albert on @AlbertTheFoxhound!
Laurel and her gang on @TheShepsAndTheHound!
Henry on @_Henry_The_Hound!
***Looking for a gift to blow your English Foxhound's mind? Spoil them with BarkBox! Every month BarkBox delivers 2 original toys, designed in-house, 2 full bags of all-natural treats, and a chew. Sign up here and receive a free extra toy every month. <– This deal is worth up to $120 in value if you sign up for a 12-month subscription!
Featured image via AlbertTheFoxHound/Instagram