American Foxhound- The Virginia’s State Dog guide

The American Foxhound is a low-maintenance and good-natured dog that gets along well with everyone including cats.

As the cousin of the English Foxhound, this dog has been Virginia’s state dog from 1966 and has a close resemblance to the Beagle.

The great looks and charms of this pooch always get heads turning.

Although he was bred to be a hunting and working dog which he has been for about 200 years now, this canine makes a loyal, kind, sweet, and easy-going family dog.

However, he is best suited for active dog owners and families that crave exercise.

Owners of the American Foxhound know he great he is and they could rave all day of his qualities. However, there is more to every canine friend that what meets the eye and before deciding to get any dog you should make sure that you have enough information about him.

In this guide, we are going to look at why Foxhound’s owners love him so much and other traits about him including his appearance and how you can take care of him.

Let us get right into it. 
American-foxhound-puppies in the field

About the American Foxhound

This breed is native to America and is probably one of the oldest Hounds in the US of A. However, all factors considered this dog is relatively rare.

He is also not suitable for every dog lover’s lifestyle because of his high energy demands that he has an active owner like him.

Failure to burn out enough of his could make him destructive and very vocal.

The American Foxhound has a bell-like noise and can be heard for quite a distance and if your neighbors find dog noises to be a nuisance, you should not bring this pooch home.

But even as you take this dog for walks to meet his physical stimulation needs, you should remember that he has a strong sense of smell and will be distracted by any interesting scent making walking him challenging.

This is because of his strong prey drive but there are several things that you can do to manage this high prey drive. You can find more on that in this prey drive management guide. 

These dogs enjoy the company of other dogs but even as a single-family dog he still makes a great companion.

Something else that you also need to keep in mind is that this furry friend sometimes has a stubborn streak that can make training him challenging. More on that later on this guide.

So, what is the story behind this adorable dog? 

American Foxhounds guide

Origin and history of the Foxhound

This dog is a direct descendant of his cousin the English Foxhound.

The American Foxhound was 1st bred in Maryland and Virginia.

In 1650, a man by the name Robert Brooks brought the English Foxhounds over to colonial America from Britain.

But as we all know the topography and terrain of these two places are different and soon it would be realized that this dog needed to be adapted to the new topography.

This would be accomplished by making the pooch’s legs longer for him to be quicker and to cover more land in this new home.

The founding father of America, George Washington, was also keenly involved in the breeding of this dog.

American English Coonhound is another dog that George Washington was involved in developing.

George Washington had received French Hounds as gifts from the American army command and French Aristocrat Marquis de Lafayette. In 1785, breeding of the Foxhound and these French Hounds began.

They were then crossed with Irish Hounds to make them agile and faster.

This would help create a much faster Foxhound that would keep up with the speed of foxes.

Over the years, Foxhounds have been bred for their stamina and sporting abilities but are not known as popular home dogs.

Pedigree and breed recognition

In 1966, the American Foxhound was made the official state dog for Virginia.

The American Kennel Club also recognized him in 1886 and 1905, and the United Kennel Club recognized this pooch.


Foxhound pros and cons


✓ This canine if low maintenance and generally healthy.

✔ They are patient and gentle with kids.

✓ These dogs have great stamina making great workout partners and this one of the reasons they still exist today.


✘ They have high exercise requirements and should only be brought home by people that are up to the task.

✗ Their musical and loud bark make them unsuitable for life in the city.

✘ This dog has a strong prey drive which can make handling him difficult when it takes over.

General appearance and characteristics of the American Foxhound

American Foxhound Dog summary table
Height Female: 21–24 inches, Male: 22–25 inches
Weight  Female: 44–64 pounds, Male: 64–75 pounds
Lifespan 11 to 13 years
Breed Type Hound
Purpose Hunting and companion dog
Suitable For Active and playful families
Grooming requirements moderate
Color Variations White, Blue, Black, Brown, Red, Pied, Cream, Tan
Health concerns Ear infections, Hip dysplasia, Thrombocytopathy
Temperament Sweet-Tempered, Intelligent, Kind, Loyal, Independent, Loving, Easy-going and Gentle
Other Names Foxhound

Weight and height

The American Foxhound is a medium-sized dog with a height of between 21 and 24 inches for the females with males being between 22 and 25 inches.

Female Foxhounds weigh between 44 and 64 pounds with their male counterparts weighing between 64 and 70 pounds.

Foxhound physical appearance

When compared to the English Foxhound this dog is rangier, lighter, and taller but looks have more in common as far as appearance is concerned.

They have narrow chests, long legs, large domed skulls, and long muzzles.

These dogs also have wide eye sets that can either be brown or hazel-colored.

The tails should be high set with a slight brush at the end but should not curl over the dog’s back. They have moderately low set floppy ears that hang on their long heads. The ears are long enough that when they are drawn out they almost touch the tips of the nose.

Dog Breeds foxhounds

Shedding and coat appearance

The American Foxhound has a protective medium length hard hound coat that can come in various colors and color combinations that include;

white red tan
brown black pied
blue cream

These dogs standard coat should be tri-color which can be a combination of the color above.

Unfortunately, Foxhounds shed all year-round but in moderate amounts which can be reduced to a bare minimum by regular grooming.

They are also not hypoallergenic and may not be the best option for people that commonly suffer from dog-related allergies.

Here is a guide on some of the Hypoallergenic dog breeds that you should consider if you or any member of your family is an allergic sufferer.

American Foxhound temperament and personality traits

Foxhounds are intelligent and independent thinkers that sometimes make them stubborn. However, they are also very friendly, easy-going, and sweet-tempered which makes them great home pets.

His friendliness and easy-going nature mean that you should not expect him to be a guard dog.

They thrive on human attention and form very strong with members of their family.

With that said, this dog should not be left alone for long periods as he can easily suffer from anxiety which is brought about by loneliness. This could also make them destructive as they look for ways to entertain themselves.

Around strangers, the American Foxhound is a very reserved dog and is sometimes very shy of them.

If you live in an apartment, you should consider getting another breed as this Foxhound is extremely musical. Lovers of this dog might consider the sound he makes as music, but most of your neighbors will not be to the same thought.

This is why most of these canines live in the countryside where the noise they make cannot affect others.


Is this Foxhound a great family dog?

American Foxhounds are great family dogs that tend to get along with everyone.

These dogs are extremely gentle and sweet around children with patience that is not often seen in many dog breeds. They have been cases where some children have learned to walk by holding onto this Foxhound.

They do well with other dogs, however, cats and other small pets may not get along so well, especially if they are not raised together.

Frequently asked questions

What is the lifespan of an American Foxhound? 

American Foxhounds have a lifespan of between 11 and 13 years.

Are American Foxhounds aggressive? 

No, the American Foxhound is not aggressive unless he is downright provoked or when he has to protect his owner. He may be wary and shy around strangers but should never be aggressive. However, you need to remember that every dog is an individual and you should make sure that yours is properly socialized while still young.

How fast can a Foxhound run? 

The American Foxhound was bred to be an agile and fast hunter and it would be safe to say that with his long legs he can run quite fast.

Foxhound puppies

Foxhounds have litters of between 5 and 7 puppies but the number of puppies per litter can vary depending on the parent.

These puppies tend to reach their full size when they are about 12 months old while others can take up to 18 months.

Below is a chart that shows the development of an American Foxhound;

Age Male Weight (pounds) Female Weight (pounds)
3 months 17 12
6 months 32 30
12 months 40 37
18 months 52 49

Note the growth chart above is only an estimate and can differ between one puppy and the other. 

On average the price of an American Foxhound puppy can be between $500 and $800 depending on your breeder and your location.

Puppies of superior lines and pedigrees can cost as much as upwards of $2500 for a single pup.

Adoption is also another great option as you also get to make sure that the dog lives happily by giving him/her a new home. The Foxhound Rescue Group is a  great place to start your search for a pooch to adopt.

Foxhound puppies

Grooming requirements for an American Foxhound

Foxhounds are relatively low maintenance dog but they still need to be groomed at least twice a week.

All you need is a slicker brush and hound glove to brush this dog’s coat which will reduce the level of shedding greatly.

You should only bath this furry friend only when it is necessary as overbathing them could strip the coat of essential oils and make their skins itchy.

Their floppy ear will require special care to reduce any risks of ear infections. You should clean these ears frequently to remove any build-up of wax in the ears canals.

Also, invest in good nail clippers to trim the nails, not forgetting dental hygiene which can be achieved by brushing their teeth and giving the pooch dental chews.

Exercise needs

The American Foxhound is an active dog that needs at least 90 minutes of exercise a day.

He is prone to getting overweight and failure to meet his physical stimulation quota can be a great contributor to that.

Visit this guide to learn of some proven ways to reduce your dog’s weight.

If you love to go hunting this is a great partner for you and can be a great way to make sure that you meet his exercise needs. They are also good swimmers but you should always male sure that the swimming location is safe for the dog.

Some dog lovers prefer to take their dogs for walks to meet their physical stimulation needs. However, when you are doing this make sure you keep in mind his high prey drive and always use a leash.


Feeding and dietary requirements

The American Foxhound should be fed on a diet that meets his energy needs.

Dogs are carnivorous and their diets should be mainly meat-based which should meet their nutritional needs.

Whether the diet is commercial dry or wet food or even homemade it should have all the essential nutrients that are needed by our canine friends.

Below are tha main nutrients that be on a Foxhound’s diet;

  1. Proteins should be the main ingredient in any Foxhound’s diet and should account for about 20% of the meal.
  2. Carbohydrates should be of a decent amount to provide them with energy that they need, especially during hunting trips. The diet, however, should not have fillers which can be upsetting to the dog’s diet.
  3. Fats should account for around 8% of the dog’s diet as it also an important energy source for American Foxhounds.
  4. Minerals
  5. Vitamins can be got from fruits and vegetables that are safe for dogs.
  6. There should also be a constant supply of clean drinking water for the Foxhound.

Always make sure that you meet the calorie needs of your American Foxhounds, especially during hunting trips. A general rule of thumb is to give the dog about 25 calories for every pound that he weighs.

American Foxhound Daily Food Consumption
Calories 1500
Cups of Kibble 🍗🍗🍗

American-foxhound-puppies in the field


The American Foxhound needs a firm and consistent trainer for you to deal with his stubborn side.

They may not be inclined to change their ways of doing things just because you want them to and that is why you need to be patient with training.

You need to take this dog out to meet other animals and people to make training him even easier, especially when it comes to his high prey drive.

Your priority should be obedience and housebreaking when you are beginning your training when the dog is still young.

Having a puppy training schedule can prove to be very useful when dealing with this pooch.

Follow the steps in our guide on how to prepare a puppy training schedule by age. 

Health problems with the American Foxhound

This dog has remained pretty healthy over the years and is also known for being hardy.

However, they can quickly become overweight if you do not watch their diets.

They are also the possibility of them suffering from other health complications that include the following;

  • Thrombocytopathy which is also known as the platelet disease.
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Ear infections, especially if their ears are not properly cleaned and taken care of

Getting your Foxhounds tested by taking them for regular check-ups can be a great way to reduce the risk of health complications.

Breed summary

The American Foxhound as bred to be a hunter and has incredible stamina, work ethic and is fast but he also has a temperament that makes him a great family pet.

They are even-tempered and get along with children and pets that they have been raised together with.

They are not suitable for living in an apartment because of their musical howls.

As an owner, you should make sure that you meet the mental and physical stimulation of this dog.

They should also be trained when they’re young.

So, was this dog breed guide helpful to you?

You are free to share your thoughts and feedback in the comment section below.

There you go, WOOF!

You may also like