English Foxhound Breed Guide

Breed Group:
Hound Dogs

Middle Age: 5 years

Geriatric Age: 10 years

Life Span: 10 to 12 years

English Foxhound Background Info and History

Relatives of the English Foxhound have been used in England since the late 1500s. The popularity of the English Foxhound was tied to the rise in popularity of using Foxhound packs for hunting as larger game had mostly disappeared.

English Foxhounds were developed from heavier hounds such as the St. Hubert and Talbot Hound. English Foxhounds are sturdier than their American cousins, having deep chests that aid them in their long pursuit of prey, and with some weighing over 75 lbs. English Foxhound packs were first documented in the United States in 1890, but it is widely believed that they were in use in the States earlier than that.

English Foxhound Temperament and Personality

English Foxhounds have the stereotypical scenthound personality and temperament. They are a gentle, affectionate, and friendly breed. When not in the field, English Foxhounds are easygoing, and sociable with others. Like other scenthounds, they have a strong prey drive that can lead to them wandering off to follow a smell.   

English Foxhound Training Tips

English Foxhounds need a patient owner who is willing to provide consistent training. They take well to training, but they were bred to think and act independently on the hunt, which is still present in their personality. It is particularly useful to reinforce a command to have them stay despite a scent they want to follow, although this takes time and patience.   

Exercise Needs of English Foxhounds

The English Foxhound is a highly active breed that will need a lot of exercise. They have the stamina for long runs or endless sessions of play. Expect to provide your English Foxhound with very regular, strenuous exercise to keep him happy and avoid any destructive behavior.

English Foxhound Lifespan

English Foxhounds live between 10-13 years.

English Foxhound Breed Popularity

English Foxhounds are rare in the United States and are currently the 187th most popular AKC registered breed.

Feeding Requirements of English Foxhounds

English Foxhounds should be fed according to their weight and energy levels. Highly active and working English Foxhounds will need to be fed more than their lower energy counterparts.

The average English Foxhound weighs between 60-75 lbs. so expect to feed this breed between 3 ½ – 4 cups of dry food a day, split into two meals. Look for a food that provides sufficient protein and balanced nutrition, but avoid any foods with grain-based fillers.

English Foxhound Grooming

English Foxhounds are fairly easy to care for, needing only a weekly brushing. Be sure to check your dog’s eyes and ears during your dog grooming sessions. Nails will need regular trimming if your pup isn’t very active outdoors.

Are English Foxhounds Good With Kids?

English Foxhounds get along with everyone, including children. They are gentle, affectionate, and playful, making them great companions for a family setting.

Common English Foxhound Health Problems

English Foxhounds are a very healthy breed that display very little prevalence towards any major or minor health issues. In some lines, they suffer from renal disease and hip dysplasia, but both are uncommon in the breed.

Hip Dysplasia

The most common major health condition that English Foxhounds suffer from is hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia is a condition that affects nearly all dog breeds to some degree but is most commonly seen in large dog breeds. Hip dysplasia in dogs is characterized by a loose fit between the femur and pelvis in the rear hip assembly.

The loose fit between the bones in this critical joint causes the cartilage padding the bones to wear down unevenly over time, resulting in a buildup of scar tissue. Later in the dog’s life, this scar tissue often leads to painful arthritis, bone spurs, and varying degrees of canine lameness in the hind legs. Hip dysplasia is believed to have both a genetic component as well as be related to environmental conditions such as strenuous exercise and diet during the adolescent developmental stage.

Renal Disease

Renal disease in dogs that affects the kidneys. Renal disease is either acute, meaning it has a sudden onset of canine kidney failure, or chronic, meaning the kidney has decreased function over time. Some lines of English Foxhounds suffer from the latter, which is believed to have a genetic component.

The kidneys are responsible for filtering out toxins from the blood. With dog’s that are suffering from decreased kidney function, these toxins build up to unsafe levels in the body that affect overall health. Chronic kidney failure occurs appears later in a dog’s life, generally after 10 years of age. While there are treatments for chronic kidney failure, the condition is irreversible and these treatments merely seek to prolong the dog’s life.

Health Issues Associated with this Breed: