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American Foxhound

One of America’s native breeds, the American Foxhound is also one of our rarest. This tall hound sports a close, hard coat that can be any color. The Foxhound in this country is used for four purposes, thus calling for hounds of a different characteristics: competitive field trial hounds and “trail” hounds (speed is most important), fox hunting hounds (slow workers with good voices), and pack hounds (15 to 20 hounds or more, used by hunt clubs and farmers).

A Look Back
The American Foxhound’s origins date back to the early 1700’s in Virginia and Maryland, where it developed from the Walker, Trigg and Goodman strains of foxhounds. George Washington is the father of the American Foxhound – he ran a breeding program and often referenced his hounds in his journals.

Right Breed for You?
The American Foxhound was bred to run, so they are an ideal pet for those who live in rural areas or on large farms. They can do well in smaller areas, however, with owners who provide them with adequate exercise. Hounds raised in the home tend to be mild tempered and easy going, getting along with children and most other pets. Their short coat is easy to care for, but owners will need patience and persistence in training, as the breed can be stubborn and independent.

If you are considering purchasing an American Foxhound puppy, Click here.

  • Hound Group; AKC recognized in 1886.
  • Ranging in size from 21 to 25 inches tall at the shoulder.
  • Fox hunter.

American Foxhound Breed Standard

Hound Group

Skull–Should be fairly long, slightly domed at occiput, with cranium broad and full. Ears–Ears set on moderately low, long, reaching when drawn out nearly, if not quite, to the tip of the nose; fine in texture, fairly broad, with almost entire absence of erectile power–setting close to the head with the forward edge slightly inturning to the cheek–round at tip. Eyes– Eyes large, set well apart, soft and houndlike–expression gentle and pleading; of a brown or hazel color. Muzzle–Muzzle of fair length–straight and square-cut–the stop moderately defined. Defects–A very flat skull, narrow across the top; excess of dome; eyes small, sharp and terrier like, or prominent and protruding; muzzle long and snippy, cut away decidedly below the eyes, or very short. Roman-nosed, or upturned, giving a dish-face expression. Ears short, set on high, or with a tendency to rise above the point of origin.

Neck and Throat–Neck rising free and light from the shoulders, strong in substance yet not loaded, of medium length. The throat clean and free from folds of skin, a slight wrinkle below the angle of the jaw, however, is allowable. Defects–A thick, short, cloddy neck carried on a line with the top of the shoulders. Throat showing dewlap and folds of skin to a degree termed “throatiness.”

Shoulders, Chest and Ribs
Shoulders sloping–clean, muscular, not heavy or loaded–conveying the idea of freedom of action with activity and strength. Chest should be deep for lung space, narrower in proportion to depth than the English hound–28 inches (girth) in a 23-inch hound being good. Well-sprung ribs–back ribs should extend well back–a three-inch flank allowing springiness.

Back and Loins
Back moderately long, muscular and strong. Loins broad and slightly arched. Defects–Very long or swayed or roached back. Flat, narrow loins.

Forelegs and Feet
Forelegs–Straight, with fair amount of bone. Pasterns short and straight. Feet–Fox-like. Pad full and hard. Well-arched toes. Strong nails. Defects–Straight, upright shoulders, chest disproportionately wide or with lack of depth. Flat ribs. Out at elbow. Knees knuckled over forward, or bent backward. Forelegs crooked. Feet long, open or spreading.

Hips, Thighs, Hind Legs and Feet
Hips and thighs, strong and muscled, giving abundance of propelling power. Stifles strong and well let down. Hocks firm, symmetrical and moderately bent. Feet close and firm. Defects–Cowhocks, or straight hocks. Lack of muscle and propelling power. Open feet.

Set moderately high; carried gaily, but not turned forward over the back; with slight curve; with very slight brush.Defects–A long tail, Teapot curve or inclined forward from the root. Rat tail, entire absence of brush.

A close, hard, hound coat of medium length. Defects–A short thin coat, or of a soft quality.

Dogs should not be under 22 or over 25 inches. Bitches should not be under 21 or over 24 inches measured across the back at the point of the withers, the hound standing in a natural position with his feet well under him.

Any color.

Scale of Points

Skull 5
Ears 5
Eyes 5
Muzzle 5 20
Neck 5
Chest and shoulders 15
Back, loin and ribs 15 35
Running Gear
Forelegs 10
Hips, thighs & hind legs 10
Feet 15 35
Coat and Tail
Coat 5
Tail 5 10
Total 100