English Foxhound – General Description
The English Foxhound is one of the four foxhound breeds of dog. They are scenthounds, bred to hunt foxes by scent.
The English Foxhound is the rarest breed of dog in the United States by AKC registration, with seventeen currently registered.
Classification and Standards
- FCI Group 6, Section 1, #159
- AKC Hounds
- ANKC Group 4 (Hounds)
- CKC Group 2 – Hounds
- KC (UK) Hound
- NZKC Hound
- UKC Scenthound Group
Character & Temperament
The English Foxhound was originally a pack hound, therefore, it gets along well with other dogs and enjoys human companionship. It gets along with horses, children, and other pets, as it is a gentle, social, and tolerant breed.
It is a very active breed that enjoys the hunt. Though it is slower than the American Foxhound, it enjoys running and will run all day with very few breaks in between.
The English Foxhound was created in the late 16th century, as a result of the perception of the depletion of deer in England. Nobles and Royalty had hunted deer for both food and sport, using the Deerhound or Staghound for this purpose. During the reign of Henry VIII, it was perceived that a new prey was needed, and the fox was selected. The English Foxhound was then created by a careful mixing of the Greyhound, for speed, the Fox Terrier, for hunting instinct, and the Bulldog, for tenacity in the hunt.
During the British Raj, English Foxhounds were imported to India for the purpose of jackal coursing, though due to the comparatively hotter weather, they were rarely long lived. Foxhounds were preferred for this purpose over greyhounds, as the former was not as fast, and could thus provide a longer, more sporting chase.
Studbooks for this breed were kept as early as the 19th century.
The dogs were meant to trail foxes and live around horses. They are still used for those purposes.
Size & Appearance
The English Foxhound is about 21-25 inches (53-64 cm) tall to the withers, and weighs anywhere between 65-75 pounds (30-34 kg), although some English Foxhounds bred for the show ring can be considerably bigger, with some males weighing over 100 pounds (45.5 kg). The skull is wide, the muzzle is long, and eyes carry a sweet expression. The legs are muscular, straight-boned, and the paws are rounded, almost cat-like.
Health & Maintenance
There are very few health problems in this breed. Occasionally seen are chronic hip dysplasia, renal disease, and epilepsy. The breed’s lifespan is typically 10–13 years, although British hunts would routinely put working hounds down after 6–7 years hunting.
The English Foxhound is a very energetic breed. It needs plenty of exercise. This breed needs area to run. If confined to a small area, the foxhound may become destructive. The apartment life is not one for the English Foxhound, but the breed can thrive in a suburban setting, given the proper exercise and attention.
- Burns Inquiry report, para 6.79 – http://www.defra.gov.uk/rural/hunting/inquiry/mainsections/huntingreport.htm
- Thirteen years among the wild beasts of India: their haunts and habits from personal observation with an account of the modes of capturing and taming elephants by George P. Sanderson, published by Asian Educational Services, 2000, ISBN 81-206-1464-X
- The living animals of the world; a popular natural history with one thousand illustrations Volume 1: Mammals, by Cornish, C. J. (Charles John), 1858-1906; Selous, Frederick Courteney, 1851-1917; Johnston, Harry Hamilton, Sir, 1858-1927; Maxwell, Herbert, Sir, published by New York, Dodd, Mead and Company – http://www.archive.org/stream/livinganimalsofw01cornrich#page/n7/mode/2up
- A monograph of the canidae by St. George Mivart, F.R.S, published by Alere Flammam. 1890
- Flickr user Thowra_uk (Flickr here) [CC-BY-2.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
- Luna04 [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons
- Lokal Profil  (Cropped from this image ) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
- W. E. Mason – Dogs of all Nations [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Animal Planet – Breed All About It: English Foxhound
FCI-Standard N°159 / 03.06.2009 / GB
ORIGIN: Great Britain.
DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE ORIGINAL VALID STANDARD: 26.03.2009.
Packhound for mounted hunt.
F.C.I. CLASSIFICATION :
- Group 6 Scenthounds and related breeds.
- Section 1.1 Large-sized Scent hounds.
With working trial.
BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY:
The English Foxhound has been bred along careful lines for over two hundred years, the stud books published by the Masters of Foxhounds Association of England dating back before 1800; it is an easy matter for any owner of an English Foxhound to trace the pedigree back. The breeding of Foxhounds in England has always been and is still today in hands of the masters of Foxhounds, who kept the most careful records of their breeding operations. Lately, the English Kennel Club has published an interim standard for the Foxhound. The F.C.I has recognized the breed in 1964. There have been over two hundred and fifty packs of Foxhounds in Great Britain.
Well balanced, powerful and clean cut.
Stamina and endurance, natural ability to hunt. Friendly and not aggressive.
CRANIAL REGION :
Skull: Flat, of medium width.
FACIAL REGION :
Nose: Large nostrils.
Muzzle: Long and square. Moderately developed flews.
Jaws/Teeth: Jaws strong with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square to the jaws.
Eyes: Medium size, hazel or brown. Keen expression.
Ears: Leathers pendant, carried close to the head, high set.
Long, slightly arched, well developed without being coarse.
Back: Broad and level.
Loin: With a slight rise over strong loins.
Chest: Deep, ribs well sprung.
Well set on high. Carried gaily but never curled over back.
Forelegs long, straight and well boned down to feet.
Shoulders: Well laid back, muscular without being loaded.
Metacarpus (Pasterns) : Strong.
Powerful and muscular. Well boned down to feet.
Stifles: Moderate turn.
Hocks: Well let down.
Round, tight and strong. Well padded. Nails strong.
Free striding, tireless with the ability to gallop. Good drive behind with no indication to roll.
Short and dense. Weatherproof.
Any recognized hound color and markings.
Height at withers approx. 58-64 cm.
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.
Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioral abnormalities shall be disqualified.
N.B.: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
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