By Sergey Uhanov (Certified Veterinarian)Dr. Sergey Uhanov Last updated: 22nd August 2023

English Foxhound


Sergey Uhanov (Certified Veterinarian) Dr. Sergey Uhanov
Last updated: 22nd August 2023

One of the four existing foxhounds, the English Foxhound is an affectionate, easygoing, and friendly dog with boundless energy and a lovable personality. Though less popular than its American cousin due to its high exercise needs, it makes an excellent pet for those looking for an adventurous and playful dog. It is one of the most majestic-looking breeds with its large chest, solid and sturdy legs, long muzzle, floppy ears, and high tail. However, its warm brown eyes convey its sweet and trusting nature.

English Foxhound Pictures

Quick Information

Other namesFoxhound
CoatShort, dense, and shiny double coat
ColorUsually a tricolor pattern of black, tan, and white, but it can also come in bicolor lemon or tan over a white base 
Breed typePurebred
Group Hound
Life expectancy10-13 years
Height23-27 inches
Weight60-75 pounds
Litter Size5-7 puppies
Behavioral Characteristics Affectionate, social, playful, vibrant, and energetic
Good with children Yes
Barking Tendency High; they have a deep, loud, and baying bark
Climate compatibilityHigh; can handle both cooler and warmer climates
Apartment compatibilityLow; they need large open spaces to run around
Do they shedModerate; seasonal shedding during spring and fall
Are they hypoallergenicNo
TrainabilityModerate; it can be challenging to overcome their hunter instincts
How much do they cost$600 – $1,000
Competitive Registration Qualification/ InformationAKC, UKC, FCI
CountryGreat Britain

History and Origin

The exact origin of the English Foxhound is unknown. However, it is believed to have been bred by aristocrats in the 17th and 18th centuries for hunting red foxes in the English woods. The mass clearing of forests during the Middle Ages led to the decline of traditional prey, such as stags and wild boars. So the red fox was substituted, which called for specialized breeds to sniff out and chase these nimble foxes over long distances without tiring. The English Foxhound was thus developed by mixing existing stag-hunting dogs with the more agile Greyhound breed. By the 1700s, this breed was prevalent among the English aristocracy, and “Masters of Hounds” would take care of large packs to go on hunting expeditions.

The first English Foxhound pack was brought to America by Lord Fairfax in 1738. Further breeding led to the development of its more famous counterpart, the American Foxhound. The AKC officially included it in 1909, though it failed to get much favor. The International Foxhound Association was established in 2012 to promote this rare breed.

Temperament and Personality

Their past as hunting dogs might suggest they are aggressive or forceful. However, English Foxhounds are gentle, cheerful dogs who get along excellently with children and make great family dogs. However, it is best to be careful around younger kids due to their size. Their pedigree as pack animals means they are very social with other dogs. Still, their predatory instincts might make them chase smaller pets like cats. They are protective and bark at unfamiliar people, making them good watchdogs.

 As is typical with hounds, they can be stubborn and independent and should be trained early. They require adequate mental and physical stimulation and do not cope well with city life and small apartments. If you have plenty of open space, great stamina, and enough time for exercise, this is a great companion.



The English Foxhound is known for its demanding physical needs and running instincts. Bred as a hunting dog, it needs ample exercise to avoid physical and mental decline. Without it, it can become unruly and restless. Due to its stamina, it makes a great companion for hiking and marathons. Daily half-an-hour to hour-long brisk walking or running sessions is the minimum for your dog to stay healthy. You can also participate in canine sports such as obedience, tracking, rally, agility, and coursing ability tests.


The English Foxhound is a relatively low-maintenance breed. Brushing weekly with a soft-bristle brush or hound comb is enough to eliminate loose hair and dirt. Occasional baths with mild shampoo can help prevent foul odor. You must regularly inspect your dog’s ears and clean them gently with a soft cotton ball if needed. Brush its teeth as often as possible to prevent infections, and clean and trim its nails regularly.

Health Problems

English Foxhounds are generally healthy, with common ailments being GDV or bloat, hip dysplasia, ear infections, renal disease, and epilepsy. Getting your dog from reputable breeders can help avoid some of these problems.


English Foxhounds should be fed high-quality dog food considering their age, health, and activity level. The standard recommended amount is 2.5-3 cups of dry food daily. Still, you should consult your veterinarian to develop a diet plan specific to your dog’s needs.


English Foxhounds tend to bark a lot and can become unruly if left alone for too long, so early training and socialization are essential to prevent destructive behavior and help your pet become happy and well-adjusted.

Socialization: English Foxhounds are independent and can be willful. Being pack hounds, they respond well to gentle but firm training, and you must establish a pack order from an early age to get them to listen to your commands. Crate training is a good way for puppies to learn their boundaries. They crave companionship and adjust well to living in a kennel if accompanied by another friendly dog. Puppy classes and early socialization are the best ways to ensure your dog becomes obedient, outgoing, and well-rounded.

Leash: English Foxhounds have a keen sense of smell and tend to run off when they pick up a scent. Thus, you must keep your dog leashed when outdoors at all times. Train your pup with the leash as they grow up, or they might prove difficult to control.

Interesting Facts

  • English Foxhounds were owned by many prominent figures of American history, including George Washington and Lord Thomas Fairfax. George Washington influenced the American Foxhound by cross-breeding his English Foxhounds and imported French hounds.
  • A traditional English Foxhound hunting pack consists of 40-60 dogs led by huntsmen on horses. The huntsman communicates with the pack by using calls or a small horn.
  • Over 250 packs of English Foxhounds have been registered in Great Britain throughout history.


1. What is the difference between the English and American Foxhounds?

The main difference is that the English Foxhound tends to be stouter and sturdier than its American counterpart. Also, the American Foxhound is more favored in the US.

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