The American Foxhound is a close cousin to the English Foxhound, but has been bred to enhance some specific traits. One of those is a keener sense of smell. The goal was to ensure that the breed could smell there quarry while on the run - even when the run was a very fast pace. Enhancing the ability to smell and eliminating the need to slow down to trail an animal means the American Foxhound can take the hunters closer to their goal - the fleeing fox. Another characteristic that's been bred into the American Foxhound is weight.
These dogs have longer legs than their English cousins, but tend to have a slightly more slender body and lighter frame, making it possible for them to run faster and for longer periods of time. Both French and English Foxhounds are part of the ancestry of the American Foxhound. The introduction of the French blood occurred when General George Washington received a French Foxhound as a gift and bred that dog to the emerging American breed. The American Foxhound holds a place in American history as well.
These dogs were used to help hunt Indians during the wars of the 17th Century. Later, they proved their worth in tracking game and have held a favored place by hunters ever since. Though some people keep American Foxhounds as family pets, the majority of these canines are still used for hunting and field competitions. The distinctive musical bay is a joy to the trainers who have taught their charges well. American Foxhounds can be any of several colors, and most are a combination of white, black and brown. Most have dark-colored eyes and they almost seem to be asking whether you'll be their friend.
They do bond to their people, but tend to have close ties to their pack mates, especially if they spend time in kennels or pens with those dogs. That tendency to bond with other dogs makes them an excellent choice for a pet if there are other dogs, but remember that they're a hunting breed - they probably aren't ideal if there are other animals in the household. Because the American Foxhound has spent so many years as a kennel dog, they sometimes don't make the adjustment to indoor living well. If you're looking for a house dog or a dog that can make the transition from house to yard and back, you should consider looking for an American Foxhound that has parents who have either lived indoors or had strong interaction with people. These dogs love to run and require lots of exercise. If you can't commit to spending the time running, walking and playing with them, they should have an area where they can run on their own.
Because they were bred for stamina, they can run long distances without tiring. In fact, they'll continue to run long after some other breeds are ready to call it quits. The American Foxhound has a sunny disposition that translates to almost everyone he meets. These dogs will almost always greet you with a wagging tail and a mouth that seems to smile. Be ready to smile back.
For more information on Fox Hounds and other Popular, and not-so-popular breeds of dogs, visit The Hound Dog Directory