The English Foxhound is one of the most famous breeds of hunting hounds. Foxhound literally means “fox chaser”. Wide fame is not only the merit of the hunting qualities of the dog, but also the age of the breed itself, since it originates from the ancient Celtic hounds, including the Talbot.
In addition, in the process of selection and development of the breed, the medieval breeding program included interbreeding with such dogs as Greyhound, some terriers, as well as a bulldog. Medieval connoisseurs of dogs proceeded from very simple principles – for courage and strength, you need the blood of a bulldog; for speed of running, and beauty of constitution – you need the blood of a Greyhound; and terriers carry in their blood a lot of positive character traits, as well as perseverance and intelligence. The English Foxhound is the ancestor of many hound breeds, and one of the earliest can be considered the American Foxhound.
Back in 1650, the English Foxhounds were exported to the American continent by Robert Brook, a breeder, dog owner by vocation and an adventurer by spirit. (According to other sources, the dogs were brought by Lord Fairfax in 1738). In America, subsequently, an American version of this breed was created, and now its image is the official symbol of the state of Virginia.
In England, the English Foxhound is considered something of a national treasure, and a register of pedigrees of various branches has been kept since 1786. The 18th and 19th centuries are generally the time of the enormous popularity of this breed in Europe and England, as well as in Russia. For example, Napoleon’s flock consisted of more than 120 dogs, and in England by the end of the 19th century there were almost 8,000 individuals.
In Russia, on the basis of the English Foxhound breed, its own – Russian piebald hound was created. By the way, paradoxically, now the English Foxhound is the rarest dog registered in the American Kennel Club.
This breed belongs to large hounds, has a muscular, strong constitution, paws of medium length. The English Foxhound is built very harmoniously, and according to many dog handlers (especially the British), their physique is close in grace to the Greek statues. The tail is always thrown up, saber-shaped, but never curled or laid on the back. The head has a wide skull and a regular jaw, the ears droop and pressed against the cheekbones. Height at withers approx. 60 cm.
For centuries, the English Foxhound breed has undergone various training aimed at both obedience and the development of the specific qualities of a hunting dog. However, nevertheless, it cannot be said that in the process of education you will not encounter difficulties. The reason for this is innate stubbornness, without which, of course, the personality of a hound dog would be inferior.
It is thanks to its stubbornness that the Foxhound can be on his feet with the hunter all day, while covering great distances with practically no food. In the Middle Ages, they often ran after the rider on horseback, and due to this they developed tremendous endurance.
The English Foxhound needs early socialization, it needs a variety of acquaintances and broadening of horizons. New sounds, smells, people, other animals will all benefit your dog. Initially, the Foxhound was not intended for protection, and there are practically no such genes in it, but it will definitely bark at strangers on the street if you live in a private house.
Attitudes towards strangers can vary depending on the temperament of the dog – some perceive strangers with friendliness and openness, while others, on the contrary, are more withdrawn in this regard. By the way, keeping them in an apartment is not very convenient, since a huge supply of internal energy requires constant walks, training, games and running around. If you don’t provide the animal with the proper level of activity, leaving it at home alone is a very bad idea. To say that a dog will create a mess is to say nothing.
When walking on the street, try to keep your pet on a leash, as innate instincts will prompt him to run after interesting smells, sometimes even ignoring the shouts of the owner. Children are treated well, just like other dogs. It is best to introduce cats into the social circle from an early age. If you bring up a Foxhound and provide him with the proper conditions, it is a great companion for the whole family.
Dogs of the English Foxhound breed definitely need education and training, as their stubbornness must be turned into perseverance. Moreover, they love various types of activity, training and value contact with the owner. If they see you as an authoritative, fair, kind and consistent leader, they will learn with pleasure and perseverance. If you show yourself as an unfair and cruel person, the dog will avoid classes with innate stubbornness.
They should definitely be taught not only basic commands, but also to develop obedience, since otherwise it will be extremely difficult for you to walk the dog without a leash. Here you will have to overcome the innate instincts of the pursuer and the hunter, and therefore work should be started as early as possible.
For example, at 3-4 months it is still too early to learn commands, but it is necessary to limit the puppy’s desire to run away while walking in the park. For obedience, you should always reward, for example, stroking, simple praise, and when the training of commands begins – with something tasty.
The English Foxhound has a short, close-fitting coat and requires little maintenance other than brushing once a week. If you’ve walked your dog in a park or forest, be sure to check your ears for insects and ticks. Also, always keep your pet’s eyes clean and trim the nails if necessary. You need to bathe your dog at least once a week.
Despite the fact that the English Foxhound breed is healthy, has good immunity and tremendous stamina, there are some diseases that you can encounter. Namely:
- hip dysplasia is a hereditary disorder in which the hip joint is weakened due to abnormal growth and abnormal development. It can also manifest itself in puppies from healthy parents;
- kidney disease – occurs when the kidneys are unable to cleanse the blood of certain toxins, such as creatinine and urea