The English Foxhound is a companionable and high-spirited sporting dog with its homeland in Britain. This docile and friendly breed absolutely loves sharing its life with other canines and gets along excellently with kids. Nonetheless it needs too much physical exercise to become a good choice for an apartment dweller.
The English Foxhound is a highly competent hunting breed that came into the world thanks to the efforts of British breeders of the XVI century. But there is also an opinion that it was developed even earlier and at least partially descends from the St. Hubert Hound. This ancient canine variety was introduced to Britain by the Normans during their intrusion of 1066. Despite the venerable age of the English Foxhound its first stud books date back only to the XIX century.
Before the XVI century foxes in Great Britain were perceived as pests and were massively exterminated. At the first half of the XVII century English sportsmen became interested in the creation of a distinctive variety of a hound that would be especially skilful in tracking down and killing the local English red fox. During the same period the English hunting grounds were almost completely deforested, which led to drastic reduction of the fox population. Eventually foxhunting was substituted by deer-hunting that acquired huge popularity with English nobility in the XVIII century.
In order to make the first version of the English Foxhound more appropriate for hunting larger game English breeders began crossing the old Southern Hound (a stocky, somewhat sluggish deer hunter with supreme scent) with various types of the Northern Sight Hound. It’s also probable that the Greyhound was added to its gene pool to improve its stamina and speed. The process of refinement of the breed’s hunting prowess continued for the following century.
The English Foxhound was imported to America by British settlers in the XVII century. It was formally recognised by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1909. By now the breed has spread throughout the world and has countless fanciers among avid hunters. Additionally it’s utilised in field trials and dog shows. Few of these dogs are kept solely as companion animals because of the breed’s extensive requirements in physical activity.
The English Foxhound will make a first-rate four-legged friend for families and individuals who prefer an active lifestyle. It’s a very sociable breed meaning it has to live in a large pack (human or canine) to feel itself fully happy. Separation anxiety is a widespread problem for this dog and it can become highly destructive indoors if left unattended for long time interval. The breed member is commonly very gentle and careful with family kids and will be glad to frisk with them for hours on end. Nonetheless this buoyant dog isn’t the best playmate for toddlers.
Friendly attitude towards strangers is the distinctive feature of the English Foxhound. This dog meets all guests with welcoming bark and should be trained to control its too spirited nature. Because of its propensity to react very noisily to any change in environment, in most cases it will warn its masters about any suspicious activity near the house. Nonetheless this unaggressive dog would rather jump on an intruder in excitement than try to stop him so it makes a very unreliable guardian.
The English Foxhound yearns for the company of its counterparts and will be totally thrilled at the opportunity to have one or several constant canine companions. Be mindful that some of these dogs may clash with unfamiliar dogs (particularly of the same gender) and therefore they should be kept firmly leashed in public places. For centuries this dog was bred for foxhunting and still treats all small and average-sized animals as potential preys. But it can get used to the presence of a cat in the homestead if it had a chance to make friend with it in its puppyhood.
The most common problems for the breed include:
· canine hip dysplasia;
· kidney ailments.
The English Foxhound can be properly groomed with very minimal amount of efforts. Its short yet thick coat needs only weekly brushing with a hound mitt or rubber curry brush in order to get rid of loose hair and spread skin oils. This dog is a moderate shedder so if you will pay attention to its brushing regularly enough you will reduce the amount of canine hair to a minimum.
In other respects the English Foxhound requires fairly standard care. Clean its pendent large ears every week and ear infections will have zero chances for development. The dog’s nails should be trimmed on monthly basis as well as its teeth demand brushing at least weekly.
The training of the English Foxhound is a relatively time-consuming task. Because of its rather obstinate disposition it’s essential to practice tolerance towards the dogs’frequent unwillingness to obey. An assertive, confident and strong-willed trainer will produce the best results in the work with this dog.
However the dogs’ mistakes must never be punished physically as such a treatment will have a boomerang effect. Reward your pets’ efforts with its favourite food and you will get a well-mannered canine companion for your family in no time.
The English Foxhound is a very athletic and hardy dog that should receive extensive amount of physical exercise. Be aware that its behavioural pattern indoors greatly depends on its level of daily physical activity. At the very least it should be provided with an hour of a free run in a safely enclosed area.
The fanciers of bicycling or jogging will like superb stamina of this dog although its favourite type of exercise will always be hunting. It’s fairly common for the English Foxhound to become anxious, vocal and destructive if it has to spend all day long within the four walls.