The English Foxhound is about 21-25 inches (53-64cm) tall to the withers, and weighs anywhere between 65-75 pounds (29-34kg), although some English Foxhounds bred for the show ring can be considerably bigger, with some males weighing over 100 pounds (45kg). The skull is wide and the muzzle is long. The legs are muscular, straight-boned, and the paws are rounded, almost cat-like.
A pack of English Foxhounds
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 faster than the American Foxhound, it has stamina and will run all day with very few breaks in between.
Health and lifespan
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.
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 the English foxhound have been kept since the 18th century. Breeding lines and the work of people involved in breeding hounds is extremely important in the continual development of this working breed. Puppy shows are important events in the hunting calendar and allow the local hunt followers and visiting hound breeders examine the latest generation from the hound pack.
The hounds were meant to trail foxes and live around horses. They are still used for those purposes.
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.
^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