5 Things to Know About English Foxhounds

Foxhounds are pack animals and don’t do well if isolated for long periods of time. Photo: ccho

1. Key Characteristics of English Foxhounds

The English foxhound is a hunting dog and pack hound whose low-set ears hang near the cheeks. Rounded ears means they’ve been cropped, not a process we recommend, and ear cropping and tail docking is illegal in some countries.

The large eyes are brown, and the feet are round, like a cat’s. The tail is long and set high; the coat is short, hard and weatherproof. Coat colors include black, white and tan, lemon and white or white; markings are also sometimes seen in this breed.

2. Where English Foxhounds Come From

English Foxhounds were recorded in stud books by the Masters of Foxhounds Association hundreds of years ago in England. The dogs chased foxes while hunters rode on horseback.

The first recorded entry of an English Foxhound in the United States occurred in 1890 in the English Foxhound Stud Book of America, although some dogs may have been imported before then. The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1909.

english foxhound breed profile
English Foxhounds are pack dogs and don’t like being isolated. Photo: Tom Blackwell

3. How Friendly Are English Foxhounds?

These high-energy hunting dogs are independent and can be stubborn. They have strong pack instincts and should be firmly trained, although training can be challenging. The dogs are great with children, other dogs and even non-canine animals.

They do best in packs and may suffer during long periods of isolation, so if you’re getting 1, think about getting 2 or more instead. They also like to bale or howl.

4. Is This the Right Dog for You?

Exercise Needs


HIGH: English foxhounds can run for miles, so they need lots of daily exercise. They make excellent running and cycling companions but should be kept on a lead or exercised in an enclosed area; they are likely to follow a scent and wander off quickly.

Without exercise, they can get destructive, so don’t ignore this daily necessity.

Grooming Needs


MEDIUM: The breed sheds an average amount, with periods of seasonally heavy shedding (twice a year). Brush yours weekly and bathe as needed. Always inspect their feet and ears for debris and insects if they spend lots of time outside.

The nails grow very fast, so trim often, and brush the teeth regularly.

Health Problems


LOW: English foxhounds are generally very healthy dogs. Some notable health concerns include:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Epilepsy
  • Renal disease (kidney)

More Stats About English Foxhounds

Friendliness ★★★★☆
Ease of Training ★★★★☆
Barking/Howling ★★★★☆
Shedding ★★★☆☆
Tolerate Being Alone ★★★★☆
Very Good With Kids ★★★★☆

This video shows Charlie the English Foxhound running alongside a bike:

5. How to Adopt an English Foxhound

English Foxhounds are difficult to find because they’re not typically sold or adopted out as pets. There are many mixed breeds with similar appearances available from shelters and rescues, so start your search there.

If you contact a breeder, make sure they know you’re keeping the dog as a pet. If the adoption is still a go, view their facilities and meet the parents of the dog you intend to take home.


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