Foxhound Care

The Foxhound (often called the American Foxhound to distinguish it from the English Foxhound breed) is a rare, medium- to large-sized hunting breed with huge exercise requirements. Though these dogs' natural place is in the fields on hunts, they make friendly companions to active families as well. Overall American Foxhound care and maintenance will take a moderate amount of work, and will need to include a great deal of daily exercise.

Below you'll find details on caring for a Foxhound, including info about puppy development, exercise needs, and shedding/drooling tendencies. Consider this page your definitive American Foxhound guide--and read on!

Foxhound Exercise Needs

As an extremely active and athletic breed, American Foxhound exercise requirements are quite high. These dogs were specifically developed to be hunters, so they're used to spending hours at a time in the fields chasing prey--which means they'll need a variety of activities that both condition them physically (walking, jogging, fetch) and stimulate them mentally (hunting, canine sports). Foxhounds make excellent bicycling companions as well.

The typical adult Foxhound, depending on its age and overall activity level, will need 90 minutes or more of proper exercise per day--and while this may seem like a lot, you can break it up throughout the day with two or three walks, jogs, or bike rides and a good period of play. You can start exercising your Foxhound puppy when it's three months old by taking it on short (5- to 7-minute) walks, then you can increase the walks' length and frequency as the puppy grows. Dogs of this breed can also be stubborn and difficult to train, so these early walks are a good opportunity to start teaching your Foxhound pup obedience, through leash training: have the puppy walk beside or behind you on the leash, instead of being allowed to lead or "tug" on it. This, in the puppy's mind, establishes you as the leader, and should make training easier as the dog matures.

A few precautions to observe when exercising your American Foxhound: first, puppies younger than nine months old shouldn't participate in activities that include a lot of jumping, running on hard surfaces, or navigating of stairs, as doing so can injure their still-developing joints and bones. And all Foxhounds, regardless of age, must be leashed when in public. These dogs have very high prey drives, and will instinctively chase animals--squirrels, birds, cats, even other dogs--if given the chance; a leash will help you control your Foxhound when it sees or smells an interesting critter. Even when exercising in your own yard, the area will need to be securely fenced to keep the dog from running off after potential prey. And finally: larger, deep-chested breeds like the Foxhound are susceptible to bloat, an often-fatal condition in which a dog's stomach fills with air when it "wolfs" its food; the condition is most prevalent when a dog exercises just before or after eating. This means it's best not to feed your Foxhound for an hour before or two hours after any intense exercise.

Safeguards aside, exercising your Foxhound every single day is an absolute must. Without consistent daily activity, these dogs will become bored and frustrated, and they'll bark, chew, and dig excessively, become disobedient, and just be unhappy in general. Regular exercise will be great for both the dog's and your own peace of mind! A few exercise ideas:

  • Walking/Jogging/Bicycling: Two 30-minute walks (or 20-minute jogs or bike rides) per day is a good target
  • Fetch/Frisbee: Foxhounds will chase a ball, stick, or Frisbee for hours
  • Hunting: Puts these dogs in their natural element
  • Tug-of-War: Great indoor activity; use a rope or old towel
  • Dog Park: If properly socialized, Foxhounds enjoy the company of other dogs
  • Canine Sports: Foxhounds can excel in agility, obedience, and field trials and other events
  • Hiking: Excellent bonding activity; bonus if you can find a remote area where the dog can be off-leash

When indoors, give your Foxhound access to balls or chew-toys that will allow the dog to burn excess energy. It's also good to establish a regular exercise schedule for the dog, such as walks, jogs, or bike rides in the morning and evening and a play period in the afternoon.

Foxhound Maintenance

In terms of shedding and drooling, these dogs don't need too much care. American Foxhound shedding is light to moderate year-round; drooling isn't an issue.

Foxhounds have short- to medium-length, thick coats that shed a fair amount all year long. Owners can brush their Foxhounds' coats once or twice per week with a bristle brush or grooming glove to keep the shedding to a minimum. Hair cleanup--vacuuming the floors and lint rollers on clothes and furniture--will be needed sometimes, but it won't be a frequent task.

And a Foxhound almost never drools. If your American Foxhound is drooling excessively, it might be a sign of a medical issue, in which case a veterinarian's care is needed.

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About this Article

Authored by:Dog-Learn
Updated:September 11, 2018