A uniquely American creation, the American Foxhound claims the distinction as one of the first breeds registered by the AKC in 1886. The breed resulted from George Washington’s endeavor in the mid- to late-1700s to develop the ideal hunting dog. By crossing three types of hounds—the English, French, and Irish, Washington achieved an intelligent and independent thinker known for speed and endurance coupled with a high prey drive.
The spirited, but good-natured American Foxhound shows off a sweet, fun-loving and affectionate side, and adores well-behaved children. He’s a loyal and entertaining family companion who requires patient training and socialization.
An amicable pack member who enjoys the company of other dogs, the American Foxhound does best in rural areas with owners who can provide vigorous outdoor exercise. A large, fenced-in yard is a must for this breed, as most Foxhounds can quickly scale a 4-foot enclosure.
Official Standard for the American Foxhound
American Foxhound Club
Head: Skull-Should be fairly long, slightly domed at occiput, with cranium broad and full. Ears- Ears set on moderately low, long, reaching when drawn out nearly, if not quite, to the tip of the nose; fine in texture, fairly broad, with almost entire absence of erectile power-setting close to the head with the forward edge slightly inturning to the cheek-round at tip. Eyes- Eyes large, set well apart, soft and houndlike-expression gentle and pleading; of a brown or hazel color. Muzzle- Muzzle of fair length-straight and square-cut-the stop moderately defined. Defects-A very flat skull, narrow across the top; excess of dome; eyes small, sharp and terrier-like, or prominent and protruding; muzzle long and snippy, cut away decidedly below the eyes, or very short. Roman- nosed, or upturned, giving a dish-face expression. Ears short, set on high, or with a tendency to rise above the point of origin.
Body: Neck and Throat-Neck rising free and light from the shoulders, strong in substance yet not loaded, of medium length. The throat clean and free from folds of skin, a slight wrinkle below the angle of the jaw, however, is allowable. Defects-A thick, short, cloddy neck carried on a line with the top of the shoulders. Throat showing dewlap and folds of skin to a degree termed “throatiness”.
Shoulders, Chest and Ribs: Shoulders sloping-clean, muscular, not heavy or loaded-conveying the idea of freedom of action with activity and strength. Chest should be deep for lung space, narrower in proportion to depth than the English hound-28 inches (girth) in a 23-inch hound being good. Well-sprung ribs-back ribs should extend well back-a three-inch flank allowing springiness.
Back and Loins: Back moderately long, muscular and strong. Loins broad and slightly arched. Defects-Very long or swayed or roached back. Flat, narrow loins.
Forelegs and Feet: The forelegs are straight from elbows to feet, well boned and muscular, with pasterns strong, flexible and very slightly sloping. Feet-Fox-like. Pad full and hard. Well-arched toes. Strong nails. Defects-Straight, upright shoulders, chest disproportionately wide or with lack of depth. Flat ribs. Out at elbow. Knees knuckled over forward, or bent backward. Forelegs crooked. Feet long, open or spreading.
Hips, Thighs, Hind Legs and Feet: Hips and thighs, strong and muscled, giving abundance of propelling power. Stifles strong and well let down. Hocks firm, symmetrical and moderately bent. Feet close and firm. Defects-Cowhocks, or straight hocks. Lack of muscle and propelling power. Open feet.
Tail: Set moderately high; carried gaily, but not turned forward over the back; with slight curve; with very slight brush. Defects-A long tail, teapot curve or inclined forward from the root. Rat tail, entire absence of brush.
Coat: A close, hard, hound coat of medium length. Defects-A short thin coat, or of a soft quality.
Height: Dogs should not be under 23 or over 28 inches. Bitches should not be under 21 or over 26 inches measured across the back at the point of the withers, the hound standing in a natural position with his feet well under him.
Color: Any color.
Scale of Points
20 – Head = Skull (5), Ears(5), Eyes(5), Muzzle(5)
35 – Body = Neck(5), Chest and shoulders(15), Back, loin and ribs(15)
35 – Running Gear = Forelegs(10), Hips, thighs & hind legs(10), Feet(15)
10 – Coat and Tail = Coat(5), Tail(5)
Approved January 11, 2011 Effective March 1, 2011
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