English Foxhound

Written by: Jamie
Updated: November 9, 2020

English Foxhounds are well known across Great Britain for their excellent hunting skills. Learn all about this fantastic canine in the guide below.

English Foxhound Dog standing on grass

Height: 21-25 inches
Weight: 25-34 kilos
Lifespan: 10-13 years
Pedigree? (registered with the KC?): Yes, this breed is registered with the Kennel Club.

Positives and Negatives

Check out the below pros and cons of the English Foxhound:


  • An ideal choice for first-time owners
  • Minimal grooming needs
  • Intelligent and easy to train
  • Family-friendly dog


  • Doesn’t suit an apartment
  • Not a good choice for allergy sufferers
  • Prone to health issues
  • Doesn’t make a good watchdog


The English Foxhound is a scent hound developed to hunt foxes and other game. They’re very friendly and make excellent family dogs however, they’re more popular amongst hunters in England. This pooch has been around for hundreds of years and is cousins with the American Foxhound.

Ideal for first-time owners, the English Foxhound is friendly, affectionate, and easy to train. Yet they do need somebody at home for most of the day. They don’t like being left alone and could develop separation anxiety if this happens consistently. Although they have minimal grooming needs, English Foxhounds are still average shedders.

English Foxhound Dog standing on grass

If you want a dog that interacts with people and other dogs whilst out on a walk, then the English Foxhound is the dog for you. This pooch is very social and has higher levels of sensitivity compared to other breeds. It allows them to have an extra special connection with their human companion.

Expect this pooch to bark and possibly howl if you decide on adopting an English Foxhound. These canines are vocal and have a variety of different barks to match their current feelings. Focus on this area when training your puppy so it doesn’t get out of hand.

The English Foxhound price varies depending on what you’re after. A working puppy with a superior bloodline will cost considerably more compared to a dog bred as a family companion.

Recommended: Is the Airedale Terrier breed ideal for first-time dog owners?


The English Foxhound originated in England during the reign of Henry VIII in the 16th century. Deforestation meant stag hunting could no longer be sustained at the rate it once was. Attention then turned to foxes.

A new hunter was desired, with the stamina and agility need to keep up with this type of game. It led to the creation of the English Foxhound. Their ancestry is thought to include the Bulldog, Bloodhound, Greyhound, and Fox Terrier. Yet their exact origination isn’t known.

The traits of these dogs combined produced the perfect fox hunter. Working in packs and assisted by their humans on horseback, the English Foxhound will track its prey through scent. They’ve been in action for hundreds of years and are still working to this day

Since the 18th century, this breed has been tracked by the British Masters of Foxhounds Association. Over 250 packs of English Foxhounds have been recorded in the United Kingdom.

America was also deeply interested in this new hunting breed. It was Lord Fairfax of Cameron who took his interest to the next level when he brought the first few overseas in 1738. This event then led to the creation of the American Foxhound. Today, English Foxhounds aren’t very common in America.

Controversially, the breed is still used for fox hunts to this day. Puppy shows take place for hunters to view English Foxhound puppies and other hunting breeds available. The oldest fox hunt in England still taking place to this day is the Bilsdale Hunt in Yorkshire. It was created by the Duke of Buckingham, George Villiers in 1668.


English Foxhound Temperament:

The English Foxhound is very friendly and makes a terrible watchdog! Although they are fox hunters, the breed is actually a sensitive dog that is super affectionate to their owner. They do have a strong sense of independence though and won’t hesitate to wander off exploring.

Like most hounds, this one is also stubborn! It may hinder training a little, but with patience, you can easily overcome this. Since its creation, the English Foxhound has constantly been around people or other animals. This explains why they hate being left alone!

Are English Foxhounds Good With Strangers?

The breed isn’t known for their watchdog skills, but will probably bark at a stranger approaching the door. They’re reserved around those they don’t know and won’t be easily trusting.

English Foxhound Dog standing on Grass

Are English Foxhounds Good With Children?

Yes, this breed makes a fantastic playmate for children. They’re friendly and love the heaps of attention they’ll receive. English Foxhounds fit in well with families and will happily match a child’s energy. It is always best for a dog to be raised with children as a puppy.

Older children are more ideal. This breed is active inside and could accidentally injure smaller children. English Foxhounds that are used for working purposes aren’t ideal for families. They’re often on the alert and can’t adapt from working life into family life very well.

Are English Foxhounds Ok With Other Dogs?

Yes, English Foxhounds love being around other dogs. It’s recommended this pooch lives with other canines in a household. All their lives this dog has been bred to work in packs. So, it’s no surprise why they sometimes prefer the interaction of other dogs as opposed to humans!

Cats and other smaller household pets shouldn’t be kept with this breed. Their high prey drive is too much of a risk to take.

Recommended: Check out our guide and see if an Otterhound is the right canine companion for you.


English hunting dogs need at least 60 minutes of strenuous exercise each day. English Foxhound puppies may need longer. This pooch has the stamina to run across the fields of England all day. If this dog’s sole purpose is to be a human companion, their exercise needs must be met.

The dog carries firewood through the meadow to the owner

Big open spaces are the best places to take this dog. Even if you have worked on your recall, your dog should still be leashed. Do be aware they may wander off wherever their nose takes them. A large garden will be needed for the English Foxhound. They won’t do well in an apartment as they always long to be outdoors.


Read up on the English Foxhounds breed-related health issues below:

  • Hip Dysplasia- Poor development of the hip joint causes pain, inflammation, swelling, and lameness in the affected area. Arthritis will follow.
  • Kidney Disease- Over time, the kidney loses its ability to function well. This deterioration will eventually lead to kidney failure.
  • Congenital Deafness–  Sometimes this can be hereditary, other times deafness can be caused by the deterioration of the cochlear blood supply.
  • Epilepsy- This is the most common neurological condition in dogs. It causes unprovoked seizures ranging from mild to severe.

Intelligence & Training

Thankfully, the English Foxhound is fairly easy to train. Do remember they are sensitive, so positive training methods will be the only way forward. Upset this pooch and their stubborn side will immediately show. These dogs are used to staying in their packs and are natural followers.

Assert your leadership first, make it clear your English Foxhound will be following your commands. Obedience training is most important. Once your pooch has grasped this, life becomes much easier. House breaking an English Foxhound is also rather simple. Most owners of this breed recommend crate training.

No matter how hard you try, recall won’t come easy. Some English Foxhounds just won’t tolerate this command. Their high prey drive and instinct to chase is difficult to overcome. Unless you’re in an enclosed space, this dog shouldn’t be off their lead.

Socialization is needed to ensure the friendliness of this pooch. Whilst they naturally love interacting with other dogs, getting them used to new places, environments and people is important.

Recommended: Learn about the pros and cons of owning an Irish Water Spaniel in this guide.


A weekly brush is all this dog needs to keep them looking fresh. Do be aware English Foxhounds will shed fur so you’ll need to get the hoover out! Hair trimming won’t be required anywhere else apart from the paw pads. Grooming gloves, bristle brushes, and slicker brushes are the best tools to use.

Bath time is quick and easy. You should only wash an English Foxhound when they start to smell. Some owners of the working Foxhounds bathe their pooches in shampoo to mask their scent whilst hunting. Ensure the shampoo has been thoroughly removed from your dog’s coat so it doesn’t dry out the skin.

Try to keep your dogs skin moisturized in the winter. The cold weather can penetrate through their coat causing dryness. It will also make your dog’s coat silky smooth.

If your canine gets super messy in the garden, a quick wipe down is all they need. This pooch is fairly easy to maintain. As their ears flop over, airflow is restricted. Check the canal once a week to remove any debris and overgrown hairs. Nails should be trimmed every two months and teeth brushed multiple times a week.

About the Author

Hi, I'm Jamie! I've always been around dogs and now writing about them is an absolute joy.
Read more about my story here.
Reach me at Jamie@woofbarkgrowl.co.uk or connect with me on LinkedIn below.

Share your thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}