A foxhound is a type
Dog type
Dog types are broad categories of dogs based on function, with dogs identified primarily by specific function or style of work rather than by lineage or appearance....

 of large hunting hound
A hound is a type of dog that assists hunters by tracking or chasing the animal being hunted. It can be contrasted with the gun dog, which assists hunters by identifying the location of prey, and with the retriever, which recovers shot quarry...

. Foxhounds hunt
Hunting is the practice of pursuing any living thing, usually wildlife, for food, recreation, or trade. In present-day use, the term refers to lawful hunting, as distinguished from poaching, which is the killing, trapping or capture of the hunted species contrary to applicable law...

 in packs and, like all scent hound
Scent hound
Scent hounds are a type of hound that primarily hunts by scent rather than sight. The Scenthound breeds are generally regarded as having some of the most sensitive noses among canines....

s, have a strong sense of smell. They are used in hunts for foxes
Fox hunting
Fox hunting is an activity involving the tracking, chase, and sometimes killing of a fox, traditionally a red fox, by trained foxhounds or other scent hounds, and a group of followers led by a master of foxhounds, who follow the hounds on foot or on horseback.Fox hunting originated in its current...

, hence the name. When out hunting they are followed usually on horseback and will travel several miles to catch their target. These dog
The domestic dog is a domesticated form of the gray wolf, a member of the Canidae family of the order Carnivora. The term is used for both feral and pet varieties. The dog may have been the first animal to be domesticated, and has been the most widely kept working, hunting, and companion animal in...

s have strong natural instincts to hunt and are energetic and active. The foxhound is also the state dog in Virginia. It is sometimes used to guard sheep or houses, but its main use is for hunting.

There are different breeds of foxhound, each often called simply Foxhound in their native countries:
  • American Foxhound
    American Foxhound
    The American Foxhound is a breed of dog that is cousin to the English Foxhound. They are scent hounds, bred to hunt foxes by scent.-History:...

  • English Foxhound
    English Foxhound
    The English Foxhound is one of the four foxhound breeds of dog. They are scent hounds, bred to hunt foxes by scent.-Appearance:The English Foxhound is about 21-25 inches tall to the withers, and weighs anywhere between 65-75 pounds, although some English Foxhounds bred for the show ring can be...

  • Dumfriesshire Foxhound
    Dumfriesshire Hound
    Dumfriesshire Black and Tan Foxhounds were a pack of foxhounds kennelled at Glenholme Kennels, Kettleholm, near Lockerbie until they were disbanded in 2001. They were established by Sir John Buchanan Jardine, author of Hounds of the World , after the First World War. The hounds are believed to have...

  • Black and Tan Virginia Foxhound
    Black and Tan Virginia Foxhound
    The Black And Tan Virginia Foxhound is an American dog breed; one of four foxhound breeds. In the 18th century it was crossbred with the Bloodhound, and gave rise to the Black and Tan Coonhound....

  • Welsh Hound
    Welsh Hound
    thumb|right|233px|Welsh Hounds circa 1915The Welsh Hound is a breed of hunting dog of the foxhound type, indigenous to Wales.- History :...


In North America, the American Kennel Club
American Kennel Club
The American Kennel Club is a registry of purebred dog pedigrees in the United States. Beyond maintaining its pedigree registry, this kennel club also promotes and sanctions events for purebred dogs, including the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, an annual event which predates the official...

 reported that in 2005 the English Foxhound was their least registered breed with 22 registrations, with the American Foxhound being fourth to last with 44 registrations. For comparison, the top registered breed, the Labrador Retriever
Labrador Retriever
The Labrador Retriever is one of several kinds of retriever, a type of gun dog. A breed characteristic is webbed paws for swimming, useful for the breed's original purpose of retrieving fishing nets. The Labrador is the most popular breed of dog by registered ownership in Canada, the United...

, had 137,867 registrations during the same year. In general, large, active hunting dogs that traditionally are kept in large packs in rural areas do not adapt well to being city or suburban pets. Owners of foxhounds from countries outside the US do not use the American Kennel Club for registering their dogs, and within the US many huntiers prefer to register their dogs with the United Kennel Club or regional hunt clubs. Producers of puppies for the pet market often register through one of the many minor kennel clubs and internet-based dog registry businesses.

Notable foxhounds

  • Old Drum - said to have been the inspiration for the phrase "Man's Best Friend" which arose from an 1870 court case regarding him.
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