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Virginia’s State Dog: The American Foxhound

March 1, 2015

Did you know that the American Foxhound is Virginia’s official state dog? This active hunting dog was voted into the American Kennel Club in 1886, and became Virginia’s official canine in 1966. In this article, your local Leesburg veterinarian discusses the American Foxhound.


The American Foxhound has a very distinguished history. In 1650, a colonial settler brought a pack of hounds to Virginia from England. The descendants of those pups were crossed with other hounds, including some of George Washington’s pooches, to create the American Foxhound. Nowadays, there are many different varieties of the American Foxhound, including the Walker Hound and Calhoun Hound. The American Foxhound is one of the American Kennel Club’s rarest breeds. This isn’t to say that the dog itself is uncommon. Because they tend to be kept in packs as hunting dogs, the American Foxhound is rarely shown and often unregistered.


The American Foxhound will typically weigh between 45 and 65 pounds. As far as height, these pooches are usually between 21 and 28 inches high at the withers. Fur color is generally tri-colored, with a mix of black, white, and tan, though there are many color variations. Their medium-length coat requires only minimal brushing. One of the Foxhound’s most interesting features is his vocalizations, which have a musical quality.


These hunting dogs are typically very sweet and gentle, and will usually get along well with children as well as with other pets. The American Foxhound tends to be very playful and affectionate with his humans. They may be a bit bashful around new people, but are rarely aggressive. Since they were bred as hunting dogs, these pups have a very strong instinctual urge to track scents, and will often run off if unleashed. The American Foxhound is a very active dog, and needs plenty of exercise. A house with a fenced-in yard or plenty of acreage is ideal. Apartment life is not recommended for these cuties. American Foxhounds do tend to be a bit stubborn, so proper training is necessary.

Do you have any questions about caring for your dog? Is your canine pal due for shots or a checkup? Please contact us for all of your pet care needs. As your local Leesburg vet clinic, we are always here to help.

Please visit our website  here  to read more articles about animal care and behavior.