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Spotlight On Our State Dog: The American Foxhound

March 1, 2022
Did you know that Virginia is one of only 13 states with official state dogs? Our canine mascot is the American Foxhound, a lovable, active pooch with a great nose and a love for making music. A Leesburg, VA vet offers some information on this charming pup below.


The American Foxhound would fall solidly into the medium-sized pooch category. They usually weigh between 60 and 70 pounds, though they do have a tendency to become obese.

Long History

As the name suggests, the American Foxhound was developed to hunt foxes. The breed can be traced all the way back to 1650, when a man named Robert Brooke brought a pack of hunting dogs over from England to Maryland. These pooches stayed in the Brooke household for almost 300 years. That is one of the longest single-family breeding records known. (It also explains why they were once called Brooke dogs.) Fido was accepted into the AKC in 1886, and became our official state pooch 80 years later.


There are actually several strains of the American Foxhound. These include Calhoun, Goodman, July, Trigg, Walker, and Penn-Marydel. It does take a trained eye to spot the differences between each strain, though their general appearance, care, and temperaments tend to be very similar, they tend to have different ‘specialties’ as far as hunting goes.

Music Lovers

Foxhounds make a special sound, which is more of a howl or yowl than a bark. This is called baying. It’s definitely something to keep in mind before adopting Fido, especially if you live in an urban or suburban area. You might think it’s cute, but your neighbors probably won’t be as enthralled.


Fido is super cute, but he can be a bit stubborn. He’s also known for following that cute, astute nose into trouble. Proper training is a must with these pups. You may find it worth your while to enroll your pup in obedience classes. That said, we don’t recommend letting even well-trained hounds off leash, as their natural desire to track often overrides their training. Exercise is also very important. Your canine pal may get quite bored and depressed if he isn’t getting enough activity, and he may very well channel that angst into destructive behaviors.

Do you have questions about caring for your hound? Contact us, your local Leesburg, VA animal clinic, anytime!