American Foxhound Breed Magazine - Showsight

American Foxhound Breed Magazine features information, expert articles, and stunning photos from AKC judges, breeders, and owners.


Let’s Talk Breed Education!

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Official Standard for the American Foxhound 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.

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Scale of Points


Skull Ears Eyes

5 5 5


5 20




Chest and shoulders Back, loin and ribs


15 35

Running Gear Forelegs

10 10

Hips, thighs & hind legs


15 35

Coat and Tail Coat



5 10



Approved January 11, 2011 Effective March 1, 2011


T he first mention of hounds in the New World was in a diary of one of the men with Fernando de Soto, who in 1539 came from Cuba to the continent with 600 men, hors- es, hogs and hounds. No further mention is made of hounds, although Captain John Smith mentions the native gray fox among animals he wrote about in a letter in 1613. A work of Th eodore DeBrys shows the sport was enjoyed in Virginia, and there is an engraving of a horseman and a single hound chasing a deer. Th is book was pub- lished in 1619, a year before the Mayflower set sail for the New World. Th ese early hounds can be found in the background of the Old Native Virginia Hound. Robert Brooke is credited with bring- ing the first pack of hounds to the colonies. He landed at what is now Calvert County in Southern Maryland on June 30, 1650. Robert Brooke is the first Master of Fox- hounds in America. Roger Brooke Taney, Chief Justice of the United States spent the winter of 1795-1796 at his ancestor’s home and wrote an article on foxhunting. It was from this pack that the Brooke hounds of Maryland developed. Th ey have been famous for over 200 years. Th ese hounds have had material influence as the tap-root of a number of American strains both pack and field trial hounds. Th ere is reference of these hounds in letters and records of Messrs. Trigg, Maupin, Wade and Walker. Reference can be found in the American Turf Register and other sporting magazines from 1794-1864. Among Robert Brooke’s pack was a magnificent hound, “Brooke’s Barney.” He stood 26" at the shoulder, an immense size for that time, and was heav- ily coated with steel grey hair. In 1730, the red fox of England was imported to the Eastern Shore of Mary- land. Until that time the hounds had only

By Mrs. Robert D. Smith

Hazira’s Billie Joe—an excellent head study of this multiple Best in Show hound.

Ch Hazira’s Cecil—Multiple Best in Show Hound and 2nd Generation Breeder/Owner/Handled.

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Bowler and Rachel-Virginia Foxhounds. Owned by Joseph B. Thomas.

Old Line Maryland Foxhound—owned by Phillip Hammond Dorsey of Howard County, Maryland.

Ch Hazira’s Peggy Sue—a multiple ground winner and a Best in Show Hound on the bench in the 1970s.

the native grey fox to hunt. Th e gray fox circles and only covers about 4 to 5 miles. Th ey are wonderful to hunt with slow, mouthy hounds that worked a cold trail for hours. It was not until the winter of 1779-1780 when the Chesapeake Bay froze that the red fox crossed over to the Western shore of Maryland and then into Virginia. Th is was the catalyst for the ultimate development of the American Foxhound as we know it today, including pack, night hunter and field trial. Th e Foxhound that both Lord Fairfax and George Washington hunted was defi- nitely “slow and mouthy”. Th ey had great ability for scenting. Washington person- ally supervised his kennels and stables; when possible, he visited them morning and evening. His kennels were built to have a fresh spring for his hounds. He made the boast that his hounds were so “critically drafted as to speed and bot- tom that in running if a hound should lose the scent another was immediately

at hand to recover.” Washington was a breeder of top hounds. In reading Bad- minton Magazine one learns that Martha Washington occasionally joined her hus- band in the chase. After the Revolution, the Marquis de Lafayette sent some French stag hounds as a gift to Washington. In his diary, an entry dated August 24, 1785, Wash- ington wrote of receiving seven hounds from the Marquis by way of New York: 3 dogs and 4 bitches. Th ese hounds were of great size and fierce. Washington did use the French hounds in his breeding; he mentions in a note of lending some of the descendants of the French hounds to George Calvert. In 1814, Bolton Jackson arrived in Maryland and with him were two Irish Foxhounds: Mountain and Muse. From Jackson these two hounds came to Col. Sterett Ridgely, and from him to Gover- nor Ogle’s pack and then back to Home- wood, the estate of Charles Carroll, Jr.

As are their descendants, these hounds are remarkable for great speed, perseverance and extreme ardor for casting ahead at a loss. This is the foun- dation for the July hound as well as the hounds of Dr. Thomas Henry of Vir- ginia. Mr. G. L. Birdsong’s hounds go back on the Irish hounds and July. Col. Haiden Trigg also used these blood- lines. These are the bloodlines of the old Virginia hound which Joseph B. Thomas hunted and was convinced was the most efficient pack hound in the world to hunt a fox. If shape and conformation were hound characteristics that our early American hound cherished, then they were more indebted to the French hound than the English. Our native hound— blue, black and tan, long-eared, long- headed, high peaked, deep-mouthed, headstrong and hard to control—must contain this blood.

“If shape and conformation were hound characteristics that our early American hound cherished, THEN THEYWERE MORE INDEBTED TO THE FRENCH HOUND THAN THE ENGLISH.”

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By Mrs. Robert D. Smith


T he first widely recog- nized Standard for an “ideal” American Fox- hound was drawn up in 1894. Th e men writing the standard represented the di ff erent strains of Foxhounds—thus, compromise was necessary. Th e seven men were Roger D. Williams, W. S. Walker, W. C. Goodman, Hagan, W. Wade, H. C. Trigg and Dr. A. C. He ff enger. Until that time the American hounds were judged under the English Foxhound Standard. The very first thing that an American Foxhound should exude is CLASS and that is told in his SYMMETRY. At a meeting of the club held on January 18,

1905, it was voted to call for that type of hound which shows “class” meaning the highest percentage of conformation needed in Foxhounds for field use in America. An article published in The Sports- man Review October 1913 issue says it best, “The high type of the Ameri- can Foxhound considered ideal by the American Foxhound Club has a phy- sique and characteristics all its own.” This is still true and should be the basis for judging the hound today. Symmetry as used in hounds means the following: the form of the hound must be harmonious through- out. He must show his blood quality

and hound character in every respect and movement. When viewing the hound in profile check BALANCE—the parts must be smooth and harmonious. The hound should be in hard muscle and well con- ditioned. Always remember the outward quality denotes the nervous energy within. With the hound well-propor- tioned, symmetrical, CHEERFUL, in good condition and moving true and lightly with springiness to his gait, we can study the details and fine points. The head should be balanced with the body. The muzzle should be about the same length as the distance from the stop to the “inion.” You do not want a

“‘The high type of the American Foxhound considered ideal by the American Foxhound Club has a physique and characteristics all its own.’ THIS IS STILL TRUE AND SHOULD BE THE BASIS FOR JUDGING THE HOUND TODAY.”

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short head. The upper lip when viewed from the side should make a right angle. This is more important in the dog hound; you always want a strong masculine head on a dog hound. The bitch should be feminine. The eyes, large, soft and dark, must have an intelligent expression. Now to the crowning glory: the ears. The ear should reach the nose, but don’t scalp a hound in the process of measur- ing the length. Most important is the placement of the ear; it should be just below a line horizontal from the corner of the eye back. The ears should hang as draped in folds like rich, velvet. The ears should NEVER, NEVER APPEAR LIKE A SHINGLE TACKED TO THE HEAD. The neck should be long and spring upward and forward. While running, the neck is well extended. Throatiness is like a dowager’s double chin: most undesirable. Always check for this. The Topline is NOT LEVEL—there should be a slight rise over the LOIN. This should never be confused with a roached or “wheel” back, which is most undesirable. The underline of the hound is a graceful curve from the deep chest, which gives room for lungs and heart. Remember that the hound needs lung space for the endurance needed to hunt 4 to 8 hours or even longer. The stern, as the tail is called, is the finish of the topline. It should never be stuck upright on the back. Rather the stern leaves in a horizontal curve upward. The amount of the curve may differ, but the tail should never be carried over the back. The tail is strong and tapers uniformly from the root to the tip. The tail can differ in the amount of hair. Some Fox- hounds carry more than others, and as long as it is not longhaired like a Setter or a rat tail, it is fine. You also want a shelf just behind the tail. Now we get to the foundation of the hound his legs and feet. The legs are straight from elbow to pastern but must have sufficient bone: never weedy, but NEVER large and over done as Robert Smith has declared on many occasions:

strength and substance—not lumber. A Foxhound must be able to negotiate timber, woven wire fences and be able to walk the top rail or stone walls. He can do this because of his fox-like foot. It is not a hare foot and not a cat foot. The fox-like foot allows a hound to hunt in rocks and bound over fields. You want a good thick pad and well-arched toes. The foot of the Foxhound should be like that of the fox: strong and closely knit, but with sufficiently flexible toes to give spring to the toes. With this flexibility, they will not go lame. I have personally seen a young Trigg Bitch come home after 3 days and 3 nights of hunting bear in the mountains of Vir- ginia—tired, walking on tip toes and sore, but not lame. WITHOUT PROP- ER FEET, YOU DO NOT HAVE AN AMERICAN FOXHOUND. Never worry about size, a small or large hound as long as you have balance and symmetry, it is fine. Never, ever judge on COLOR; a good hound can not be a bad color. Now onto GAIT. Our standard does not mention gait; however, it is most important and it follows SYMMETRY. THE GAIT IS THAT OF A WORK- ING HOUND. Good reach and drive are essential. Never forget, the hind legs must be strong, never weak and never straight. A good hound must be light on his feet have great reach and drive. You can have this only if the hound is symmetrical in conformation. Without this, speed and good movement become mechanically impossible. What was spoken of over a century ago, as how to become a good American Foxhound judge, is true today. “Read, study and observe closely for twenty years and then ask.”


“Without proper feet, you do not have an AMERICAN FOXHOUND.”

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By Mrs. Robert D. Smith

t was in Madison County, Ken- tucky that three strains of Fox- hounds had the foundations for this breeds’ development: Goodman, Trigg and Walker. In April 1894, seven men drew

eared, deep voiced, narrow chested. Th eir colors were black-tan, red pied, black pied and blue speckled. When the red fox first crossed into Madison County, it required the fox hunt- ers to look for new blood for crosses. On a November morning in 1852 Tom Har- ris caught a black-tan hound out of a deer chase in Tennessee. He knew there was a ready market for hounds with speed in Madison County, Kentucky. Wash Mau- pin on November 20, bought the hound, and Tennessee Lead became the first hound to run a red fox to earth in Madison County. He became one of the foundation sires of Maupin, Walker, Goodman and Trigg hounds.

English daughters on the Ben Robinson’s Maryland stock. Th is added more speed. Neil Gooch’s Spotted Top was by Couch- man a Maryland- English hound of Uncle Wash. Col. Trigg also bought no fewer than 20 hounds from Wash Maupin to cross on the Birdsongs from Georgia. After the War hound breeding picked up with the Walker brothers of Garret county buying Spotted Top. In 1867, we begin to see a split of the 2 strains. Match races began, and in 1867, Uncle Wash and Ben Robinson met at Oil Springs in Clark County, Kentucky. Side bets and envy produced preju- dice that drew the line of breeding. Wil- lis Goodman moved to Bourbon County to add the speed of the Maryland hounds, while the Walkers over in Garrard stayed with Uncle Wash and the English cross. In 1891, the Walker’s knew they had to outcross and Col. Chinn was able to borrow or smuggle out of England three hounds through the Pinkerton Agency. Th ese hounds came to Harrodsburg, Ken- tukcy and the Walker brothers. Th e three hounds were Imp. Striver, Relish, and Clara. Th ey did not improve the hunting qualities but certainly improved com- formation. Conformation was becom- ing important because of the addition of bench show classes to field trails. Th e Walker hounds have more speed than any other breed of Foxhounds. Two men can be held responsible for the modern Walker hound Edwin H. Walker (1843-1910) and Sam Wooldridge (1879- 1946) both from Kentucky. “The Walker hounds have more speed than any other breed of Foxhounds.”

up the first American Foxhound Standard, among them were W.S. Walker, W.C. Goodman and Col. Haiden C. Trigg. It all began in Henrico County, Virgin- ia when Asaph Walker married a Watkins and moved to Madison County, Kentucky in 1785. His son John had four sons: W. Stephen, Edwin H.J., Wade and Arch K. In the fall of 1857, another son, Wil- liam had a son, Jason who imported two hounds, Rifler and Marth. Jason’s son—

“In April 1894, SEVEN MEN DREW UP THE FIRST AMERICAN FOXHOUND STANDARD, among them were W.S. Walker, W.C. Goodman and Col. Haiden C. Trigg.”

Col. Charles, and his nephew, William Walker Watts (Buck) took the first Walker foxhounds into Texas soon after the end of the war. Th e 3rd son, James, married and had 2 daughters. After James’ death, the girls were raised by their guardian a well-known hound man. Th e girls married brothers, Mary to George Washington Maupin and Nancy to his brother Dan- iel. It is this family, Maupin and Walker who blended all of the hounds they raised, imported and bought into what is today called the Walker hound. Daniel Maupin came from Virginia to Kentucky in 1784. Both men, Asaph, and Daniel brought with them their Virginia hounds, long

Wash Maupin could not read or write, so he kept no records of his hounds, that task was left to the Walk- ers. Wash was a great business man, and at his death was worth over $100,000 and owned broad acres of bluegrass, and much land in the South. Neither the Walker’s nor Uncle Wash ever got to breed Lead to the imported hounds of ’57. Th en the Civil War broke out and no records were kept and few hounds bred during this dark period. Th ree of Wash Maupin’s nephews—Neil Gooch, W.C. Terrill and his brother, Dan, as well his niece’s husband Arch Kavana- ugh were crossing Tennessee Lead and

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