English Foxhound Breed Magazine - Showsight

English Foxhounds

The English Foxhound History of the Breed

By Emily Latimer Osborne

field. Since this was the type winning at the Peterborough Hound Show, it began being known as a ‘Peterborough Hound’. The ‘Peterborough’ type hound persisted until around 1930. Common sense pre- vailed and by the late 1940’s and early 1950’s huntsmen had again bred a hound with good looks that could last for a long day’s hunt. This type is the type of English Foxhound that we know today. The first mention of hounds in America comes from a diary of 1539 during DeSoto’s expedition. These hounds were used to hunt human quarry instead of

The majority of dog breeds can trace their origins back to a specific reason for their development. This is certainly true of the English Foxhound. Early man dis- covered that canines could assist him in hunting game so hounds became part of the hunting team instead of the food source. The type of game and the terrain over which it was hunted determined the type of hound that developed. The English Foxhound of today can be traced back to the time of the Norman Conquest. As the breed developed, two distinct types of hound emerged. One was quite heavy and slow with Bloodhound like characteristics. The other was much lighter and leaner almost resembling a Greyhound. Through the years the best hounds were bred to the best hounds and eventually a hound resembling today’s English Foxhound evolved. In the 1700’s, foxhounds were being used almost exclusively to hunt fox, as fox were a definite threat to a farmer’s livestock. Again the breed developed with respect to the terrain. In the 1800’s several ‘fads’ in style resulted in some very strange looking hounds. One such fad was the ‘Shorthorn’ Era that became the fashion in the late 1890’s. It was called that as the hounds resembled Shorthorn cattle. This was a hound that was completely over- done, knuckled over horribly and could- n’t have lasted five minutes in the hunt

The Standard for the English Foxhound was written in the 19th century. AKC adopted that Standard, with minor revi- sions, in 1935. It continues to be the Standard for English Foxhounds today. ENGLISH FOXHOUND DESCRIPTION AND STANDARD OF POINTS (By Courtesy of the Masters of Foxhounds Association of America) The Head should be of full size, but by no means heavy. Brow pronounced, but not high or sharp. There should be a good length and breadth to give a dog hound a girth in front of the ears of fully sixteen inches. The nose should be long (4 1/2 inches) and wide with open nostrils. Ears set on low and lying close to the cheek. Most English hounds are “rounded” which means that about 1 1/2 inches is taken off the end of the ear. The teeth must meet squarely, either a pig-mouth (overshot) or undershot being a disqualification. The Neck must be long and clean with- out the slightest throatiness, not less than 10 inches from cranium to shoulder. It must taper nicely from shoulders to head, and the upper outline should be slightly convex.

game. The first importation of any impor- tance came over 100 years later by Robert Brooke, the first known Master of Foxhounds. He settled in what is now Maryland. George Washington was an avid foxhunter who maintained his own pack of hounds. The American Foxhound was developing as its own breed with crosses to other hounds. Some packs continued to import English hounds and keep the English blood pure. It wasn’t until 1890 that the first entries in the Foxhound Stud Book of America were recorded. English and American Foxhounds were shown as Foxhounds at AKC shows until1909. The first English Foxhound so recorded by AKC was Auditor, as his name started with ‘A’!

The Shoulders should be long and well clothed with muscle, without being heavy,


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