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Breed Priorities – American Foxhound

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120 – May, 2020


By Nikki Riggsbee

Foxhounds and foxhunting were popular in colonial America.  The American Foxhound was originally developed in Virginia and Maryland. One famous Foxhound fan was George Wash-ington whose breeding contributed to the development of the Ameri-can Foxhound.  Washington began with Foxhounds originally from England and crossed in some French hounds.  Several strains of American Foxhounds developed over the years; all are American Foxhounds, but some competed in the show ring while other lines were used more for hunting.

The American Foxhound ranks 186th out of 192 breeds on the 2018 AKC registration statistics list, the most recent on AKC’s website. Unlike most other breeds, however, the American Foxhound has an alternate organization at which to register their dogs – the Masters of Foxhounds Association of North America. More American Foxhounds are probably registered with that organization. An American Foxhound that is registered with MFHA can also register with AKC based on the MFHA registration. This allows breeders and owners to register only selected American Foxhounds with AKC, those that they want to compete with in AKC events.

Since the breed is fairly rare in the show ring, we were concerned about finding enough qualified people to contribute to a survey on the breed’s priorities for this article. There are very few American Foxhound breeder-judges and mentors. To enlarge the list, the parent club offered a list of additional candidates, primarily group level judges, who have had significant American Foxhound experience and who do a good job judging the breed. The composite list had twenty-nine people with email addresses to contact. Twenty-two responded, and fourteen completed surveys were received. This group has been involved in the breed for over thirty-nine years on average. Those who judge have been approved to do so for twenty-six years on average.

American Foxhound Virtues

The experts were asked to prioritize a list of American Foxhound characteristics taken from their breed standard. The list below is in sequence by the average ranks, with one being the most important.

1. Hips and thighs strong and muscled, giving abundance of propelling power

2. Loins broad and slightly arched

3. Feet fox-like, pad full and hard, well-arched toes, strong nails

4. Shoulders sloping – clean, muscular

5. Forelegs straight, well boned and muscular

6. Well-sprung ribs – back ribs extend well back

7. Back moderately long, muscular, strong

8. Chest deep, narrower in proportion to depth than English hound

9. Neck of medium length, throat clean and free from folds of skin

10. Tail set moderately high; carried gaily, not over back; with slight curve, very slight brush

11. Muzzle fair length – straight, square cut, stop moderately defined

12. Ears set moderately low, long, reaching nearly to tip of nose, round at tip

13. Skull fairly long, slightly domed at occiput, cranium broad and full

14. Eyes large, set well apart, soft houndlike-expression, brown or hazel color

15. Dogs not under 23” or over 28”, bitches not under 21” or over 26”

16. Close, hard, hound coat of medium length

Click here to read the complete article
120 – May, 2020

Short URL: https://caninechronicle.com/?p=183308

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