A foxhound is a type of large hunting hound bred for strong hunting instincts, great energy, and, like all scent hounds, a keen sense of smell. In fox hunting, the foxhound's namesake, packs of foxhounds track quarry, followed—usually on horseback—by the hunters, sometimes for several miles at a stretch; moreover, foxhounds also sometimes guard sheep and houses, and the foxhound is also the state dog of Virginia.
There are different breeds of foxhound, each often called simply Foxhound in their native countries:
- American Foxhound
- English Foxhound
- Dumfriesshire Foxhound
- Black and Tan Virginia Foxhound
- Welsh Hound
The Masters of Foxhounds Association recognizes these breeds of foxhounds: American, Penn-Marydel, English, and Crossbred foxhounds.
In 2005, the American Kennel Club reported that the English and American Foxhounds were their least and fourth least registered breeds in North America with 22 44 registrations, respectively; the top registered breed, the Labrador Retriever, had 137,867 registrations during the same year. However, several confounding factors exist in this data. Owners of foxhounds brought from outside the US do not register them at the American Kennel Club, and even within the US, many hunters prefer to register their dogs with the United Kennel Club, regional hunt clubs, or the Masters of Foxhounds Association (MFHA). Moreover, producers of puppies for the pet market often register through one of the many minor kennel clubs and internet-based dog registry businesses.
In general, large, active hunting dogs traditionally kept in large packs in rural areas do not adapt well to being city or suburban pets.
- Old Drum - said to have been the inspiration for the phrase "Man's Best Friend" which arose from an 1870 court case regarding him.
- American Kennel Club. "Registration Statistics".
- Coren, Stanley (2009-10-21). ""A Man’s Best Friend is his Dog": The Senator, the Dog, and the Trial". Psychology Today. Retrieved 2010-09-27.
- The Trial of Old Drum – New York Times Television Review – June 9, 2000
- I-70 in Missouri: Not just billboards and trucker-oriented porn – The Pitch – March 8, 2010
- Masters of Foxhounds Association of America, US
- Masters of Foxhounds Association, UK
- "Fox hound ". Collier's New Encyclopedia. 1921.
- "Fox-hound". Encyclopedia Americana. 1920.
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