English Foxhound vs American Foxhound: Key Differences Explained

Written by Colby Maxwell
Updated: January 23, 2023
© Olga Aniven/Shutterstock.com
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The English and American foxhounds may not be the most popular breeds for pet owners today, but they are quite famous for their musical howling! As their name suggests, these dog breeds are the perfect dogs for hunting game across all sorts of terrain. Although they aren’t used to hunting foxes anymore, they still have some of the most interesting history around. Let’s take a look and compare: English Foxhound vs American Foxhound; what makes them unique?

Comparing an English foxhound and an American foxhound

The English foxhound and American foxhound differ in their proportions, breed history, and possible colors.

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English foxhoundAmerican foxhound
Breed historyOriginated in Great Britain in the 16th century. Stag hounds and Greyhound-type breeds were crossbred to create them.Originated in Virginia and Maryland. A cross between English foxhounds and French hounds. Multiple variants.
SizeHeight: 25-27 inches at the shoulder
Weight: 55-75 lbs
Height: 21-25 inches at the shoulder
Weight: 40-65 lbs
AppearanceStraight back, deep-chested, upright heads, and perfectly straight front legs. Can come in black, white, and tan, or lemon and white.Straight back with a slightly arched loin, longer and more finely boned legs. Can come in various combinations of black, brown, white, blue, red, and cream.
TemperamentSocial, affectionate, gentle.Independent, relaxed, sweet-tempered.
Price$600-$800$500-$1000

The 5 main differences between an English foxhound and an American foxhound

The main differences between English and American foxhounds are that English foxhounds have straighter backs, originated in England, and only come in a few colors, while American foxhounds have an arched loin, longer legs, and come in a variety of colors.

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The English and American foxhounds are more similar than they are different, mostly because they are cousins! English foxhounds have a breed history that descends from Great Britain. During the middle ages, deer began to fall in population around England, and large fox hunting parties were formed by royalty as a pastime. The kennel masters began crossbreeding the stag hounds (for endurance) with the Greyhound-like hounds (for speed) in order to perform better during the hunts. Thus, the Engish foxhound was born in the 16th century.

The American foxhound was originally bred in Virginia and Maryland, notably with the help of George Washington. English foxhounds were bred with French hounds given to him by a friend, Marquis de Lafayette. These hybrids slowly became the American foxhound that we have today. Additionally, there are variants of the American foxhound, including the Walker, Calhoun, Goodman, Trigg, July, and Penn-Marydel hounds.

Let’s explore these differences, plus a few more, in detail below!

English Foxhound vs American Foxhound: Breed history

English Foxhound vs American Foxhound
English and American foxhounds were bred to hunt foxes as a pack.

©Mick Atkins/Shutterstock.com

The English foxhound was initially bred in the 16th century when new dogs were needed to make sport of red foxes. The breed was created when kennel masters began mixing stag hounds with Greyhound-like breeds, hoping to get a good mixture of endurance and speed. The resulting dogs were some of the best endurance hunters ever to be created.

The American foxhound is closely related to the English foxhound, dating back to the 18th century. The first dogs bred were a cross between the English foxhound and the French foxhounds. George Washington famously had a part to play in their creation once he received the French hounds from a friend, Marquis de Lafayette. Later on, Irish foxhounds were added to increase speed and stamina, rounding out the breed.

English Foxhound vs American Foxhound: Size

English Foxhound vs American Foxhound
English foxhounds can be a bit larger than their American cousins.

©Olga Aniven/Shutterstock.com

The English foxhound is a little larger than the average American, but not by much. They generally measure 25-27 inches at the shoulder and weigh between 55-75 lbs.

The American foxhound is lankier than the English but is overall a bit smaller. They measure 21-25 inches at the shoulder and weigh 40-65 lbs.

English Foxhound vs American Foxhound: Appearance

English Foxhound vs American Foxhound
English foxhounds have a straight back and more even proportions.

©Derek Hunter/Shutterstock.com

Most foxhounds appear extremely similar to one another, often requiring a hobbyist or professional to tell them apart. Generally, the English foxhound will be more proportional than the American, with a straight back, straight legs, and a deep chest. The American foxhound has a straight back as well but has a recognizable arched loin and longer, bonier legs. Both dogs have floppy ears, houndy eyes, and spotted coats.

English foxhounds can come in black, white, and tan, or lemon and white. American foxhounds can come in various combinations of black, brown, white, blue, red, and cream.

English Foxhound vs American Foxhound: Temperament

English Foxhound vs American Foxhound
Foxhounds are intelligent and determined dogs that need space and activity to keep them busy.

©Mary Swift/Shutterstock.com

As these breeds are closely related and bred for a singular purpose, to hunt, they have similar temperaments.

The English foxhound is known to be a social, affectionate, and gentle dog. The American foxhound is known to be an independent, relaxed, and sweet-tempered dog. Both breeds have an extremely high prey drive and are designed to bay, bark, and howl. Apartment living simply isn’t possible for these dogs.

English Foxhound vs American Foxhound: Price

The English foxhound usually goes for $600-$800.

The American foxhound usually goes for $500-$1000.

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The Featured Image

American foxhound sitting in park
© Olga Aniven/Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

Colby is a freelance writer from Charlotte, North Carolina. When he isn't distracted by his backyard birdfeeder, you can find him camping, exploring, and telling everyone around him about what he's recently learned. There's a whole world to learn about and Colby is content to spend his life learning as much as he can about it!

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