This type of hound is bred for strong hunting instincts, great energy and like all scent hounds , for a very keen sense of smell. There are different breeds of foxhound, each simply called Foxhound in their native countries.
For many Centuries English hunters preferred hunting large game, especially deer. It was considered beneath nobility to hunt fox, which was considered vermin. This task was left up to the common farmers, which they performed with dogs. It became evident that larger the pack of dogs, the more efficient the hunt. However, most farmers couldn’t afford to keep more than one or two hounds. To solve this they began pooling their dogs into larger packs and clearing out multiple farms on the same day. These hunts quickly turned into social events.
In the late 16th Century as a result of the depletion of deer in England, during the reign of Henry VIII, the nobility got more involved with fox hunting. Although the farmer’s hounds were successful, the nobility wanted to breed a specific dog for hunting foxes. The English foxhound was developed by a mixture of the Greyhound, for speed, the Fox terrier, for hunting instinct and the Old English Bulldog, for tenacity in the hunt. The Beagle, Harrier and Bloodhound may also have been part of the original mix.
In 1650, Robert Burke took his pack of English hounds to North America and they became the foundation for several strains of American foxhounds. George Washington bred his French foxhounds, Grand Bleu de Gascognes, with these lines to create the present day American foxhound. It is said the line of the Grand Bleu de Gascogne or Gascony Blue, is responsible for their musical bay or bark.
This type of foxhound is taller and lighter than the English foxhound. It’s faster and has a keener sense of smell. It’s musical bay or bark, makes it not very popular in urban areas.