The English Foxhound is a hunting dog with a terrific sense of smell, they are very social animals and enjoy the company of a pack and humans – their typical lifespan is around 13 years.
These hounds came around in the late 16th century, after the number of deers and stags in the UK dropped during the reign of Henry VIII, the fox was chosen as the new prey. The English Foxhound was then bred by the careful mixing of the Greyhound, the Fox Terrier and the Bulldog – giving them speed, stamina, strength and terrific hunting instincts.
Abuse Of Foxhounds
Unfortunately, in hunts, it is not uncommon for hounds to be put down when they are no longer fit to hunt or are not hunting well enough.
Former huntswoman turned anti-hunt campaigner Lynn Sawyer has said it was seen as “normal” to shoot and incinerate dogs once they were no longer “productive”.
She said: “The hounds are very much the other victims. With every fox hunt that goes ahead, hounds are at risk of dying too.”
In addition to this, hunt saboteurs often end up rescuing foxhounds that have either got lost or got caught in fences or barbed wire, with many saboteurs claiming they often find hounds wandering away from the hunt to which they show little concern.
Sabs use a variety of tactics to deter the hounds killing foxes including:
- Using citronella spray to mask the foxes scent. Despite what hunt lobbies say, this is harmless to the dogs.
- Playing recordings of hounds in cry to distract them and break up the group.
- Mimicking huntsmen by crying ‘leave it’ once they pick up a scent.
- Interacting with the dogs by playing with them or running in the opposite direction.
Do Foxhounds Make Good Domestic Pets?
Fox hounds can make good domestic pets, so long as they are treated right. The foxhound needs a lot of exercise, and will not thrive well if they are left alone for long periods of time, especially if they have been part of a hunting pack in their younger years. They make the perfect companion for those living in rural areas who are out and about a lot.
Be wary that whilst foxhounds will not be a problem around children, like many dogs, their tendency to chase can be an issue with other pets such as cats and rabbits.