English and American Foxhounds
From paintings by Louis Agassiz Fuertes
The English foxhound for more than 300 years has been one of the
principal factors in the great English sport of fox-hunting.
Perhaps no other single sport has done so much to mold the national character.
The dogs in packs follow the fox across country, and the foxhunters,
under the direction of a “master of foxhounds,” ride after them.
The fine qualities developed by hard riding, by facing all kinds of weather,
and by the dangers incident to jumping high fences and wide ditches,
coupled with the sportsmanly behavior which constitutes the
etiquette of the hunting field, were just the traits required to make
gallant soldiers and successful colonists.
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English and American Foxhounds Qualities
The English foxhound, while of ancient lineage and highly standardized in England,
has not been found to meet exactly the requirements of the rougher sport in this country.
Thus, through the efforts of a few assiduous fox-hunters,
there has been produced a somewhat rangier, lighter,
and more courageous dog, known as the American foxhound.
The lighter built and more speedy American foxhound is used either in packs,
followed by mounted hunters, as in England, or singly, or in couples, to drive the fox within range of a gun.
The development of this breed has been largely
due to the initiative and energy of a few men, notably
Mr. Harry W. Smith, of Worcester, Massachusetts, in the North, and
Brigadier General Roger D. Williams, of Lexington, Kentucky, in the South.
English and American Foxhounds Differences
In essentials the American and English breeds are, of course, very similar.
The English dog is a little squarer and more pointer-like in the head,
with shorter ears and straighter, longer legs.
Our dog seems more like a hound to us, with its fuller leather and more elastic pastern and hock and stifle.
The English dog looks rather stiff and stilty in comparison,
though undoubtedly just what the Englishman wants.
And surely the English huntsman knows just exactly what he wants.
The hound is a very primitive type of dog, and one of the
proofs of this is his unvarying and rigid adherence to his pattern of color.