The American foxhound is bred to be a pack dog, hunting, socializing, and interacting with other dogs is part of its function as a scent hound. By these standards, socialization with other dogs is typically not an issue for this breed, except of course for some mild aggression to determine the pack hierarchy as well as during the breeding season.
Introducing and socializing the American Foxhound with other non-canine pets such as cats, rabbits, birds, and even other types of pets may be more than a challenge. It is important to remember that this dog has been bred for centuries to chase and hunt and you, as the owner, are now asking it to forget all that history and get along in the same house with an animal that could well be the game animal in a hunting environment or event.
Socializing With Cats
The first step to socializing your American Foxhound with a cat or cats is to start when the American Foxhound is just a puppy. Trying to do this with an older dog, especially one that has been used for hunting, is not recommended as it does pose a huge danger to the cat unless you can provide a very carefully supervised interaction and the cat is familiar with dogs to start with.
American Foxhound puppies that are raised with a cat can be excellent companion dogs and will generally consider the cat to be part of the family. To start the process, take some bedding that the cat has slept on and allow the puppy to become familiar with the smell. Remember that the American Foxhound has an amazing scent discrimination ability even as a puppy so he or she will become familiar with the cat through this method. Holding the puppy and having someone else hold the cat, allow the puppy to see the cat from a distance, but don't allow the puppy to run right up to the cat on the first introduction as this can cause the cat to bolt and the puppy to chase, setting up a poor dynamic.
Gradually over several short sessions bring the cat and puppy closer together, then allow them to actually sniff at each other. Sometimes when the cat is familiar with interacting with puppies and dogs this process can be relatively quick but if the cat is afraid of dogs or puppies take this very slowly. Allow the puppy and cat to be in the same room together once they are calm in each other's presence. Often the cat will simply climb up on the furniture and ignore the puppy. Over time the cat will start to engage the puppy in more interactive play, or some cats will continue to be aloof throughout their lives with regards to other animals.
The best possible combination would be to get a puppy and a kitten together and carefully monitor and supervise their interactions as they both mature.
Other pets can be socialized with the American Foxhound in the same fashion. Very carefully monitor the dog around any type of rabbit, hamster, bird, or other small pet as the dog may become excited and go into hunting mode in the presence of these types of pets. Never leave these pets unsecured and unsupervised in a room or yard with any type of dog.