The English foxhound was originally bred for foxhunting, but it has served many purposes since that time. It has played the role of a hunting dog, a watchdog, a family pet and a working dog. The English foxhound was bred to chase and capture its prey by sight, smell or both. They not only have excellent eyesight, but also the speed and endurance required to catch their prey. These traits have made the English foxhound an excellent hunting and working dog.
They have a good energy level in spite of their easygoing attitude and are very athletic. The combination of their energy and athletic ability requires that they have something worthwhile for them to do, which is where their training and work ability come in handy. They English foxhound does not, necessarily, enjoy training or even look forward to it. Unlike many terriers that thrive on their training, the foxhound will often need to be given some incentive to get him motivated. They need to feel they are having fun. If they don't get this feeling, they will not enjoy the training and it will show in their performance. They love doing things with their owners and have a great desire to please them. However, their first love is the prey they sense and if they do sense something nearby, they are easily distracted and often run off before their owner even realizes.
The ability of theirs to always smell and see the prey is also what makes them excellent tracking dogs. Many hunters choose this dog for hunting for this very reason. They are used for hunting and chasing down small game or quarry. Many hunters will use to go in a specific area and flush out game that the hunter knows is there. The English foxhound will let first his nose and his eyes do the job until he has driven it out. Vermin hunting is also a job that many use the English foxhound for. The English foxhound is excellent at guard duty. They especially make great guard dogs in their homes, with their great sense of smell; they know when strangers are near long before the humans know. Don't ever underestimate the watchdog ability of the English foxhound.
The English foxhound is great for riding along side the horses and much of this still takes place in ceremonies. The art and game of foxhunting is still very popular in the UK. Even today, the English foxhound continues to work in packs in certain hunting activities.
An unfortunate situation is that many Hunt Masters that want this dog for specific hunting packs are very particular with what they want. If the dog fails to meet their expectations, the foxhound is often given to a shelter or rescue. The English foxhound is such a lovable and lively dog that it doesn't take long for a family to claim them and give them a home.