The Ashford Valley Tickham Foxhounds have been bred specifically to hunt in the AVTH country. The ‘country’ being the designated area registered with the Master of Foxhounds Association; each hunt having its own country. The hounds are mainly modern foxhounds with outcrosses of old English to give the characteristics needed for our particular country. Welsh blood has been introduced over the years to give hounds more voice.
The breeding of hounds is very intricate and needs a great deal of knowledge from those involved in the breeding. Each Huntsman has his own preferences as to the type of hound preferred for hunting but in each hunt, the breeding lines are maintained, with some going back centuries; mainly on the bitch lines.
While most packs will breed hounds with hunting in mind, many will also breed for the show ring, either showing at local shows or at the Festival of Hounds which is held in Peterborough every July. Here hounds of all different types will gather to decide the best of each breed in the country. One of the advantages of showing hounds is that it does help to maintain the standard to which hounds should be bred but first and foremost the hounds hunting ability should be considered.
Although hounds hunt in a pack, they are extremely friendly. This is shown when hounds parade at local and county shows and children are allowed to enter the show ring to fuss them.