This page contains information about Fox hunting dogs.
Foxes were referred to as beasts of the chase by medieval times, along with the red deer (hart & hind), martens, and roes, but the earliest known attempt to hunt a fox with hounds was in Norfolk, England, in 1534, where farmers began chasing foxes down with their dogs for the purpose of pest control. The first use of packs specifically trained to hunt foxes was in the late 1600s, with the oldest fox hunt being, probably, the Bilsdale in Yorkshire. By the end of the seventeenth century, deer hunting was in decline. The Inclosure Acts brought fences to separate formerly open land into many smaller fields, deer forests were being cut down, and arable land was increasing. With the onset of the Industrial Revolution, people began to move out of the country and into towns and cities to find work. Roads, railway lines, and canals all split hunting countries, but at the same time they made hunting accessible to more people. Shotguns were improved during the nineteenth century and the shooting of gamebirds became more popular. Fox hunting developed further in the eighteenth century when Hugo Meynell developed breeds of hound and horse to address the new geography of rural England.