Let’s Talk Breed Education!
A LOT OF DOG IN A PLAIN BROWN WRAPPER
A ring full of short coat- ed, similar colored dogs. Where do you begin to sort them out? Let’s start with the initial impressions as you look over your line-up for the first time. As you look down that line, what you should feel is a sense of elegance, com- bined with the well-balanced body of a true athlete. Th e Pharaoh Hound should present a clean, smooth outline where all the body parts flow together without lumps, bumps or hard angles. Shoulders should be well laid back, topline almost flat (with a slight rise over the loin being acceptable) and rear angulation moderate and balanced with the front. Color? Color should not play a part is assessing the overall quality of a dog. Pharaoh Hounds can be anything from a light tan to a deep chestnut— and all shades in between. All these variations are acceptable and one is not preferable over another, except on a personal level.
By Pam Haig
“Like many of the sighthound breeds, PHARAOH HOUNDS DO NOT LIKE TO BE APPROACHED FROM ABOVE.”
Although the white tail tip is strong- ly preferred, it is common to see an outstanding specimen of the breed that is a solid red. Unless attempting to decide between two dogs of equal
quality, the white tip should not overly influence judgment. Moving on to individual examina- tion: Like many of the sighthound breeds, Pharaoh Hounds do not like to
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“THE ACTIVITIES AVAILABLE TO OWNERS OF THE PHARAOH HOUND ARE UNLIMITED. There are several agility superstars, therapy dogs, fly ball competitors, herding tested dogs, rally obedience participants and most recently, nose work contenders.”
be approached from above. Th ey should be approached with confidence and the first hands-on contact should be under the chin. Th is will normally put the dog at ease and facilitate the remainder of the examination. Th e Pharaoh Hound eye should be amber and oval shaped. It should blend with the coat. Th eir expression should be that of intelligence, alertness and curiosity. Muzzles should be relatively equal to length of the skull. This is a breed that experiences a large variation in age when it comes to the graying factor. You will see many young dogs already start- ing to gray as well as older dogs without a gray hair. This should not play a part in evaluating the animal. Ears should be erect and f lexible; being neither overly upright nor tipping off from the side of the head. Th e Pharaoh Hound standard does not require full dentition. With that said, missing teeth are undesirable. It is not uncommon to encounter miss- ing pre-molars. Anything more should be noted and considered when making final decisions. A scissors bite is called for; anything else should be considered a fault. Th e under jaw should be strong and well defined. Lack of under jaw pro- duces a snippy appearance and detracts from the overall symmetry of the head. A strong under jaw is important when it comes to hunting and taking down prey. Th e chest should reach almost to the point of elbow. Past that point would
interfere with the turning ability of a hound in pursuit of prey. Th is is a breed that for centuries has hunted in rough, rocky terrain. Bone should be substantial enough to with- stand this activity with ease. Slight boned like a Whippet or heavy bone like a Doberman would not serve the Pha- raoh Hound well. Th ere is no measur- ing in or out in this breed; however, an exceptionally tall or exceptionally small dog should be penalized. Th is is a medi- um sized breed. Above all else, balance should be maintained. When moving the hand from the neck to the rear, you should not encoun- ter any bulges or hard angles. Th e hand should be able to move smoothly from front to rear. Down, Back & Around, Please Like any natural athlete, the Pharaoh Hound should cover ground e ffi ciently without e ff ort. Reach and drive should be equal. You should not see pounding or hackney-type lift. Th e tail can be carried high or low, but should never be so high it tends to curl towards the back. Th e length of the Pharaoh Hound body should be “slightly” longer than it is tall. Too square or too long takes away from the overall balance of the dog. Coming at you, elbows should be well tucked into the body without any sloppiness. Th e Pharaoh Hound should move parallel and single tracking is not desirable.
Although the only disqualifying white is on the back of the neck, back or sides, excessive white in undesirable. On the down and back, if you notice the white, then it’s probably excessive and should play a part in your final decisions. Th is breed is a truly versatile animal. Breeders/owners take great pride in the fact that a large majority of specials are Dual Champions—excelling both in the show ring and on the field. The dog you judge in the confor- mation ring wi l l l ikely be the same dog entered in lure coursing later in the day. Th e activities available to owners of the Pharaoh Hound are unlimited. Th ere are several agility superstars, therapy dogs, fly ball competitors, herding tested dogs, rally obedience participants and most recently, nose work contenders. Th e breed also boasts the first two Federally licensed first response Pharaoh Hounds, as well as multiple AKC National Invita- tional Lure Coursing winners. As I said in the beginning—a lot of dog in a plain brown wrapper.
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LIVING WITH PHARAOH HOUNDS
By Robert Newman, Esq. President, Pharaoh Hound Club of America
acquired my first Pharaoh Hound over eight years ago, after researching the breed for almost a year. Although I did all that I could to prepare myself for what I realized was a unique
and am away at work for up to 6 hours at a time, I had planned in advance to help integrate Logan into our home. From the day he arrived, Logan went everywhere that I went. He was introduced to and inundated with new sights, sounds and scents on a daily basis. He learned to walk on di ff erent flooring and textures from carpet to tile and anything else I could find. From outdoor restaurants, parks, out- door malls and around the neighborhood, Logan was a constant fixture. I cannot stress enough how important early and ongoing socialization is for the Pharaoh Hound. Th e first “trick” Logan learned was to “speak” on command. Because they can be excessive barkers, I wanted to reward the barking behavior when it was asked for and ignore it when it wasn’t, hoping to extinguish the unwanted bark.
Because most Pharaoh Hounds are extremely food motivated, training is rel- atively easy. Most Pharaoh Hounds will do anything for food, and there are many Pharaoh Hounds with Rally Obedience, Obedience and Agility titles—quite impressive for a sighthound. I have had several judges comment that they had never seen a Pharaoh Hound in Rally or Obedience before I walked into their ring with Logan. Extreme caution must be used when working with a Pharaoh Hound o ff leash, and sadly, there are too many stories about Pharaoh Hounds being injured or killed because they were o ff leash or got loose. Pharaoh Hounds tend to be escape art- ists, and must be secured well, including a minimum of six-foot fences in all yards in which they are allowed to free roam.
breed, nothing could have adequately prepared me for the reality of living with Pharaoh Hounds. Likemost sighthounds, PharaohHounds can be quirky and idiosyncratic. Some can be extremely shy with strangers, taking an extended period of time to become com- fortable. But at the heart of this breed lies a mischievous clown that can be surprisingly adaptable and even trainable. My first Pharaoh Hound was a male named Logan. Because I was aware that Pharaoh Hounds can be quite vocal, and because I live in a residential neighborhood
“Because most Pharaoh Hounds are extremely food motivated, TRAINING IS RELATIVELY EASY.”
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Like most breeds, Pharaoh Hounds do well with crate training if taught at a young age. Logan was sleeping through the night in his crate within 3 days of being introduced to the concept. Th is has been true of all three of my subsequent Pharaoh Hounds. Pharaoh Hounds need a moder- ate amount of exercise, which could be accomplished with daily walks through the neighborhood. Th ere is also Lure Coursing events where hounds chase a simulated “bunny” or lure on an open secured field. Many Pharaoh Hounds are quite proficient at this AKC event, and it is a rare Pharaoh Hound that doesn’t love the chase. It is amazing to watch them
run free. Unlike Greyhounds, however, Pharaoh Hounds are not couch pota- toes that will be content lounging on the couch all day. Pharaoh Hounds tend to love other dogs, and, if trained from a young age, can also peacefully co-exist with felines, as well. It would be di ffi cult with some Pharaoh Hounds to integrate a cat into a home with adult Pharaoh Hounds who were not properly socialized as puppies. Extreme caution should be used when introducing adult Pharaoh Hounds to cats, given the high prey drive of a Pharaoh Hound. Pharaoh Hounds can be quite a ff ection- ate with their owners, though it is typically
on their own terms, and some are more reserved than others. If you are the person who needs a dog’s constant a ff ection, your needs would be better met with a Cava- lier King Charles Spaniel than a Pharaoh Hound. Pharaoh Hounds are often drawn to small children and tend to be naturally very gentle with them. Because of their short, clean coats, Pha- raoh Hounds do not require a great deal of grooming, and they are a breed that con- tinues to enjoy overall good health, with relatively few genetic health issues. Because of their adaptable nature, Pha- raoh Hounds are a fun, quirky, energetic breed and make wonderful companions in the right home.
“Pharaoh Hounds do not require a great deal of grooming, and they are a breed that continues to enjoy OVERALL GOOD HEALTH, WITH RELATIVELY FEW GENETIC HEALTH ISSUES.”
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a survey on the PHARAOH HOUND
to judge sweeps at one Pharaoh Hound specialty, an Afghan Hound National and at the Ibizan Hound National. PAM LAMBIE My love affair with dogs
I live just outside Oslo, Nor- way. I am a veterinarian by educa- tion, but currently work as a direc- tor for the Norwegian National Research Ethics Committees. I was fortunate to be born into a Sighthound family. My mother and I bred our first Greyhound litter under the Jet’s prefix in
began early on; in fact, I can- not remember a time without a dog in my life! I left the corpo- rate world in 1992 to commit to handling full time. My handling career would span nearly 30 years! Throughout those years I was privileged to campaign
1975. With no co-bred litters, there are now 200 homebred Greyhound champions with more than 715 champion titles around the world. I am proud of our bitch tailline with nine consecutive generations of Best in Show-winning internation- al champion bitches. Since 1987, I have been privileged to judge dogs in more than 90 countries around the world and Pharaoh Hounds in many of those countries. I have judged several Pharaoh Hound specialties, including Pharaoh Hound Club of America. I am the only judge to have officiated for the breed both at Crufts and Westminster. I particularly enjoy judging Pharaoh Hounds and often ask to judge them when requested to suggest breeds. SHEILA HOFFMAN I live north of Memphis, TN on
a number of beautiful, nationally ranked dogs. I am equal- ly blessed to have had the love and support of my husband and daughters through those years. My husband, Bob, and I have two grown daughters, Amber and Audra, son-in-law Matt and two precious grandchildren. We live close to our family in Phoenix, AZ and share our house with a Whippet and a Ridgeback. I am happily pursuing the next phase of my life as an AKC judge and am looking forward to giving back to a sport that I hold dear. I am currently licensed (regular status) to judge, Mastiffs, Basenjis, Beagles, Dachshunds, Har- riers, Ibizans, Irish Wolfhounds, Pharaoh Hounds, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Whippets, Golden Retrievers, Vizslas, Weimara- ners and Junior Showmanship. Presently, I am focusing on completing the Hound, Sporting and Working groups. ERIC LIEBES
three acres. I retired early from a food company where I worked for almost thirty years as corpo- rate planning manager. Now I am a certified canine massage thera- pist, which I enjoy immensely. I got my first pure-bred dog, an Afghan, in 1976 when I was in high school. I acquired my first Pharaoh Hound in 1983 and have been addicted ever since. I
Joan and I live outside of Colo- rado Springs with our three Samo- yeds, two Komondors, a Greyhound and an Ibizan Hound. I retired last year after 30 years with Chevron as a geophysicist, sometimes doing oil exploration, sometimes research. I got my first dogs, an Ibizan and a Komondor, in 1981. The Ibizan got his Champion and CDX titles, the
started showing in 1980 have shown dogs in the breed ring, lure coursing, obedience, rally and agility. I’ve had the honor
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eric liebes pharaoh hound q&a
with espen engh, sheila
hoffman, pam lambie &
Komondor still holds the All-Breed BIS Record for the breed (7). I’ve had good success breeding both of those breeds since. I’ve been judging since 1992 and am approved for all Hounds, Working and Herding breeds, as well as Britta- nys (hopefully more Sporting breeds soon!) When Pharaoh Hounds were first admitted to Group competition in the early 80s I often helped a friend show her nice champion bitch, I also got to know the breed in the field and through my good friends the late Kay and Marshall Durr (K’Zar Pharaohs), so I have been around Pharaohs for many years. I was approved to judge Pharaoh Hounds in 1997. 1. Describe the breed in three words. EE: Elegance-with-power, noble, normally-constructed. SH: Athletic, graceful and brilliant.
EE: Yes, two traits are becoming exaggerated. One is size. The breed standards are calling for a medium-sized breed as opposed to a large or even giant breed. Many Pharaoh Hounds are pushing it as for size. As compared to several other Sighthound breeds, this is not a particu- larly leggy breed. As long as balance is retained, I will make some allowance for larger size, but within rea- son. Angulation of hindquarters tends to have become exaggerated in more than a few dogs. A Pharaoh Hound should have only a moderate sweep of stifle (and hock, even if the latter is not mention in the breed standards), but should still be well within what is consider “normal” dog construction. SH: The standard clearly calls for “elbows well tucked in”. We are seeing a vast number with a gap between the elbow and body even when standing. This is an easy feature to judge and our judges need to be penalizing it accordingly. Another challenge today is that too many generic show dogs are rewarded in the breed ring. These dogs often have straighter shoulders, upright necks and over-angulated rears, more than our breed standard allows, which leads to imbalance of angles in the shoul- der and rear. This imbalance is detrimental to overall soundness and function while also creating incorrect breed type. PL: Length of body. EL: Size. We are seeing oversized dogs. The 23 to 25 inch range for boys and 21 to 24 inches for girls suites their type and function best—too big and it all fails. 4. Do you think the dogs you see in this breed are better now than they were when you first started judging? Why or why not? EE: Having kept abreast with the breed for 40+ years and having judged them for most of those years, I think on a global basis there are probably more good dogs around now than ever before. But there have always been some outstanding Pharaoh Hounds out there, and the best dogs of yesterday—going back in time to the best Merymuts and dogs like champions Shemas Khan Khara, Farao Anubis Ramses and Antefas Kahira—were just as good as the best dogs of today or maybe even better. That being said, the best dogs of today would have done very well in the past too. SH: They are definitely better than when I got into the breed in the mid 80s. We are not seeing as many loose fronts and flipping pasterns that there were in my early years. We also have better toplines overall while only seeing a few currently with soft toplines. One concern is nar- row rears on the move. The breed should move with some width the rear in order to keep them steady when hunting on the rocky, uneven terrain of their native Malta. Many are very narrow in the rear, which should be considered a fault.
PL: Noble, graceful and alert. EL: Strong, athletic and alert.
2. What are your “must have” traits in this breed? EE: The breed is fortunate to have a very good breed stan- dard that clearly spells out the must-haves of the breed and is very similar in all countries which is reflected in the dogs themselves. The must-haves include a slightly rectangular body with clean-cut lines, not very curvy. The breed should be noble and give the impression of high quality. Balanced, but moderate (meaning not too much and not too little) angulation both ends making for a no-nonsense construction. A typical head with parallel planes, good length of skull and muzzle. Ears that are car- ried erect when alert, medium high set and contributing to the keen expression. An arched neck. Sound legs and feet and sound, free and flowing movement with head held fairly high as consistent with the breed’s noble bearing. SH: Classic head with parallel planes, off-center upright ears and oval eyes. Medium size with balanced moder- ate angles. Of course, classic tan to chestnut color with minimal white. PL: Free-flowing gait with an alert, playful temperament. EL: The structural aspects that make the breed what it should be both standing still, on the move and in the field. Pharaohs should be slightly rectangular, have an athletic strong topline and move with grace and free flowing effortless action. In the ring, the breed should glide over the ground without any lift and that car- ries through to how Pharaohs gallop also. The Pharaoh Hound head is strong, but also lean and chiseled. The PH Standard calling for a “Blunt Wedge” describes the head well. There is no doubt that between the head, move- ment style and outline, the Pharaoh Hound is distinctive from close-up and from far away!
3. Are there any traits in this breed you fear are becoming exaggerated?
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PL: I have only been judging about 2 years, so I can answer this way: Pharaoh Hounds have continued to improve in a positive way since their arrival in the Hound group! The breeders have worked diligently to improve their breed in a positive way, from temperament to structure and everything in between. EL: I think type in this breed was well established before coming into AKC competition. That did not need to change and it hasn’t. Overall soundness and consistency has improved as numbers have increased in the United States and through the efforts of excellent breeders. 5. What do you think new judges misunderstand about the breed? EE: Few new judges have had the opportunity to see many excellent Pharaoh Hounds in one place at one time. All judges need to see and appreciate quite a lot of good rep- resentatives of any breed in order to know instinctively what is too refined or too coarse, what is too leggy or too low on legs, what is too short or too long and what con- stitutes the ideal silhouette of the breed. Construction- wise and movement-wise, the Pharaoh Hound is charac- terized by normality and lack of exaggerations. This is a sound, healthy breed with one leg in each corner and balanced angulation both ends with body length slightly longer than height at withers and brisket down to elbow. It is not a mystery breed and should not be all that dif- ficult to learn and to judge. But both new and more expe- rienced judges still often seem to fall for exaggerations and often miss the beauty of the moderate no-nonsense construction and balance of the ideal Pharaoh Hound. People with background in other Sighthound breeds often tend to look for more curves in the Pharaoh Hound outline than what the breed should have. The topline should be almost straight as in vertical and the tuck-up should be moderate, so the ideal Pharaoh Hound silhou- ette is a far cry from the Whippet. The beautiful, classical head has by tradition been much valued in the breed, and in my book the head counts for more in this breed than in any other Sighthound. Parallel head planes making a blunt wedge from all angles should be much sought after. A roman nose is not at all attractive. One thing that does a lot to confuse new judges is their obsession with com- paring Pharaoh Hounds to Ibizan Hounds. As the breeds are very different in construction and balance, this is a totally futile exercise. SH: This is not supposed to be a flashy breed so they should not be expected to be. They are a medium-sized, moder- ately angled, reddish dog without extremes. They should not be penalized for not being extreme as the standard in no way calls for extremes. PL: As in most breeds, the ability to do the job they were bred to do is one of the most important things to
(photo courtesy of sheila hoffman)
remember when judging this breed. Well balanced, built for speed... Just because the dog moves around the ring fast, does not mean it is correct and efficient. EL: Front movement style is a key difference between Ibizans and Pharaoh hounds. I think many new judges need to be steadfast in considering proper movement an important aspect of type and to reward it when it is correct. Judges Education for both breeds emphasizes this feature. 6. Is there anything else you’d like to share about the breed? EE: Many, many years ago and in their heyday, I had the pleasure of visiting the Merymut kennels of Misses Still, Druce and Singer in the UK. The ladies were all very unique and great characters, and they had some lovely dogs that made a strong impact on me and formed an ide- al in my young mind that still remains. The pretty much universal breed standard and the excellent international co-operation between the main breeders have done this breed a lot of good. Pharaoh Hounds are a delight to judge at major specialties and all-breed shows in several countries. For the last three decades, Sweden has been the main stronghold of the breed even if type may be more varying than before. Having judged the breed on several occasions at Skokloster, I would still advice Pha- raoh Hound breeders to look to Sweden. But both the US and Russia are right up there, and the best dogs in both countries can compete with the best
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eric liebes pharaoh hound q&a
with espen engh, sheila
hoffman, pam lambie &
Swedish dogs. Finland also has a strong population of the breed, all other countries having quite a heavy dose of Swedish bloodlines. It was interesting for me to judge Pharaoh Hounds at Westminster and Crufts within the timespan of a month in 2013. The winning pair (BOB and BOS) at Westminster turned out to be littermates, as were the winning pair at Crufts. But even more remarkable was the fact that the Westminster pair were litter mates to the dam of the Crufts pair. Breeding will out! SH: We see too many high ear sets with ears located on the top of the head instead of the medium set stated in the standard. Also many light eyes are showing up that are not blending with the coat color and look like headlights and a fair number have rounder eyes than desired. The alert, keen, intelligent expression is changed when any of these traits occur resulting in the loss of our classic head type and expression. PL: Pharaoh hounds are SERIOUS HUNTING/COURSING dogs! I campaigned a beautiful bitch years ago, Samba. She used to stalk birds and catch them in mid air! It was crazy and awesome to watch. Each year at the Pharaoh National the lure coursing entry is nearly as many as the conformation entry. It is exciting and noisy to watch this breed do what they are bred to do! EL: The Pharaoh Hound’s personality is another great high- light I love about the breed. Playful, but noble, alert and
seeing everything and with Sighthound “far-sightedness”, Pharaohs are a blast in the field and everywhere--some- thing to appreciate. 7. And, for a bit of humor: What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever experienced at a dog show? SH: While gaiting a dog around the ring, a follow exhibi- tor’s slip elastic gave way and it feel to her ankles. It was a white slip, so it was very obvious. She very calmly and efficiently kicked it off into her hand, stuffed it in a pocket and continued gaiting. I’m not sure her dog ever noticed. We all had to stop a minute for a good laugh, including her. So if you ever have a wardrobe malfunc- tion, handle it with grace and humor! EL: In the field, rather than the show ring, Pharaohs are famous for knowing too much about how the Lure Trial works. I think they lead the competition in delay-of-game penalties after they finish running. It is common for Pharaohs to revisit the course after the lure stops. They usually run out to a pulley and sometimes pull it out of the ground to see if the “bunny” is down there. It is like when they were running by earlier, they noted the squeaky pulley and made a note to come back and inves- tigate it later. This is always funny to everyone except the owner (and the field committee) who is chasing the dog down so that the trial can continue.
(photo courtesy of sheila hoffman)
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