Pharaoh Hound Breed Magazine - Showsight

Pharaoh Hound Breed Magazine features information, expert articles, and stunning photos from AKC judges, breeders, and owners.


Let’s Talk Breed Education!

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Official Standard of the Pharaoh Hound General Appearance: General Appearance is one of grace, power and speed. The Pharaoh Hound is medium sized, of noble bearing with hard clean-cut lines-graceful, well balanced, very fast with free easy movement and alert expression. The following description is that of the ideal Pharaoh Hound. Any deviation from the below described dog must be penalized to the extent of the deviation. Size, Proportion, Substance: Height - Dogs 23 to 25 inches. Bitches 21 to 24 inches. All-over balance must be maintained. Length of body from breast to haunch bone slightly longer than height of withers to ground. Lithe. Head: Alert expression . Eyes amber colored, blending with coat; oval, moderately deep set with keen intelligent expression. Ears medium high set, carried erect when alert, but very mobile, broad at the base, fine and large. Skull long, lean and chiseled. Only slight stop. Foreface slightly longer than the skull. Top of the skull parallel with the foreface representing a blunt wedge. Nose flesh colored, blending with the coat. No other color. Powerful jaws with strong teeth. Scissors bite . Neck, Topline, Body: Neck long, lean and muscular with a slight arch to carry the head on high. Clean throat line. Almost straight topline . Slight slope from croup to root of tail. Body lithe. Deep brisket almost down to point of elbow. Ribs well sprung. Moderate tuck-up. Tail medium set - fairly thick at the base and tapering whip-like, reaching below the point of hock in repose. Well carried and curved when in action. The tail should not be tucked between the legs. A screw tail is a fault. Forequarters : Shoulders long and sloping and well laid back. Strong without being loaded. Elbows well tucked in. Forelegs straight and parallel. Pasterns strong. Dewclaws may be removed. Feet neither cat nor hare but strong, well knuckled and firm, turning neither in nor out. Paws well padded. Hindquarters: Strong and muscular. Limbs parallel. Moderate sweep of stifle. Well developed second thigh. Dewclaws may be removed. Feet as in front. Coat: Short and glossy, ranging from fine and close to slightly harsh with no feathering. Accident blemishes should not be considered as faults. Color : Ranging from tan/rich, tan/chestnut with white markings allowed as follows: White tip on tail strongly desired. White on chest (called "the Star"). White on toes and slim white snip on center line of face permissible. Flecking or other white undesirable, except for any solid white spot on the back of neck, shoulder, or any part of the back or sides of the dog, which is a disqualification. Gait : Free and flowing; the head should be held fairly high and the dog should cover the ground well without any apparent effort. The legs and feet should move in line with the body; any tendency to throw the feet sideways, or a high stepping "hackney" action is a definite fault. Temperament: Intelligent, friendly, affectionate and playful. Alert and active. Very fast with a marked keenness for hunting, both by sight and scent. Disqualification : Any solid white spot on the back of neck, shoulder, or any part of the back or sides of the dog.

Approved May 10, 1983 Effective April 3, 1989


T he Pharaoh Hound is fortunate to have a well-written, descriptive, yet concise Breed Standard that was created based upon the tried and true “form follows function” per- spective. Our Standard contains several nuances that are not common to any other Hound breed. In this article, the Pharaoh Hound Club of America Judges’ Education Committee wishes to quickly hit on several overarching elements of our Standard from which we have seen notable deviations in recent years, and which we hope to see judges contemplating and prioritizing. Correctness in these areas is key to breed function as well as classic, unmistakable, and unique breed type. An element of the Pharaoh Hound Breed Standard that is both unique and objective is the description of correct breed proportions: “ Length of body from breast to haunch bone slightly longer than height of withers to ground. ” Where numerous Standards for other breeds call for “slightly longer than tall” proportions, the Pharaoh Hound Standard explicitly defines point-to-point length measurements. When viewed in profile from across the ring, a correctly proportioned Pharaoh Hound will resemble a rectangle only slightly more than a square. This is because length measurement must be taken from the forechest (breast) to the point of buttocks/ischium (haunch bone). It is important to note that the Pharaoh Hound’s length is not in the back or loin (as we see an increasing number of long bodies with overly rectangular profiles), potentially leading to a lack of agility as well as topline issues. Another priority apparent in a Pharaoh Hound's profile is balance. The Standard stresses, “ All-over balance must be maintained. ” The shoul- der is well laid back, with a smooth transition of strong neck into shoul- ders, and the rear is equally angled to the front with only a moderate sweep of stifle. A high neck, which sets abruptly into an upright shoul- der, paired with an over-angled rear assembly (wherein the perpendicular hocks fall significantly behind the point of buttocks) is often seen as “flashy” construction, but is not breed-typical or balanced and will abso- lutely lead to incorrect movement.




Skull: Correct Pharaoh Hound head shape should resemble a “ blunt wedge ” when viewed both head-on and in profile. This requires a strong underjaw extending all the way to the end of the nose. This differs from some related Mediterranean breeds. For example, the Ibizan Hound Standard specifically calls for the nose to be “...prominent, extending beyond the lower jaw.” Also neces- sary for the blunt wedge shape of the Pharaoh Hound are parallel head planes and a slight, but readily apparent, stop. A lack of under- jaw (giving the muzzle a far too “pointy” look), as well as exhib- its that are down-faced and/or Roman-nosed with both too little AND too pronounced a stop, all detract from the desired blunt wedge head shape and required “ alert... keen intelligent ” expression. Eyes: Pharaoh eyes are distinctive in that they are oval in shape and amber in color. The exact shade of amber permitted depends on the coat color, but should always blend. A round and/or light- colored eye (except in a puppy where eyes typically start out light gold and gradually darken into maturity) significantly changes the required keen, alert, intelligent expression. Ears: Our Standard calls for a “ medium high ” ear-set, wherein the outer edge of the ear continues the lines of the blunt wedge formed by the muzzle/cheeks when viewed head-on. High-set, almost parallel, ears, though correct for the Cirneco dell’Etna (the Cirneco Dell’Etna Standard states: “Set very high and close together, erect and rigid, parallel or almost parallel when alert.”), are a definite fault in a Pharaoh Hound—but a fault we are seeing with increasing frequency in exhibits. Keeping these points at the fore when judging a broad entry of Pharaoh Hounds will not only help to separate the good from the great, it will also help to identify the most excellent examples of the breed; the ones that adhere to a Breed Standard which was devel- oped based on a deep understanding that the Pharaoh Hound's structure is inextricably tied to its functional role as a tirelessly efficient hunter, active among the rocky terrain of Malta.

Correct Pharaoh Hound movement is a direct result and cul- mination of correct proportions and balance, and should be con- sidered one of the highest priorities in judging. Though capable of intense speed when in double suspension, the breed spends much more time functioning as an endurance trotter as it hunts. The efficiency of gait is therefore paramount. A correctly balanced Pha- raoh Hound will be so efficient, smooth, and effortless in its gait that nothing will appear “flashy” or otherwise draw one’s eye in any overt manner (such as any lifting or hackney action in front, overreaching, or upwards kicking motion in the rear). This is not a breed meant to be raced around the show ring or one that should be rewarded for TRAD (tremendous reach and drive), since it comes at the expense of effortless, sound movement. When mov- ing about the ring, the Pharaoh Hound's topline should remain level in motion, with minimal bounce; imagine a full cup of water resting on the Pharaoh's back without spilling. When coming and going, both front and back legs should move in-line with the body. Ideally, you should see only one set of legs, and the legs should remain close to parallel (save a slight natural convergence at higher rates of speed). This is a breed that should never single-track, crab, throw elbows, or flip pasterns—all actions which indicate a lack of working balance between the front and rear angulation. Though not as important from a functional standpoint as the aforementioned proportion, balance, and movement, the Pha- raoh Hound head is certainly a key element of correct, aestheti- cally pleasing breed type and should not be overlooked. While our Breed Standard provides very specific guidelines for how to judge the Pharaoh Hound head, there is some room for subjectivity, since differing heads may be marginally different yet equally correct. However, we are seeing an increasing number of Pharaoh Hounds being shown with objective head faults that significantly detract from the unique breed type. Look for the following:


Emily Kerridge Emily Kerridge is from Washington State, and operates under the kennel prefix Nefer-Temu. Emily has been actively involved with Pharaoh Hounds since 1993, starting when she was 11 years old as a Junior Handler. As it frequently happens in the dog world, one thing naturally led to another to bring her to the point she’s at now, 30 years later, maintaining a preservation breeding program. Emily has very much enjoyed being a breeder/owner- handler of many top-ranked, Group-winning Pharaohs over the years. At present, Nefer-Temu has produced over 50 AKC Champions and dozens of dual, triple, and quadruple-titled versatile Pharaohs that have been top-ranked in various venues of competition (Conformation, Lure Coursing, and other Performance sports). She is currently serving on the Board of Directors of the Pharaoh Hound Club of America and is active as a breed-mentor in the Judges’ Education Committee. Outside of the dog world, Emily is a professional trombone and euphonium player, Army Reservist, and mom. Sheila Hoffman Sheila Hoffman got her first Pharaoh Hound in 1983 and quickly realized that it was the breed for her. Sheila was completely taken with the breed’s looks and versatility. She’s been actively competing in Conformation, Lure Coursing, Obedience, and Agility, and also as a breeder. Sheila has owned and bred many Champions, Group-placing dogs, a National Specialty winner (breeder/owner-handled), several Field Champions and Best in Field dogs, four CDs, three CDXs, and three MACH and Triple Champions as well as other multiple Agility and Rally titles with her dogs. She encourages all owners to experience these aspects of the breed along with their charming personalities in day-to-day life. Sheila became a PHCA member in 1984. She started on the Board of Directors in 1990 and served as President from 1997 to 2006 and Recording Secretary from 2007 to 2017. She also served as the Awards, Rescue, and Education Coordinator. Sheila’s passion for all aspects of the Pharaoh Hound runs strong and deep, and she feels it is the responsibility of all to preserve what those preceding us have given. Sheila believes our common bond in the love of dogs can make the sports of purebred dogs stronger across the country and enable all to enjoy the delights of sharing our lives with them.



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 flexible; 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 will likely 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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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. Like most sighthounds, Pharaoh Hounds 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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with espen engh, sheila hoffman, pam lambie & eric liebes pharaoh hound q&a

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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with espen engh, sheila hoffman, pam lambie & eric liebes pharaoh hound q&a

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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