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Breed Priorities – The Pharaoh Hound

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260 – May, 2018


The Pharaoh Hound resembles the dogs represented in ancient Egyptian temples, but its more recent historical home was the island of Malta in the Mediterranean Sea. The National Dog of Malta, the breed is known there as Kelb tal-Fenek, the dog of the rabbit, and is used for rabbit hunting. When the breed was introduced to the United Kingdom in the 1960s, it was renamed to “Pharaoh Hound.”

The Pharaoh Hound first came to the United States in 1967. It is listed on AKC’s Low Entry Breeds list and is ranked 174th out of 190 breeds in AKC’s 2017 registration statistics. Often with the breeds with lower numbers, the challenge in doing a survey of the breed’s priorities is finding enough breed experts to participate and then to convince enough of them to participate.

We found eighteen Pharaoh Hound breed experts to invite to take the survey. Fourteen agreed to do so, and ten completed surveys were received. A couple more said they were trying, but theirs were not returned. I was curious that with lower than normal participation how much impact any outliers would have on the results – how skewed the averages would be by the one or two whose opinions were noticeably different from most of the others. Those who contributed to this survey have been in the breed for nearly twenty-five years on average.

Prioritizing Virtues

The experts were asked to prioritize a list of breed virtues taken from the Pharaoh Hound standard, from the most impor- tant to the least important. Below is the list of Pharaoh Hound characteristics in sequence by the experts’ average ranks, with 1 being the most important.

1. Gait free and flowing, head held fairly high
2. Grace, power, and speed
3. Shoulders long, sloping, well laid back
4. Length of body slightly longer than height
5. Hindquarters strong, muscular, moderate sweep of stifle
6. Neck long, lean, muscular, with a slight arch
7. Almost straight topline
8. Skull long, lean, chiseled…foreface slightly longer than skull
9. Ribs well sprung, moderate tuck-up
10. Ears medium high set, carried erect when alert, very mobile, broad at base, fine, large
11. Deep brisket almost down to point of elbow
12. Height: dogs 23”-25”; bitches 21”-24”
13. Feet neither cat nor hare, strong, well-knuckled, firm
14. Scissors bite
15. Color from tan/rich, tan/chestnut with allowed white markings…white tip on tail
16. Tail medium set, fairly thick at base, tapering whip-like

Click here to read the complete article
260 – May, 2018

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