Saturday, February 7, 2009

3 Good Things (hound edition)

From the AKC

Most hounds share the common ancestral trait of being used for hunting. Some use acute scenting powers to follow a trail. Others demonstrate a phenomenal gift of stamina as they relentlessly run down quarry. Beyond this, however, generalizations about hounds are hard to come by, since the Group encompasses quite a diverse lot. There are Pharaoh Hounds, Norwegian Elkhounds, Afghans and Beagles, among others. Some hounds share the distinct ability to produce a unique sound known as baying.

1. The Harrier

Developed in England to hunt hare in packs, Harriers must have all the attributes of a scenting pack hound. [They must appear] able to work tirelessly, no matter the terrain, for long periods. Running gear and scenting ability are particularly important features.

I love English (larger heads) and American (longer legs) Foxhounds. This is really a smaller version of the English Foxhound, and they look incredibly well built. I’d want one of these, but for that “baying” thing.


2. Basenji

A poised, elegant hunting dog from Africa, the Basenji is smoothly muscular and moves with ease and agility. He is lightly built and possesses a wrinkled head and a high, curled tail. The Basenji is commonly known as the "barkless dog," but when excited, he makes a noise that sounds like a yodel.

I’ve met a Basenji and a Basenji mix. I find the yellow eyes a little disconcerting, but the dogs themselves seemed really happy, alert, inquisitive, and friendly, and still well behaved. While they aren’t barkless, they are not likely to bark under normal circumstances such as at the vacuum cleaner or dust bunnies (ironic, I know) as the Pug does.


3. Pharaoh Hound

The Pharaoh Hound, one of the oldest domesticated dogs in recorded history, traces his lineage to roughly 3000 B. C. Fortunately, the history of Egyptian civilization was well documented and preserved through paintings and hieroglyphics. From these we learn that this unique dog was treasured for his great hunting ability and his affinity for close family relationships.

I chose this breed because I think its history is fascinating. True, it has the creepy yellow eyes thing going on, but it's beautiful.

"FROM THE TOMB OF ANTEFA II (approximately 2300 B.C.) This is the drawing from which the Pharaoh Hound Club of America, Inc. has created it's logo."


Honorable Mention: Afghan Hound. I had one. She chewed through two couches. Still, I can’t deny the animal’s grace and beauty. They are really fun to watch as they glide around the ring.

Next up: The Toy Group

Why Dog Week?

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