Head

AKC STANDARD

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.

DISCUSSION

Head earsetThe oval or almond-shaped eye set properly in the head gives the dog his expression, and in turn, gives us the feeling of the character of the dog as well as a form of communication with him. Faults are blue eyes, pale yellow eyes, slit eyes, round eyes, bulging eyes and eyes which are set too close together. None of these faults, other than the blue eyes, is severe.

It is most important that the ears not be perpendicular to the skull or parallel to each other, resulting in an earset that is too high. A very high earset is not characteristic of the breed, and therefore not desirable, although striking in appearance. Faults are soft ears which do not stand completely erect, ears with tips bending either forward or backward, ears set low on the head and carried sidewise and ears that are too small in proportion to the head. A "Trademark" of the breed, the magnificently maneuverable ear may well be considered the emotional gauge of the Pharaoh Hound. The ear completely enhances the expression of the dog. When he is excited or alert, the ears will stand erect. When he is quietly happy, he will often hold them back flat. The blush of the inside of the ear shows the emotion of the dog, becoming deeper in color when he is excited or very happy.


head shapeThe long head with a long neck, common to all coursing hounds, is required for speed. The foreface or muzzle should be slightly longer than the skull. The size of the entire head must be proportionate to the size of the body, that is, in balance with each other. Faults are a head that is too small for the body and a head which looks too large for the body. Both are out of balance.

The ideal Pharaoh Hound head resembles a blunt wedge when viewed from the side or from the front. A dog with bulging cheeks is called "Cheeky". This fault gives the dog a coarse-looking head. The interrupted clean flow of line spoils the elegant look. The cheeks must be muscular and lie flat, with no hollow under the eyes.


head planesThe planes of the head should be parallel, when viewed from the side. This means that the top of the skull and the top of the muzzle or foreface must be parallel to each other. The ram's head or down-face is a fault. The dish-faced dog has an unusual and undignified expression which detracts from the look of nobility so important to the Pharaoh Hound. A dish-faced dog has an upturned nose forming a depression between the lip of the nose and the stop. A snipey muzzle is a fault. A snipey muzzle is too pinched or pointed sometimes resulting in weak jaws and poor bite. A dog with a snipey muzzle does not have nobility of expression. The look of power is lost in the weakness of the foreface.

A less serious fault is too much or too little stop, which changes the expression to a degree. Faults which detract from expression and therefore general appearance are a too-wide skull, a too short foreface, and heavy, thick or drooping lips. This last fault detracts severely from the ideal Pharaoh Hound head, the skin of which must fit the head as closely as the skin of the body -- "like that of a glove".


head stopAlthough not mentioned in the standard, nostrils should be generous, not pinched or stingy, for the obvious requirements of hunting by scent and for breathing easily after a hunt with a mouth full of kill. There are times when the color of the nose will change because of the ability (or habit) of the Pharaoh Hound to "blush" when excited or happy. When the Pharaoh Hound blushes, the flesh of the nose and the inside of the ears turn a deep rose color, while the amber eyes also seem to reflect a deeper, almost rosy hue. Here, perhaps, we can see back into Ancient Egypt and apply the following translated quotation. "The red long tailed dog goes into the stalls of the hills, he is better than the long faced dog. He makes no delay in hunting, his face glows like a God and he delights to do his work." Surely this must be a description of the ancient Pharaoh Hound blushing with joy and excitement, just as he does to this day.

A true scissor bite is that in which the lower incisors are upright and touching inside the upper incisors. Faults are undershot or overshot bite. Although not noted in the Standard, full dentition is a most desirable and necessary part of powerful jaws and teeth. It should be noted that missing teeth can be a disadvantage to a breed that uses its teeth for more than just eating. However, missing teeth are not to be considered a fault.