You all know what hounds are - they're hunting dogs.
Hounds are bred to seek, hunt and often to kill, and you may have difficulty interpreting that in the show ring. Just remember when judging hounds, you are judging a dog bred for a special purpose, which is NOT to be in the show ring. They would far rather be out hunting, and if they seem a bit distant and offhand, that is part of their nature, so do not penalise them for it. Especially the Spitz breeds, they really don't like staying still, so do forgive some movement from them. Hounds are hounds and nothing is going to change that.
They usually do not take kindly to obedience as the most important thing in their life is to go out on the hunt, and they use their brains for that. Please remember that many hounds will hold their head low - trying to sniff what has gone before, and allowances should be made for this, particularly with young stock.
Hounds are divided into several sections.
|The Sight hounds, consisting of the Afghan Hound, Borzoi, Deerhound, Greyhound, Irish Wolfhound, Saluki, Sloughi and Whippet.
||The Scenthounds consist of Bassets, the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen, Beagles, Bloodhounds, Coonhounds, Dachshunds, Harriers, Otterhounds, Foxhounds and the Hamiltonstovare.
|Some hounds hunt by sight, scent and listening ability and can be classed in more than one group, such as the Basenji, Ibizan Hound, Pharaoh Hound and Rhodesian Ridgeback. The Basenji is listed as a Spitz, and in FCI countries is actually shown in the Spitz Group.
The Spitz hounds consist of the Basenji, Elkhound and Finnish Spitz. A Spitz is categorised as a dog with a ruff around the neck, pricked ears, tail carried curled over the back, usually moderately angulated, and a rather determined personality.
As soon as a hound comes into the ring, think what he is bred for and then judge accordingly.
We'll start with the Sighthound.