Sighthound Breeds - Picture of a Borzoi

Sighthound Breeds

Sighthound Breeds: The Sighthound Breeds, also known as Sight Hounds or gazehounds, include some of the most ancient, Hound Dog hunting breeds. They are noted for their hunting prowess and tremendous speed and agility, that is reflected in their smooth, sleek, supple, streamlined (but muscular) body form. Sighthound Breeds are characterized by their long, slender head, excellent eyesight, athleticism, and their powerful legs, strong, thin bones, and padded paws that enable them to quickly travel across all types of terrain and land types.

The Sighthound Breeds also have an extremely powerful underjaw which is designed to hold and kill their quarry. The eyes of Sighthounds are widely set with peripheral vision which enable the to see a wide panorama of terrain and quickly react to the movement of animals.

Names of Sighthound Breeds: The names of the Sighthound Breeds are the Afghan Hound, Basenji, Borzoi, Greyhound, Ibizan Hound, Irish Wolfhound, Pharaoh Hound, Portuguese Podengo, Saluki, Scottish Deerhound and the Whippet.

Hunting Dogs - The Scenthounds: The hunters complimented the hunting skills of the fast and agile Sighthounds with the fortitude of the slower Scenthound Breeds.  Scenthounds were used to hunt their prey guided by the odor, or smell, of their quarry. Although Scent hounds are not as fast as Sighthounds they are strong, determined and built for endurance, with loose, moist lips and big muzzles with deep, open nostrils that enable them pick up scent particles and track their quarry.

Sighthound Breeds - Working with Bay Dogs and Catch Dogs: Sighthounds were later used in conjunction with Bay Dogs, aka as Hog Dogs or Cur Breeds, such as the Bulldog and American Staffordshire Terrier, who were trained to harry, harass and corner its quarry (hence the expression "Holding a stag at bay". Sighthound Breeds also worked with human hunters in conjunction with Catch Dogs, such as the Canary Dog and the American Pit Bull Terrier  who alerted by the baying of the hounds, were specially trained to catch and hold their quarry until the human hunter arrived. For additional facts and information refer to Hunting Dogs.

The History of Sighthound Breeds: The history of the Sighthound breeds is fascinating, dates back to ancient Antiquity, before 5000 B.C., and believed to be some of the first domesticated dogs.  Images of Sighthound breeds can be found in Ancient Egypt, including the tomb of Tutankhamen,  and the dogs of Pharaohs were even buried with their master. The Ancient Egyptian god Anubis, the lord of mummification the Egyptian afterlife, was depicted as man with the head of a black dog.

Sighthound Breeds - Afghan Hound: The large size, regal, independent, cool Afghan Hound is one of the the Hound Dog Group (AKC:1926) and used as a Hunting Dog to hunt hare, fox, wolf and gazelle.

Sighthound Breeds - Basenji: The medium size, energetic, loving, curious Basenji is one of the Hound Dog Group (AKC:1943) and used as a Hunting Dog in Africa to hunt monkeys, small cats and antelopes.

Sighthound Breeds - Borzoi: The large to giant size, respectful, independent, sweet-tempered Borzoi is one of the Hound Dog Group (AKC:1891) and used as a Hunting Dog to hunt wolves and foxes.

Sighthound Breeds - Greyhound: The large size, loving, even tempered, clever Greyhound Dog is one of the Hound Dog Group (AKC:1885) and used as a Hunting Dog to hunt deer, wolves and antelopes.

Sighthound Breeds - Ibizan Hound: The large size, active, engaging, headstrong Ibizan Hound is one of the Hound Dog Group (AKC:1978) and used as a Hunting Dog to hunt small game such as rabbits.

Sighthound Breeds - Irish Wolfhound: The giant size, faithful, regal, patient Irish Wolfhound is one of the Hound Dog Group (AKC:1897) and used as a Hunting Dog to hunt wolves, stag and elk.

Sighthound Breeds - Pharaoh Hound: The medium size, sociable, active, loving Pharaoh Hound is one of the Hound Dog Group (AKC:1983) and used as a Hunting dog to hunt gazelle and small game in Ancient Egypt.

Sighthound Breeds - Portuguese Podengo: The small size, hardy, lively, companionable Portuguese Podengo is a multi-sensory hound (Sight Hound and Scenthound) and used as a Hunting Dog to hunt rabbits.

Sighthound Breeds - Rhodesian Ridgeback: The large sized, faithful, sensitive Rhodesian Ridgeback is one of the Sight hound breeds (AKC:1955) and used as a Hunting Dog to hunt large game, including lions, in Africa. This dog also has some of the attributes of a Scenthound.

Sighthound Breeds - Saluki: The large size, faithful, cool, clever Saluki is one of the Hound Dog Group (AKC:1929) and used as a Hunting Dog to hunt hawks, foxes, wolves, hare and gazelle.

Sighthound Breeds - Scottish Deerhound: The giant size, sweet-tempered, regal, docile Scottish Deerhound is one of the Hound Dog Group (AKC:1886 and used as a Hunting Dog to hunt deer and stags.

Sighthound Breeds - Whippet: The medium size, loving, lively, sweet-tempered Whippet is one of the Hound Dog Group (AKC:1888) and used as a Hunting Dog to hunt rabbits.

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