The Pharaoh hound, which we think of as a hunting dog, also makes an excellent show dog. From the time the Pharaohs were first recognized in 1994, the American Kennel Club has had 233 litters and 1,211 dogs registered with their club. Of these numbers, 465 have earned their AKC Championship in addition to 53 of them being in Obedience. Many of the hunting dogs have also earned titles in AKC lure coursing.
Lure coursing is when the Pharaoh has the task of chasing a lure that is mechanically operated. This competition is usually reserved to dogs of the sighthound family, although other breeds have participated. The dogs chase the lure across a field, which has a specific pattern that resembles a real live course with bends and curves. The course is required to have a minimum amount of curves similar to what rabbits would travel on if they were in the woods. The lure course is usually between 600 and 1,000 yards long. The dog is not supposed to "cheat" by cutting off the lure or going off the path. They are judged by enthusiasm, speed, agility, endurance and accuracy. This is an event that most Pharaoh Hounds love doing.
Agility is another even that the Pharaoh hound participates in and places very well. There are many different obstacle courses the Pharaoh has to go over, under and through to do well. Some of the obstacles are a slide, tunnels, bars, and poles. The dog is expected to travel in the path of the obstacles and is judged on accuracy, endurance, speed and staying on the course in the way it is designed.
The Pharaoh also competes in the obedience part of the show ring. With the independence this dog possesses, many times the owner or trainer has their work cut out for them, but once this dog learns something, it is never forgotten. They are so intelligent, but it is often a matter of "convincing" the Pharaoh that they want to learn what is being taught to them. For the basic obedience, they need to learn and know the basic commands and perform them on command.
Conformation is another event the Pharaoh performs in and usually does very well. This shows and tells what the dog looks like in comparison to the breed standard such color, size and proportion of the body. The Pharaoh dog has to have perfectly proportioned body parts and must stand for the judge and allow the dog to touch him and look him over carefully. Occasionally, the Pharaoh has a tendency to "balk" when they are first touched by strangers they don't yet trust. The judge will usually make allowances for the dog.
In some dog clubs, the Pharaoh also participates in herding, which determines how well the dog will round up and bring the herd to where they should be. They can't bite the animal, but must gently bring them around.