Morphs [Oak Catalog #]
- Houndour 
- Houndoom 
Physical DescriptionHoundour are foot-tall Dark-furred canine Pokemon with red muzzles and underbellies. Houndoom are larger- usually three or four feet tall to the top of their horns. Both of these Pokemon sport rib-like growths on their backs and what appear to be shackles around their ankles.
Notable BiologyThe Houndour line is distantly related to the Vulpix and Growlithe lines, but more closely related to the Poochyena line. Like Vulpix and Growlithe, Houndour and its morphs internalize their fire and expel it through their mouths. Their fire is adapted for hunting and self-defense purposes; Houndoom strengthen their fire with a chemical that has been dubbed "Houndpalm, " that is mainly derived from stomach acid, allowing the morphs to leave deeper burns than those of most other Fire Types, and often even cause major nerve damage. This has led to the urban legend that Houndoom flame burns forever. Houndour also have a skull plate, which is shed in place of horns when it evolves. Houndoom has one more "shackle" per paw and one more "rib" than Houndour, as well as a skull "necklace". Houndoom's "ribs" are special structures that house the Houndpalm. This substance is composed of stomach acid and other gastric byproducts. Their fur is resistant to it, in case a "rib" accidentally breaks, but if this substance were to come into contact with their internal organs (barring, of course, the stomach and esophagus), death would be slow and painful. The other protuberances are believed to have had some advantage in the past, but are purely vestigial now, with the obvious exception of Houndour's skull plate, which protects the infant Pokemon until its skull hardens.
HabitatHoundour are usually found in areas of rough terrain, but many have made the transition to Grasslands, and even the occasional city.
DietIn the wild, Houndour are mainly carnivorous, but supplement their diets with berries and grasses. Houndoom prefer spicy berries, which contain capsaicin, which— among other unknown substances— will be incorporated into the Houndpalm. They will also chew rocks (and, once they become Houndoom, their discarded skull plate) to strengthen their outer "ribs."
HazardsThe Houndour line does not begin to produce Houndpalm until sexual maturity. As such, Houndour caught in the wild are actually less dangerous than the average fire type, due to their usually compliant nature. They are recommended for intermediate trainers, but even a beginner trainer can make adequate use of one, provided that it has been spayed or neutered to prevent the production of Houndpalm. In fact, only spayed or neutered Houndour or Houndoom are allowed in official tournament play. Houndoom caught in the wild tend to be more of a hassle. They have been reported to have challenged (and painfully defeated) their trainers for dominance or the chance to return to the wild. They react unfavorably to being neutered, and so are usually only used for breeding purposes.
Social StructureHoundour and Houndoom share the intelligence of their cousins Vulpix and Growlithe. Houndoom hunt together in well-organized packs, using barks and other such sounds both to disorient their prey and locate each other. Older Houndour who are close to evolving join the Houndoom in the hunt. Houndour that are caught by a trainer quickly come to note that said trainer is the leader, and establish a social hierarchy (usually with himself at a high position) within the party. They are loyal to their trainers to the brink of death, and highly protective of the other Pokemon in their party.
Courting and ChildrearingHoundour are sexually immature. When a female Houndoom comes in heat, she will send plumes of fire and Houndpalm into the sky, attracting males from all around, who will then pair off and hold fire-breathing "contests" of varying types. They attempt to overpower the other, breathe into the sky to see who can last the longest, or in some cases even hold contests of marksmanship. The winner earns the chance to mate. A Houndoom whose mate is pregnant is given leave from hunting duty until his pups are born. Mother Houndoom usually give birth to litters of five or six, and care for their brood for about six months, at which time, they will join in the hunting party.
Written by Sal Fish Fin.