Pharaoh Hound

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Life span

14 Years


25 Kg


Hound Dogs

Pharaoh Hound Overview

The Pharaoh Hound is a medium-sized sight-hound with a muscular, athletic body. Its distinct features are the large and erect ears that move to listen for animals during a hunt, acting like radar that hones in on the target. A swift and alert hunter that hunts by scent and sight, the Pharaoh Hound has a blunt wedge-shaped head with amber eyes that gives an intelligent expression, flesh-coloured nose that blends with the colour of the coat and powerful jaws with complete scissor bite. The long, muscular neck gives sufficient support to the head. The body is longer than it is tall and features a long shoulder and deep brisket that extends down to the elbow. It has straight front legs and strong, muscular back legs supported by well-knuckled feet with strong, firm pads to support and cushion the body when moving. The whip-like tail tapers to a point and is carried high and curved when the dog is alert. The short, slightly harsh and glossy coat displays no feathering and comes in tan or rich tan colouring; white markings on the tip of the tail, chest, and slim white blaze on the face line are permissible according to breed standards

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Pharaoh Hound Characteristics

Size InformationIntelligence
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Size InformationExercise Needs
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Size InformationDogs Health
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Size InformationChild Friendly
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Size InformationApartment
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Size InformationShedding
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Size InformationGrooming Needs
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Size InformationBarking
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Size InformationAlone
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Size InformationTrainability
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Size InformationEnergy Levels
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Size InformationDog friendly
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History & Origin

The Pharaoh Hound is thought to be one of the oldest dog breeds that exist today. However, experts who conducted DNA analysis of the breed revealed that the Pharaoh Hound is a recent construction, which was developed to bear a resemblance to the ancient breed, found in Egyptian hieroglyphs. This modern finding laid to rest the famous “Egyptian myth” regarding the Egyptian origin of the breed. In fact, the Pharaoh Hound was created into its present form on the islands of Malta and Gozo. Locally known as “kelb-tal fenek”, it was widely used to hunt rabbits using its sense of sight and hearing. It was first brought to the United Kingdom in the 1920s and was named Pharaoh Hound due to its striking similarity to the breed found on the walls of ancient Egyptian tombs. In 1974, the Pharaoh Hound was officially recognized as the national dog of Malta. Today, this talented dog is not only used in its native origin as a hunter but also as a guard dog and a gundog.

Pharaoh Hound Temperament

The Pharaoh Hound is a bright, sensitive and naturally docile breed. It is playful and active; loves to give chase due to its hunting instinct. It is a light-hearted breed that loves playing with children but is typically calm when it is indoors. It goes along well with other dogs but it may have a tendency to be male-dominant. The Pharaoh Hound’s strong hunting instinct makes it very unsociable to small animals, particularly small house pets such as rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters. Unfortunately, this breed does not make a good guard dog because it is rarely aggressive with humans and it is often timid. It does not bark excessively and will often bark only when it is absolutely necessary. This breed has distinct “blushing” characteristics; the nose and ears turns to rosy red when the dog is excited.

Pharaoh Hound Training

Training should have a consistent approach and the trainer needs to be understanding as the Pharaoh Hound is not too difficult to train. It is a sensitive breed and will respond poorly to physical abuse. He sees training as attention, thus enjoying it. Since he dislikes repetition, it is important to keep training short. Positive reinforcement such as praise food rewards and the like is recommended.


The short coat needs very little grooming. A quick rub with a hound glove or damp cloth is sufficient enough to remove dead or loose hairs. It is a clean dog with no doggy odour like other dogs but it should be noted that the Pharaoh Hound has a sensitive skin and may quickly get irritated by dog or human shampoo so it is best to use a mild shampoo when bathing the dog. Experts particularly recommend foods that include a blend of salt-water fish, poultry, lamb, avocado, wheat, or corn to the breed’s diet.


The average lifespan of the Pharaoh Hound is between 12 to 14 years. It is basically free from hereditary medical conditions, mainly due to the fact that it is somewhat unpopular and breeding it may not be profitable commercially so those who do breed them do it responsibly for the love of the breed. However, like most hounds that hunt by sight, this breed may be sensitive to barbiturate anaesthetics.

Pharaoh Hound Exercise Needs

It should be exercised on a daily basis; an hour of jogging, running alongside a bicycle on-leash or long walks on-leash with occasional running is an ideal exercise routine. A house with at least a large yard is an ideal living environment for this breed. However, the yard must have a secured, tall fence because the Pharaoh Hound can jump high and will stop at nothing to go after its prey. Although it is very active outdoors, it will also do fine in an apartment provided that it is regularly taken out for daily exercises.

Children and other pets

It makes a good companion, typically reserved with strangers but very loving and demonstrative towards its human family. Loves to play with children.

Can live with smaller dogs and small cats under supervision.