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The Pharaoh Hound is muscular and powerful
yet elegant and graceful in appearance.
These dogs have an ancient Egyptian history
dating back possibly to 3000 B.C. making
them one of the oldest domesticated dog
breeds in the world. It is thought that
long before the birth of Christ, Phoenician
traders brought them to Malta, an island
nation off the coast of Sicily, Italy in
the Mediterranean Sea. Breeders in Malta
were diligent in keeping the breed pure.
Even today the Pharaoh Hound is free from
many genetic diseases as a result of very
Pharaoh Hounds have a keen sense of sight,
sound and scent and were primarily used
in teams to hunt rabbits in Malta and its
neighboring island, Gozo. The first Pharaoh
Hound was brought to the United States in
1967 by Ruth Taft Harper with the help of
Pauline Black and her husband General Adam
Black. The American Kennel Club recognized
the registration for the Pharaoh Hound in
1983 and the breed was entered into Regular
Classes in 1984.
The height for male Pharaoh Hounds should
be between 23 - 25 inches (58.4 - 63.5 cm)
and for bitches between 21 - 24 inches (53.3
- 61 cm). AKC standard. The Pharaoh Hound
is slightly longer in body than in height,
but there should be an allover balance.
The weight for a Pharaoh Hound is between
45-55 pounds (20-25 kg).
The Pharaoh Hound's coat is short and glossy
with a texture that can range from silky
to harsh. The coat lies close and there
is no feathering. Grooming is easy - occasional
brushing and a bath only when necessary
will help maintain the Pharaoh Hound's coat.
The Pharaoh Hound sheds very little and
has no odor.
The color of the Pharaoh Hound's coat can
vary from red to and tan including all shades
of these two. According to the AKC Standard,
these white markings are permissible - on
the chest (White Star), toes and a slim
white snip on center line of face.
The Pharaoh Hound is intelligent, active
and affectionate. He makes a great family
pet and does well with children - which
he is already accustomed to. If your Pharaoh
Hound is not used to being around children,
he should be properly introduced. Also,
keep in mind that this breed is very sensitive
regarding his eyes - do not cover or put
your hands near them. The Pharaoh Hound
is very alert and barks when something is
out of the norm, making him a good watch
dog. Although he can be wary of strangers,
he is rarely aggressive. This breed does
well with training which is done in a positive
manner. Pharaoh Hounds can be sensitive,
independent and stubborn. They do well with
other dogs and animals when properly introduced,
however, some claim he will still need to
be supervised when around small pets. As
an active breed, the Pharaoh Hound needs
daily exercise such as long runs, walks
and even sprinting. The Pharaoh Hound is
a natural hunting dog, so caution must be
exercised if he is not on a leash as he
may sprint off toward an irresistible scent.
The Pharaoh Hound is very healthy,
hardy and generally free from many genetic
diseases thanks to devoted and responsible
breeders. Some issues which breeders keep
an eye out for include luxating patellas,
hip dysplasia, and eye conditions. The average
life span for a Pharaoh Hound is between
12 - 14 years.
• The Pharaoh Hound is the national
dog of Malta where it is referred to as
Kelb tal-Fenek which means 'dog of the rabbit'
or 'rabbit hound'.
• The Pharaoh Hound is born with blue
eyes, however while still a puppy, the color
then changes to light gold or yellow and
eventually then darker as he matures.
• The Pharaoh Hound actually 'blushes'!
When he is excited or very happy, both the
inside of his ears and his nose turn a pinkish
color. Pharaoh Hounds also have the ability
AKC: Hound Group
ANKC: Hound Group
CKC: Group 2 Hounds
FCI: Group 5 Section 6 Primitive type
UKC: Sighthound & Pariah