The Pharaoh Hound is one of the oldest domesticated breeds in the entire world, and is estimated to have originated around 4000 to 3000 BC. The exact origin of this breed is unknown, but many artifacts from the Ancient Egyptian time period show a dog that closely resembles the Pharaoh Hound. In ancient times these dogs were used for hunting small game and for companionship to the Pharaohs. Malta declared in 1974 that the Pharaoh Hound was their national dog. For the past 2000 years Malta held the sole responsibility for breeding, developing and preserving this rare breed. In Malta they are known as Kelb Tal-Fenek which means “Dog of the Rabbit”.
The Pharaoh Hound resembles the other sighthounds with its tall and slender body. The nose is very long and thin, and the ears are large and erect. Their tails are long and whip like. The coat is very short and fine and comes in colors such as red or tan, sometimes with white markings as well. In the show ring white is preferred at the tip of the tail. The average height for this breed is 21-25 inches and they weigh in at about 45-55 pounds.
Pharaoh Hounds are very independent dogs that can make outstanding companions. If they are properly exercised they will be calm well behaved pets. These dogs are loyal, brave and very intelligent. They are usually good with children but care should be taken around small pets. A special trait with this breed is that they “blush” when they are excited. Their nose and ears turn a deep rose color which makes it look like they are blushing.
Pharaoh Hounds are a very hardy and long lived breed. Most have sensitivity to insecticides and medications. Their life expectancy is 11-14 years.
Since this is a sighthound breed they will need frequent runs in order to be happy. A house with a large yard is definitely a good idea for this breed. They need access to safe closed in areas where they can freely run. Caution should be used when letting this breed off leash because they will chase small animals. Care should also be taken to make sure they have soft comfortable beds and are kept warm when in cooler climates. They have very thin skin and should be handled carefully. This breed is an average shedder and requires little to no grooming.
Click here to view other Breed of the Week posts for dog breed information!