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Pharaoh Hound

As one may presume from the name, the Pharaoh Hound is thought to have originated in Ancient Egypt around 4000 to 3000 BC. This makes it one of the oldest breeds in the world, although it’s far from one of the most popular and was listed at 146th in the 2009 AKC Dog Registration statistics table. It’s thought that the breed was first developed to hunt small game, with its immaculate senses making it the perfect breed to perform these duties. However, it’s also speculated that the Pharaoh Hound acted as a companion to various royals in Egypt – hence the “Pharaoh” part of the name.

However, while history points a lot towards Egypt, Malta is the country that’s listed as the official place of origin. This is due to the fact that while plenty of evidence suggests the Pharaoh Hound did originate in Egypt, the breed has occupied Malta for a large number of years and therefore the official records show this as its origin. Also, due to the large amount of time spent in Malta, the breed has altered slightly through the years and now possesses even more hunting attributes. In fact, in Malta the breed is also known as the Kelb Tal-Fenek – which translates to “dog of the rabbit”. The Maltese hold the breed in extremely high regard in relation to hunting with its senses and speed making it one of most highly respected breeds in the farming culture.

The Pharaoh Hound oozes athleticism and has a well toned figure and tends to stand between twenty one and twenty five inches, weighing approximately forty five to fifty five pounds. The coat is either red or tan and is short but glossy. There can be white markings on various parts of the body like the chest and toes and sometimes a small line down the face as well. The ears are one of the main features of this breed as they stand high and fully erect on a flat and long skull. The tail is another prominent feature with some describing it as whip-like – long, thin, but straight.

In regards to temperament, the Pharaoh Hound is ideal for those owners simply wanting a companion or family pet. They are loyal, loving, brave and playful – but still quiet. They get along brilliantly with children although their relationship with other pets may not be so perfect and it’s suggested that they shouldn’t live with any non-canine animals. Any owner should also be careful when walking this dog and make sure they don’t let them off a lead. Due to the Pharaoh Hound’s hunting instincts, they will chase anything and this also means that any yard they are housed in must be enclosed.

The breed has a relatively long life expectancy and most will live between twelve and fifteen years. Part of the reason for this is their health history, with the Pharaoh Hound being renowned as a healthy breed that doesn’t encounter many problems. However, something that should be noted is their sensitivity to medicines and any owner should always check with their veterinarian before administrating antibiotics.


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