Hunting accounts from the XIX Egyptian dynasty recounts the Pharaoh Hound that we know today. Today’s Pharaoh Hound is well-known for “blushing” when excited, its nose and ears flush with blood and “glow.” This Hound is one breed that can challenge the title of most ancient, and it has changed little in the last 3000 years.
The Pharaoh Hound bears an eerie likeness to the jackal God Anubis and other dogs portrayed on the Egyptian pharaohs’ tombs, and later, dogs are highlighted in ancient Greek art. According to breed historians, the Phoenicians played a role in transporting the hound from North Africa and Greece to the Islands of Malta and Gozo, which caused them to become isolated from the rest of the world.
While in seclusion, the Pharaoh Hound excelled as rabbit dogs or Kelb-tal Fenek. Hunters released several hounds at night to find the scent of a rabbit. They barked once the rabbit went to ground, mostly in a stone wall or rocky crevice. They would then send a belled ferret after the rabbit, and one hound would follow its progress by sound until the rabbit was flushed and caught by the dog.
The Pharaoh Hound is now the National Dog of Malta. In the 1960s, breed enthusiasts brought it back and introduced it to England and later the United States. The AKC finally recognized it in 1983.
Pharaoh Hound Breed Facts
|Energy level||Watchdog ability|
|Exercise requirements||Protection ability|
|Affection level||Cold tolerance|
|Friendliness toward dogs||Heat tolerance|
|Friendliness toward other pets||Friendliness toward strangers|
|Ease of training|
WEIGHT: 45-55 pounds
HEIGHT: male: 23-25 pounds; female: 21-24 pounds
POPULARITY: Very rare
AREA OF ORIGIN: Malta
DATE OF ORIGIN: Antique Times
ORIGINAL ROLE: Hunting rabbits
TODAY’S PURPOSE: Lure coursing
OTHER NAME: Kelb-tal Fenek
Temperament and Upkeep
The Pharaoh Hound is an active hunter and an enthusiastic chaser. This graceful hound is an excellent addition to your home. It is calm inside the house, but when outside, it loves to run. Pharaoh Hounds are gentle, sensitive, loving, and great with children and other dogs. However, they chase small animals. Pharaohs are reserved with strangers, and some are even timid. The breed loves to please but is independent. These hounds have unique characteristics, making it seem like they’re “blushing” when excited, noticeable by a rosy color around the nose and ears.
The Pharaoh Hound loves to get out and run in a safe area but will do just fine with long daily walks on a leash with the occasional sprint. Supply it with soft bedding and warmth. They’re a low maintenance breed in terms of its coat care, which only requires occasional brushing to eliminate loose hair.
Significant conditions: none
Minor conditions: none
Occasionally seen: patellar luxation, CHD, hypothyroidism;
Recommended tests: hip, knee, and thyroid
Life span: 11-14 years
Note: avoid barbiturate anesthesia with this breed
Form and Function
In America, we consider the Pharaoh a sighthound. It hunts by both scent, sight, and hearing. Its physique is like an exaggerated greyhound. It combines speed, power, and grace, which allows it to run swiftly along rocky walls and surfaces. It can track and follow animals underground thanks to its large mobile ears. The Pharaoh Hound is a little longer than tall, it walks freely, with its head high, and its coat is short and glossy.