Pharaoh Hound

Pharaoh Hound
Pharaoh Hound book

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.

pharaoh hound looking majestic

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.

pharaoh hound puppies cuddled up together waiting for mom to come back

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 levelWatchdog ability
Exercise requirementsProtection ability
PlayfulnessGrooming requirements
Affection levelCold tolerance
Friendliness toward dogsHeat tolerance
Friendliness toward other petsFriendliness toward strangers
Ease of training

WEIGHT: 45-55 pounds
HEIGHT: male: 23-25 pounds; female: 21-24 pounds
FAMILY: Sighthound
DATE OF ORIGIN: Antique Times
ORIGINAL ROLE: Hunting rabbits
TODAY’S PURPOSE: Lure coursing
OTHER NAME: Kelb-tal Fenek

Temperament and Upkeep

4 pharaoh hound dogs laying in the living room looking intently at the camera

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.

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