The Pharaoh Hound: A Primitive European Hunting Dog

22 March, 2020
Today, we want to tell you all about the Pharoah Hound, a unique dog whose origins may go all the way back to ancient Egypt.

Discover the Pharaoh Hound

Origin and history

This species belongs to the Ibizan hounds of Malta and is considered the island’s national dog breed. The Maltese call this animal the Kelb tal-Fenek, which means the rabbit dog. According to theory, the breed came originally from the Middle East and was imported some 3000 years ago.

Just the same, its common name–the Pharaoh Hound–comes from a legend that claims the dog was a favorite among Egyptian pharaohs. If that’s true, then it means that the breed was already in existence 8000 years ago.

So, the dog we know today as the Pharaoh Hound comes from Malta, a region conquered by Phoenicians. This group also crossed paths with pharaohs, so the legend could actually be true.

Physical characteristics

This dog is athletic and slender with a triangular head and eyes the color of amber. Its ears are pointed and erect. Despite being so thin, this hound is muscular and has a strong appearance, including its back which is straight and rigidWhat’s more, its tail is curved and usually points downwards. However, when the animal is happy or on alert, it will raise its tail.

At the same time, its hair is short, very thin, and soft to the touch. In order for clubs to accept them, they must either be reddish tawny in color or white with spots.

As for size, we’re talking about a medium-sized dog whose males measures between 21 and 25 inches at its whithers. As for female Pharaoh Hounds, they measure between 20 and 24 inches. And regarding weight, males weigh between 46 and 57 pounds, and females between 44 and 55 pounds.

The nature and temperament of Pharaoh Hounds

The Pharaoh Hound is an independent dog, but a good choice if you’re looking for a canine companion. These animals enjoy spending time relaxing at home just as much as they do playing outdoors. It’s crucial that these hounds exercise in order to maintain their calm nature. Since they’re very active, they can become stressed very easily.

Hounds at a dog show.
Source: Petful

At the same time, these dogs are considered loyal and brave, intelligent and educated. They have a great deal of patience with children, although they aren’t necessarily pleasant towards strangers. Therefore, if you’re having guests over, then you need to be sure to give your dog time to warm up to these “strangers”.

It’s also extremely important to socialize these animals from the time they are puppies. That way, it will be easier to train them when the time comes. However, in general, training these animals isn’t too complicated. Pharaoh Hounds are like sponges, absorbing the personality of their owners. That means that, even though this breed is quite calm, if an owner is on edge, the animal will be, too.

One interesting fact about this dog has to do with its nose: it blushes when the animal is excited. This is something quite unique that happens to very few other dogs… if any.

Care and health

The Pharaoh Hound is a robust and healthy animal that isn’t prone to any common illnesses. However, it’s important to be careful about the use of medications and insecticides, as this breed is very sensitive to them.

As we mentioned above, exercise is an essential part of this animal’s daily routine. Without it, their nature can quickly change. Given their hunting instinct, they can easily escape, meaning it’s important to always keep them on a leash when outdoors. Never let them loose until the area is fenced in.

So, this is all we have to tell you about the Pharaoh Hound–a beautiful companion and a wonderful pet. What do you think?

Source of images: ccho and Petful