Pharaoh Hound: The Ultimate Dog Guide


The Pharaoh Hound, as its name suggests, has a rich, intriguing history that traces back to the times of the Pharaohs. This breed holds a special place in the hearts of dog lovers and historians alike. Renowned for its elegance and noble stature, the Pharaoh Hound represents a unique blend of affection, intelligence, and athleticism. This breed is a wonderful companion, eagerly participating in family activities while maintaining its own distinctive sense of independence.

Characteristic Description
Breed Origin Egypt and Malta
Tamaño Medio
Peso 45-55 pounds
Altura 21-25 inches
Vida útil 12-14 años
Abrigo Short and glossy
Color Rich tan to chestnut
Temperamento Intelligent, Affectionate, Independent
Exercise Needs Alto
Aseo Low
Good with Children
Preocupación por la salud Generally healthy, occasional hip dysplasia and allergies

Origin and History of the Pharaoh Hound

Ancient History of the Breed

Often depicted in ancient Egyptian artifacts, this breed’s ancestors are thought to have been hunting companions for the Pharaohs. The precise lineage remains shrouded in mystery, contributing to the allure and mystique of the Pharaoh Hound.

The Pharaoh Hound’s Role in Maltese Culture

Beyond its Egyptian roots, the Pharaoh Hound is deeply embedded in Maltese culture. Known as “Kelb tal-Fenek” in Malta, which means “rabbit dog,” it is celebrated as the national dog of Malta.

Modern History and Recognition of the Breed

The Pharaoh Hound gained recognition from the American Kennel Club in 1983. Since then, it has steadily grown in popularity as a unique and appealing breed.

Appearance and Physical Characteristics

General Appearance

The Pharaoh Hound has a sleek, muscular body that exudes power and agility. Its graceful movement and expressive eyes make it stand out in any crowd.

Size and Weight

This breed is medium-sized, with males standing about 23-25 inches tall at the shoulder, and females slightly smaller. Their weight typically ranges from 45 to 55 pounds, depending on gender and individual health.

Color and Coat

The Pharaoh Hound sports a short, glossy coat that ranges from rich tan to chestnut. Notably, their noses and eye rims match their coat color, enhancing their unique look.

Unique Features

A unique characteristic of the Pharaoh Hound is its ability to blush. When excited or happy, their ears and nose can turn a rosy pink, adding to their expressive charm.

Temperament and Personality Traits of Pharaoh Hound

General Temperament

Pharaoh Hounds are intelligent and independent, but also affectionate and playful. They are known for their loyalty and love towards their human companions.

Interaction with Humans

They form strong bonds with their families and can be wary of strangers. However, once they warm up, they are friendly and welcoming.

Interaction with Other Animals

With their hunting background, Pharaoh Hounds may chase smaller animals. Early socialization is crucial to ensure they get along well with other pets.

Suitability for Families and Children

Their playful, gentle nature makes them great companions for children. They are protective of their family, making them excellent family pets.

Health and Lifespan of the Pharaoh Hound

General Health Issues

Pharaoh Hounds are generally healthy dogs with few breed-specific issues. Regular vet check-ups and a balanced diet help maintain their health.

Breed-specific Health Concerns

Despite their overall robust health, they may occasionally face issues like hip dysplasia and allergies. Regular health screenings can help detect any potential problems early.

Lifespan and Aging

With proper care and attention, Pharaoh Hounds can live up to 14 years. They age gracefully, remaining active and playful throughout their senior years.

Care and Maintenance of the Pharaoh Hound

Nutritional Needs

Like all dogs, Pharaoh Hounds thrive on a balanced diet. High-quality dog food tailored to their age, size, and activity level is essential.

Exercise Requirements

These active dogs require regular exercise to keep them mentally and physically fit. Long walks, playtime, and mental stimulation such as puzzle toys are recommended.


Pharaoh Hounds have minimal grooming needs due to their short coat. Regular brushing will keep their coat healthy and shiny.

Training and Socialization

Early socialization and obedience training are key to raising a well-behaved Pharaoh Hound. They are smart dogs and pick up commands quickly, but their independent streak can sometimes be a challenge.

Living Conditions for the Pharaoh Hound

Suitable Home Environments

A home with a secure, fenced yard is ideal for these agile dogs. They need space to move and play but also enjoy cozying up with their humans inside.

Adaptability to Different Climates

Pharaoh Hounds can adapt to various climates, but they prefer warmer weather due to their short coats. They should have protection in colder weather.

Living with Other Pets

With proper socialization, Pharaoh Hounds can coexist peacefully with other pets. However, their high prey drive means they need careful supervision around small animals.

The Pharaoh Hound as a Working Dog

Historical Roles

Historically, Pharaoh Hounds were hunting dogs, adept at tracking and chasing down games. Their keen senses and agility made them invaluable companions to hunters.

Modern Use in Hunting and Other Work

In the modern era, some Pharaoh Hounds are still used for hunting, particularly in Malta. Others participate in dog sports such as lure coursing and agility trials.

Suitability for Service or Therapy Roles

With the right training, the Pharaoh Hound’s intelligence and empathetic nature could make it a candidate for service or therapy roles. However, their independent nature may be a challenge in these fields.

How to Choose a Pharaoh Hound Puppy

Considerations Before Adoption

Before adopting, consider your lifestyle and environment. These active dogs need space and time for exercise. Also, prepare for a commitment that could last up to 14 years.

Working with Reputable Breeders

Choose a reputable breeder who prioritizes health and temperament over appearance. Good breeders will provide health clearances for both parent dogs.

Adopting Rescue Groups

Adoption is another wonderful way to bring a Pharaoh Hound into your life. Many rescue groups can help match you with a dog in need of a loving home.

Initial Care and Preparations

Ensure you have everything ready for your new arrival. This includes a comfortable space, proper food, toys, and grooming tools.


Bringing together a unique blend of history, elegance, and charming traits, this breed makes a wonderful companion for the right family or individual. Living with a Pharaoh Hound can be a rewarding experience, filled with affection, play, and a lot of memorable moments. They may not be the right breed for everyone, but for those who can cater to their needs, they make wonderful pets.


Sergey Uhanov, a certified veterinarian, has authored all of the content here. With over 20 years of experience in dog care and breeding three dogs of his own, he has a deep passion for these furry friends. Sergey owns a pet clinic in Israel where he provides care and treatment to dogs. He enjoys sharing his expertise and knowledge to assist others in caring for their dogs.

Read More About Me >