Fast and elegant, these ancient hounds have been around for at least 3,000 years. Their lithe, athletic bodies were made for chasing prey on rough, rugged terrain. Calm and easy going at home, they love to roam outside and make excellent coursing dogs.
One of the first incarnations of the modern dog, this breed appeared in Egypt as early as 4,400 B.C., making the Pharaoh Hound lineage over 5,000 years old. The dog migrated with its human companions from Egypt to the Phoenician colonies, where it was preserved as a breed for 2,000 years.
They are jealously protected by the Maltese farmers who revere this beautiful hound. This reverence has protected the breed from significant changes, and they still resemble the pups that were carved on ancient Egyptian tombs.
The Pharaoh Hound is a medium-sized hound whose clear-cut lines give it a noble characteristic. Exuding power, speed, and agility—particularly while chasing—they are incredibly fast and alert.
They bear a glossy, short coat that is easy to maintain. Coloring spans a range of light browns from tan to chestnut. They may also have white markings, though that is not preferred for competitive breeders.
The Pharaoh Hound has two wonderful traits: blushing and smiling. When they are happy or worked up, they will blush—the inside of their ears and nose will turn a rosy pink. And when they are particularly excited to see their owners, they will wiggle with delight while delivering a wide and toothy grin.
Carrying the characteristic inverted S-shape of all hounds, the Pharaoh Hound is particularly aesthetic. Smooth, muscular bodies make for powerful and agile chasers.
Wonderfully intelligent, loving, and happy, this dog fits in easily with the family. This includes kids and other pets. While not best suited for a guard dog, they are affectionate and loyal companions to the ones who love them.
Pharaoh Hounds require a high-quality dog food that is age-appropriate—whether it’s commercially manufactured or homemade (with a veterinarian’s supervision and approval). It’s important to monitor the amount of food you give your Pharaoh Hound. Reduce the portions or restrict calories if your pup gains weight.
Your veterinarian is always a good source to help provide you with appropriate nutrition and feeding guidelines.
Their short light coats need minimal care, with a heavy weekly brushing sufficient to maintain their health. They will likely need their nails trimmed, and you should make sure their ears are clean as well. They don’t exude a doggy odor usually, so if they do smell, it is important to get it checked out.
All dogs require regular dental care, including at-home teeth brushing and professional dental cleanings, and Pharaoh Hound is no exception. Maintaining good dental hygiene is important for their overall long-term health.
Regular exercise is essential for this breed to stay fit and maintain its true form. The dogs can be self-runners, so as long as they have a large fenced-off area, they can exercise themselves. If this isn’t possible or your Pharaoh Hound isn’t a self runner, you will need to walk them twice a day for at least 20 minutes each time.
The Pharaoh Hound takes to positive training, and loves pleasing its human companions. These dogs will learn quickly and respond well to most obedience cues. However, with their strong hunting instincts, it’s essential to always exercise this dog on a leash, or in a contained area, so they can’t escape. Even the most well-trained dogs will likely find it difficult to resist the call to freedom.
Reviewed July 26, 2020 by Annette Louviere, DVM