The Pharaoh Hound

Quick Facts

- Best for experienced owners
- Good with children
- Good with other dogs
- Medium-large size
- Medium exercise need
- Medium shedding
- Medium watchdog abilities
- Medium ease of training

The exact origins of the Pharaoh Hound is disputed; some believe that they originated in Egypt, while others believe they originated in the Maltese Islands. Either way the breed is ancient, being one of the oldest domesticated dog breeds in the world. Their ancestors can be traced back to well before the start Christianity.

The breed was first brought to England in the 1920s, but failed to gain any attention. They were again reintroduced in the 1960s and this time was met with much more enthusiasm. The Kennel Club (UK) officially recognized them in 1968. The breed also made their way to North American in the 1960s and was recognized by the Canada Kennel Club long before the American Kennel Club gave them official recognition in 1983.

Pharaoh Hounds are quiet well-mannered dogs. They are intelligent, but can also be stubborn, independent and sensitive. Training should start early and be firm and consistent, and should never include any harsh treatment or jerking them around. Positive reward focused techniques work best. Pharaoh Hounds do not take well to boring tedious repetition; training sessions should be kept short and always be fun and upbeat.

Pharaoh Hounds are not extremely demonstrative dogs. They are not ones to hang on their owners every word or follow them around relentlessly. They are affectionate, but it is in a more reserved quiet way. Most are reserved and slightly suspicious of strangers, but some can be timid and shy; socialization with different people from an early age is important in helping them grow into confident adults. They are alert dogs and make fine watchdogs that usually do not get carried away with the barking. However, they are a little too sweet natured to be considered a good guard dog.

Pharaoh Hounds have a playful side and are usually gentle and patient enough to live with children of all ages. They get along well with other dogs, but due to their hunting heritage are not trustworthy around small animals like pet rodents, rabbits and birds. Some can get along with the family cats if raised with them, some cannot.

Pharaoh Hounds are active athletic dogs that will not enjoy a sedentary life style. They can do well in almost any environment, city or country, house or apartment, as long as they are adequately exercised. Pharaoh Hounds need at least an hour or two of exercise daily, preferably with some running time included. When ill exercised they can be hyperactive and prone to running off. Pharaoh Hounds are expert jumpers that can easily clear a 6 foot fence; if bored they may decide to get their own exercise. They are chasers and explorers and should never be allowed off lead outside a safely enclosed area, as they could be gone before their owner can stop them. As adults, they make wonderful bicycling, jogging and rollerblading companions. They also usually enjoy participating in agility trials, lure courses, scent hurdles and conformation shows.

Appearance and Grooming:
Pharaoh Hounds are elegant and graceful. They are tall lithe athletic dogs that stand 21-25 inches tall and weigh 45-60 when full grown. They short coats come in shades of tan or red with white markings on their chest and tail. Their grooming needs are minimal, requiring only a quick brushing once a week to keep them neat and tidy. They are extremely clean dog with little to no body odour. They are average shedders.

Pharaoh Hounds are not extremely common dogs and are therefore not prone to the large amount of health issues that often plague the more popular breeds. There have been a few cases of hip dysplasia, luxating patellar and eye problems, but fortunately they are very rare. Allergies are more commonly seen in the breed and like all sighthounds, they are very sensitive to drugs such as anaesthetics and commercial flea remedies. They do not usually enjoy cold weather, and are prone to getting frostbite on their thin ears. Their usual life span is around 14 years.


Located in: Sighthounds