The Friendly Pharaoh Hound
From the Island of Malta

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Pharaoh Hound
Kelb-tal Fenek
Weight: 45 — 55 lbs
Height: 21” — 25”
AKC Rank 2008 #146
Lifespan: 11—14 yrs
Group Hound

Dog Breed Info - The Pharaoh Hound

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Breed Overview

Origin: Ancient times. Original function: Rabbit hunting. Today: Lure coursing, companion. Colors: Tan or chestnut with white tail tip.

Evidence of images resembling Pharaoh Hound have been found in etchings in tombs of Egyptians some 3 to 4 thousand years B.C. This is a very ancient breed that has changed little over the past few thousand years. The breed resembles the jackal and Anubis and to dogs depicted on the tombs. Egyptian Pharaohs. They were also seen in later ancient Greek art. Phoenician traders may have brought the dogs to the island of Malta where they became quite secluded. They lived on the island as scenthounds, rabbit dogs or Kelb-tal Fenek.. Hounds would be sent out, often at night, to track and capture rabbits. The Hound is now the national dog of Malta. In the 1960’s the breed was imported to England and later to America. The AKC recognized the breed in 1983. The dog today is mostly a companion animal.


The Pharaoh Hound is generally easy to train if the handler is gentle yet assertive and consistent with patience and stays with positive training methods. The breed can be obedience trained with either clicker training and positive reinforcement or by using the Cesar Millan (Dog Whisperer) method. Cesar’s way has been proven effective for all breeds of dogs and is recommended by many professionals.

Crate Training

Want to crate train your Pharaoh puppy? It's easy and if you're interested, take a look and you'll see what to do. Crate training your puppy will save many headaches and problems.

Potty Training

The Pharaoh Hound puppy isn’t too hard to house train, potty train, toilet train, housebreak or whatever you want to call it. They learn pretty fast. If you have a puppy, decide if you want to crate or paper potty train it. For the best results, we have a page at Crate vs Paper Potty Training which will help you decide and from there you can get all the information you need to get the job done. Always praise the pup profusely when she goes potty in the RIGHT PLACE so she knows she has done a good thing. Either method will work for this breed

If you have an older dog, take the dog outside every two hours until she gets the idea which door leads to her potty area. Older dogs catch on to the potty or housebreaking pretty fast once they are shown what to do.

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The Pharaoh Hound makes a wonderful addition to any household. They are pleasant, loyal and affectionate dogs that enjoy human contact and companionship. Although wary of strangers, they are excellent around children and with their “own”: human family. The Pharaoh is quire playful, fun loving and well-mannered in the house. Outdoors, this breed is a keen hunter and can run and chase for long periods. It will chase strange animals. This is a sensitive dog and when it becomes excited, will blush at which time the ears and nose turn a rosy red. While this dog can be independent, it is always willing to please her human family. This is a terrific, devoted family pet.

The Pharaoh needs a lot of early socialization starting at around 4 or 5 weeks and continuing on. This is important as the dog tends to be timid and needs the socialization to gain confidence. She should be trained by a gentle but firm, positive hand and either clicker or Caesar Millan techniques are perfect. With a strong, leader-like owner and positive training,. This breed makes a truly wonderful house pet and playmate for the kids.

If you happen to get a Pharaoh Hound with a separation anxiety problem, that can be dealt with by investing a few hours of work on your part and some "tough love."

Friendly Toward Other Dogs

Usually okay with other dogs, Can conflict with male on male or female on female situations and may tend to choose and pick her dog friends but generally good with most dogs.

Friendly Toward Other Pets

.God with other dogs. Not good with house cats and small animals like guinea pigs, rabbits and ferrets as will tend to hunt/chase them and can do harm Don’t truest the Pharaoh around small animals.

Friendly Toward Strangers

Generally reserved around strangers. Will be stand-offish until any perceived threat has diminished.


Quite playful. Plenty of energy.


Very affectionate, loving dog.

Good with children?

Enjoys children, especially older, well mannered kids that have been taught how to treat a dog. Very young children under 6 or 7 years of age need to be closely supervised at all times around the dog. He is playful enough to romp, run and play with the kids.

Good with Seniors over 65?

Maybe. If the senior is into jogging for health or power walking two miles a day, then the pharaoh will make a great companion. Easy to care for, loving, loyal, playful, affectionate and a good watchdog—everything seniors like. But, she MUST have her exercise.

Living environment

Apartment, condo, flat, farm or ranch. As long as she gets her exercise, she’s good to go.

The Pharaoh requires, medically, a SOFT bed. This is similar to the Greyhound, Weimaraner and Whippet. A blanket on a concrete floor is not enough. Give her pillows, a couch or your bed!

Not an outdoor dog. Must live and sleep indoors. Do NOT tie up in the backyard!! This is a family dog.

Energy level

Moderately high. Not excessive though.

Exercise needs, daily

Fairly high. 2 long daily walks at minimum. Running is better. The Pharaoh Hound makes a great jogging partner, or to take hiking or bicycling as long as she is leashed or in a safe place.


Very good watchdog. Protective of family.

Guard dog

No. Too friendly. Not aggressive enough to guard much.


Moderate shedding. A clean, odor-free canine.


Brush occasionally to remove dead hair, especially while shedding. Your dog will love the extra attention.

Pharaoh Hound Breeders

In the event you decide to go looking for Pharaoh HJound puppies, be SURE to find reputable breeders that really know what they are doing. Be sure the puppy has been VERY well socialized and started in obedience training. Pharaoh Hound Breeders with puppies for sale. As I write this, the link is showing only 6 breeders world wide. Try an online search for Pharaoh Hound breeders or puppies for sale.

Pharaoh Hound

In the event you are seriously considering the adoption of an older dog and are looking for a Pharaoh Hound Rescue group in your area, here is a link that might help:
Petfinder - Pharaoh Hound Rescue As I write this, Petfinder is showing only 63 dogs available to adopt in the USA. That might be enough, but in case you want more selection, go online and search for Pharaoh Hound Rescue or Clubs or kennels. This is a VERY rare breed. If you do find one to adopt, try to locate any dog health records and save for possible future reference.

Dog Health Issues For The Pharaoh Hound
Below: The dog illness / illnesses or medical problems listed for the Field Spaniel by various vets.

This is basically a healthy breed. These are the dog illness and medical problems this breed is prone to that have been listed by various veterinarians at different times over the past decade or so and some pertain to puppies and very young dogs that a breeder would deal with.

The information contained herein has been gathered from numerous books by veterinarians and is intended as general information only. Every dog and situation is different. You must see your vet. Our information is for general interest only and not intended to replace the advice provided by your own veterinarian.

  • Hip dysplasia CHD- Hind end limping, hind/back leg acts lame, can't move, weak legs. Wear and time causes the femur to fit poorly into the pelvic socket with improper rotation causing the Pharaoh Hound great pain, weakness and difficulty walking. You may notice the dog “hopping”” like a rabbit when running plus hesitating to climb stairs, all due to pain in the hind quarters. The problem actually starts as a very young puppy with an abnormal formation of the hip joint and grows progressively. A vet can locate this with a diagnostics test.

  • Gastric Torsion—Sometimes called Bloat or “Twisted stomach.” Mainly in larger, deep-cheated dogs. Here's a brief description of the problem.
    Symptoms include excessive drooling, nervous pacing, agitation, weakness, attempt to vomit, bulging stomach area, heavy breathing, retching and gagging, shock or total collapse.

  • Patellar luxation—Limping, Hind Leg Held Up, Can’t straighten back leg, weak legs. Caused by an unusually shallow spot on the femur, weak ligaments and misalignment of tendons and muscles that align the knee joint and allow the knee cap (patella) to float sideways in and out of position. This can be caused by injury or be present at birth and can affect both rear legs. It’s most common in small dogs like the English Cocker Spaniel. If your dog has trouble straightening the leg, is limping, lame or is walking on three legs and holding one hind leg up, look for patellar luxation. Several of my dogs have had the problem and all I’ve done is reach down, massage the knee a little until they drop their leg, and we’re good to go for another 3 or 4 months. Severe cases require surgery for a fully lame leg.

Other health problems could occur with your Pharaoh Hound. If you notice any problems with your dog, take it to the vet immediately. This website is for general information only and is not intended to, in any way, be a medical guide.


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