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The Pharaoh Hound Dog Breed… Everything You Need to Know at a Glance!

The Pharaoh Hound is a regal dog, perfect for the Pharaoh of Egypt. But don’t let all that prim and proper talk scare you into thinking this dog is too high-brow for you; because deep down, he’s a bit of a joker and will fit in with just about any family.


Before committing to a Pharaoh Hound, we’ve compiled some helpful information you should know about this dog.  So that if you’re ever allowed to make one of these magnificent animals your own, you’ll know for sure if it will be a good “fit” or not.

So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!

Pharaoh Hound Dog Breed Fast Facts

Country of Origin: Malta
Original Purpose: Hunt small game, including rabbits

Height: 20 to 26 inches at the shoulder

Weight: 40 to 65 pounds

Dog Breed Classification:  Hound group

Lifespan: 10 to 15 years

Origin of the Pharaoh Hound Dog Breed

Like many “ancient” dog breeds, the history of the Pharaoh Hound is a little confusing, and nobody knows it for sure. Many believe the Pharaoh Hound is one of the oldest dog breeds today.  Some folks even estimate that the Pharaoh Dog breed has been around since the days of Ancient Egypt, 3,000 BCE.  But this is where we start to run into trouble because as advancements in DNA research progress, in some cases, some of our original beliefs begin to get challenged.

This is why…

People are now beginning to believe that the Pharaoh Hound may not date back to ancient Egypt some 3000 years ago. Still, this dog may originate from the European island of Malta and may only date back to the mid-17th Century.

What is known for sure is…

Regardless of where this dog was first bred, it’s obvious why folks wanted to own one because they are exceptional small game hunters capable of hunting by sight and scent.  And what most likely occurred was that these dogs were first created in Malta but were quickly traded by Phoenician traders throughout the Mediterranean, which would include Egypt, Malta, and Gozo. Phoenicians include Egyptians, Europeans, and other people groups along the coast of the Mediterranean, including Lebanon, Syria, and Israel. So, the dog could technically have been in any of those places, and this certainly goes a long way in explaining why so many different countries like to lay came as the “origin” of this fine animal.


Even though the Pharaoh Dog has been around for at least 300 years, it wasn’t until the late 1960s that he was first imported into the United States.  Shortly after that, in 1979, Malta declared the Pharaoh dog, or as they call it, the Kelb tal-Fenek, as the National Dog.

Then in 1983, the American Kennel Club officially recognized the Pharaoh Hound as a breed. The AKC currently ranks it as the 156th breed.  The dog also has his club, the Pharaoh Hound Club of America.

Physical Characteristics

This medium-sized dog has a deep chest and a slender yet muscular build similar to a miniature greyhound. This dog is related to other sighthounds.  His most noticeable physical characteristics are his tall pointy ears atop his slender face with a long muzzle. He’s almost always a golden-brown color, perhaps better called a chestnut, and maybe white. He has a short coat. His hair is a bit coarse, and while he sheds, brushing him with a bristle brush once a week should keep it pretty under control.

Now we should…

Point out that the Pharaoh Hound is going to look quite similar to an Izbian Hound; they have a similar structure, and both have big pointy ears, but when you begin to look at the two, you’ll see that the Izbian’s are a bit bigger in comparison to its head. Also, the Pharaoh hound has a long tail.

Personality and Temperament

This happy dog loves to be with his person or people. He loves his family but isn’t as warm to strangers or new people, even friends of his people. This trait does make him great for a guard dog. He is a pretty smart dog, but like with most dogs, it’s essential to train Pharaoh hound puppies from the time they are young. Eight weeks is an excellent time to enroll a Pharaoh Hound puppy in obedience school.


Since he loves hunting and has a strong prey drive, don’t be surprised if he brings you “surprises” in the form of small, dead animals. Again, learning to deal with this can be done in obedience classes.

Potential Health Concerns

You will likely get a pretty healthy puppy if you find a breeder following breed standard guidelines. Of course, even the best breeder cannot eradicate illness and genetic problems, but they can increase the chances of good health. However, if you use unknown breeders, your dog may have a genetic predisposition to certain diseases.

Some of the common problems that a Pharaoh Hound can have are:

  • Allergies: it’s not all that rare for a dog to have allergies. Like humans, these can range from manageable to unbearable. You may have to get your dog regular allergy shots.
  • Anesthesia Sensitivity: This will only affect your dog’s life should he need surgery, including when he gets spayed or neutered. Luckily, any trained vet should know that Pharaoh Hounds – like all sighthounds – will likely be sensitive to anesthesia. The vet should take the necessary precautions. To double-check, discuss this with your vet before any surgeries.

And while…

Many of these conditions may not be life-threatening, but they can become quite expensive, particularly if they become recurring issues.  This is why we here at IndulgeYourPet also recommend that any new pet owner take a moment and see what it might cost for you to purchase a pet insurance policy for your new animal.

Now will a pet insurance policy be suitable for everyone?

No, probably not.  But until you fully understand what these policies “will” and “won’t” cover and how much these pet insurance policies cost, how will you know if one might be right for you?

For more information on who we feel currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies out there, we would encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Policies article.

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Robert H C. January 6, 2021, 5:28 pm

    My experience was a bit different. Montu was friendly but mainly indifferent to humans. And such an incredible amount of energy. Tried the clicker training. Enrolled in many obedience classes. Completely untrainable. It didn’t help that the breeder didn’t let him come until he was 5 months old, but I would never recommend this as a family dog.

    Most beautiful animal I’ve ever seen though…

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