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Pharaoh Hound

The Pharaoh Hound is a graceful and athletic, medium-sized, short-coated dog with an elegant, chiselled head and alert, erect ears.

  • Dog suitable for owners with some experience
  • Extra training required
  • Generally healthy breed
  • Enjoys vigorous walks
  • Enjoys one to two hours of walking a day
  • Medium dog
  • Minimum drool
  • Requires grooming once a week
  • Quiet dog
  • Barks and alerts to visitors/anything unusual
  • Generally friendly with other dogs
  • May need additional training to live with other pets
  • May need additional supervision to live with children
  • Needs a large garden
  • Can live in semi-rural areas
  • Can be left occasionally with training

Key Facts

Lifespan: 11 – 14 years
Weight: 20 – 25kg
Height: 53 – 63cm
Colours: The Pharaoh Hound comes in shades of tan, sometimes with white markings to the tail, chest, toes and face
Size: Medium
UK Kennel Club Groups: Hound


Family-friendly: 5/5
Exercise needs: 4/5
Easy to train: 3/5
Tolerates being alone: 2/5
Likes other pets: 4/5
Energy level: 2/5
Grooming needs: 3/5
Shedding: 2/5
Pharaoh Hound standing in front of bushes


This is a sighthound, which means a degree of independent thought is to be expected, but also strong loyalty to family and close friends. The desire to hunt is strong, and the Pharaoh Hound has the staying power and stamina of the long-distance runner as well as the short-term speed of the sprinter. Care must be taken around cats, other small furry animals and livestock.

Unlike many sighthounds, the Pharaoh Hound is quite vocal at times and is also very sociable, enjoying the company of other humans and dogs.

Three dogs resting on the grass

History and Origins

Country of Origin: Malta

Well known in Malta and Gozo for centuries as a farmer’s dog, the Pharaoh Hound was originally known as the Maltese Rabbit Dog. In an attempt to give this dog a more noble title, the enthusiasts of the breed in the 1960s renamed the dog, noting that the Pharaoh Hound closely resembled depictions of houndlike dogs in the wall paintings and carvings of ancient Egypt.

Whilst there is no hard evidence that there is a genetic link, it is likely that Phoenician traders visited the Maltese Islands in ancient times, and there are a number of similar, true breeding types known in the Mediterranean region. Unusual and beautiful dogs have often been traded and gifted between nations and those that perform a useful function such as hunting would be highly prized, making this link quite possible.

Health and Common Issues

The most common problem suffered by the Pharaoh Hound is slipping kneecaps (luxating patellas).

The breed club monitor the health of the breed carefully and should be contacted for the most up-to-date information and details of any DNA or additional testing they recommend. Breed Clubs can be found on the Kennel Club website.

Exercise Needs

The Pharaoh Hound is an excellent athlete, enjoying sprinting, longer distance running and very capable of jumping reasonable heights. Two or more hours a day of exercise is required, and varied exercise types and a variety of routes will be needed to meet their mental exercise needs.

Pharaoh Hounds can hunt by scent as well as sight, and once on the trail of quarry they will not stop!

This is a dog not well equipped to cope with cold or wet, so a coat is necessary for slower walks or to put on before and after faster exercise.

Space Requirements

Easily accommodated in any size of home, the Pharaoh Hound requires a decently sized garden with secure 6ft plus fencing. Access to a variety of walks is a must, including secure space to run. Given their vocal nature and desire to alert to any interesting sound, plus incredible hearing, they may not be suited to a busy town or city home with close neighbours.

Nutrition and Feeding

Your dog's diet needs to have the right balance of all the main nutrient groups including a constant supply of fresh water. It's important to conduct regular body condition scores to ensure you keep your dog in ideal shape and remember to feed them at least twice daily and in accordance with the feeding guidelines of their particular food.

Grooming Pharaoh Hound

The Pharaoh Hound is easy to groom. They can be groomed using a rubber grooming mitt, which will remove the loose and dead hairs.

Training Pharaoh Hound

The Pharaoh Hound will really enjoy training, and early training to ignore livestock, behave well around cats and other small furries, and of course building a solid recall is vital, although shouldn’t be relied upon!

Pharaohs can do well in a variety of canine sports and competition including Cani-X, agility, obedience, heelwork to music and more.

This is a great breed for the active owner who wishes to take up a dog related sport or hobby and enjoys training. The Pharaoh Hound is no couch potato, and if left bored will invent their own fun!

Best Family Dog Breeds

The Pharaoh Hound does require quite a bit of time for training and exercise and are slow to mature into sensible adult dogs. This may not fit well in a home with very young children and a lack of time. With older children or teenagers who can be involved in training and dog sports, or who enjoy long walks or running, they should do very well.

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children, all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

did you know?

Did You Know?

  • When excited, the Pharaoh Hound blushes, their nose and ears will glow redder due to their lack of black pigment!
  • Pharaoh Hound’s are known for their happy smiling faces and can be trained to smile too.
  • Their large pointy ears are completely natural and stand up when they’re around 4 weeks old.
  • The first Pharaoh Hound to be shown at Crufts was Birling Zahara in 1970.
  • They’re incredible jumpers and you’ll need at least a 6-foot fence in your garden to keep them contained!

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