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Adopt a Pharaoh Hound

Pharaoh Hound Dog Breed

Picture: Kent and Donna Dannen


sighthound, Southern(pariah), primitive

Area of origin:


Original function:

hunting rabbits

Average size of male:

Ht: 23-25, Wt: 45-55

Average size of female:

Ht: 21-24, Wt: 45-55

Other names:

kelb-tal fenek

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    Friendliness towards dogs

  • Friendliness towards other pets

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    Friendliness towards strangers

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    Ease of training

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    Watchdog ability

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    Protection ability

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    Cold tolerance

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    Heat tolerance

Pharaoh Hound Dogs Available on Petfinder Right Now

See more adoptable Pharaoh Hound dogs available on Petfinder

Pharaoh Hound Dog Temperament

The svelte Pharaoh Hound is more than a gracious addition to the home (though he surely is that) he is a keen hunter and an exuberant chaser. Although he is calm indoors, he loves to run. He is sensitive, loving, gentle and good with children and other dogs. He tends to be reserved with strangers; some pharaoh hounds are even timid. He is independent but willing to please. The breed has the unique characteristic of "blushing" when excited, with the nose and ears turning a rosy color.

Pharaoh Hound Dog Care

The Pharaoh Hound relishes the opportunity to stretch his legs in a safe area, although he can manage with long daily walks on leash and occasional sprints. He needs soft bedding and warmth and generally should not be expected to sleep outside. His coat is low maintenance, requiring only occasional brushing to remove dead hair.

Pharaoh Hound Dog Health

Major concerns: none
Minor concerns: none
Occasionally seen: none
Suggested tests: none
Life span: 11-14 years

Interested in the history of the Pharaoh Hound dog breed?

A hunting account from the 19th Egyptian dynasty supplies an apt description of the modern pharaoh hound: "The red, long-tailed dog goes at night into the stalls of the hills. He makes no delay in hunting, his face glows like a God and he delights to do his work." Even today, the pharaoh hound is noted for "blushing": the tendency of his nose and ears to flush with blood and "glow" when the dog is excited. The breed is one of several with a legitimate claim of 'most ancient breed' and appears to have changed little in the last 3,000 years. He bears an uncanny resemblance to the jackal god Anubis and dogs depicted on the tombs of the Egyptian pharaohs, as well as to dogs later featured in ancient Greek art. Phoenician traders may have introduced the dogs from Greece and North Africa to the islands of Malta and Gozo, where they became essentially secluded from the rest of the world. Here they flourished as kelb-tal fenek, or 'rabbit dogs'. Several hounds would be released (often at night) to find the scent of a rabbit; they would bark once the rabbit went to ground (usually in a stone wall or rocky crevice). A belled ferret would then be sent after the rabbit, and one hound would follow his progress by sound, until the rabbit was flushed and caught by the dog. The Pharaoh Hound is now the national dog of Malta. In the 1960s, the breed was rediscovered and imported to England and later America. The AKC recognized it in 1983.

Copyright © 1998, 2005 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc. based on

Shelters with Pharaoh Hound Dogs

Some animal welfare organizations with Pharaoh Hounds ready for adoption:

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