There are paintings of the Pharaoh hound dating all the way back to 3000-4000 B.C. This dog was revered in ancient Egypt, and was considered a loyal companion of the Pharaohs. It was preferred by the hunters, and was generally loved by everybody. West of the Great Pyramid Cheops, near Giza, a grave of one of these dogs was discovered. The inscription stated that this dog was the guardian of his master.
Egypt was not the place that was accredited for the preservation of this breed. It was the people of Malta and Gozo. The Phoenicians took this breed with them when they moved and settled in Malta and Gozo. They raised this hound for hunting rabbits, and guarding their herds and homes. This dog lived there for the next few thousand years. This was until the thirties, when it was imported to England. More than 30 years later, in 1967, the United States got introduced to this breed. The AKC was founded in 1970, and this breed got official recognition in 1984.
The males of this breed should be between 23 to 25 inches (59 to 63 cm) tall, and the females should be between 21 to 24 inches (53 to 60 cm). The average weight for this breed is 45 to 55 pounds (20 to 25 kg). This dog is athletic and slender, and slightly longer than it is tall. The coat is short and glossy, and comes in red or tan color with white markings. The nose is the same color as the coat. Eyes are small and ovular, and are amber in color. The ears are high-set, erect, and taper towards the top. The tail is medium-set, thick at the base, and tapering towards the bottom.
This breed is brave and affectionate. It is good with children, but is generally aloof towards strangers. However, it should be monitored around small animals such as rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, or rats, as it is a hound.
As this is a sight hound, it chases what it sees. Thus, it should be kept on a leash at all times when outside. If it sees a small animal like a rabbit and decides to give chase, it may not come back. The best thing for this dog is a good-sized enclosure fenced all the way around (5 feet high or more), to let it vent some of its energy. You can even take it jogging or on a bicycle ride. However, make sure that your dog gets its daily dose of exercise.
It is a relatively easy dog to train if you use a good positive reinforcement method. It is prone to being stubborn. It does not respond well to poor training techniques. It needs an owner that can display consistent assertiveness and let the dog know that he/she is the boss. The dog also does better if the owner is confident and not nervous, as it can pick up feelings and behave accordingly.
Health and Maintenance
This breed is not prone to any genetic illnesses. It is a generally-healthy breed. However, it can be sensitive to barbiturate anesthetics as it is a sight hound, and certain medicines. The life expectancy of this breed is 12 to 14 years.
This dog is not prone to much dog odor. Thus, it needs only occasional grooming to remove dead hair from the fur. Bathing can be done only as per requirement. It is an average shedder.
The Pharaoh hound is a very brave yet very loving dog. It only needs regular exercise to keep it calm and happy. It is an excellent canine family member.