Pharaoh Hound Info & Pharaoh Hound Breeders
The Pharaoh Hound is a breed of dog and the national hound of the Mediterranean nation of Malta. Its native name is Kelb tal-Fenek in Maltese, which means "Rabbitdog". The dog is traditionally used by some Maltese men for hunting.
Based on DNA analysis, the breed has no link with Ancient Egypt. However, the popular myth holds that the breed is descended from the Tesem, one of the ancient Egyptian hunting dogs. The similarities of the breed to images of dogs found on the walls of ancient Egyptian tombs is striking. This myth proposes that the Pharaoh Hound was brought by the Phoenicians to Malta, where it has existed for over 2,000 years. It has variously been classified as a member of the sighthound group, yet its fieldwork description clearly determines it as a hound.
The Pharaoh Hound is an exuberant chaser, but it is relaxed in homes, even if it is eager to run. Many Pharaoh Hound owners have rated this dog as a gentle, loving dog, as well as good with kids. It tends to be very reserved and scared around strangers. (Cases of these dogs may vary due to treatment.) Pharaoh Hounds are known as stubborn and a struggle to please, but its ease of training is preferably fair. They are known for being excited and happy dogs. All Pharaoh Hounds may blush at times when they are excited. They do not blush in their cheeks, but they do in their ears and noses.
The Pharaoh Hound is independent-minded, highly intelligent, and occasionally stubborn, yet very trainable when positive methods are used. It is a very sensitive breed and responds poorly to compulsory training methods and to being physically punished. Pharaohs can succeed in competition obedience, but they do not take to it naturally as many breeds that were bred to work alongside people. Pharaohs were bred to hunt and think for themselves, and they have retained this trait for thousands of years. They tire/bore easily with repetitive commands, therefore it is the trainer's job to ensure that their training remains interesting and positive in nature.
They have sensitive skin, and shampoo (canine or human) may cause allergic reactions; therefore, it is best to wash them with a gentle dog shampoo, and not a human shampoo (as humans require a different pH than dogs). Grooming Pharaohs is as easy as a quick rub with a hound glove or a damp cloth. They are clean dogs, shed very little, and have no noticeable odour, except when wet or when they've been outside. But their odour quickly returns to normal.
They are a very active breed but, like greyhounds, as indoor dogs they are couch potatoes and need little "real" exercise. Though they are active, they should not be hyperactive. Because of their strong prey drive and independent nature, this breed should never be allowed off leash unless in a securely fenced area away from road traffic or other dangers.
We welcome comments and contributions to information about this breed.