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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Pharaoh Hound


Pharaoh Hound Facts

  • Group
  • Hound
  • Affiliations
  • Height
  • 21" - 25"
  • Weight
  • Weight proportionate to height.
  • Lifespan
  • 14 years | Add yours

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  • Exercise Requirement
  • High - This breed requires vigorous daily activity
  • Training Requirement
  • A Quick Learner
  • Grooming Requirement
  • Easy
  • Colors
    • Tan
  • Breed Characteristics
    • Good with children
    • Hunting heritage
    • Should sleep indoors

True Cost Of Ownership

Alternate Names

kelb tal-fenek (rabbit dog)


This breed originated in Egypt, however, Malta is credited as its birth place.

Date Of Origin

This breed is dated back to at least 3,000 B.C.


This is one of the oldest domesticated breeds in recorded history; it can be traced back to 3,000 B.C. and the reign of King Tutankhamen, who had a pharaoh hound named Abuwitiyuw. Artistic depictions of pharaoh hounds are plentiful from this era. The pharaoh hound was brought to Malta from Egypt by Phoenician traders over two thousand years ago, where it was commonly used to hunt rabbit. It was first imported to Great Britain in the 1930's. The first litter was born in the U.S. in 1970.


The pharaoh hound is a large, muscular, and graceful dog. It is slightly longer than it is tall with a long, whiplike tail. It has a long chiseled head with a wedge shaped fore-face and large, erect ears. The nose, lips and eye rims are flesh colored. The eyes are amber, blending with the coat of tan or chestnut. A white tip on the tail is desirable, as is a white star on the chest. White on the toes or a slim white snip on the center line of the face is permissible, but any other white markings are undesirable. The coat is short and smooth.


The pharaoh hound is an intelligent, highly trainable dog that is always eager to please. It is affectionate and playful with its family but sometimes wary with strangers. It is often described as picky and cat like in its mannerisms. This breed is said to be capable of blushing and smiling. It gets along with children as long as it is socialized with them, but is not trustworthy with small animals.


This is a most passionate hunter and is used for rabbits and feathered game. It is also a very pleasant companion dog, but it needs frequent and long runs.

Health Concerns

Allergies, anesthesia sensitivity, hip dysplasia.

Additional Information

This breed does well with an active family in a rural home.

Show Sources & Contributors +


The Howell Book Of Dogs

Publisher: Wiley Publishing Inc, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Author: Liz Palika

Dog Bible

Publisher: BowTie Press, 2005

Website: http://www.bowtiepress.com/bowtie/

Authors: Kristin Meuh-Roe, Jarelle S. Stein

Simon & Schusters Guide to Dogs

Publisher: Simon & Schuster inc, 1980

Website: http://www.simonandschuster.com

Author: Elizabeth Meriwether Schuler

The New Encyclopedia of the Dog

Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishing, 2000

Website: http://www.dk.com

Author: Bruce Fogle

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