Pharaoh Hound Traits & Facts

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Last Updated on September 20, 2023

Quick Summary: The Pharaoh Hound first came to the UK in the 1930s but did not arrive in America until 1967. They were recognized as a breed three years later when the Pharaoh Hound Club in America was founded. Pharaohs are an extremely active breed and need an active family that they can exercise with for at least an hour each day. They are incredibly affectionate and are great snugglers on the couch. They’ve been known to create a connection with one particular person in a household (typically, their primary caregiver). They’re adorable and funny dogs who would instead do nothing else than play with their favorite humans. Once you’ve figured out what a Pharaoh Hound is like, it would be hard to mistake this magnificent mutt for any other breed. Fortunately, the Pharaoh isn’t among the breeds predisposed to various health issues. They have a lifespan of 12-14 years.

In this complete Pharaoh Hound Breed Guide, we’ll take you through everything you must be aware of about this breed. We will cover their background and how it impacts their character, their intense fitness requirements, health, and much more.

If you’re searching for an animal that is well-balanced for your family, the Pharaoh might be the dog for you. However, they do have some peculiarities that could mean they’re not suitable for your lifestyle or home – beginning with their habit of barking at anything!

Learn everything you can about why this royal dog was chosen by Egyptian Kings. They are extremely rare breeds, and you’re likely to be the only one with a Pharaoh Hound in your family.

Pharaoh Hound

Breed History and Background

There are many stories about the story of the Pharaoh Hound However, the most widely accepted theory is that they come from Egypt, which makes them one of the rare African dogs. The oldest artifacts date back to the 4000th century B.C. and show a dog that is nearly exactly like the breed we have today, which makes the breed among the oldest of domesticated dogs around the globe.

If you’re interested in Egyptian culture, you can see relics depicting the Pharaoh Hound inside the tomb chapels in Mereuwka and Senbi. In contrast to many breeds of dogs, their physical appearance isn’t drastically changed over the hundreds of thousands of years.

From there, it’s thought it is believed that Phoenecian traders were the ones responsible for spreading Pharaoh Hounds around the globe to purchase luxury items. A special spot to breed this dog is Malta. In Malta, they were immediately popular among rabbit-lovers. In Malta, they are known as the ‘Kelb tal Fenek, meaning “dog of the rabbit.”

The breed was largely unnoticed worldwide until the latter half of the 20th century. They first came to the UK in the 1930s but did not arrive in America until the year 1967. Three years later, they were recognized as a breed when the Pharaoh Hound Club in America was founded. Then in 1984, the American Kennel Club (AKC) acknowledged them as an officially recognized breed. They are currently listed as the second most loved breed in America (out of 200), which makes them extremely uncommon.

Size and Appearance

The Pharaoh Hound is a medium-sized dog that weighs between 45 to 55 pounds. Males are generally larger than females. Males tend to be slightly taller, generally between 23 to 25 inches tall. Compared to females, who are between 21- 24 inches, from the paw to the shoulder. This doesn’t take into account the ears that are soaring! The ears of their pups represent their main characteristic and are incredibly large as puppies.

Their body is slim and athletic, and you’ll never find a pharaoh who is overweight. With a wide chest and a slim waist, they appear like ordinary hounds with fast feet. They are similar to Salukis and Greyhounds, which they’re often confused with. Once you’ve figured out what the characteristics of a Pharaoh Hound are like, it’s hard to misinterpret this magnificent mutt for any other breed.

One of the unique characteristics that distinguish the Pharaoh from other dog breeds is their ability to blush. Their cheeks, ears, and chest are a bright reddish-pink hue. This is why they are often referred to as the blushing dog of Malta. It is also typical to see Pharaoh Hounds possess the white tip at the tail end. This was bred into the bloodline to aid farmers in recognizing their Pharaohs while hunting on earthy terrain.

If you’re looking to display the world your Pharaoh in the ring of competition, you’ll have to be in line with the standards of the Pharaoh Hound breed norms. The presence of a white spot on the neck’s back, shoulders, neck, or any other part of the sides or back is not acceptable. However, if you don’t intend to show the patches, you don’t need to be concerned about it; their appearance doesn’t affect their capacity to be great pets.

Coat and Colors

The Pharaoh Hound is a dog with an elongated and glossy coat that is incredibly simple to take care of. Straight fur can range between soft and rough in texture. The coat is double and sheds lightly in the seasons of shedding. Although they are not the most shed-prone on the shed scale, they are not hypoallergenic breeds. There are four official shades that are listed, these are chestnut red, golden, rich Tan, and Tan.

Temperament and Personality Traits

First and foremost, the Pharaoh Hound is an eye and scent hound. The majority of hounds are based on just one sense. If you’re looking for an animal that hunts, then the Pharaoh is the best choice. If you’re seeking a calm dog that can walk independently, this isn’t the dog for you.

As with all hounds, they tend to be aloof around strangers. They’re not in any way aggressive; however, they display very little interest in family members who aren’t part of the group. In the case of their family members, they are extremely affectionate and are great snugglers on the couch (once they’ve exhausted their energy.) There are many Pharaoh Hounds that have been known to create a connection with one particular person, typically their primary caregiver.

There are some quirks that prospective owners should be aware of. One of them is that they’re an extremely vocal dog breed. If it’s something exciting or something they’re unhappy with, they’ll tell you about it. This is fantastic for people seeking an alert watchdog. However, for those who dislike dogs that bark, it is best to look into other breeds altogether.

Another thing that makes them unique has to do with the fact that these guys are skilled counter-swimmers. Even when fully trained, the desire to grab that piece of cheese or chicken leg off the table could be too for them to resist. They love food and will go to any lengths to get a delicious treat. This is why you must take your time with these potentially playful dogs. It’s all part of the Pharaoh’s charm and fun.

Despite these quirks, the Pharaoh Hound is an adorable and funny dog who would rather do nothing else than play with its favorite humans. This is a constant source of entertainment for the entire family. If they are smiling, their smiles spread from ear to ear, and their enthusiasm for life is contagious. This characteristic (and other traits) attracts Pharaoh admirers returning repeatedly.

Living Requirements

Pharaoh Hounds do not like spending long periods of time on their own because they’re sensitive dogs. Therefore, they’ll have to be part of a family that doesn’t spend all day long at a distance from their home. They can live comfortably in an apartment if they are well active.

As with all dogs, they’d appreciate having a yard to play and relax in. If they’re lucky enough to have one, you’ll require fencing that is a minimum of six feet high. Pharaohs can leap incredibly high when they chase animals in the yard, so ensure they are kept in a secure area.

The Pharaoh is the kind of dog that tends to be a good companion for children. Children are prone to love them since they’re not too loud. If they are properly trained as well as have socialization skills, they can easily fit into the multi-pet family, which makes them excellent companions for families of all sizes and shapes.

Exercise Requirements

Pharaoh Hounds require an average of 1 hour of physical activity each day. Therefore, it’s possible to conclude they should be part of a family that can ensure the same fitness level. If they don’t get enough exercise, they can be destructive and troublesome. A tired dog is a happy dog.

One of the best ways to get rid of their exuberant enthusiasm is to get them involved in local lure coursing competitions. Pursuing furry and fast-moving animals is part of their genes and will keep them healthy and happy. They are safe and controlled places where you can let your Pharaoh loose and run until he is satisfied. We don’t suggest letting them off leash unless they are in a secure area because they’ll run from your sight.

Training and Socialization

Pharaoh Hounds can be trained dogs. But their prey drive can cause them to be resistant, often adhering to their scent and sight over your instructions. If you’re looking for an off-leash dog that is completely obedient, the Pharaoh may not be the right option for you. Training to recall is recommended in case they do slip their leash.

A Positive reinforcement method is the best option to train your Pharaoh. These sensitive dogs do not react well to harsh training from masters. They are extremely motivated by food, so you must include treats in the training sessions.

Socialization at an early age is beneficial as it helps them learn how to be social with humans, dogs, and all the people around them. Going to the nearby dog park is a fantastic opportunity to meet new four-legged friends.

Because the dog is such a vocal pup, teaching them the “quiet command” is a vital element of your daily training routine. Otherwise, frustration and headaches neighbors are predicted for the next 14 to fifteen years, or even more. Begin training your dog as soon as they return home with you to ensure the best outcomes.

Nutritional Requirements

The amount you feed your Pharaoh will depend on various aspects, such as their weight, age, and activity level. The typical Pharaoh Hound will likely take between one and a half to two cups of meals each day, divided into two portions. However, their love for food is such that they’ll consume whatever food you serve them, which is why it’s crucial not to feed them too much.

Fooding an appropriate kibble for your age is essential to ensure you meet the nutritional requirements at every stage of life. This is especially important in their development stage since they require more fats and protein to build up their strength and health. While you may need to spend a bit more on premium dog food and supplements, you can rest assured that they’ll be healthier.

Grooming Your Pharaoh Hound

The Pharaohs require only brushing every week using a dog brush. It’s a rubber glove that removes debris and hair that has fallen off and keeps it off your clothes and furniture to the greatest extent possible. Professional grooming is unnecessary unless you want to pamper your dog.

The breed doesn’t have a particularly unpleasant smell. However, it is recommended to bathe only every 3 months to prevent damage to their coat. Since this dog has an exquisite coat and likes to play in the bush, its skin is susceptible to scrapes and nicks. This could lead to sores and infections. So make sure you check their legs and belly and clean any sores.

Pharaoh Hounds possess a shorter muzzle than the majority of dogs, which means their teeth are more strained. This is the reason you should brush your teeth two to three times per every week to prevent periodontal problems.

Make sure that their nails are kept in check. You’ll be able to tell when they’ve become excessively long as you’ll feel them pounding across the flooring.

Health Issues

Pharaoh Hounds live a life span of 12-14 years. However, like all breeds of dogs, they are susceptible to certain health issues more than other breeds. This is why choosing a reliable breeder who can screen for any pre-existing health issues is highly recommended. Let’s look at the conditions that cause these issues.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is among the most frequent canine skeletal issues. It is a Pharaoh may inherit hip problems through their parents, which is why it’s essential to inquire about the hip scores of your pet. It could also happen when hips develop too fast when a puppy is born. The signs include mobility issues or difficulty sitting or standing up, as well as climbing up.

Patella Luxation

This is another skeletal issue affecting the knee joint. The knee cap doesn’t rest correctly on the joint and then floats. While this may not sound serious, it can be extremely painful for the puppy. The signs include jerky walking, kicking with the affected leg, and general discomfort.

Eye Conditions

Eye problems are another frequent issue for dogs of all breeds. The most frequent eye problem that is seen within the Pharaoh is distichiasis. It occurs when the eyelashes expand inside the eyelids, causing irritation and causing damage to the eye. Other eye-related problems that affect the breed include progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), cataracts, and glaucoma. The symptoms include light sensitivity, bumping into objects, and pawing at their eyes.

Thyroid Concerns

It is believed that the Pharaoh has a higher risk than other breeds of suffering from thyroid problems and various hormonal issues. Hypothyroidism is the most frequent thyroid disorder. While it is treatable by medication, without a diagnosis, it could be life-threatening. Cushing’s disease is a different hormone imbalance issue to look out for.

The Pharaoh as Family Pets

  • They are medium-sized dogs that are extremely adaptable to all kinds of families.
  • Pharaohs are an extremely active breed and therefore need to have an active family that can exercise for at least an hour per day.
  • They are loving pets within the family’s home and often form a special connection with their main caretaker.
  • Pharaoh Hounds are extremely loud dogs which makes them great watchdogs.
  • They’re aloof around strangers and have no interest in making new friends, but they don’t seem rude about it.
  • They are keen to be pleasing and are highly driven by food, which makes them relatively easy to train.
  • They can live alongside children of different age groups due to their tranquil nature inside, and they can live with other dogs as well.
  • Pharaohs are known to have an extremely high prey drive, and living with cats or other animals isn’t a good alternative. They must be secured whenever they go out in public as well.
  • They have humorous and hilarious personalities.  They are always ready to play fetch with their human companions, which gives them a lot of amusement.

Breeders and Puppy Prices/Costs

There are a few Pharaoh breeders within the United States. Based on where you reside, it is likely that you’ll have to search for an ethical and reliable breeder. The best place to begin your research into breeders is the AKC’s Pharaoh Hound breeder’s list.

Breeders who are responsible are those who only produce Pharaohs that pass all the necessary health tests. Don’t just take the word of the breeder but be sure to check the proof of their certificates. Always meet your pups in person in their living space and with at least one of the parents present. Breeders with a good reputation are knowledgeable and will have many questions regarding your lifestyle.

The typical price of a Pharaoh puppy purchased from an ethical breeder is $1,500-$2,000. They are said to be among the most expensive breeds of medium size to purchase because they are extremely scarce. Breeders who are not responsible and puppy mills operate by offering lower prices to customers. However, the puppy generally is unhealthy and not socialized, so don’t take the bait of working with them.

Be aware of life-long costs to consider too. The process of preparing your home with all the things your dog needs could be costly. In addition, insurance costs and medical bills that are unexpected can be major expenses. Fortunately, it’s not that expensive because the Pharaoh Hound isn’t among the most costly dogs to take care of in comparison to a Mastiff or a breed that is predisposed to a variety of health issues.

Rescues and Shelters

Buying a puppy isn’t the best option for every person or situation. However, it is uncommon to find a Pharaoh in a shelter for rescue, given how rare they are. If they do, they’re likely to be seized in a short time.

This rescue dog program of the Pharaoh Hound Club in America is an excellent place to start your search for an animal rescue dog. As much as possible, adopt don’t shop!


The Pharaoh Hound is a very unique and special breed of dog. As you’ve learned in this article, they are friendly and calm dogs that can adapt to all kinds of families and homes. They’re great with children and don’t seem overly demanding in the house.

However, as with all breeds of dog, there are some things you must know about them. One of these is that they’re extremely vocal and can be very vocal about anything. They should not be allowed to walk in public areas due to their prey-driven nature, which sometimes makes them obstinate.  They should be surrounded by a loving family that can accommodate their exercise requirements.

If you’re sure the Pharaoh Hound is the perfect dog for you, we believe you’ll fall head over heels in love with him in no time.

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