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Pharaoh Hound

The Pharaoh Hound is a graceful and athletic, medium-sized, short-coated dog with an elegant, chiselled head and alert, erect ears.

The need-to-know
  • Dog suitable for experienced owners
  • Some training required
  • Enjoys active walks
  • Enjoys walking an hour a day
  • Large dog
  • Minimum drool
  • Requires grooming once a week
  • Non hypoallergenic breed
  • Chatty and vocal dog
  • Not a guard dog
  • May require training to live with other pets
  • May require training to live with kids

Key Facts

Lifespan: 11 – 14 years
Weight: 20 – 25kg
Height: 53 – 63cm
Colours: The Pharaoh Hound comes in shades of tan, sometimes with white markings to the tail, chest, toes and face
Size: Medium
UK Kennel Club Groups: Hound


Family-friendly: 5/5
Exercise needs: 4/5
Easy to train: 3/5
Tolerates being alone: 2/5
Likes other pets: 4/5
Energy level: 2/5
Grooming needs: 3/5
Shedding: 2/5


This is a sighthound, which means a degree of independent thought is to be expected, but also strong loyalty to family and close friends. The desire to hunt is strong, and the Pharaoh Hound has the staying power and stamina of the long-distance runner as well as the short-term speed of the sprinter. Care must be taken around cats, other small furry animals and livestock.

Unlike many sighthounds, the Pharaoh Hound is quite vocal at times and is also very sociable, enjoying the company of other humans and dogs.

History and Origins

Country of Origin: Malta

Well known in Malta and Gozo for centuries as a farmer’s dog, the Pharaoh Hound was originally known as the Maltese Rabbit Dog. In an attempt to give this dog a more noble title, the enthusiasts of the breed in the 1960s renamed the dog, noting that the Pharaoh Hound closely resembled depictions of houndlike dogs in the wall paintings and carvings of ancient Egypt.

Whilst there is no hard evidence that there is a genetic link, it is likely that Phoenician traders visited the Maltese Islands in ancient times, and there are a number of similar, true breeding types known in the Mediterranean region. Unusual and beautiful dogs have often been traded and gifted between nations and those that perform a useful function such as hunting would be highly prized, making this link quite possible.

Health and Common Issues

Exercise Needs

Space Requirements

Nutrition and Feeding

Grooming Pharaoh Hound

Training Pharaoh Hound

Best Family Dog Breeds

Did You Know?

  • When excited, the Pharaoh Hound blushes, their nose and ears will glow redder due to their lack of black pigment!
  • Pharaoh Hound’s are known for their happy smiling faces and can be trained to smile too.
  • Their large pointy ears are completely natural and stand up when they’re around 4 weeks old.
  • The first Pharaoh Hound to be shown at Crufts was Birling Zahara in 1970.
  • They’re incredible jumpers and you’ll need at least a 6-foot fence in your garden to keep them contained!
Dog with red collar looking out the window
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