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Pharaoh Hound Dog Breed Profile

Jul 3, 2008
Many people believe that the Pharaoh Hound is called by that name because it is exclusively found in Egyptian history, but this is not in fact the case. The Pharaoh Hound was originally bred in Malta 3000 years before Christ and transported to Egypt by Phoenician tradesmen. In Malta the dog was used for hunting rabbits and only the most successful were used in the breeding program. It is still being used for its original purpose in its country of origin and in 1979 the breed was declared to be the "National Dog of Malta". The Egyptians favored this breed for hunting gazelle.

Because it was selectively "culled" for breeding and only the hardiest and most successful hunters were used, the Pharaoh Hound is exceptionally healthy. There has not been a great deal of overbreeding which is also a great help in maintaining the health of the population of any dog breed.

The Pharaoh Hound may appear to be somewhat aloof because it is such an has such an elegant appearance. However unlike most of the sight hounds, the Pharaoh is demonstrative and affectionate and bonds closely with people, preferring to be with them in the household. Generally this is a quiet dog and makes a good companion for all ages of people.

It is not as "biddable" as other breeds because of its instinctive desire to hunt but this is overcome if the hound is trained early in life to walk on a leash and behave appropriately when greeting people. Like most of the sight hounds, this is a dog bred for speed and endurance, with a lean , deep chested appearance and with long legs for bounding after prey. Since it is from the desert, it will suffer from the cold if not protected in the winter.

The Pharaoh's appearance is marked by a pair of erect and very large ears which make it appear very attentive and amber eyes of a liquid gold color which give this dog a unique and rather haughty expression. The coat is always a rich tan or chestnut and may not deviate from this color. There can be a small snippet of white on the tail, the chest and the toes and on the face. No other white is permitted. The coat is sleek, very short and quite smooth. When the dog is in motion at a full gallop the tail should be held out behind it in a gentle upward curve.

The dog has a keen instinct to give chase and is quite adaptable to the sport of lure coursing, which has become a favorite pastime in the United States and Great Britain for folks who own sight hounds (many of whom are termed "coursing dogs" for their habit of running long distances and bringing down prey on the run.)

Lure coursing is a sport in which a false "rabbit" of cloth or fur is attached to an electronic pulley arrangement so that it goes with great speed along the ground in a course laid out in a triangular shape. Lure Coursing is an event that is really great fun to see, as the dogs give a speedy chase and the exhibitors and spectators alike cheer them on.
About the Author
Get more info and advice on the Pharaoh Hound or a full list of dog breeds at this Dog Behaviour website.
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