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The Pharaoh Hound is an ancient sighthound breed thought to have originated from Egypt more than 2,000 years ago, albeit DNA suggests otherwise. The modern Pharaoh breed is the National Dog of Malta and was developed by the Maltese people to hunt rabbits. It is a graceful and noble dog that is easy-going, happy to laze the day on the couch.
If you are looking for a friendly dog with low exercise needs, think about buying a Pharaoh Hound. Read further on to know more about its background.
The Pharaoh Hound is the national dog of Malta, also known as Kelb tal-Fenek, a Maltese word for rabbit dog. Albeit no historical link to Ancient Egypt as per DNA, the Pharaoh Hound is believed to have descended from one of the ancient Egyptian hunting dogs, the Tesem. This reference is based on images of dogs found on ancient Egyptian tombs that closely resemble the Pharaoh Hound. Reports suggest that Phoenician traders brought the dog breed to Malta over 2,000 years ago, where it was developed for its hunting prowess.
For centuries, the Pharaoh Hound bloodline remained unaltered, so the modern dog is still closely similar to the ancient breed. In the 1930s, Pharaohs appeared for the first time in Europe and was shown in England by Bahri of Twinley. The dog breed was accepted and recognised by The Kennel Club in 1974 and was called Pharaoh Hound, a name that once was used as an alternative name for the Ibizan Hound.
Today, the Pharaoh Hound is still an uncommon breed but can be found around the world. In the UK, people who wish to share their homes with this unique noble dogs may find it difficult to find a breeder since only a few puppies are registered per year.
The Pharaoh Hound is the most moderate of the sighthound breeds without the typical hyperbolic raciness seen in other hound groups. Appearance-wise, its large and erect ears are a hallmark of the breed while retaining its Greyhound-like features such as its long, slender legs, narrow body, tucked up waist, arched loins and a long tail. It has considerable stamina and speed evidenced by its angulated legs.
Most dog owners mistake the Pharaoh Hound with the Ibizan Hound, although the Pharaoh is relatively smaller, weighing 45 to 55 pounds and standing 53 to 63 centimetres at the withers. However, like the Ibizan Hound, the Pharaoh sports a soft, close coats that are smooth to touch and comes in shades of red to fawn. Also, it is significantly low maintenance thanks to its short, tight coat. All it takes is a weekly wipe using chamois leather. However, the Pharaoh sheds throughout the year most especially during autumn and spring, which means frequent grooming is required.
It is also important to note that Pharaoh Hounds are sensitive to cold weather, so make sure that the dog wears a coat when out on a walk. Other dog grooming regimen includes making sure the ears are cleaned on a regular basis, the same for brushing its teeth and trimming the nails. Dog grooming is an opportunity to check on the dog's physical health. Always check to see if there are lesions, fleas and ticks or if there are signs of infection such as redness or bad odour.
The Pharaoh Hound is a graceful and noble breed, which is exceedingly fast. It was bred to be an excellent hunting companion for small game but is also a happy couch potato. Despite its hunting background, Pharaohs are only moderately active and prefer to stay in a calm house. Inside the home, they are quiet and clean housemates. They are light on their feet and can quickly sneak up on its owners without being noticed. Pharaohs are also loyal watchdogs, but their timid nature is not guard dog material.
Being an intelligent dog, the Pharaoh Hound is easy to train. Because they have strong hunting instincts, they are not the most obedient hounds when it comes to recall commands, so make sure their socialisation and training start at an early age. Training must also be consistent and avoid unnecessary harsh correction since they are sensitive by nature. It is also not surprising that Pharaohs excel in all canine sports such as agility and obedience. Pharaohs are not a suitable choice for novice owners since they have the tendency to outsmart owners and may become wilful or unruly.
Pharaohs are are somewhat skittish to live with a lot of children. They are a more suitable choice for households with older children who know how to behave around a puppy or dog. Like all dogs, supervision must be imposed during any interaction between the dog and the children. The Pharaoh Hound enjoys the company of other dogs and is unlikely to show any aggressive behaviour. However, care should be taken when it comes to small animals because this scenthound dog has a high prey drive, which may get the better of it.
A typical serving for an adult Pharaoh Hound is 1.5 to 2 cups of high-quality dog food per day. The servings must be equally divided into two meals to avoid bloat. Also, what and how much to feed a Pharaoh will depend on its age, size, gender, build, health, activity level, and metabolism. It is best to take ask for vet advice regarding a balanced diet specific to your dog's need.
Here's an example of a typical daily calorie requirement of an adult 50-pound Pharaoh Hound:
To make sure your Pharaoh Hound is given the right amount of nutrition, buy commercial dog food that is vet-recommended and formulated to the dog's size. Animal protein (e.g. chicken, lamb or beef) must be the top ingredient targeting muscle growth.
When properly cared for and treasured, the Pharaoh Hound can live up to 11 to 14 years or its maximum lifespan. Although generally healthy and untainted by any crossbreeding practices, the dog breed may still be prone to health conditions such as Hip Dysplasia, Patellar Luxation and skin problems. Pharaohs also have a thin skin and short coat so they are vulnerable to the cold.
Pharaohs are moderately active and as such will need at least 2 hours of daily exercise for them to be truly happy. Although the can be contented couch potatoes, Pharaoh Hounds are also extremely athletic with the keenness for hunting. Make sure they are kept in a fenced area since they won't be able to help the urge to chase after small animals.
If you are set on raising a Pharaoh Hound, you may need to go on a breeder's waiting list since only a few puppies are registered annually. A well-bred Kennel-registered pedigree puppy normally costs £500 upwards. When it comes to feeding, you will need to spend £40 to £50 a month on high-quality dog food. You also need to factor in the initial cost for dog accessories and equipment such as bowls, leads, collars, and beds, which will likely be about £200 depending on the brand.
As to healthcare you need to be prepared in case your dog suddenly falls ill or gets into an accident. You can offset some bills if you get a pet insurance, which can range from £23 for a time-limited cover up to £44 for a lifetime one. These prices vary depending on your dog’s health and age, the type of cover you choose, and whether it has pre-existing conditions.
Other outgoings to consider are veterinary expenses that may not be included in a pet insurance coverage such as vaccinations, routine checks, neutering or spaying, and annual boosters, which can have a combined cost of £1000 annually. In a rough estimation, you will be budgeting £70-£100 a month for recurring expenses, depending on the type of insurance cover you choose for your dog.
Are you sure the Pharaoh Hound is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.Dog Breed Selector Quiz
Is the Pharaoh Hound too sensitive for you? Our Pet Finder will help you choose other suitable breed options to match your personality and lifestyle.
A Sighthound is a branch of the Hound Group, which is a classification of dog breeds created for tracking and capturing prey. Dogs that fall under the Sighthound category were bred to hunt by sight and speed. For this reason, they are popularly known as ‘Ferraris of the dog world.’
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