Pharaoh Hound Dog Breed Information and Personality Traits

Being obedient is not considered a characteristic, however the pharaoh hound is sensitive, patient and gentle with children. This calm dog is content with a soft bed, a warm house and a daily run.

Pharaoh Hound At a glance
The Pharaoh Hound Dog Breed

Many people confuse the pharaoh with the Ibizan Hound. The pharaoh tends to be smaller.


Weight Range:

Male: 50-55 lbs.
Female: 45-50 lbs.

Height at Withers:

Male: 24 in.

Female: 23 in.


Dolichocephalic (long face), upright ears (naturally)


Exercise Requirements: >40 minutes/day
Energy Level: Average
Longevity Range: 11-14 yrs.
Tendency to Drool: Low Tendency to Snore: Low
Tendency to Bark: Low
Tendency to Dig: Low Social/Attention Needs: Low

Bred For:

Hunting rabbits


Length: Short
Characteristics: Flat
Colors: Tan or chestnut, white tail tip if desired
Overall Grooming Needs: Low

Club Recognition:

AKC Classification: Hound
UKC Classification: Sighthounds and Pariahs
Prevalence: Rare

No better idea can be had of the pharaoh hound than that gained by looking at statues of Anubis, the dog (or jackal) god.

The large, erect ears are a hallmark of the breed. The pharaoh is one of the most moderate of the sighthounds, lacking the exaggerated raciness seen in others of this family.

Still, the breed retains greyhound-like features: long, slender legs, relatively narrow body, tucked up waist, slightly arched loin and long tail — but everything is less so than in a greyhound. Even the legs are only moderately angulated, indicating the build of a dog that combines considerable stamina with speed.

An inscription from the XIX Egyptian dynasty reads: "The red, long-tailed dog goes at night into the stalls of the hills. He makes no delay in hunting, his face glows like a God and delights to do his work." Even then, one of the most delightful traits of this breed was worthy of comment: The pharaoh hound blushes when excited.

Many people confuse the pharaoh with the Ibizan hound. The Pharaoh tends to be smaller (from 21 to 25 inches in height, and 45 to 55 pounds). His lines tend to be less angular, and he is generally not as extreme in any feature. Like the Ibizan Hound, he comes only in shades of red to fawn but, unlike the Ibizan, the Pharaoh can have no more than a bit of white on the toes, chest, forehead and tail tip. Both breeds have soft, close coats that are great to stroke!


Like all sighthounds, pharaoh hounds are chasers. They cannot be let off lead in an unfenced area without the danger of them running after something and into a roadway. Nobody ever accused a pharaoh of being an obedience wiz, or of having any ability as a watchdog or protection dog.

Indoors, the pharaoh hound is calm, quiet and clean, content to stretch out on your best sofa and sleep as long as you have given him a daily run or romp. He prefers to lie near you, but not on you. The pharaoh is sensitive and aloof and cautious with strangers. Few breeds can claim to match this breed's patience and gentleness with children, and they get along well with other dogs.

Living With:

The pharaoh hound is the prince and the pauper of dogdom. His early forebears lived in luxury as esteemed coursers and, later, hunted to keep themselves and their poor families fed. They appreciate the finer things in life, but can adapt to far less. A soft bed, a warm house and a daily run are among the things they consider necessities of life.

If you like to groom, you are out of luck. Pharaoh hounds are wash and wear dogs.


The pharaoh hound looks as though it has just stepped off the walls of an Egyptian tomb or returned from a hunt with an Egyptian pharaoh. Yet for centuries, the original Egyptian hounds were assumed to be extinct — until these dogs, almost certainly the descendents of Egyptian hounds traded by sea-going Phoenicians, were discovered on the island of Malta. The isolation of Malta allowed them to breed true for thousands of years, their physiques honed and tested by the need to earn their keep catching rabbits for the pot. The pharaoh hound is known as the Kelb-tal Fenek in Malta, where it is now the national dog.

The first pharaoh hounds recorded to have left Malta were in the 1930s, but only in the 1950s and 60s was there a significant effort mounted to establish them in Britain and America. Since then, they have remained rare; after all, not everyone is suited to own the dog of the pharaohs.

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