Breed Spotlight: The Pharaoh Hound

With a name as curious as the Pharaoh Hound, one might be able to easily guess where this breed of dog hails from. Let’s take a look at the history and characteristics of this ancient canine that is currently being seen more and more in American households today.


One of the oldest domesticated dog breeds on the planet, the Pharaoh Hound is believed to have originated around 4000 B.C. As the name suggests, initially its origin started in ancient Egypt where its likeness can be found depicted in paintings, sculptures, and murals. It is through these Egyptian artifacts that we gained access to the knowledge of this unique creature.

The ancient Egyptians treasured this animal for its hunting ability as well as for it simply being a smart and loyal companion to the pharaohs. During the fall of the pharaoh’s reign, the breed was carried to Malta by Phoenician traders, where he was bred into the keen hunter that he is known as today.


Affectionately named the ancient “blushing dog” of Malta, the Pharaoh Hound is said to actually have the ability to smile when he wants to. This fast, yet elegant sprinting dog was bred to hunt rabbits. His keen sense of smell is only second to his friendly, loving demeanor.  

One of its most distinguishing characteristics is a sleek tan coat with matching tones that encircle its eyes and cover its nose and ears. Its captivating amber-colored eyes are complemented well with a coat color that ranges from rich tan to red golden to chestnut.

Exercise Needs

In order for your Pharaoh Hound to stay happy and healthy, he needs to stay on a regular exercise schedule. Ideally, he likes to run for about 15-20 minutes, twice a day. To accomplish this, having a tall, fenced-in area of 50’ x 50’ is recommended. If this won’t work for your situation, walking him for 20 minutes, twice a day is needed.


According to the AKC, even though the Pharaoh Hound wants to learn and desires to please you, there will be a problem if he is off-leash in an open area. They advise that in most cases, a Pharaoh will not come when called when they have the option of running free to follow their strong hunting instinct.


Feeding your Pharaoh Hound properly is basically like providing nutrition to any other breed. High-quality dog food should help him thrive, whether it is a commercial brand or made at home with your vet’s approval. Your Pharaoh Hound’s diet should be appropriate to his age, whether he is a puppy, adult, or senior dog. Keep an eye on your dog’s calorie consumption to make sure he doesn’t become overweight. Providing your dog with clean, fresh water at all times is imperative.


If you want to add a canine member to your family that has a rich history, look no further than the Pharaoh Hound. Companions to the kings, they are agile hunters and loyal friends. They will delight you with their energetic antics and blushing cheeks. When you return their love, you will have a loyal friend for life. 

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