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Pharaoh Hound
Characteristics, History, and Health

Pharaoh Hound

The Pharaoh Hound, also known as Kelb tal-Fenek in Maltese, meaning Rabbit Dog, is a breed of dog native to the Mediterranean island nation of Malta. These dogs have a striking appearance reminiscent of the hounds depicted in ancient Egyptian artifacts, hence the name Pharaoh Hound. Pharaoh Hounds are believed to have been the hunting dogs of the ancient Egyptians, as they bear a striking resemblance to the dogs depicted in Egyptian artifacts dating back to 4000 BC. The breed was introduced to Malta by Phoenician traders around 1000 BC, where they were bred to hunt rabbits, leading to their Maltese name, Kelb tal-Fenek 2. Their history is closely tied to the development of the Mediterranean culture. Despite their ancient origins, the breed was only officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1983.

Main Info
Ancient Egypt
Alternate Names
"Blushing Dog" of Malta, Kelb tal-Fenek (means Rabbit Dog in Maltese)
Life Expectancy
12-14 years
Average Male Height
23-25 inches
Average Female Height
21-24 inches
Average Male Weight
45-55 pounds
Average Female Weight
45-55 pounds
Coat Length
Coat Type
Coat Colors
Chestnut, Red Golden, Rich Tan, Tan
Coat Pattern
White Markings

Genetic Predispositions and Health

Currently, there are no known genetic conditions tightly associated with the Pharaoh Hound breed. As for all breeds, genetic screening is recommended to assist veterinarians with diagnosis and proactive care, as well as help breeders identify affected and carrier dogs.

Personality and Behavior

Pharaoh Hounds are intelligent, active, and sociable dogs. They are known for their good-natured, affectionate demeanor, and they get along well with children and other pets. They need regular exercise to keep them physically and mentally stimulated. Pharaoh Hounds are also known for their unique ability to "blush" when excited or happy, with their ears and nose turning a deep rose color.

Pharaoh Hounds have a short and glossy coat that comes in various shades of tan and chestnut, with white markings on the tip of the tail, chest, toes, and on the centerline of the face. The coat is low maintenance, requiring only occasional brushing to keep it healthy and shiny. They are considered a "wash and wear" breed.

Fun Facts

Pharaoh Hounds are one of the oldest known domesticated dogs. Their image is often found on the tombs of Egyptian pharaohs, and artifacts resembling this breed have been dated back to 4000 BC.

They are the national dog of Malta.

One of the breed's most charming characteristics is its ability to blush. When Pharaoh Hounds are happy or excited, their ears and nose turn a rosy color.

Despite their regal name and appearance, Pharaoh Hounds are known for their playful, friendly, and sometimes goofy personality