Dog Breeds: Pharaoh Hound, characteristics and personality

Pharaoh Hound

Pharaoh Hound

The Pharaoh Hound dog is a noble and intelligent dog with an origin that can be traced back to over 5,000 years. He probably went hunting gazelles with Pharaohs in ancient times, hence his name.


The Pharaoh Hound is original from Egypt. From there he was brought into Malta by Phoenician traders, where he became the national dog. There is a registry of an artifact from 4000 BC depicting two dogs shaped like Pharaoh hounds. This dog was usually depicted as being the dog of kings and nobles of ancient Egypt.

Today, this breed is still uncommon (ranks 168th in the AKC) but can be now found all over the world. The AKC recognized this breed in 1983.

Physical characteristics

When you first see a Pharaoh Hound dog, you see grace and elegance combined with power and athleticism. This dog is strong without being muscular. His head is not too thin but well proportionate to the body.
The coat is fine, silky, and somewhat hard, with not feathering. This dog is slightly longer than he is tall. Males stand 23 to 25 inches while females are 21 to 24 inches tall. Their weight is generally 45 to 55 pounds.


These dogs are very loving of their people and love being clownish with them. However, they are not too good with strangers. In fact, this dog can grow to be timid if he is not socialized enough. He is also very sensitive and high drama situations can make him very stressful.

Caring for a Pharaoh Hound

He can do well in apartments or condos but consider that he likes to bark. You will need to take him out on daily 30-minute walks or exercises. If you will have him in a yard, make sure it is tall enough and if possible, with no view to the outside.

When you take him out, make sure you always walk him on a leash. If there is a small animal that calls his attention, his preying instincts will kick strongly. If it is too cold outside, put on a sweater as his skin is not thick enough.


His high intelligence and eagerness to please make the Pharaoh Hound dog highly trainable. Remember to use positive reinforcement and rewarding.

Fun facts

  • This is one of the oldest domesticated dogs in recorded history.
  • There are reliefs of the Pharaoh Hound dog in the tomb chapel of Merewka and Senbi.

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