(aka: Kelb tal-Fenek)
Pharaoh Hound Description
The Pharaoh Hound has a graceful and elegant build, and is medium to large in size. Athletic yet svelte, he is very fast and agile. He has an inquisitive and alert expression, which is added to by his large, erect ears. The coat of the Pharaoh Hound is short, close fitting, and glossy. The coloring of the coat is tan or rich chestnut, with white markings. One unique feature of this dog is his ability to blush when excited, when you will notice his nose and ears turning a rosy color. The height of the Pharaoh Hound is around 21-23 inches for females, and 23-25 inches for males. These dogs weigh in at around 40-60 pounds.
Graceful, elegant, and dignified, the Pharaoh Hound is an agile and energetic dog with plenty to offer to the right family or owner. These dogs often like to bark, and although this makes him an effective watchdog he may not be the right choice for those looking for a quiet life. The Pharaoh Hound does need a fair amount of exercise, but should only be allowed to run free in a properly secured and safe area if he is not on a leash, as he will chase most things that run. Although the Pharaoh Hound likes to play and exercise, he is also fond of his creature comforts and will make himself comfortable indoors. He is not a dog that likes to be overly cuddled, but he is an affectionate creature that enjoys the companionship and interaction.
The Pharaoh Hound gets along very well with children, and will always be ready to play and have some fun. He usually gets along well with other pets, but smaller pets may be in danger as he has very strong chasing instincts. He tends to be cautious yet polite and inquisitive when strangers are around. In order to minimize the risk of timidity, which can run in some lines, early socialization is recommended with the Pharaoh Hound. These dogs have excellent eyesight, as you would expect from a sighthound, and are also very intelligent with a fairly good learning rate. However, training can be a challenge and this breed is best suited to those with some experience of dog ownership.
The Pharaoh Hound is ideal for those with little time to dedicate to grooming, as this is a very low maintenance dog. His coat needs an occasional brushing and a wipe down with a damp cloth to keep it looking glossy and sleek. As a low shedder the Pharaoh Hound may also prove ideal for those with allergies.
It is believed the Pharaoh hound was bred from a wild dog-perhaps the jackal and another type of dog from the Middle Eastern region. Evidence of dogs in the Mid-East have been found as far back as 11,000 years and the recorded evidence of these dogs as companions of the Pharaohs can be found on tomb walls over 4,000 years old.
Artworks in the tombs of Egypt depict a dog that looks very much like the Pharaoh. It seems likely this hound was bred to hunt for small game as a scent and sight hound. They were also bred to remain calm and be good companions to royalty when they were on the hunt or sitting in the throne room.
The breed is very popular on the Mediterranean Island of Malta and is used for hunting rabbits among ancient ruins with the help of ferrets. Pharaoh Hounds are even featured on the national coins as a symbol.
The Pharaoh was brought the United Kingdom and the United States in the 1960s and were accepted into the American Kennel Club just 20 years later. There are still very few dogs anywhere other than Malta.
The Pharaoh Hound requires some careful training while young to grow into a well-socialized animal that follows even the most rudimentary of commands. The keys to the Pharaoh's training are positive reinforcement and consistency.
For most dog owners, the first concern is how well the Pharaoh takes to housebreaking. Thankfully they do fairly well with this if you are around to take cues from the puppy and get them outside when they show any inkling of having to go. When they do well they should be praised. Never punish a Pharaoh (or any other dog for that matter) unless you actually catch them in the act, since they'll forget what they've just done moments after doing it.
It is vitally important that you give puppies a chance to interact with as many different people and dogs as possible when they're young so they get used to new situations. Otherwise your dog may become fearfully timid.
Obedience training can be a bit more challenging, simply because the dog may not see any reason for it. In this case, repetition is key. Don't get frustrated and be sure to always use the same commands. They may not seem to get it, but they probably do-it's a matter of will for many Pharaoh hound puppies.
The biggest challenge for most Pharaoh owners will be their barking. They just seem to enjoy barking, and will do it nearly incessantly unless they receive some very firm and consistent guidance from you.
Even a well-trained Pharaoh hound will probably still continue to bark more than many other breeds. Some people have successfully used a bark collar that either delivers a shock or a citronella burst, though the effectiveness of these punitive tools has varying levels of success with this breed.
It will probably be impossible to train a Pharaoh hound not to chase small creatures, though if you have a cat, you'll have to make a special effort to socialize them with the cat from an early age and not give them a chance to.
One of the most convenient trait of the breed, as far as training is concerned is their ability to return when called from a very early age. From this easy success you should have a very firm foundation to build further training successes upon.
This is a very healthy breed in general. There are just a few health problems to look out for with these dogs, and this includes optic nerve problems and sensitivity to chemicals and drugs. The parents of the Pharaoh Hound should have OFA and CERF certificates.