Origin of the Pharaoh Hound

With its astute posture and tall, pointy ears, one can’t help but associate the appearance of the Pharaoh hound with the Egyptian god, Anubis. Along with its name, this is why most people assume its country of origin to be Egypt. However, researchers of the breed have come to a different conclusion. Instead, the Pharaoh hound originates from the country of Malta. In fact, this supreme hunting dog is known as the national hound of Malta. Although this breed is beginning to show up sparsely outside of Malta, they are found in greatest numbers in their native land. Its Maltese name, Kelb tal-Fenek means “rabbit hound.” Hunters and farmers alike in Malta appreciate the Pharaoh hound’s ability to track and hunt prey. Its body is sleek and slender, is complimented by its keen vision. It is no wonder that international interest around this dog breed is beginning to blossom. This independent breed has a strong prey drive. For this reason, the Pharaoh hound is not an ideal choice for a domestic dog, as it has a tendency to go after smaller animals.


Although considered a sighthound in the United States, the Pharaoh hound uses his sight, scent and hearing to find his prey. Its greyhound-like build and pointy ears makes its appearance quite distinguishable. The Pharaoh hound is a unique combination of grace, power and speed. They hold their head high. They are said to be quite reserved with strangers, even timid. The Pharaoh hound has a unique characteristic of blushing when they become excited. The ears and nose turn a rosy red color. Sensitive, loving and gentle, the Pharaoh hound is great with children. Though it is relatively calm when indoors, let a Pharaoh hound out the door and they may take off running. If you think you will be able to keep your Pharaoh hound contained with a traditional fence, better build it high enough. Your Pharaoh hound has the ability to jump very high. They have the instinct to pursue anything that is running. Just because they can be energetic, doesn’t mean that your Pharaoh hound won’t absolutely love curling up in a ball in a nice, soft blanket when they are indoors. Although the Pharaoh hound is alert enough to announce the arrival of strangers, he is not exactly a guard dog. They are both curious and cautious, as they hesitantly investigate new people, sights, places and sounds. In order to build confidence, early and ongoing socialization is necessary in order for them to build confidence.