Pharaoh Hound Dog Breed Fast Facts
Despite all the regal talk, the Pharaoh Hound is a bit of a joker and will fit into just about any family. The only thing is, before you adopt him, don’t forget to read the article below.
Country of Origin: Malta
Original Purpose: Hunt small game including rabbits
Height: 20 to 26 inches at shoulder
Weight: 40 to 65 pounds
Dog Breed Classification: Hound group
Lifespan: 10 to 15 years
Origin of the Pharaoh Hound Dog Breed
Some think that the origins of The Pharaoh Hound in Egypt make it one of the oldest breeds in existence today. However, that moves us into the area of conjecture. We know the breed comes from Malta in modern times where it is known as Kelb tal-Fenek.
The local people claim that the hound has been present on the island for at least 2000 years.
Around the Mediterranean islands, there are “similar” hounds to be found – the Ibizan Hound, the Pondenco, the Cirneco and the Pharaoh – similar but significantly different. We believe that exceptional hunting hounds became part of the “currency” of the day and were traded by The Phoenicians but in the case of our breed, whether from Malta to Egypt or from Egypt to Malta we really don’t know.
We do know those early settlers in The Nile valley (between 10,000 – 5,000 years ago) in pre-dynastic times hunted with tall prick-eared hounds according to their cave paintings.
Some claim that the Pharaoh Hound is a relatively modern breed – a made-up breed and claim DNA evidence to support their theory but they remain small in number. The “Egyptian” link comes from the physiology of our hound – the character and especially the appearance as they bear a staggering resemblance to the tjesm, the elegant and regal golden hunting hound from ancient Egypt.
They were imported from Malta into the UK by Pauline Block in 1962. Pauline was the wife of the then Officer Commanding Malta and saw the hound on the island. Obviously, they made a great impression on her as she was immediately struck by the resemblance to the ancient hound and their regal, slender and majestic manner. These hounds imported into the UK became the foundation of most Pharaoh Hounds now around the world apart from some imported directly from Malta more recently. It should be noted that the name Pharaoh Hound did not originate with early UK breeders/owners.
They tried to register the breed but the name Kelb tal-Fenek was refused by the FCI (the international authority covering canine matters) and it was the FCI who gave the name Pharaoh Hound. This breed club – The Pharaoh Hound Club was formed in 1968 being the first and original club for the breed. To maintain a strict standard to retain the characteristics of our much-loved breed, early breeders drew up a “breed standard” in conjunction with The Kennel Club.® It is this standard by which all our hounds are judged.