Pharaoh Hound


The Pharaoh Hound is the national hound of Malta and their Maltese name is Kelb Tal-Fenek which translates as ‘rabbit Dog’. Based on DNA analysis, the breed has no link with Ancient Egypt. However a popular myth is that they descended from the Tesem, an ancient Egyptian hunting Dog that looks similar to images found on the walls of ancient Egyptian tombs.


Pharaoh Hounds are reasonably independent and can be a calm companion in the home provided they have enough exercise. Loyal and loving with family members they can also be a bit of a clown when in a playful mood but reserved with strangers. A great family Dog but their high prey drive must be managed.

Grooming and Physical Needs

  • Grooming Needs: Pharaoh Hounds need little grooming and keep their short coats quite clean and only need occasional bathing but generally a rub down with a damp cloth is all that’s needed. A regular brush down with a rubber brush will help remove dead hair.
  • Coat Type: Fine and short with no feathering and the texture varies from glossy and silky to somewhat hard.
  • Moulting: They moult at the end of winter and mid to late summer.
  • Exercise Needs: A high energy breed that needs exercise and stimulation, without it they can become noisy and destructive in the home and can be fence jumpers.
  • Average Life Span: 12 – 16 years


  • Family: Very loyal and loving with their family members.
  • Temperament: Energetic Dogs with a tendency to have a high prey drive.
  • Trainability: Very smart Dogs that learn quickly. Must be socialized at an early age. Will accept a family cat if brought up with one.
  • Sociability (Other Pets): Very loyal to anyone that enters their living area.
  • Barking: Can be problematic especially when bored but they are great guard Dogs.


Can blush when happy or excited as their nose, ears and around their eyes will colour. Pharaoh Hounds are also known to be able to ‘smile’ and can be inventive with play when they are in the mood.


Pharaoh Hounds are known to be a healthy breed but they can be highly sensitive to insecticides and medicines.