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  • Temperament: Friendly, Smart, Noble
  • AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 168 of 194
  • Height: 23-25 inches (male), 21-24 inches (female)
  • Weight: 45-55 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 12-14 years
  • Group: Hound Group

    The AKC has grouped all of the breeds that it registers into seven categories, or groups, roughly based on function and heritage. Breeds are grouped together because they share traits of form and function or a common heritage.

Pharaoh Hound standing in three-quarter view facing forward
Pharaoh Hound head and neck facing left
Pharaoh Hound sitting in three-quarter view facing forward
Pharaoh Hound coat detail
Pharaoh Hound puupy

Find a Puppy: Pharaoh Hound

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GENERAL APPEARANCE

General Appearance is one of grace, power and speed. The Pharaoh Hound is medium sized, of noble bearing with hard clean-cut lines-graceful, well balanced, very fast with free easy movement and alert expression.
The following description is that of the ideal Pharaoh Hound. Any deviation from the below described dog must be penalized to the extent of the deviation.

HEAD

Alert expression. Eyes amber colored, blending with coat; oval, moderately deep set with keen intelligent expression. Ears medium high set, carried erect when alert, but very mobile, broad at the base, fine and large.

BODY

Neck long, lean and muscular with a slight arch to carry the head on high. Clean throat line. Almost straight topline. Slight slope from croup to root of tail. Body lithe. Deep brisket almost down to point of elbow. Ribs well sprung. Moderate tuck-up. Tail medium set – fairly thick at the base and tapering whip-like, reaching below the point of hock in repose. Well carried and curved when in action. The tail should not be tucked between the legs. A screw tail is a fault.

FOREQUARTERS

Shoulders long and sloping and well laid back. Strong without being loaded. Elbows well tucked in. Forelegs straight and parallel. Pasterns strong. Dewclaws may be removed. Feet neither cat nor hare but strong, well knuckled and firm, turning neither in nor out. Paws well padded.

COAT

Short and glossy, ranging from fine and close to slightly harsh with no feathering. Accident blemishes should not be considered as faults.

HINDQUARTERS

Strong and muscular. Limbs parallel. Moderate sweep of stifle. Well developed second thigh. Dewclaws may be removed. Feet as in front.

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Pharaoh Hound

About the Pharaoh Hound

Pharaohs are sleek, aerodynamic coursing hounds bred for high-speed pursuit on rocky terrain. Among their several distinguishing traits are a tight tan coat with matching leather on the nose, ears, and eye rims; ravishing amber eyes; a white-tipped tail; the ability to smile; and a unique way of blushing when happy or excited (“His face glows like a god,” wrote an admirer some 3,000 years ago). These elegant visitors from antiquity posses the speed and graceful movement of all coursers descended from Bronze Age hounds.

Breed Clubs and Rescue

Want to connect with other people who love the same breed as much as you do? We have plenty of opportunities to get involved in your local community, thanks to AKC Breed Clubs located in every state, and more than 450 AKC Rescue Network groups across the country.
Pharaoh Hound puupy

Find a Puppy: Pharaoh Hound

AKC Marketplace | PuppyFinder

AKC Marketplace is the only site to exclusively list 100% AKC puppies from AKC-Registered litters and the breeders who have cared for and raised these puppies are required to follow rules and regulations established by the AKC.
Find Pharaoh Hound Puppies

Care

NUTRITION

The Pharaoh Hound should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.

GROOMING

Pharaoh Hounds do not require a great deal of grooming. Daily light brushing or a heavier weekly brushing will do, with baths given as necessary. Particular attention should be paid to keeping the ears clean, and keeping the nails trimmed short enough that they do not make a tapping sound when the dog walks across the floor. Teeth should be cleaned at home on a regular basis but also should be checked by your veterinarian when the dog has his yearly checkup. Pharaohs do not normally have a “doggy odor,” so if an odor is present, check him to find the cause.

Grooming Frequency

Occasional Bath/Brush
Specialty/Professional
Weekly Brushing

Shedding

Infrequent
Frequent
Seasonal

EXERCISE

Anyone considering owning a Pharaoh must know that the breed does require a regular exercise schedule to keep happy and in good condition. If you are fortunate enough to have a “self-runner,” just let him run 15 to 20 minutes twice a day. This requires a six-foot-high fenced-in area of about 50 feet by 50 feet, minimum. If this is not possible, or if he is not a natural “runner,” be prepared to walk your Pharaoh for at least 20 minutes twice a day. No amount of training should be trusted to overcome the Pharaoh’s strong hunting instinct. He should never be allowed to exercise off-lead in an unenclosed area.

Energy Level

Couch Potato
Needs Lots of Activity
Energetic

TRAINING

The Pharaoh is quick to learn and eager to please. However, there is a problem in teaching him to come if he is off lead in an open area. It has been proven time and again that most Pharaohs, no matter how obedient or well trained, will not come when called when they find themselves suddenly in a “free situation.” They will run off, happy to be hunting—with some dogs finally caught after several days, but others, sadly, killed in traffic, or gone forever.

Trainability

May be Stubborn
Eager to Please
Independent

Temperament/Demeanor

Aloof/Wary
Outgoing
Reserved with Strangers

HEALTH

Dr. Stephen Sipperly, chair of the Pharaoh Hound Club of America health committee, notes that the requirements for a CHIC certification for a Pharaoh Hound include screening for hip and elbow dysplasia, patella luxation and eye disorders, and he adds that the majority of results for all those screenings are normal. The most common cancers in the breed are hemangiosarcoma, and mast cell tumor and mammary cancer, though some of these conditions are likely age related and afflict all dogs, regardless of breed or mix. “Looking at the results, I can say with confidence that the Pharaoh Hound is not plagued with any significant disorders,” Dr. Sipperly says.

Recommended Health Tests from the National Breed Club:

  • Hip Evaluation
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation
  • Thyroid Evaluation
  • Patella Evaluation

Read the Official Breed Club Health Statement.

Pharaoh Hound
Pharaoh Hound
Pharaoh Hound
Pharaoh Hound
Pharaoh Hound

History

The history of the canine race might be very different without the Phoenicians. These seafaring traders, from what is today Lebanon, sailed the Mediterranean 2,500 years ago doing a brisk business in luxury items. It’s assumed that the Phoenicians disseminated Egyptian hounds throughout the ancient world, as far west as Britain. The prevailing theory suggests that Phoenicians introduced the Pharaoh to Malta, where they were used as rabbit hunters. In 1979, the Pharaoh was named the national hound of Malta.

Did You Know?

The Pharaoh Hound entered into Regular Classes on January 1, 1984.
The Pharaoh Hound originated in ancient Egypt.
The Pharaoh Hound is one of the oldest domesticated dogs in recorded history.
The Pharaoh Hound was recognized for registration in AKC's studbook on August 1, 1983.
The first litter of Pharaoh Hounds was whelped in the U.S. in 1970.
Reliefs of the Pharaoh Hound can be found in the tomb chapel of Mereuwka and the tomb chapel of Senbi.

The Breed Standard

GENERAL APPEARANCE

General Appearance is one of grace, power and speed. The Pharaoh Hound is medium sized, of noble bearing with hard clean-cut lines-graceful, well balanced, very fast with free easy movement and alert expression.
The following description is that of the ideal Pharaoh Hound. Any deviation from the below described dog must be penalized to the extent of the deviation.

HEAD

Alert expression. Eyes amber colored, blending with coat; oval, moderately deep set with keen intelligent expression. Ears medium high set, carried erect when alert, but very mobile, broad at the base, fine and large.

BODY

Neck long, lean and muscular with a slight arch to carry the head on high. Clean throat line. Almost straight topline. Slight slope from croup to root of tail. Body lithe. Deep brisket almost down to point of elbow. Ribs well sprung. Moderate tuck-up. Tail medium set – fairly thick at the base and tapering whip-like, reaching below the point of hock in repose. Well carried and curved when in action. The tail should not be tucked between the legs. A screw tail is a fault.

FOREQUARTERS

Shoulders long and sloping and well laid back. Strong without being loaded. Elbows well tucked in. Forelegs straight and parallel. Pasterns strong. Dewclaws may be removed. Feet neither cat nor hare but strong, well knuckled and firm, turning neither in nor out. Paws well padded.

COAT

Short and glossy, ranging from fine and close to slightly harsh with no feathering. Accident blemishes should not be considered as faults.

HINDQUARTERS

Strong and muscular. Limbs parallel. Moderate sweep of stifle. Well developed second thigh. Dewclaws may be removed. Feet as in front.

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Pharaoh Hound

Colors & Markings

Colors

Description Standard Colors Registration Code
CHESTNUT Check Mark For Standard Color 070
RED GOLDEN Check Mark For Standard Color 153
RICH TAN Check Mark For Standard Color 160
TAN Check Mark For Standard Color 195

Markings

Description Standard Markings Registration Code
WHITE MARKINGS Check Mark For Standard Mark 014

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