Pharaoh Hound - The National Dog Of Malta

The Pharaoh is an ancient dog who is almost same in appearance as it used to be. It used to be dogs of kings and noble people who used this breed to hunt gazelles. The dog has a majestic appearance, noble head and clean cut lines. Apart from hunting, it excels in agility and jumping.

This dog tends to be witty and have a great sense of humor which will give you belly laugh. This dog is fond of comfortable and luxuries in life. You can often find it sitting or sleeping on bed or sofa. The dog needs good amount of exercise to thrive happily inside home.


Pharaohs tend to be social with animals of its size but small animals like rabbit and rats are under grave threat from this breed. Pharos make good watchdog because unlike other hounds it is not a quiet breed.

They aren’t good guard dogs because they tend to be friendly and good natured even with strangers. Pharaohs tend to be “touch sensitive” dogs. They get startled when someone touches them especially unknown. They are also docile natured and should be trained gently.

Pharaoh Hound
Pharaoh Hound Puppy

Pharaoh Hound Origin

The Pharaoh looks similar to ancient dog depicted in Egyptian scriptures and architectures. This breed eventually came to Malta by Phoenician traders. The traders used this dog to hunt rabbits. This breed used both sight and sound to hunt its prey. Because of isolation of Malta’s island, Pharaoh looks similar to its depiction in artifacts. It is a rare breed but Pharaoh’s enthusiast loves this breed for its graceful appearance and personality.


Pharaoh Hound Characteristics

  • The breed belongs to Malta and is a hound.
  • Proper socialization is required so that it doesn’t grow timid or shy.
  • It is important to keep the house environment happy because they are emotionally sensitive animals and get affected by violence or loud voice.
  • They get cold easily, so keep your dog inside home in winters.
  • They are peaceful with animals of its size, but they tend to chase smaller animals.
  • Pharaoh is an exceptional sighthound which is a barker. Barking is a drawback of this breed.
  • Stool eating is commonly seen in this animal. Wipe the stool as soon as it has done.
  • The dog requires at least half an hour of open running on daily basis.
  • The lifespan of this breed is 12-14 years.
  • It stands at a height of 59-63 cm.
  • The dog weighs around 20-25 kg.
  • It comes in shades of red colors.
  • It is not a hypoallergenic breed.
  • The dog sheds low to average.
  • It is easy to groom.
  • The average price of this breed is $1800 - $2000 USD.


The pharaohs are medium sized dogs with slender built up body. The grace and elegance of its appearance can make anyone fall in love with it. Its head is wedged shaped with chiseled facial bones.

The muzzle tends to be long and slim which ends with nose. It has broad nostrils which gives the dog keen sense of smell. The dog has well arched and graceful neck and leveled topline. The tail of the dog is docked. Ears of the dog are like deer-erect, open and pointed.

Pharaoh Hound


Size and Weight

The ideal height of male breed is 23 to 25 inch while female is 21 to 24 inches tall. This breed average weight is 45 to 60 pounds.

Coat and Color

The dog has short, lustrous and smooth coat. The texture of the coat can be fine to slightly harsh. The dog comes in chestnut, red, and rich tan colors.


  1. Personality - Pharaoh hounds are breathtakingly beautiful. You’ll find grace in everything the dog does. It is light on its legs and an outstanding fast sprinter. As they are sensitive dogs, so they prefer a quiet environment to thrive. They are good mannered dogs and will remain calm and composed inside home. House training the dog is easy. Pharaohs are always watchful of their surrounding and make loyal watchdogs. Do not mistake this dog as guard dog because they tend to be timid and shy of strangers. Some are even friendly towards them.
  2. Behavior - The dog may not be suitable for joint families who have too many members. It is good with cultured children who know it is morally wrong to tease the dog. It has high prey drive so small animals are always under peril with this dog. The dog gets closely attached with its family members and should never be left alone for too long. This breed should never be left off leash in a public place because they have a habit of chasing and running.
  3. Activities Requirement - It is important to note that the dog is meant for sprint exercise of short duration. It is not meant for endurance related exercise. Allow the dog to run freely in a closed area. After that the dog is ready to get inside home and relax. You can also take your dog to agility track. Apart from agility related exercise you can walk several minutes with this breed.
  4. Trainability - Pharaohs have proud nature and are independent minded. You need to establish leadership over the dog in gentle manner. Socialization of dog is necessary so that they don’t turn shy or fearful of strange situations.


Feed it raw meat, beef bison, venison, lamb, fish.  Feeding yoghurt and boiled eggs as well as fresh vegetables occasionally is also advisable. This dog loves bone so do include bones in diet too.


They can live up to 12 to 14 years of age.

Health Issues

This breed is a healthy breed and in most likely to not face any major health issues. Few of the health concerns of this breed are,

  • Cerebellar ataxia
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Obesity
  • Chronic Ear Infection

Pharaoh Hound


This breed sheds averagely. Daily brushing with bristle brush is recommended to keep the dead hair in control. It does not contain dog’s odor so bath only when required. When the nails start hitting the floor, it is time to trim its nails.

Check it ears and clean the wax formed with the help of solution given by vet. Brushing its teeth is mandatory so that it doesn’t develop dental issues. Apply antiseptic if you see cuts or wound on its body. Do not forget to damp the wound with warm water.


The dog is a fine apartment and city dweller provided you give it opportunity to run freely. It is suitable for warm climate but can survive in cold climate if given proper shelter and sweater to wear.

Pet Names

  1. Dolly
  2. Cinderella
  3. Ginger
  4. Max
  5. Rocco

Things To Consider Before Buying


  1. It is a healthy breed and is unlikely to suffer from any serious health issues.
  2. The dog makes good apartment dog because it is well-mannered specie.
  3. It will keep your house rodents and pests free.


  1. Not a hypoallergenic breed.
  2. Not suitable for home with small dog or animals.
  3. The dog requires firm hand in training.