Pharaoh Hound

Friendly, affectionate, and playful


Friendly, affectionate, and playful

In coat shades ranging from tan to chestnut with white markings, the exotic Pharaoh Hound blushes bright pink when he’s happy or excited. This sleek, sculpted sighthound and member of AKC’s Hound Group, remains unchanged from the images of hounds appearing in Egyptian art in temples and tombs over 5,000 years ago.

One of the oldest breeds, the Pharaoh Hound originated in ancient Egypt but was brought by the Phoenicians when they settled on the Mediterranean islands of Malta and Gozo in the seventeenth century. Valued by Maltese farmers and sportsmen, the Pharaoh Hound is the national dog of Malta and was used to hunt rabbits. On Malta the breed is called Kelb tal-Fenek, or “rabbit hound.”

The regal, medium-sized Pharaoh Hound is intelligent, fun-loving, and low maintenance. Highly athletic and curious with an independent nature who chases prey at every opportunity, the Pharaoh Hound excels in lure coursing events. ~Elaine Waldorf Gewirtz

Breed Standard

Official Standard of the Pharaoh Hound

Pharaoh Hound Club of America

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.

Size, Proportion, Substance: Height – Dogs 23 to 25 inches. Bitches 21 to 24 inches. All-over balance must be maintained. Length of body from breast to haunch bone slightly longer than height of withers to ground. Lithe.

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. Skull long, lean and chiseled. Only slight stop. Foreface slightly longer than the skull. Top of the skull parallel with the foreface representing a blunt wedge. Nose flesh colored, blending with the coat. No other color. Powerful jaws with strong teeth. Scissors bite.

Neck, Topline, 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.

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

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

Color: Ranging from tan/rich, tan/chestnut with white markings allowed as follows: White tip on tail strongly desired. White on chest (called “the Star”). White on toes and slim white snip on center line of face permissible. Flecking or other white undesirable, except for any solid white spot on the back of neck, shoulder, or any part of the back or sides of the dog, which is a disqualification.

Gait: Free and flowing; the head should be held fairly high and the dog should cover the ground well without any apparent effort. The legs and feet should move in line with the body; any tendency to throw the feet sideways, or a high stepping “hackney” action is a definite fault.

Temperament: Intelligent, friendly, affectionate and playful. Alert and active. Very fast with a marked keenness for hunting, both by sight and scent.

Disqualification: Any solid white spot on the back of neck, shoulder, or any part of the back or sides of the dog.

Approved May 10, 1983 Effective April 3, 1989

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