Pharaoh Hound

The Pharaoh Hound is a large sighthound and also the national dog of Malta. It forms part of the popular hound group.

Pharaoh Hound Breed Group


Size of the Pharaoh Hound


Country of Origin


Time of original development


The Pharaoh Hound’s uses through History

The Pharaoh Hound was bred to hunt rabbits and other small game.

Pharaoh Hound breed introduction

The Pharaoh Hound is a striking dog with a short red/tan coat. It is the national dog of Malta, and is also known as the Kelb tal-fenek, which translates as ‘Rabbit Dog’ in Maltese. The breed is believed to be one of the oldest dog breeds in the world. The nose, nails, paw pads, and rims of the eyes are also the same colour as the coat

Curiously, the Pharaoh Hound blushes when excited! This can be seen in the ears and nose of the dog, although  not the cheeks.

Colour Varieties of the Pharaoh Hound

The breed comes in just a handful of colours including:

  • Rich Tan
  • Tan
  • Tan & White Markings

Size and weight of the Pharaoh Hound

Height bitch 53-61cms

Height dog 56-63cms

Weight (kilos) bitch 20-25kgs

Weight (kilos) dog 20-25kgs

Exercise requirements of the Pharaoh Hound

High. This breed is not for the less active dog owner, requiring at least 2 hours of good quality and vigorous exercise every day. It’s a breed suited to a rural lifestyle with adequate open spaces to achieve the physical activity it requires. The Pharaoh Hound would also appreciate a large, secure garden. This is not a suitable dog for town dwellers or cities. After exercise, the Pharaoh Hound is similar to the Greyhound in that they really know how to relax and recover from physical activity!

Pharaoh Hounds can show signs of separation anxiety or destructive behaviour around the home if they do not receive adequate levels of exercise and stimulation.

Pharaoh Hound temperament

The breed is generally placid and fun loving in the home, enjoying the company of adults and normally good with children if socialised from an early age.

It is good with other dogs, rarely displaying aggressive behaviour and generally sociable. Cats are not normally compatible, and smaller pets are not suitable house companions with the Pharaoh Hound.

This is a dog with a sensitive temeperament, and does not respond well to harsh training methods.

Is the Pharaoh Hound a good dog for a first time dog owner?

Not recommended. This breed like most in the hound group are driven by their hunting instinct, and not the easiest dog to own or train.

This dog is best suited to an owner with experience and knowledge of the Pharaoh Hound.

Pharaoh Hound coat length


Pharaoh Hound Grooming requirements

Low. The Close, short coat requires little grooming to keep it in good condition. A quick polish with a chamois leather or hound cloth will add a lovely sheen to the coat.

The Pharah Hound is prone to sensitive skin, and should be bathed only if necessary, with a mid hypo-allergenic shampoo for dogs.

Ears should be cleaned and checked regularly for any sign of infections, especially for the frequent swimmer.


No. The Pharaoh Hound sheds hair steadily throughout the year, making it an unsuitable choice of dog for allergy sufferers.

Health Issues in the Pharaoh Hound

The Pharaoh Hound is a fairly healthy dog, but do consult your breeder on known health issues recorded in the breed including:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Luxating Patellas
  • Eye problems
  • Skin Allergies

As with all pedigree dogs, it is very important to obtain a puppy from a reputable source where you can be guaranteed that it has been bred with a view to avoiding the inherent physical and psychological diseases of the breed.

Average lifespan of the Pharaoh Hound

A healthy dog should expect to enjoy a life expectancy of around 12-14 years.

Approximate Pharaoh Hound pedigree puppy price

No current information is available on puppy price, as litters are few and far between. In fact, only 4 puppies were registered with the Kennel Club in 2015.  Register your interest with established reputable breeders, so they can notify you when a litter is due. You may have to travel long distances to find your suitable puppy.

There are generally 7-8 puppies in an average litter.

Estimating how much a Pharaoh Hound would need to be fed each day and weekly cost

A bitch weighing 20kgs requires 283gms of complete dry food per day.

A dog weighing 25kgs requires 330gms of complete dry food per day.

The cost of feeding a 20kgs bitch is around £7.00 per week.

The cost of feeding a 25kgs dog is around £8.00 per week.

Our figures are based on feeding an ‘above average quality’ and popular complete dry food bought from a leading supermarket. A good quality feed is suggested for the energetic dogs in the hound group.

Other financial costs to consider when owning any dog breed

Remember to budget for essential pet treatments and procedures that are not covered by pet insurance policies including:

  • Worming and fleas preparations
  • Annual Vaccination boosters
  • Neutering or spaying
  • Microchipping
  • Dental treatment