Pharaoh Hound - dog of Malta

Many people believe that the Pharaoh Hound is called by that name because it is exclusively found in Egyptian history, but this is not in fact the case. The Pharaoh Hound was originally bred in Malta 3000 years before Christ and transported to Egypt by Phoenician tradesmen. In Malta the dog was used for hunting rabbits and only the most successful were used in the breeding program. It is still being used for its original purpose in its country of origin and in 1979 the breed was declared to be the "National Dog of Malta". The Egyptians favored this breed for hunting gazelle.

Because it was selectively "culled" for breeding and only the hardiest and most successful hunters were used, the Pharaoh Hound is exceptionally healthy. There has not been a great deal of overbreeding which is also a great help in maintaining the health of the population of any dog breed.

The Pharaoh Hound may appear to be somewhat aloof because it is such an has such an elegant appearance. However unlike most of the sight hounds, the Pharaoh is demonstrative and affectionate and bonds closely with people, preferring to be with them in the household. Generally this is a quiet dog and makes a good companion for all ages of people. It is not as "biddable" as other breeds because of its instinctive desire to hunt but this is overcome if the hound is trained early in life to walk on a leash and behave appropriately when greeting people. Like most of the sight hounds, this is a dog bred for speed and endurance, with a lean , deep chested appearance and with long legs for bounding after prey. Since it is from the desert, it will suffer from the cold if not protected in the winter.

They are a very active breed and need more than just a daily walk; a run every day is required. Though they are active, they should not be hyperactive. Because of their strong prey drive and independent nature, this breed should never be allowed off leash unless in a securely fenced area away from road traffic or other dangers.