Sunday, June 12, 2011

Pharaoh Hound Dog Description, History and Temperament


The Pharaoh Hound has a short smooth coat of a rich tan colour, which is not sufficient to protect them from cold weather. Standing some 21-25 inches high and weighing approximately 54-55 pounds, they're classed as a medium-sized dog. They are an elegant looking dog, with very distinctive ears and a long muscular neck. They are energetic and agile with a good turn of speed, also being fairly independent in nature. They have an intuitive intelligence, which can be seen in their stance. Although they are independent in nature, they mix well as a family pet, seeing the family as their group or pack. The engendered intelligence of this animal makes them respond well to training.


The Pharaoh hound begins its history in ancient Egypt. Although there are myths and Legends surrounding the breed, mummified and skeletal remains have been found in Egyptian tombs that strongly resemble the modern Pharaoh. Some 3,000-4,000 years ago they were introduced to Malta by the Phoenician traders, who colonised the island. At some point the traders abandoned the islands leaving the dogs behind, where they continued to breed and forage for themselves for approximately 2000 years. This may explain how this dog so closely resembles its ancestors, as there were no other breeds of dog upon the island, at that time. Whereas in Egypt with the variety of dogs in the country this breed all but disappeared, thereby attributing them to Malta. Having been originally bred as Pharaohs hunt dogs, and subsequently left alone to fend for themselves for 2000 years, may explain why their hunting instinct is so deep and apparently inbred.


As mentioned the Pharaoh hound is an instinctive hunter, this has the implication that, unless they are introduced as a puppy to other household pets, they may view some of them as fare game, to be hunted. They are very active and require a good level of exercise. This is a breed which should be walked on a leash, and only allowed independent exercise in a well fenced area as, once they have the scent, they are very difficult to call off the hunt. Even after extensive training this instinct can still be a problem. They are independent in their own thinking and actions, but they do interact with families well and enjoy playing, but remember they may be stronger than they look. Care should be taken around small children as they may get knocked over in play, it will undoubtedly be an accident as, whilst these dogs are accomplished hunters, they are not malicious in nature.


An independent-minded by trainable Pharaoh Hound requires positive training methods. This breed is sensitive, and will respond poorly when physical punishment is used. Training should start while they are young to get the best out of this hound. This breed can be stubborn, but it is important to always use positive reinforcement, rewarding their good deeds and ignoring the bad ones. Remember, this breed has been developed to take care of himself, so he tends to operate on his own. Being firm but gentle will make training easier for Pharaoh Hounds.


This short coated breed is easy to groom. Basically, the Pharaoh Hound only requires a weekly rub with a rough cloth, oftentimes called a hound cloth. They won't even need that much combing. However, they do enjoy being rubbed with a brush, and massaged to remove dead hair monthly. This breed should be trimmed properly, and should never be done quickly. Often, these dogs are brought to the groomer or vet for a professional treatment.

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