They have a striking appearance, which they have had for thousands of years. The language is of the Pharaoh’s Dogs, whose appearance is actually like the statues of the Egyptian pyramids. They are extremely rare.
You will mainly meet pharaoh dog mixes. Pure pharaoh dogs are correspondingly expensive. They can be found among the 10 most expensive dogs in the world. But even if you know for a fact that they do not fit into your budget, it is fascinating to deal with these dogs. Both theoretically and practically.
You don’t really know how fast a dog can run until you watch a Pharaoh dog in full sprint, preferably still hunting. A fascination in itself!
Character of the Pharaoh Dog
The description of the standard is as follows: “Alert, passionate hunter, using his sense of smell as well as his scent. For hunting at short range, he can also make the best use of his hearing.” They use all three senses in their lightning-quick hunt, in which they easily throw one hook after another after their preferred prey, the rabbit.
Those who are devoted to the Pharaoh Dog will never want to miss them again. The Pharaoh Dog himself is the one who wants to build a truly intimate relationship with his owners and does so. Children are not only playmates for him, but almost siblings. For hours they can occupy each other with different games.
As long as some basic conditions are met, the Pharaoh Dog can be kept without any problems. However, it is a prerequisite that he is given the opportunity several times a day to indulge his urge to move on long walks and visits to the dog run.
In the house he is quiet and loves his sleeping place, his basket above all. However, he can also show his watchful side and act as a guard dog. By the way, he likes to communicate very much. He is not an unbearable barker. Nevertheless, he will gladly join in the discussion by expressing his opinion loudly. He loves his voice!
The historical background of the Pharaoh Dog
Already in ancient times a similar dog was reported. It was given the name Kelb Valley Fenek or Pharaoh Hound. The name “Kelb Valley Fenek” comes from the Maltese and means “dog of the rabbit”. For already in those times he was used for hunting rabbits. In contrast to other hunting dogs, it is hunted on sight. Together with several dogs, the prey is surrounded.
In addition to hunting, the Pharaoh’s Hound was also used over the centuries as a guard and herding dog.
As far back as records of the Pharaoh’s Hound go, its original origin is still unknown. He was simply there! A direct descent to the ancient Egyptian hunting dog Tesem cannot be proven.
As with all ancient dog breeds, different regional breeds have developed. Nevertheless, there has always been mating among themselves, so that the different breeds have survived, but also new Pharaoh Dog mixes.
Through the care of the UK Sighthound Breeding and Racing Association, it is possible for the Pharaoh Dogs to be able to follow their urge to race at least from time to time.
Unfortunately, official litters of purebred Pharaoh dogs are rare. The relatives without a pedigree, on the other hand, are quite widespread.
The colours of the Pharaoh Dog
There is only one colour of the Pharaoh Dog: brown. From rusty brown to dark reddish brown, all shades of brown are represented and permissible. It is glossy. The density of the coat ranges from fine to dense to harsh.
The coat itself is short, so grooming is very easy with this dog. A soft short hair brush is all you need.
What are the demands of the Pharaoh Dog?
Do you have a lot of time available every day? Then you are the perfect owner for a Pharaoh Dog. Because this dog wants one thing, to run, to walk, to play, to have adventures and to run again! Maybe it’s a little exaggerated, but this dog really does need long walks or hikes to satisfy its enormous urge to move. This shows whether the owner really has a good physical condition.
It would be nice if this dog’s second passion could also be fulfilled: Hunting on sight. Many prospective buyers do not know that this hunting dog uses three senses to hunt: smelling, seeing and hearing! Not many hunting dogs can do that.
Of course, it should be added right away that exactly this kind of hunting is not often possible in UK, as the hunting culture here is completely different. This form of hunting is a remnant from the past, when the dog’s main concern was to ensure its own survival. He could not afford weakness in any way without having to pay heavily for it.
Basically, it is easy to keep the Pharaoh Dog, as he tends to build up an intimate relationship with his owner. He will be a full member of the family and will get on very well with the children, so that they will see him more as a friend than as a dog. He will also be protective of the yard, the garden, which will be made available to him so that he can provide some exercise himself. Unknown guests are sometimes announced quite loudly.
The Pharaoh Dog and its health
The Pharaoh Dog has fantastic health. However, sooner or later the signs of inbreeding will appear in the breeding lines.
Advantages and disadvantages of the Pharaoh Dog
According to his original origin, it is still normal for the Pharaoh Dog to get by on the minimum. If it is given too much food, it may well happen that this dog actually builds up excess weight. In this respect, discipline is absolutely required from the owner, too, in order to feed the dog in a species-appropriate way.
The Pharaoh Dog is very intelligent and alert. This means that the owner must always try to be one step ahead of the dog. This is also a prerequisite with regard to tidiness in the household.
Food scraps must always be put out of reach so that the clever dog does not simply grab them as soon as you turn around. He has inherited these behaviours from his ancestors. But they are still strongly linked to the animal’s will to survive and are therefore played out automatically.
In a densely populated area like UK, the Pharaoh Dog has a hard time. His preference for hunting independently on sight and the fact that he is extremely fast when doing so makes it difficult for the owner to keep him adequately occupied or to fulfil this requirement for him.
The Pharaoh Dog is an animal loyal to man. A house with a large garden in the countryside and a family that takes him into their midst is all he desires, besides hunting and running. They are docile and enjoy everything they are allowed to learn. They are always friendly and completely non-aggressive towards humans.
However, there is a certain dominance behaviour towards other dogs, especially with males. It should be tried to work against this already in puppyhood, so that the dog can be handled well when meeting other males.
Basically they have a playful nature, so that they can be kept busy by appropriate games and dog sports. However, due to the strong urge to move, this can take up a lot of time of the day.
The perfect person for a Pharaoh dog
- has a large property where the dogs can run really fast to their heart’s content
- has plenty of time to devote to the needs of this dog every day
- is a friend of greyhound-like dogs
- is financially well off to be able to afford one of the most expensive dogs in the world
- is willing to dedicate himself to the breeding of these rare dogs to ensure the preservation of the breed
- is at best a hunter and can train the dog accordingly to take it out hunting, so that it can fulfil its true purpose in life.
- is able to socialise and train this alert hunting dog in such a way that it can integrate well into the family and guard the farm.
Buying Pharaoh puppies
It is not really easy to find a breeder of this dog breed in UK who sells purebred Pharaohs. The breeders of Pharaoh dogs are looked after by the Club of Greyhound Breeders.
Like all puppies, Pharaohs are cute and very quickly attract the attention of potential buyers. But one should not be dazzled by them. As soon as they are fully grown, they need a long walk at least twice a day, where they can also exercise.
A dog run or their own large fenced field, where they can really let off steam and preferably race other dogs, would be best. If this is not given, it could have a negative effect on the behaviour and health of the Pharaoh dog. But one must be aware of this fact before buying.
The appropriate conditions must also be created. To look for them after the puppy has moved in would possibly be very fatal! In addition, a good 2 hours of time must be expected for each walk. This is hardly manageable in a normal working day.
Yes, the Pharaoh dog is a little demanding, if you can win over one of the few puppies at all.
First equipment for the pharaoh dog
- Dog collar
- Dog harness
- Dog leash, in addition possibly a drag line
- Dog coat for the cold and wet season
- Water and food bowl, if possible easy to clean
- Dog bed / blanket for lying on
- comb / lice comb
- Soft fur brush
- Dog food
- possibly toys
- possibly treats
Dog food for the Pharaoh’s dog
The Pharaoh Dog is considered to be very greedy and is therefore not a food lover. It is essential to ensure that he only receives his strictly allotted rations.
How much does a Pharaoh dog cost?
As already mentioned, there are no longer so many pure breeding pairs worldwide. This automatically leads to an increase in price. Probably no one is surprised now that this dog breed is among the 10 most expensive dog breeds in the world. A price of £5,000 to £6,000 can be expected. If a Pharaoh dog is offered that is considerably cheaper and does not receive pure pedigree papers, it can be assumed that it is not purebred or comes from a Puppy Mill. So care should be taken.
Where does the Pharaoh Dog come from?
Even if one would like to answer “Egypt” at this point, it should be admitted that this dog was found in many Mediterranean countries of the time. However, it is correct to say that it was actually already at home in ancient Egypt. For one thing, there have been finds. On the other hand, its resemblance to the ancient Egyptian hunting dog Tesem is astonishing. And this is demonstrably one of the oldest documented hunting dogs in the world. But no one can say today whether the Pharaoh’s Hound is actually a purebred descendant of the Tesem or not. Nor can anyone say with 100% accuracy whether it is actually Egypt where this dog breed first appeared or was bred. Therefore, it has been agreed that the Mediterranean countries are the origin.
How old does the Pharaoh Dog live?
The life expectancy of the Pharaoh Dog has not yet been statistically recorded. However, it is assumed that the average life expectancy is between 10 and 12 years.
How big and heavy is the Pharaoh Dog?
In males, a height at the withers of 54 centimetres to 64 centimetres can be measured. The bitches are only a little smaller and appear with a size of 53 centimetres to 61 centimetres.
How many puppies does the Pharaoh Dog have?
Since there are not many records of the Pharaoh Dog and only once in a while an official litter of this dog breed is recorded, we can only guess here. Each dog can give birth to between 1 and 12 puppies. Most dog breeds give birth to a litter of four to six puppies. It can be assumed that the healthy bitch of this breed will adjust to this average value.
Is the Pharaoh Dog a hunting dog?
The Pharaoh Dog has been classified by the FCI in the group of point and primitive type dogs. Its function is clearly classified as a hunting dog. But again every other hunting dog needs a very good hunting dog training as well as passing the hunting dog use test to make sure that everything is correct. This dog is specialised in hunting rabbits. If several Pharaoh Hounds are hunting together, they tend to encircle the rabbits. A really clever move! Because of their agile speed, it is easy for them to keep up with the rabbits and hares in the field.
A pure Pharaoh Hound, however, will probably be hard to find among hunting dogs. However, there are many representatives of this breed, but they have to live a life without breeding papers. The Pharaoh Hound has also been used several times for crossbreeding.
Is the Pharaoh Dog a family dog?
Despite his temperament and his urge to move, the Pharaoh Dog is a great family dog. He feels a great need to be a complete member of the family. He also loves children and is literally the best friend they can imagine.
Provided that the dog is kept in a species-appropriate manner, he behaves calmly and level-headedly in the house. His favourite “hobby” is to play with his humans in the house and even better in the garden.
Occasionally, the Pharaoh Dog also appoints itself as a watchdog. In this case he will always raise his voice when visitors announce themselves or something else is wrong. In general, the Pharaoh Dog loves to loudly proclaim his opinion on a subject. Nevertheless, he is not a barker!
Can the Pharaoh Dog be kept in a (city) flat?
The Pharaoh Dog has an extreme urge to move, which can only be managed with long walks in fields and meadows. Let’s not forget that the Pharaoh Dog is a hunting dog that is very dedicated. Its senses are always wide awake. Equipped with these abilities, the city is the most wrong place there can be for him.
It would be best if he could be housed in a house with a large garden. That way he can get exercise in the garden on his own during the day. Only a Pharaoh dog that is exhausted in the evening is a happy Pharaoh dog.
A rare but fascinating dog! For the sake of the dog, however, one must be honest. Because most prospective buyers simply have neither the time nor the possibilities to do justice to this dog and his running and hunting instincts. This is meticulously controlled by the association. Let’s hope that there will continue to be committed breeders who care about the continued existence of purebred Pharaoh dogs!