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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Pharoah Hounds

I do not breed or sell dogs. I just love them and am involved in dog rescue with my 2 sisters. I happen to love the different breeds and I find them fascinating. So when I look up a dog breed, I share it with you. So don't ask me where to buy a dog, I don't know. Just passing on information.


Based on DNA analysis, the breed has no link with Ancient Egypt. (According to Wikipedia) However, a popular myth holds that the breed is descended from the Tesem, one of the ancient Egyptian hunting dogs. Some believe the there are similarities between the breed and images of dogs found on the walls of ancient Egyptian tombs. This myth proposes that the Pharaoh Hound was brought by the Phoenicians to Malta, where it has existed for over 2,000 years. The breed has variously been classified as a member of the sighthound group. If it's from Egypt, it's one of the oldest domesticated dogs in recorded history, the Pharaoh originated in ancient Egypt as far back as 3000 B.C. They are bred for rabbit hunting and are the national dog of Malta. Its native name is Kalb tal-Fenek (plural: Kilab tal-Fenek) in Maltese, which means "Rabbit dog". The dog is traditionally used by some Maltese men for hunting.

In 1647 Giovanni Francesco Abela, in his Della Descrittione di Malta isola nel Mare Siciliano: con le sue antichit√†, ed altre notizie, wrote "... we have the dogs called Cernechi, much valued for rabbit-hunting, which are often in demand as far away as France, mainly for [use in] steep and stony mountain terrain".[8] Authors such as Cecil Camilleri have taken this to refer to the Kelb tal-Fenek.[9] The modern Cirneco is a Sicilian breed, very similar in structure and appearance, but somewhat smaller (43–51 cm (17–20 in)) than the Kelb tal-Fenek.



In Britain, the first two specimens of the breed were brought from Malta in the 1920s, but no litter was bred. Again, some dogs were imported to the UK in the early 1960s, and the first litter was born in 1963. The breed standard was recognised by The Kennel Club in 1974.

The only colour accepted by most kennel clubs is red; though the shades of red colour varies, and accepted shades range from a tan to a deep chestnut and all shades in between. White markings on the chest, toes, tail-tip, centre of forehead, and the bridge of the muzzle are accepted, but not required. Pharaoh's eyes are always amber, and should complement the coat colour. They are born with blue eyes, which change.




The Kelb tal-Fenek is usually taken out to hunt at night when there are fewer distractions. Generally, the hunters will take their dogs into the countryside and release pairs of a male and a female dog in each compass direction. The dogs will then search out their prey using scent. When a rabbit is found the hounds will give chase, the small and more agile female in the lead with the male keeping the rabbit from darting too far to the sides. At this point the dogs giving chase will emit a high pitched bark, attracting the other dogs and the hunters, all of whom will come running. By the time the hunters and other dogs arrive the rabbit will almost always have taken to the ground. The hunters will then gather and leash all but one dog, then place nets over all of the likely escape holes of the rabbit. Finally the hunter will take a ferret (with a small bell attached) from a round wicker basket, and places it into the last entrance to the rabbit's burrow. The Kelb tal-Fenek can hear the little bell up to 3 meters down under the rocky terrain. When the ferret flushes the rabbit out a hole, one free dog swoops down upon it.



The Pharaoh Hound is reasonably independent and a most pleasant companion dog. It is peaceful in the house and loves to play outdoors. It will be calm provided it receives enough exercise. Loyal, brave and loving, this quiet dog is naturally well-behaved and intelligent. It loves children, but is reserved with strangers. A truly unique trait of this breed is when it is excited it "blushes," turning a glowing deep rose on its nose and ears. The Pharaoh Hound should not be too difficult to train. This breed likes to chase and it is very fast. A speedy hunter, it should not be trusted with pet mice, rats, guinea pigs, rabbits, cats and other small non-canine pets. Do not take it off the leash unless you are in a safely contained area, because if it spots a rabbit it will be gone. The Pharaoh Hound relishes the opportunity to stretch its legs in a safe area—with frequent long runs.




Height: Males 23 - 25 inches, Females 21 - 24 inches
Weight: 45 - 55 pounds
Life expectancy is about 11-14 years



This is a very healthy and hardy breed; but beware, the Pharaoh can be highly sensitive to insecticides and medicines. The Pharaoh Hound will be okay in an apartment if sufficiently exercised. It is relatively inactive indoors and will do best with at least a large yard. It needs soft bedding and warmth and generally should not be expected to sleep outside except in warm climates...but it would still prefer to sleep with its family.




As with any hound, he has moments of aloofness and can be strong-willed. But in the main he's a gentle dog who gets along well with others, including children and other dogs. He loves human companionship and will seek out affection and attention from his people while still maintaining his independence. One of his most endearing traits is his ability to blush. You may spot a deep rose color on his nose and ears when he's excited, happy, or enjoying some affection.



There is also the Kelb tal-But ("pocket dog", a toy breed). I couldn't find pictures of it.

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