Thursday, July 14, 2011

Interesting Dog Breeds: The Pharaoh Hound

The pharaoh hound is thought to be one of the oldest dog breeds on the planet, and some believe its ancestry can be traced back as far as 6000 years ago in ancient Egypt. While this regal hound does bear a striking resemblance to the dogs depicted in ancient Egyptian sculptures and drawings, it truly gained popularity in the Mediterranean nation of Malta, where it is believed the dog was introduced by Phoenician traders in ancient times. Known as kelb-tal fenek, which means “rabbit dog” in Maltese, the pharaoh hound flourished in this island nation as a hunting companion and was first imported to England and later the United States in the latter half of the 20th century.

Photo: Pleple2000

Pharaoh hounds resemble greyhounds in build, and are extremely fast, graceful dogs. However, they have an even temperament and are very loving towards their owners if trained well. They can be quite reserved towards strangers, so this is one dog that won’t jump all over your company! Pharaoh hounds are medium-sized dogs, usually growing to about two feet tall and weighing 45-55lbs. Typical of sight hounds such as whippets and greyhounds, the pharaoh should never be allowed off-leash unless in an enclosed area, as they will chase rabbits and other small animals regardless of commands.

Rabbit Hunting.
Photo: Jan Eduard

Perhaps one of the most endearing and unique traits of the pharaoh hound is that it will “blush” when excited, with its nose and ears turning a darker shade of red. In other words, they’re like canine mood rings!
Photo: Jan Eduard

No comments: