The Pharaoh Hound is a breed of dog and the national hound of the Mediterranean nation of Malta. Its native name is Kelb tal-Fenek (plural: Klieb tal-Fenek) in Maltese, which means 'Rabbit dog'. The dog is traditionally used by some Maltese men for hunting.
Based on DNA analysis, the breed has no link with Ancient Egypt. 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.
At first glance, the Pharaoh Hound should appear both graceful and elegant as well as powerful and athletic. Its build should be one of strength without bulkiness or excessive musculature. Its head is elegant without being fine or extreme. The skull should resemble a blunt wedge, and is long and chiseled with only a slight stop and a muzzle of good length. Its eyes are oval with a keen, alert, and intelligent expression. Their eyes are commonly amber-colored. It has a long, lean, and muscular neck that is slightly arched. It has a deep chest that extends down to the elbows and a moderate tuck up. Its shoulders are long and well laid back. Its front legs are long and straight. The back legs are moderately angled, parallel to each other, and must be in balance with the forelegs. It has a long, fine, straight tail that should reach down to a bit below the point of the hocks, and should be in a whip-like shape. The tail is carried down when relaxed. When the dog is in motion or is excited, the tail is carried up; either level with, or loosely curled above, the back. Its dewclaws may be removed. The Pharaoh Hound's ears are very large and point upward when alert. They usually come in tan or chestnut colors. A white tail-tip is commonly admired. (Most commonly seen) is any solid white spot on their necks (back)or shoulders. Mainly seen on the back or sides of the dog.
Pharaoh Hounds tend to weigh up to 45-55 pounds on average. Weight depends on the sex of the dog, or its eating habits. Male Pharaoh Hounds are normally considered larger than the females. Males usually are 23-25', while females are 21-24'. Size and weight also relate to the amount of exercise it receives.
The coat is fine and short with no feathering. The texture varies from silky to somewhat hard and it must never be so profuse as to stand away from the dog's skin. The coat can also be glossy and short in most cases. 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 to a light gold or yellow colour during early puppyhood and then begin to darken well into adulthood. The nose, whiskers, nails, paw-pads, and eye-rims should also be the same colour as the coat. Pharaohs also have a unique trait of 'blushing' when excited or happy, with their ears and nose becoming bright pink.
Source of information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pharaoh_Hound
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