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This article is Copyright 1996 by the Author(s) listed below.
It may be freely distributed on the Internet in its entirety without
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THE COMPANION OF KINGS
Kay Durr, K'Azar Pharaoh Hounds (kay...@bihs.net)
Copyright 1995-1996 by Kay Durr.
Last edited: March, 1996
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Present Day History
Activities Available to Pharaoh Hounds
Requirements for Buyers
Additional Information Available
The Pharaoh Hound is the oldest domesticated dog in recorded history.
Two hounds are depicted hunting Gazelle on a circular disc which is
thought to have been part of a game. The date, around 4000 B.C., was
certainly before the first dynasty. The origin of this hound in
prehistoric times has been the subject of research by many
Egyptologists. They conclude that if this race of dogs could have
resulted from a mixture of many kinds of wild canidae, it is quite
natural that from time to time, one of these elegant individuals would
crop up with the elegant silhouette of Canis Doerdelini, the beautiful
limbs of the Canis Lupaster, & the long nose, erect ears & gentle
nature of the Pariah or Wandering Dog of Egypt. They were seen as
representatives of the Ancient Gods by the original Egyptians. The
dogs were favored as the hunters and faithful, loyal companions in the
daily life of the kings and nobles of all periods in Ancient Egypt &
were frequently depicted in carvings.
In 1935, a burial tomb of a dog was found in the great cemetery west
of the Pyramid of Cheops at Giza with the following inscription
recording the ritual burial ceremony, "The dog which was the guard of
His Majesty, Abuwtiyuw is his name." This was a "Pharaoh Hound" type
dog. His Majesty did this for him in order that he (the dog) might be
honored before the great God Anubis.
It is thought that the Phoenicians took these hounds with them when
they settled on Malta and Gozo (islands off the coast of Italy), & the
preservation of the these hounds who have changed so little in 5,000
years can be credited to the islands inhabitants. They are now the
National Dog of Malta, where they are bred for rabbit hunting,
guardians of the homesteads, & known as "Kelb-tal-Fenek" (Rabbit Dog).
The Pharaoh Hound was first imported into England in the early 1930's,
then again in 1963 from Malta and Gozo. They were first introduced
into the U.S. about 1967 by Mrs. Harper & the Pharaoh Hound Club of
America (PHCA) was founded in 1970. Pharaohs received American Kennel
Club (AKC) recognition in 1984 & were added to the Hound Group. This
glorious breed can now be found in most countries in the world.
PRESENT DAY HISTORY:
The AKC records for the Pharaoh from the time they were recognized
through the end of 1994, show, there have been a total of 233 litters
with 1,211 dogs individually registered with the AKC. 465 of these
dogs have attained their AKC Championship with an additional 53 titles
having been awarded in Obedience. AKC Lure Coursing Titles have been
given to 9 Field Champions.
There are about 1,200 to 1,500 Pharaoh Hounds alive and well in the
U.S. today. These figures are based on the fact that not all new
owners of this wonderful breed choose to register their hounds, &
therefore the figure of 1,211 registered may be misleading. Since
Pharaoh Hounds have a long life span of 12+ years or more, most of
those originally registered in 1984 are still with us.
The Pharaoh Hound is a medium sized hound, (dogs may be up to 25" at
the withers and bitches up to 24" with weight varying from 40 to 60
pounds), elegant and of great beauty, showing grace, power &
intelligence. Elegance should not be translated into fine bone. The
coat is short and fine in varying shades of tan, ONLY, from quite dark
to a medium blonde shade. White markings on the dog are allowed on the
chest (called a star, but may be any shape), on the toes (but should
not to extend beyond the toes) and on the tip of the tail (this is
highly desirable, but not required and it should be a tip and not a
flag). A small white snip is allowable on the forehead between and
just above the eyes (sometimes called the "kiss of Allah"). This white
snip should not extend down the face of the dog. White is permitted on
the throat but not encouraged. White is NOT allowed on sides or back
of the neck and body.. This is the ONLY disqualification the breed
standard for the Pharaoh Hound carries.
The head is fine and sculptured with natural prick ears that are
medium high set. The neck is long and muscular & flows into the well
laid back shoulders. The nose and eye rims are flesh colored, along
with the insides of the erect ears. These flesh colored areas will
turn pink or red when the Pharaoh is blushing, which they are quite
capable of. The eyes are always amber colored and oval shaped. The
gait is smooth and flowing with powerful strides. The top line is
almost level with a slight slope of the croup to the tail which is
long, reaching to the hock, and carried up & curved when moving. The
tail generally hangs between the legs when the dog is inactive. The
rear legs should be moderately bent at the stifle with well let down
(short) hocks. The tuck-up on a Pharaoh Hound is not as great as that
seen on a Greyhound or Whippet, but more moderate. The dog should be
slightly longer than he is high. This is all left to each persons own
interpretation of the words moderate or slightly.
They are essentially a "wash & wear" dog, requiring only a minimum of
care to the nails, teeth & good brushing of the coat & baths as
needed. They will shed, but it is minimal. A 25' x 30', 6' fenced in
yard will suffice for exercise, but they do appreciate a good long
romp in larger enclosed areas when available. Jogging or running with
their owner is a favorite pastime.
General Characteristics can be described as: Aloof; Curious but
Cautious; Independent, Extremely Intelligent and Strong willed. If
there is just one thing that holds true for Pharaohs Hounds, it would
be that there are no two alike. Their one goal in life is to enjoy it
to the fullest. The Pharaoh Hound has an outstanding personality & is
easy going & gentle. He stands with the "Aura" of greatness and
importance & he holds himself aloof & above the average. They are
quite fun loving and affectionate with their owners, & when quite
pleased with themselves and/or their actions, will blush as described
above. This is also occurs when they are smiling. Some owners have
trained their Pharaohs to smile on command, thus producing the blush.
They glow with excitement or happiness & can exhibit a great sense of
humor, in the nature of a first class clown. They don't like the
feeling of being entrapped.
Pharaohs have a great tolerance of children and think God created
these little creatures just for them to entertain. When raised with
other small animals, they can be quite tolerant of those also. But be
aware, they can also consider other small animals as "game" as they
are first and foremost hunters instinctively. They have an innate
sense of their owners feelings and moods. They know when to dive for
cover or be on their best behavior. They are generally not high
strung, but are active and do enjoy running and playing. They will
entertain themselves for hours on end, and if they can entertain those
they own at the same time, they are twice as happy.
They can be quite "cat-like" in their personalities and habits. They
love to be loved, but only when they want it. With strangers, they can
be aloof until properly introduced. They will judge each new person on
what they feel are their merits and decided if they are worthy of
their attention. Thus they are very discriminating. Given enough time
most will warm up to any situation or environment. They are not
generally social butterflies. Allow them their own time to make these
decisions and never force yourself or others on them. The key is
With other dogs, they tend of avoid fights, but if challenged they
will stand their ground & defend themselves. Remember not all dogs are
the same and these traits may vary from one dog to another.
Pharaohs are hounds through and through. Thus they can be quite
stubborn & will try to outsmart you.. They can NOT be forced to do
anything they deem improper. They feel they have a right to a say so
about every decision concerning them. With plenty of patience and a
good sense of humor, they can be trained to do just about anything. A
lesson once learned if never forgotten. This applies to bad habits
also. Just because that puppy is so cute doing something, if it is
something that you will not be able to live with later in his life,
correct it immediately. Untraining those bad habits is much harder
than enforcing the good habits, no matter the age. But they are very
adaptable. Specially if they are led to believe it was their idea to
do what you are trying to teach them. Mental happiness is also
House training is usually a snap. They are very clean and therefore,
great house dogs, never having a "doggy odor", they will clean
themselves much as a cat does. They are quick and eager to learn,
though a bit strong minded. With their independent nature, they prefer
to think for themselves with a very high degree of intelligence.
Being natural hunters, the "come" command is vital for their welfare.
When in pursuit of the "game", they can become selectively deaf, and
being so intent, they will keep going for the thrill of the chase.
They pay no attention to where they are going & can become lost. They
hunt by scent & sight and are aided by their tremendous speed &
agility. The best rule here is never have them off lead except in a
controlled situation, like totally fenced in areas that are escape
The Pharaoh demands an Alpha leader, and if he feels you are not up to
the job, he will try to take over command and train you to his way of
life. Be Consistent, Fair and Gentle at the same time and you will
have a wonderful companion. And always keep the training Fun &
Exciting for both of you. They consider training just another new
game, keep it that way. They do no handle repetition well.
ACTIVITIES AVAILABLE TO PHARAOH HOUNDS
Lure coursing - AKC & ASFA Field Trials open to all breeds of
Sighthounds (11 of them) whereby the hounds attain titles by doing
what they were originally bred for. At these trials, the sighthounds
chase "white plastic bags," which to them would resemble a "bunny." No
live game is involved.
Open Field Coursing - The National Open Field Coursing Association
(NOFCA) is an organization of sighthound fanciers dedicated to the
common goal of preserving and further developing the natural beauty,
grace, speed, desire and coursing skills inherent in the sighthound.
To further this endeavor, NOFCA has established a system to offer
competitive hunts which allow the sighthounds to demonstrate that they
can perform the functions for which they were originally bred.
Obedience Trials - AKC shows where your hound performs his trained
obedience exercises and attains titles for doing so.
AKC Dog Shows - Where your Pharaoh would be judged to attain his
Canine Good Citizens Program - An AKC test to demonstrate that the dog
as a companion of man, can be a respected member of the community.
Agility - A competitive sport in which a handler directs his dog over
a timed obstacle course. Dogs race against the clock, are scored on
their performance and ultimately receives titles.
Tracking - A field trial whereby your dog shows his instinct for
tracking a scented trail. AKC titles are given for different levels of
competition. Additional Tracking Information
Therapy Dogs - These dogs visit various institutions or hospitals to
cheer up the confined patients or elderly. The dogs usually need to be
certified to become a Therapy Dog.
More detailed information can be obtained from the AKC. They have
pamphlets available free for the asking on most of the activities, or
contact your local All Breed Kennel Club.
The Pharaoh Hound is not a dog for everyone. With his extreme
intelligence, special understanding and care is required. They look at
each situation presented to them as a challenge & they are always
thinking up new ways to get the best of you. To date there are not
really any certified health problems in common through out the breed.
To keep this in check, conscientious breeders will have all their
breeding stock checked for problems, such as hip dysplasia. Other than
those already mentioned above, here are a few others:
Barking - This is called "giving tongue" when they are hunting. At
other times it can be called a nuisance. Generally Pharaohs only bark
to alert their owners of intruders or such. But, those that are bored
and/or alone for extended periods of time , like while you are at
work, may become troublesome, and give vent to their voices. A pet for
your dog may solve this problem. Proper "when to bark/not to bark"
training is also required. Keep your Pharaoh busy and they won't have
time to bark or be destructive.
Coprophagia - A trait that still rears its ugly head. This is stool
eating. It is NOT because your dog needs something in their diet. This
breed has not been domesticated for that long a period of time, and in
the wilds, the dogs had to hide their trails to protect their young.
As such, they would eat their droppings so that they could not be
tracked. The only cure is to clean up after your dog immediately after
it does its business, thus avoiding this becoming a habit. Once it is
there, it is very difficult to break.
Allergies - This is a common problem in almost all breeds. Just be
alert to any problems your dog may encounter. Be sure to check with
your breeder for any predisposition to allergies.
Sensitivity - anesthesia being the worst. It is recommended that only
isoflorane be used when required for surgery. Flea control is best
handled with products containing pyrethins or d-Limonene.
REQUIREMENTS FOR BUYERS:
Since there are so few of the breed, and hopefully only the very best
is being bred to the very best, puppies are usually in demand. Even
so, a good breeder will not produce a litter unless they have deposits
on secured homes for quite a few of the puppies in advance. So if it
is your intention to become the proud owner of one of these wonderful
dogs, you may have to have a deposit made on a pup for up to a year
before it finally arrives. But it is well worth it.
If you are looking for a Pet/Companion, be prepared to accept one on
AKC Limited Registration only, along with a contract stating you
understand the animal is not to be bred and that it should be spayed
or neutered, as it is in the best interests of the health of the
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AVAILABLE:
"The Pharaoh Hound" by P.Block & R.Sacks from Denlinger's Publishers
"The Ancient Pharaoh Hound" by J.Martin & R.Bullard from Touchstone Press.
The "Pharaoh Hound - Breed Video" is available from the AKC.
For additional information I can be contacted at any time at :
We have been breeding and exhibiting our Pharaoh Hounds for the past
10 years. We have been the top producing breeders in the breed several
times during this period. Our foundation bitch Am.Can.Mex.& Intl.
Ch.Beltara's Twyla of K'Azar is the top producing dam of all time with
23 champions to date. She is the dam of our own home bred Ch. K'Azar
Dbl Khanfederate "Rebel", the #1 Pharaoh in the AKC history of the
breed. He has 4 Best in Shows to date, 100+ group placements and is a
potent sire of champions. He started his career with a Best in Sweeps
at our National Speciality in California in 1991 and in 1994 Best of
Breed at Westminster. We have also imported some of our dogs from
England and have attended Crufts Dog Show in England. We have produced
a multi Best in Field AKC Dual & ASFA Field Champion and many other
field titled dogs. We offer stud service by champions. Puppies or
young adults as available. We welcome all enquiries about our
wonderful breed. Our Kennel name is K'Azar, and it is pronounced "Kay
Azar." Breeder referrals on request.
My work and writings have been published in the Sighthound Review, 2
of the Pharaoh Hound publications in the U.S and in the Pharaoh Hound
Newsletter in England and Australia. I keep up to date statistics on
all the Pharaohs receiving breed wins and group placements. I also
maintain an up to date pedigree data base on all Pharaoh Hounds from
the AKC Stud Books and the AKC Awards Book. My statistics are pubished
bi-monthly in the PHAST Times in Texas and my year end reports of
stats on ALL sighthounds is published yearly in the Sighthound Review.
I was previously the editor of PHAST Times in Texas, our local Pharaoh
Hound Breed Club, for the first two years of its existence.
For taking the time to read through this material. I sincerely hope
you enjoyed reading it as much as I did in preparing it for you.
Please research any breed you might be interested in obtaining, to its
fullest, and make a wise decision.
"An unhappy owner only produces an unhappy dog."
Pharaoh Hound FAQ
Kay Durr, kay...@bihs.net