All About the Pharaoh Hound

The only dog breed that blushes, the Pharaoh Hound is a playful entertainer and a devoted companion.

By Juliette Cunliffe | June 20, 2012

Pharoah HoundOne of the oldest domestic dog breeds recorded in history, the Pharaoh Hound is a unique dog breed, both in appearance and in temperament. An extremely intelligent dog, the Pharaoh Hound is playful and loving, and yet also dignified and, as some people put it, "self-contained.”

Pharaoh Hounds have the rather charming habit of blushing when they are excited, their nose and the insides of their ears turning to a deep mauve. This is a dog that can also "smile” when he is happy; this he does by wrinkling the corner of his lips up over his teeth.

The personality of the Pharaoh Hound is quite different from that of most other dog breeds. Pharaoh Hounds are devoted to their owners and enjoy being with them, but they are unlikely to pester their owners for visible affection. Although they like to be loved, Pharaoh Hounds will decide when they want this attention. This is a sociable dog breed, one that enjoys companionship, whether it be human or dog. There is no doubt that, if given the opportunity, a Pharaoh Hound will enjoy the comfort of an easy chair and have absolutely no objection to sleeping on (or under) the blankets at night.

Pharaoh Hounds love to play and, in fact, often respond best when they know that what they do will make their owners laugh. However, Pharaoh Hounds should not be played with roughly, and they hate to feel trapped or cornered. Curious dogs, Pharaoh Hounds have a tendency to steal things, and many owners say it is sensible to "Pharaoh-proof” the house, so as to avoid finding little things missing.

By nature, the Pharaoh Hound is an entertainer, one that seems to thoroughly enjoy making his owners laugh at his antics. Everything this hound dog does is looked upon by him as something that can be a potential game, and so it should come as no surprise that the Pharaoh Hound rarely adapts easily to traditional training. But success can be achieved, provided that a Pharaoh Hound owner is consistent, fair and gentle. Pharaoh Hounds are sensitive dogs and should never be punished physically. Raising your voice in reprimand is quite enough.

A Pharaoh Hound can be quite stubborn. Although Pharaoh Hounds understand a lot of what is said to them, they usually don’t seem to understand until the second time it is said! These dogs actually learn very quickly, but they learn the bad things too, not only the good.

With strangers, this dog breed can be rather reserved, and this tends to apply rather more to the females than to the males. Pharaoh Hounds like to take their time to get to know guests, but once they have accepted them, those guests can expect a warm welcome on future visits. Pharaoh Hounds are highly alert, making them good watchdogs, likely to bark loudly at the approach of a stranger or visitor to the house.

The Pharaoh Hound is absolutely not a suitable dog breed for everyone; a Pharaoh Hound can be very demanding and has a mind of its own. Owners should therefore think long and hard before making the decision to own one, always keeping uppermost in their minds that this is a dog breed that was selectively bred for hunting, and, even after such a long period of time, the hunting instinct is still strong.

Excerpt from Pharaoh Hounds, part of the Comprehensive Owner’s Guide series, with permission from its publisher, Kennel Club Books, a division of BowTie Inc. Purchase Pharaoh Hounds here.

Pharaoh Hound Book


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