The Pharaoh Hound is a graceful, athletic sight hound. The muscles are lithe, never heavy. The head is wedge shaped and chiseled. The skull and muzzle are long and slim. The nose is flesh colored. The oval eyes are amber. The ears are very large and stand erect. The teeth should meet in a scissors bite. The neck is fairly long and slightly arched. The brisket is deep and the abdomen moderately tucked up. The whip-like tail is thick at the root and tapers to a point. The front legs are straight. Removal of the dewclaws is optional. The coat is short and glossy in red or tan A white tip on the tail is preferred. A white star on the chest, white on the toes, and/or a thin white line down the center of the face are permitted. Any white on the back of the dog is a disqualification.
Ancestors of the Pharaoh Hound probably came to Spain from Ancient Egypt in the ships of Phoenician traders. Artifacts depicting very similar looking dogs have been found dating to 4000 BC. The Pharaoh Hound is a very fast and agile sight hound with an unusually fine sense of smell. The breed was used extensively on the island of Malta for hunting rabbits and birds. This swift sight hound was so valued by the residents of Malta that they made him the National Dog of Malta. For centuries, the Pharaoh Hound remained on the island, relatively isolated from the rest of the dog world, so he most likely still resembles the original Egyptian dog. During the 1960s, Pharaoh Hounds were imported to England and to the United States. The breed was recognized by the AKC in 1983. Pharaoh Hounds are good at lure coursing and can be fine companion dogs if exercised enough.