Pharaoh Hound Temperament
What's Good About 'Em,
What's Bad About 'Em
Pharaoh Hound Temperament, Personality, Behavior, Traits, and Characteristics, by Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2014
The AKC Standard says, "Of noble bearing with hard clean-cut lines... very fast with a marked keenness for hunting."
The Pharaoh Hound is athletic and playful, light on his feet and a jumper par excellence. Adults move gracefully through the house, though some sprinting and leaping should also be expected. Pharaoh Hounds can be most entertaining if one has a sense of humor.
Pharaoh Hounds are fond of being comfortable and can curl themselves into a surprisingly compact ball to fit whichever nook or cranny has the softest blankets.
The Pharaoh Hound needs a good deal of exercise, but is so swift and agile and has such powerful chasing instincts that he must be allowed to run only in a safe, enclosed area. Usually sociable with other dogs, Pharaoh Hounds will pursue any smaller animal that runs.
Though extremely alert and quick to announce strangers, the Pharaoh Hound is not a guard dog. Indeed, he is both curious and cautious, hesitantly investigating new people, places, sights, and sounds. Early and ongoing socialization is required to build confidence.
This independent thinker is sensitive to correction, so he should be handled calmly and motivated with food and praise. Sighthounds are often touch-sensitive, tending to startle when touched unexpectedly and uncomfortable when cuddled excessively. A verbal correction is more effective than a physical one, because it is less distracting to the dog.
Unlike most sighthounds, the Pharaoh Hound can be quite a barker.
If you want a dog who...
- Is medium-sized, with a slender, elegant build
- Has a sleek, easy care coat
- Is extremely athletic and graceful -- can run swiftly and jump great heights
- Is probably the most curious and playful of the sighthounds
- Is more observant and cautious with strangers than other sighthounds, and thus makes a more alert watchdog
A Pharaoh Hound may be right for you.
If you don't want to deal with...
- Providing a safe, enclosed area where he can gallop
- Fearfulness and timidity when not socialized enough
- Strong instincts to chase other living creatures that run
- High fencing to prevent escapes
- An independent "what's in it for me?" attitude toward training
- Emotional sensitivity to stress and abrupt changes in schedule
- Barking (the noisiest of the sighthounds)
A Pharaoh Hound may not be right for you.
- choosing the RIGHT breeder and the RIGHT puppy
- or choosing an ADULT dog from your animal shelter or rescue group – a dog who has already proven that he doesn't have negative traits
- training your dog to respect you
- avoiding health problems by following my daily care program in 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy
More traits and characteristics of the Pharaoh Hound
If I was considering a Pharaoh Hound, I would be most concerned about...
- Providing enough running exercise. Pharaoh Hounds don't need miles of running every day, but they MUST have regular opportunities to vent their energy a few times a week. Otherwise they will become restless and bored -- which they usually express by destructive chewing.
Pharaoh Hounds need access to a large fenced area -- fenced because these independent dogs are likely to take off and not come back. If there is a dog club in your area, get your Pharaoh Hound involved in lure coursing (chasing a mechanized lure around a track or across an open field). This is an appropriate outlet for the full-speed galloping behaviors that are "hardwired" into his genes.
- Timidity. Standoffish by nature, Pharaoh Hounds need extensive exposure to people and to unusual sights and sounds. Otherwise their natural caution can become shyness or fearfulness, which is very difficult to live with.
- Chasing other animals. Most people do not realize just how fast and agile sighthounds are -- or how strong their instincts are to chase and seize fleeing creatures. They could seriously injure or kill your neighbor's cat or toy dog. In today's society, the legal liabilities should be considered.
- The independent temperament. Like most sighthounds, Pharaoh Hounds are independent thinkers who don't particularly care about pleasing you. Many Pharaoh Hounds are stubborn and can be manipulative. You must show them, through absolute consistency, that you mean what you say.
To teach your Pharaoh Hound to listen to you, "Respect Training" is mandatory. My Pharaoh Hound Training Page discusses the program you need.
- Emotional sensitivity. Be honest...is there tension in your home? Are people loud or angry or emotional? Are there arguments or fights? Pharaoh Hounds are extremely sensitive to stress and can end up literally sick to their stomachs, with severe digestive upsets and neurotic behaviors, if the people in their home are having family problems. Sighthounds are peaceful, sensitive dogs who need a peaceful, harmonious home.
- Barking. Most other sighthound breeds seldom bark, but Pharaoh Hounds are different. Indeed, they often too quick to sound the alarm at every new sight and sound. You have to be equally quick to stop them. For the same reason, Pharaoh HOunds should NEVER be left outside in your yard, unsupervised.
To learn more about training Pharaoh Hounds to be calm and well-behaved, consider my dog training book, Teach Your Dog 100 English Words.
It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will make your Pharaoh Hound the smartest, most well-behaved companion you've ever had.
Teaches your dog to listen to you, to pay attention to you, and to do whatever you ask him to do.
My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a healthy Pharaoh Hound. Health problems have become so widespread in dogs today that this book is required reading for ANYONE who is thinking of getting a purebred, crossbred, or mixed breed dog.
If you'd like to consult with me personally about whether the Pharaoh Hound might be a good dog breed for your family, I offer a Dog Breed Consulting Service.
Once you have your Pharaoh Hound home, you need to KEEP him healthy -- or if he's having any current health problems, you need to get him back on the road to good health.
My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy is the book you need.
Raise your dog the right way and you will be helping him live a longer, healthier life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.
Please consider adopting an ADULT Pharaoh Hound...
When you're acquiring a Pharaoh Hound PUPPY, you're acquiring potential -- what he one day will be. So "typical breed characteristics" are very important.
But when you acquire an adult dog, you're acquiring what he already IS and you can decide whether he is the right dog for you based on that reality. There are plenty of adult Pharaoh Hounds who have already proven themselves NOT to have negative characteristics that are "typical" for their breed. If you find such an adult dog, don't let "typical breed negatives" worry you. Just be happy that you found an atypical individual -- and enjoy!
Save a life. Adopt a dog.
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