Kelb Tal-Fenek

Breed Rating

family friendly:
Dog friendly:
Watch/guard dog:
Affection / Dependance:
Exercise needed:
Space needed:
Tendency to bark:
Grooming Requirements:
Tendency to bark:
Grooming Requirements:

Breed Attributes


Breed group: Hounding    Type: Pure Breed    Talent: , , , , , ,


Size: Medium     Weight: 45-55 lbs     Fur length: Short    Ears: Pointy    Fur type: Straight    Fur Color: Dark Brown / Chocolate, Light Brown / Golden


Life Expectancy: 11-14 years    Rarity: Common    Availability: Easily available    Climate: Not good for cold climate.

Breed Details


The Kelb Tal-Fenek (also known as Pharaoh Hound) originated in the small island of Malta which is one of the seven islands in the Mediterranean Sea. On the island, they call this dog the Kelb Tal-Fenek which translates to 'rabbit dog'. The Kelb Tal-Fenek was thought to have been linked to ancient Egypt because historians found paintings of similar looking dogs inside pyramids. In reality, this dog is of no relation to any Egyptian breed but is actually a descendant from African hunting dogs.

This breed is a slick sight hound mainly hunting game and rabbit but was cherished as a pet more than it was as a hunter. They are thought to be one of the oldest dogs in the world dating back to 4000 BC! Their excellent sense of hearing and smell are what this dog relies on to hunt its prey.

The Kelb Tal-Fenek has a slender noble appearance with a toned body. They are agile and light footed making them accurate sophisticated hunters. They have straight legs, a flat skull, and a sharp thin tail. The Kelb Tal-Fenek is an elegant dog both for show purposes and for accomplishing work objectives.


The Kelb Tal-Fenek comes in red and tan colouring. White markings are allowed on the face, chest, toes and tail, but any other colours or markings are not permitted for purebred show dogs.


The Kelb Tal-Fenek has a very short coat almost having the appearance of none at all. It is smooth and glossy with a silky feel and an elegant look. This coat will need virtually no grooming effort, just a 'hounds glove' which is a brush type object used to make the coat shiny. Bathes every 2-3 months will be perfect as this dog does not have a dog smell to them.


The Kelb Tal-Fenek is mature, calm and happy both enjoying his privacy and affection from their families. They will make great family dogs because they love children but should be monitored around smaller family pets such as cats, mice, guinea pigs etc as they consider these prey. When meeting new people the Pharaoh Hound can be aloof but will warm up quickly. After this breed considers you a friend, they will 'blush' when they are excited to see you. Their ears and nose will turn pink! The Kelb Tal-Fenek will make a very good watch dog because they like to bark. If you are planning on leaving this dog alone often, then this isn't the dog for you. They like to be included in family events because they thrive on affection.


This breed has an extremely short coat so grooming will only need to be done about once every 2-3 weeks. A hound brush is suggested just to bring out the shine of their coat. Bathing is up to the discretion of how often the owner would like it done. This breed is prone to hip dysplasia, some eye problems, luxating patella's, and can be overly sensitive to veterinary medications such as anesthetics. When colder seasons are here, the Pharaoh hound will need a doggie coat or extra layers as they have nothing to protect them from the cold.


This breed will need to be trained in a positive manner as they can be sensitive to harsh methods. They should be trained firmly and as always, consistency is the key to succeed in obedience. Pharaoh Hounds will need to be socialized as puppies especially around people to ensure they do not become timid as adults. They also need to be socialized around dogs, in particular those of the same sex because males can become aggressive towards other males and the same with females towards other females.


The Kelb Tal-Fenek will need at least one long walk per day or at least one hour per day in a dog park so they can burn off their energy. This breed should always be walked on leash because they have been known to chase small animals at a seconds notice. They will do well in an apartment as long as they get their regular exercise. A backyard would be excellent so they have an outside area to run around in.

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