Pharaoh Hound

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The Pharaoh Hound is a breed of dog and the national hound of the Mediterranean nation of Malta. Its native name is Kelb tal-Fenek (plural: Klieb tal-Fenek) in Maltese, which means "rabbit hound". The dog is the traditional hunting companion of Maltese outdoorsmen.[1] The breed has no conclusive links with Ancient Egypt and its name in English is a 20th century fabrication.[2] It has variously been classified as a member of the sighthound group, yet its fieldwork description[3] clearly determines it as a hound. It is indigenous to the islands and as such remains rare outside of Malta, although in real terms what is to all intents and purposes the same breed has existed since equally ancient times in many other Mediterranean and Atlantic island and coastal territories under various other local breed-names (for example in The Canaries, Andalusia and the Balearic Islands in Spain, and also in parts of Italy and Portugal).

Contents

Description

Appearance

At first glance, the Pharaoh Hound should appear both graceful and elegant as well as powerful and athletic. Its build should be one of strength without bulkiness or excessive musculature. Its head is elegant without being fine or extreme. The skull should resemble a blunt wedge, and is long and chiseled with only a slight stop and a muzzle of good length. Its eyes are oval with a keen, noble, alert, and intelligent expression. It has a long, lean, and muscular neck that is slightly arched. Its body is slightly longer than its height at the withers. It has a deep chest that extends down to the elbows and a moderate tuck up. Its shoulders are long and well laid back. Its front legs are long and straight. The back legs are moderately angled, parallel to each other, and must be in balance with the forelegs. It has a long, fine, straight tail that should reach down to a bit below the point of the hocks. The tail is carried down when relaxed but must not tuck between the legs. When the dog is in motion or is excited, the tail is carried up; either level with, or loosely curled above, the back. Its dewclaws may be removed.

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