How Much Should My 2 Year Old Basset Hound Weight What You Didn’t Know About Pharaoh Hounds

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What You Didn’t Know About Pharaoh Hounds

If you ask a cat (or a dedicated cat person), you’ll likely be summarily informed that there’s nothing mysterious about dogs at all. However, cats have been known to be absent for reasons known only to cats. That’s not to say that cat people share the same inclination.

Dogs have their mysteries – some of the more interesting circles about the origins of different breeds. With the science of DNA now available, these questions are beginning to be answered and more are being asked, but DNA identification is still a relatively infantile technology and the available databases have not yet become broad enough to arrive at definitive answers to many of our questions about where our dogs’ true origins lie. In 2004, when researchers announced the determination of the “14 ancient breeds”, they worked with DNA from only 85 of the more common breeds – out of all the hundreds of known breeds.

One of the most intriguing mysteries revolves around the Pharaoh Hound, an elegant hunting dog that resembles the Egyptian god of death, Anubis. Ironically, the breed has often been characterized as being “pure as a cat.”

For generations it has been believed that the Pharaoh Hound is an ancient breed dating back to the time of the Pharaohs. Images of dogs similar to the modern pharaoh dog found in Egyptian tombs and glyphs seem to support this belief. Egyptian craftsmen depicted dogs with the characteristic long, narrow nose, large, pointed ears, alert stance, narrow waist, and deep chest of the modern pharaoh dog. The tomb of Antefa II, dated around 2300 BC, is adorned with a particularly striking drawing.

But now we have evidence that changes this assumption. And Anubis was not known as the “dog god” but as the jackal god.

The dog images from ancient Egypt are now believed to be of a truly ancient and now extinct breed, the Tesem. Our Pharaoh Hound appears to be a relatively modern breed whose origins can be traced back to Malta and the Ibizan Hound whose origins are ancient, most likely descended from Tesem, brought by the Phoenicians around 645 BC. to the island of Eivissa (that’s EIvissa), not ELvissa, home of the Ibizan sighthound, not Elvis sightings).

Despite substantial evidence to the contrary, some breed clubs, breeders, registries and commentators at the most prestigious dog shows in the world continue to claim that the Pharaoh Hound we know today is one and the same breed that was portrayed thousands of years ago as a companion and hunting partner of the pharaohs. It is not unusual to read or hear the breed described as tracing its origins back to 5,000 BC, becoming known in the Mediterranean world after the Romans invaded Egypt two millennia ago and the Phoenician traders transported them to Malta and the Balearic Islands Islands where they were valued. for hunting small game.

We even “know” that the boy pharaoh, Tutenkhamen, owned one named Abuwitiyuw. Maybe that’s why we call them Pharaoh Hounds? The problem is that the evidence now points to the Ibizan being the older breed, with the Pharaoh Hound being a later offshoot of the Ibizan rather than the other way around.

In Malta, the breed is known under the name Kelb tal-Fenek and is considered an original breed on the island, Malta’s national dog. The first recorded mention of the hunting dog of Malta was written in 1647 by the Vice-Chancellor of the Order of St. John (better known as the Knights of Malta): “There are dogs called ‘Cernechi’ prized for hunting rabbits, and as far as France is in demand primarily to rocky, mountainous and steep places.” “Cernechi” or “Cirnechi” literally translates to “rabbit dog.”

Ironically, the Kelb tal-Fenek – Cernechi – did not become known as the pharaoh’s dog until the middle of the 20th century, when Dr. Eugen Seiferle called the group of similar dogs “pharaoh dogs.” This designation further confuses the question of whether the original Rabbithound of Malta was what we now call the Pharaoh Hound or better suited to the standard of Ibiza. Or maybe another variant breed.

And the mystery and romance of the Pharaoh Hound continues. What should one choose to believe in? Glyphs and drawings, myths and legends from past times or hypotheses supported by fairly convincing but admittedly incomplete scientific evidence.

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