It is one of the oldest domesticated dog breeds of which there is evidence. According to the inscriptions and the basreliefs found in the Egyptian tombs, it was the favorite of the Pharaohs (from here it got its name). This dog was brought to Malta about 2000 years ago, by the Phoenician merchants, where it was used for hunting rabbits and where it was recognized as a national dog, its face being minted on a silver coin in 1977.
It is a large-sized, brawny, graceful and elegant dog that is a very good high jumper and has great mobility and speed. The body is long rather than tall. The head is triangular and the skull is flat and moderately wide. The muzzle is long and narrow with the nose and lips of the same colour as the skin. The eyes are small, light brown. The ears are big, pointy and erect. The neck is pretty long, brawny and thin. The tail is long, thin, curved at the tip and kept low at rest or high when alert. The fur has short, glossy, soft hair. The coat's colour ranges from dark to light reddish-brown. It can have white patches on the chest, legs, a little on the head and the tip of the tail.
It is an intelligent, very energetic, brave, well-ballanced, playfull, pretty quiet dog, sometimes independent, with strong hunting instincts and that always wants to please its master. It is affectionate and devoted to its master, it accepts children, but is reserved with strangers. It has a dominant attitude towards other dogs of the same gender, and other household animals can be treated as prey, if it wasn't socialized from an early age.
This dog's fur will be brushed with a rubber glove during the shedding period, to remove dead hair.
The dog of this breed feels great in a well fenced yard where it can run freely, with an active family. It can also adapt in a flat, if it gets at least one hour of daily exercise, running by a bike. It can run away from its master, or it can jump over the fence if it is not high enough, when it catches the scent of prey. It needs socialization and training.
It is an easy to train dog because it is intelligent, pretty obedient and wants to please its master. Because sometimes it can become rather independent, the training must be firm, well-balanced, consistent, without being harsh or severe. It must be socialized from an early age with other household animals and other dogs.
It is a very good hunting dog (hunts similar to the greyhounds using smell, hearing and sight) and a devoted companion dog.