Last Updated on November 11, 2023 by Linda Richard
Hound and retriever mixes are as fascinating as they are tricky. So, today let’s meet the Pharaoh Hound Lab mix – a playful and royal pet. This cross between one of the most popular dog breeds and one of the oldest ones in the world is a rare but very special pet.
Originally coming from ancient Egypt, Pharaoh Hounds used to be the hunting companions of pharaohs. Years later, Phoenician traders brought the breed to the Mediterranean island of Malta where it was used by farmers to keep their lands free of rabbits. That’s why today this breed is known as a Maltese dog more so than an Egyptian one. Still, there are countless murals on ancient Egyptian pyramids and temples depicting pharaohs hunting side by side with these dogs.
As fascinating as their history is, however, the main question you may be asking is – does a mix between such a hound and a lab make for a good pet? Let’s find out below.
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What Does A Pharaoh Hound Lab Mix Dog Look Like?
We all know what a purebred Labrador looks like but what happens when you cross it with a lean sighthound? Pharaoh hounds are about as tall (sometimes taller) as most labs and can reach 21 to 25 inches at the shoulder (53 to 63.5 cm). They are much lighter, however, and rarely go beyond 40 to 60 pounds (18 to 27 kg) compared to the lab’s 65 to 80 pounds (30 to 36 kg).
So, for a Pharaoh Hound Lab mix, this means that these dogs can vary in size anywhere between those parameters.
As for their appearance, these crossbreed dogs will either have a leaner frame like the sighthound or a more balanced and stronger body like the lab. The head will either have the well-known lab muzzle and hanging ears or a narrow and elongated nose with upright and perky ears.
The Pharaoh Hound’s standard color is tan to chestnut or red golden. Mixing it with a lab, however, will produce a pup that takes either the hound’s or the lab’s color. So, if you want a black Pharaoh Hound mix, you’d need to find a cross with a black lab.
As for the coat type, Pharaoh Hounds have very short coats and don’t shed nearly as much as labs. So, your cross can either have the lab’s non-stop shedding fur or the hound’s smooth and short coat.
Labrador and Pharaoh Hound Mix Temperament
Retrievers are famous for their outgoing and friendly personality as well as their obedient nature. The Pharaoh sighthound can also be friendly toward strangers but it will need a bit more socialization. These dogs can get along with both kids and other dogs, however, they really aren’t a good fit for families with cats because of their incredible prey drive.
The training requirements can also surprise you if you’ve owned a purebred lab before or if this is your first dog. Like most other sighthounds, this cross will need extra obedience training to counteract its willful and stubborn nature. You’d also do well to separate the training routines into multiple short episodes as Pharaoh Hounds can have a rather short attention span.
If you do train your dog properly, however, it can be a great family pet. These dogs can be a bit temperamental when they haven’t gotten enough exercise but once they’ve gotten their daily steps in, they are social, loving, and gentle.
How Much Exercise Does The Pharaoh Hound Labrador Mix Need?
Purebred Labradors are quite energetic and playful dogs. When you cross them with a sighthound breed, however, the resulting crossbreed’s energy levels can be off the roof.
If you get such a mix, you can expect to have to spend a minimum of two hours outdoors every day. Long weekend hikes are recommended, as is a well-fenced yard for a few more hours every day. So, if you’re looking for a lap dog that will just chill with you on the couch every day, this is not it. Pharaoh Lab Hounds can be gentle and loving but only once they’ve been thoroughly tired out.
Is The Pharaoh Hound Lab Mix A Healthy Breed?
Both Labradors and Pharaoh Hounds are very healthy breeds overall, provided that they’ve been bred by responsible breeders. A puppy mill can ruin any breed, of course, so you should always get your dog from a reputable breeder who offers a health certificate. Alternatively, you can adopt but this mix might be a bit difficult to find in shelters and rescues.
If you do find a healthy crossbreed, its life expectancy can be 11 to 14 years on average – longer than that of an average lab. Of course, with good care, a healthy dog can live far beyond that average too.
If you’re unlucky or you’ve shopped from a puppy mill, you can expect one of the following health problems:
Pros and Cons Of The Pharaoh Hound Lab Mix
- A very playful and energetic personality
- Quite healthy overall and with a long lifespan
- Cool lean physique and a unique look
- Very high exercise requirements
- Strong prey drive that requires attention
- Willful nature that can counteract the inherent obedience of the Labrador
Is The Lab and Pharaoh Hound The Right Pet For You?
Purebred Labrador Retrievers are suitable pets for almost anyone. That’s a big reason why they are the most popular breed in the world. Mixed with a sighthound breed like the Pharaoh, however, they become a bit more tricky to manage. The strong prey drive of the hound and its willful and stubborn nature can make it challenging for first-time owners. The increased exercise requirements also necessitate an especially outdoors-oriented lifestyle.
If all this sounds like it’d suit your preferences, however, the Lab and Pharaoh mix can make for a fantastic pet for you. Adorable, playful, lovely, and very gentle (once exercised and tired), these dogs are a very unique and special type of pet.
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