At 6 weeks to 12 weeks puppies eat every 6 to 8 hours.  Estimate 1 ounce of food per pound of body weight or let them eat until full. 

     I feed first thing in the morning, then when I get home from work, then again before bedtime. 

     Phase this to 2 meals a day by the time the pup is 12 weeks old.  I recommend staying on this schedule for life. 

     Kibble should be soaked with warm water until soft until around 8 weeks old.  You can also use goat’s milk or esbilac (puppy milk replacer usually found in pet stores) as a treat now and then.  A little ‘human’ milk is also fine.   

     Use puppy food until around 6 months of age, then phase to adult.  85% of the dog’s growth is complete by 6 months.  Puppy formulas tend to be very high in protein and fat; too high for a dog that is not growing like a weed anymore.  Detrimental effects can start to occur. 

     I generally use chicken/poultry based foods for my Pharaohs.  Lamb based formulas are harder to digest and can cause gas.  In the USA, I have had good experience with Fromm Adult Gold (Chicken and Duck), ProPlan Chicken and Rice or Turkey and Barley, BilJac Select, Eukaneuba Adult Maintenance and Pedigree.  In Europe I have feed Pedigree Puppy.     

Puppy play ‘safe’ area:

     From age 6 to 12 weeks it’s going to seem like the puppy potties all the time!  I recommend setting up a limited area for puppy to play and sleep in.  Use baby gates or a baby play yard or dog exercise pen to isolate around a 6 foot x 6 foot area or larger.  

This area should contain:

  • a VariKennel type crate with the door removed.  Put nice fleece bedding in it.  The dog will go in here to sleep or have quiet time. Use only Vari-Kennels for young puppies, they are safer than wire crates.
  • a water bowl  (something heavy or secure that won’t tip over if stepped in, nothing too deep).  There are ones that screw onto the sides that are wonderful.  Beware of buckets, unless you vet wrap over the bent hooks.  Dogs have been ‘fish hooked’ on them!
  • newspaper  to designate an acceptable area to potty in.  Some people have also used cookie trays with new ‘doggie litter’ designed for dogs that is actually newspaper pellets.  Do not use cat litter.  Dogs tend to eat it and it is not good for them! 
  • Toys: small latex squeaks, fleecy toys are favorites, small rope tug toys are also good
  • chews – pressed rawhide, rawhide strips, munchee strips, sow ears, ear puffs, bullies, snouts are all good
  • A dog donut bed to lie in while out side the crate

     As the puppy becomes more reliable in his potty habits, transition this by moving his crate to wherever you want him to sleep and put the door on it.  Make sure the crate is close enough to where you sleep so you can hear him cry if he has to go potty.  You may want to leave the ‘safe area’ set up with a few toys, water, and donut bed as a place to put puppy while you are busy until the ‘puppy phase’ is completely over and he is reliable with free run of the house.  I have found at around 4 months the PH puppies are pretty good at not getting into trouble every minute.  I crate dogs while I am out of the house until they are around 1 year to 18 months old.  After that, most PH will probably just sleep while you are out!  


     In the ‘safe area’ the puppy will learn not to soil his crate.  He will learn to go in it to sleep and keep it clean.  That is why you do not want a door on the crate until he can hold his potty all night.  If you put him in a crate to sleep too young, he will have no choice other than to soil his crate.  That can be a tough habit to break when he is older.  Most of the time puppies seem to know to go to newspaper to potty.  They might also go on the floor, but I don’t make a big deal about it at this point.  Just have lots of newspaper for right now and put down clean ones as they mess them up.

     If you bring your puppy home in winter, remember it is too cold for a tiny Pharaoh to be outside.  Remember that these dogs are built for a desert climate.  They have very little hair or body fat for insulation.  Their blood vessels are right at the surface to cool their blood quickly.  Their ears are very thin and fine and tend to freeze quickly.  Some adult Pharaohs are prone to ‘cold ear necrosis’ which includes dry, flaky skin on the ear edges in cold weather and can lead to scabs and missing ear tips.  I would not push potty training outside until temperatures are way above freezing.  If you do take your puppy outside, limit the time to just a minute or two and try to use a coat.  Also limit puppy’s time outdoors until all vaccinations are complete.  Almost everything they pick up with their mouth harbors bacteria or viruses.    

     One thing I have done in housebreaking during cold months is to teach the dog to potty in the shower stall or tub.  This usually starts around 10 weeks of age.  By then I usually have the puppies sleeping in crates in or near my bedroom so I can hear them cry.  They usually only cry when they have to go.  I take them out of the crate, carry them to the shower stall (mine has a glass door) and close them in.  They usually go potty instantly and it is easy to clean with my removable shower wand.   Since I travel to dog shows quite often, and may be on the 13th floor of a hotel, I have found this to be very handy in the middle of the night!  Later in life it is also nice when you have an adult that just couldn’t hold it that day, they will go into the shower rather than elsewhere.   My hotel roommates find it amusing to watch my dogs go to the bathroom to go potty!   

     When the puppy starts to have some bladder control, if he starts to pee where he shouldn’t, or you see him pacing around sniffing, pick him up quickly, rush outside (or wherever you want him to go) and use a command to tell him what to do.  I say ‘potty outside’.  Usually I am running to the door repeating this, then I put them down and when they start to pee, I PRAISE them, “GOOD POTTY OUTSIDE, GOOD POTTY OUTSIDE!”   Then come back inside immediately and give them a cookie!  Pharaohs usually house break this way very, very quickly.  You can also hang a bell from the door for the dog to ring in case you can’t see him standing at it.  That also helps eliminate scratching to get your attention.

Puppy’s favorite things:

  • Toys, fleece toys, latex toys, rope toys or any toys!
  • Rawhide, especially pig noses, bullies, and sow ears  (Avoid pig ears, too greasy and cause diarrhea)
  • fleece beds and donut beds
  • they like to sit in your lap and be petted


  • the puppies have been corrected by either verbal (eh eh, no no) or mild scruff shake (like mommy dog does)
  • to call puppy, same their name, followed by ‘come’ – ALWAYS praise when they come or even look in your direction!  Make coming to you a GOOD thing.  Even if you have to walk them down, GENTLY lead them by the collar to the spot you were calling them from, then praise when you get there.  One good way to start recall training   is to say, “COME” whenever you put the food dish down.  The puppy will learn to associate ‘COME’ with something good.
  • If puppy chews on the wrong thing, remove it from their mouth and say “no no”, then replace it with something they can chew (rawhide or rope bone).  Praise for playing with correct toy
  • ALWAYS give a cookie when putting the puppy in their crate; they will learn to run into the crate willingly.

Socialization and training

  • I take my puppies to lots of places to meet new people and dogs.  Please continue to take your puppy to new places as much as possible.  Have people and dogs visit your house also.  (After they complete at least their 3rd puppy shot!) 
  • Try to attend a Puppy Head Start class at your local obedience school, and later a Beginner obedience class.
  • You may want to try a breed handling class to prepare the puppy for the breed ring if you are going to show.    Junior Showmanship is a great thing for kids to get involved in with the puppy.  It teaches them discipline and is very rewarding.
  • Talk to your dog constantly!  Pharaohs really do understand many, many words and it will make your life so much easier.  Whenever I go to put on a leash, coat or go to the door I say ‘wait’ for the dog to ‘freeze and be still.  If you associate words with whatever you do with your dog, they will understand.   


     It’s safe to give your puppy a bath, even at  6 weeks old.  I use any gentle, no more tears formula, human baby shampoo from puppyhood through their entire adult life.  Pharaohs are a bit different than a lot of other dog breeds in that they have almost no coat oil since they are a desert dog.  Most breeds have a rather oily coat, so a stronger shampoo is needed to  clean them.  A strong shampoo can irritate a Pharaoh’s skin and make them flake.  Stick with baby shampoo and only bath when they need it.  Ttowel dry them well and keep them warm until dry.     

Ears and taping:

Pharaoh Hound ears generally stand up on their own, but some need support for varying lengths of time.

     I have seem some ears pop up at 6 weeks and stay up, others take until 6 months to stand, and sometimes rarely up to 11 months.  Some never stand completely erect.  The Pharaoh Hound standard calls for a ‘large, fine ear’.  The ear needs to be fine or thin so that it is an efficient ‘cooling fin’ in the desert enabling the blood vessels to be as exposed as possible.  The truly fine ears are the last to stand.  Some Pharaohs with more incorrect ears, that have lots of substance, stand more quickly.

     My general rule is that if the ear is continually changing, don’t mess with it!  If it get’s stuck in one of the following phases for any length of time, support it.  If in doubt, call me.

     Pharaoh Hound ears all start out with ears folded front which are called ‘button ears’, the type you see on a Dalmatian.  As they start to come up, they turn out to the side usually into a perfect ‘rose ear’, which is the type of ear you see on a Whippet or Greyhound.  Then the ears start to go up (prick).   They are usually still weak and floppy and often as soon as they stand, they tend to flop inwards over the skull.  As the base of the ear gains substance, the ear set will correct itself and should wind up with the ears at roughly 11 and 1, or slightly off the side of the skull. 

     If the dog is very warm, from lying in the sun, or being under covers (they love that), the ears may flop!  Don’t panic.  As soon as they hit the cooler air, they will pop back into shape.  However, teething can affect ear progress.  The ears tend to become weaker as the puppy starts cutting adult teeth.  I would support them during this period if they do and some believe calcium supplements are good at this time.

     Now the tricky part is how to support them.  Each breeder has their own favorite method.

     First clean the inside of the ear with alcohol or an astringent that will remove any waxiness or dirt or your support materials are not going to stick and will fall out within minutes!  Wait a few seconds for the ear to dry.

     Then open up 2 Breath Right Nasal strips that will be used as the support.  I use small/medium size at first, then the large if supporting a 6+ month old’s ears.  But Breathe Right strips are not sticky enough to say in on their own!

(New Tip from a Chinese Crested person:  Use Super Glue GEL (IT MUST BE GEL) to affix the nasal strip.)  

     So to affix them to the inside of the ear I use bandage tape.  My favorite is Fixomull from Sweden.  I have friends send it from Sweden, and you can find it on the internet, but that is a lot to go through.  If you have a connection, get some.  You usually only need one package to do one puppy  through the whole support period.  My second favorite is Kendall WetProof which I buy at dog shows.  It is an American product and is around $8 a roll.  You can get it off the internet or probably from a vet or hospital supply store.  I have also used bandage tape from drug stores.  As long as they are ones that say ‘maximum hold’ they will work.  I like the Kendall tape because it is stiff and also provides it’s own extra support. 

     Cut the bandage tape to look like an ear.  Cut off the corners so it has an ear tip and an almost straight bottom.  Don’t leave any sharp corners. 

Like this, but round off the corners:

   /\                Lay your Breathe Right nasal strip on it before sticking it in the ear.

 /    \              Put the fabric side against the sticky tape side, so the sticky side is towards the ear.

/___\             Position the nasal strip where ever the ear is weakest; usually towards the outside of the ear.

You can even use 2 in a teepee shape for a really weak ear, or just one down the middle for a weak tip.

     Now put the whole contraption into the ear.  Have someone else hold the puppy.  I find it best to put the tip in position first, then run my finger down the middle and smooth out towards the edges.  Don’t worry if it is wrinkled or not positioned perfect.  It will still do the job.  They usually fall out on their own in around 4 to 7 days.  I sometimes wait a day before putting in a new one to let the ear breathe a bit.  Sometimes the skin is a little red underneath.  The ear usually wants to stand for a day or two.  Then if it starts to look weak again, put in a new support. 

     My Pharaohs rarely try to scratch their ear supports out.  However my older Pharaohs love to remove tape from puppy ears!  If you really have trouble keeping these in, you can use skin glue.  I have not tried this, but I know other breeders have used it if needed.


     Please see my vaccine chart for my recommended immunization schedule.  My approach to vaccines is to not over vaccinate.  There has been enough studies done that seem to indicate that over vaccination can do more harm than good.  When you are administering a vaccine, you are injecting your dog with a killed or modified live virus so that the dog can build immunity to that particular disease.  A dog’s immunity level can be measured by testing ‘titers’.  Studies indicate these immunity levels remain high enough to prevent diseases for anywhere from 3 years to life.  So annual vaccinations for all diseases are most likely overkill.  And there have been cases where vaccines have killed the dog!  Dogs can die of allergic reactions to vaccines if too many vaccines are given at one time and some vaccines are just more reaction prone than others.   Some studies indicate cancerous tumors are occurring more often at popular injections sites (the nape of neck) and also some auto-immune diseases and hemolytic anemia may be caused by over vaccination.  Remember each time you inject your dog with a virus; your dog’s immune system has to respond to it.  Some older dogs especially have weakened immune systems and just cannot do this any longer. 

     I weigh the risk/benefit of each vaccine.  I recommend doing your own research on the internet and deciding what is best for you.

     Allow at least a period of 4 weeks between any single vaccinations, medications, or anything that will stress your dog’s immune system! NEVER combine any more than one vaccination per vet visit, such as a Rabies booster and DHPP booster at the same time. NEVER give heart worm treatment within 4 weeks of a vaccination. I cannot stress enough to allow your Pharaoh Hound’s immune system to respond to one vaccination at a time.

     This breed is a ‚primitive breed‘, whose history in solely on Malta up until very recent times (1967), where the environment is VERY natural Usually including NO vaccines, no medications, no commercial dog foods, no preservatives, no household cleaning chemicals. The Kelb Tal Fenek is most often fed table scraps bulked out with whole grain bread. This is the environment this breed has adapted to. Some individuals are more sensitive than others to elements they would never encounter in their native environment.

‘Puppy Boosters’

     Puppy boosters are combo shots that vaccinate against several diseases.  The most common combo is usually called DAPP – for distemper, adenovirus, parvovirus, parainfluenza.  Sometimes this shot also contains Coronovirus, and also sometimes Leptospirosis.  Some of these diseases only occur in puppies, others can occur into adulthood.

     Please see the Pet Passport that comes with your puppy to see what vaccinations and worming your puppy has received.

     Leptospirosis is not common in some areas and is one vaccine that I, and probably most other breeders, have had the most  reactions to.  It often causes hives and swelling in Pharaohs.  Sometimes severe enough that I thought the puppy would go into shock and even liver or kidney damage.  As the puppy gets older, there is much less risk of severe reaction.  Therefore I recommend not giving Lepto until the annual booster, when the puppy is a little over 1 year old.  Then assume they are immune for life and do not give it again.  Some breeders even give Prednisone or Benedryl before giving any shot containing Lepto to minimize the risk of the allergic reaction.

     Parvo is the disease a young puppy is most at risk of and it can be very life threatening.  My approach though is not to rush the vaccinations, but limit the puppy’s exposure to other dogs and the outside world until all 3 boosters are complete.   Let other people and dogs visit your puppy at your house, but make sure you know the visiting dogs are healthy and have all guests leave their shoes at the door.  It is on the bottom of shoe soles that most bacteria and viruses are tracked in.  Keep your puppy away from ‘high traffic’ areas in your house at this time.  Stay in the ‘safe area’.   You can also have visitors wash their hands with anti-bacterial soap before playing with puppy.

     Try not to let your puppy eat things off the ground outside.  This is where they will come in contact with things like giardia and coccidia. 

Bordetella or Kennel Cough

     Kennel Cough is usually not serious, except sometimes in small puppies.  It is roughly the same as having a cold.  The dog coughs.  It is self limiting, which means it goes away on it’s own without treatment.  The vaccine is generally an intra-nasal liquid.  This vaccine usually causes no reaction.   If you regularly are among other groups of dogs, such as going to classes, going to shows, more than likely your dog will be exposed to another dog with kennel cough.  So you may want to vaccinate every 6 months to 1 year.  There is no real danger in skipping this vaccine as far as I am concerned.  It is one vaccine that immunity does not last and you cannot extend the schedule more than 1 year.  I do give this vaccine every 6 months. 

Lyme Disease (USA and Canada only)

     This is a nasty disease and a nasty vaccine.  Even with what I thought was very thorough tick searches, I had 3 dogs come down with Lyme.  Once a dog has Lyme, amoxicillin will treat the disease, but nothing can eradicate it.  Every time the dog’s immune system is suppressed, the Lyme symptoms could appear again.  Affected dogs can acquire almost every problem you can think of with the potential of almost every internal organ affected, plus crippling arthritis.  I had one dog I had to give $20 per week Adequan injections for life, just so she could walk again.  There are several vaccine makers, but most breeders agree the most effective one is LymeVax from Fort Dodge.  However it can cause mild to severe allergic reactions in many dogs including hives, swelling of lips, complete swelling closure of eyes and has even caused shock and stopped breathing!  One vet I talked to was giving Epinephrine before the LymeVax injection and some were giving Prednisone, again to minimize the risk and level of the reaction.    Even with these risks from the vaccine, the benefit still far outweighs the risks of having Lyme disease.  What I would recommend is to postpone this vaccination until the first chance of ticks in the spring.  Then you will need two shots, 3 weeks apart.  Give Benedryl or Prednisone before taking this shot!  Also purchase a tick collar that contains the active ingredient Amitraz, such as ‘Preventic’.  Ticks can only pass Lyme disease if attached to your dog more than 24 hours.  These collars usually prevent ticks from attaching, or if they do attach they will die and fall off before 24 hours.  These collars work extremely well.     

Heartworm (USA, Canada and other areas where heartworm exists)

Heartworm medication should be started in the spring. I do not give when mosquitoes are not present. Since some breeds are sensitive to the drug Ivermectin and experience seizures from it, do not use Hartguard. Some Pharaoh Hounds can be drug sensitive. I feel Sentinel is the safest heart worm preventative, followed by Interceptor. Although Interceptor is possibly linked to auto-immune problems in some present research. Do not use the ‚plus‘ versions of any of these medicines that treat other types of worms as well. In general NEVER combine drugs or vaccinations. Only give one at a time and at least 4 weeks apart.

Other Worms (pinworms, roundworms, tapeworms, whipworms)

     Dormant worm cysts are present in every dog, and mom passes them to her puppies where they grow into larvae and adults worms.  Puppies need to be wormed every two weeks starting at 2 weeks old and continuing until 12 weeks old.

Check your passport and/or my vaccine chart to see which wormings your puppy still needs.  

    Do not use a product containing piperazine.  It is cheap, but only kills around 70% of adult worms and no larvae.  Use Panacur from your vet or Nemex II, Evict, Drontal Pup, or Pyran 50 from your pet supply store.  These contain much more effective wormers!!   Again, please check the internet on this one.  I order from www.countrysidesupply.com.  


Household medicines I commonly use are:

  • 1 Imodium and/or 1 Pepto Bismol for mild diarrhea or tummy upset.  Withhold food, phase back in with rice or pasta.  Any diarrhea lasting more than a day is serious.  Please contact a vet.
  • Pedcid/AC or Tums for any vomiting/tummy upset.  Yogurt with acidophilus bacteria is great for restoring good intestinal flora!  And most Pharaohs love it, too.  I give this routinely in their food. 
  • 1 25mg Benedryl or Prednisone for any bee sting or any other allergic reaction that may cause hives. 
  • Neosporin is good for any cuts or abrasions
  • Aspirin for sprain, limping, or pain. Do not give any other aspirin substitutes, some are toxic to dogs.