Maltese kelb tal-fenek is pure and unique breed – study

FKNK-commissioned study finds unique genetic mapping to Pharaoh dog makes it pure Maltese breed

Uniquely Maltese breed, say hunters-commissioned study
Uniquely Maltese breed, say hunters-commissioned study

An initial study by a Maltese team into the genetic mapping of the Pharaoh dog has concluded that the much-loved kelb tal-fenek is indeed a pure breed that is unique to the Maltese islands.

The study’s conclusions were announced by hunters’ lobby FKNK at the Imnarja agricultural feast, together with veterinary surgeon Dr Martin Debattista, who in 2014 embarked on a programme aimed at getting the highly intelligent breed recognised as a pure breed.

The study was commissioned by the FKNK.

Pharaoh hounds are uncommon outside of Malta and Gozo, and because they are not profitable for commercial breeding, have not been subjected to as much irresponsible breeding as some more popular breeds.

According to the American breed club, Pharaohs are virtually free from genetic diseases.

The kelb tal-fenek can search out their prey using scent, giving chase and alerting other dogs to the prey using a high-pitched bark. The dog has a very unusual hunting style especially on its own. When its prey either rabbit or vermin is in a mound, the dog will bounce in the air and land on all four legs in an attempt to have its prey come out in the open or move.

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