Afghan Hound

Afghan Hound

Afghan Hound dog breed is an ancient member of the greyhound family. The Afghan Hound was believed to have been brought from Arabia and Persia to Afghanistan, where the breed’s long coat developed in response to the harsh climate. It was there on the border between Afghanistan and India that the breed attracted British soldiers’ attention in the latter part of the 19th century. As a result, some were brought back to Britain and were first exhibited in a show in 1907 as Oriental Greyhounds.

Afghan Hound dogs

Afghan Hounds

The Afghan Hound is an ancient breed. It belonged to the Middle Eastern sighthounds, and its ancestors date back to the time of the Egyptian pharaohs. Initially, the Afghan Hound dog breed was used as a coursing hound by nomadic tribes to hunt for meat and hare, with falcons, who swooped down at the prey.

Afghan Hound FAQs Frequently Asked Questions:

Let us seek some answers related to the Afghan Hound breed. Are they hypoallergenic (non-shedding), or do they shed a lot? Do they bark a lot? Are they good guard dogs? Are they good family dogs? Good with children? And many more questions that a potential Afghan Hound owner may be concerned about.

How to groom an Afghan Hound?

One of the Afghan Hound’s most distinguishable features is its glorious, flowing coat, and it’s up to Afghan Hound owners to keep it in tip-top shape.

When it comes to clipping the coat, it’s advised to let it grow out naturally for as long as possible. This ensures the thickness of the coat is kept even, which is great for your hound.

It’s not surprising that you’ll need to set aside a good hour plus per week to keep this coat in great condition. Owning an Afghan Hound means you’ll have to brush up on your grooming skills. You need to be able to spend time bathing and grooming your hound, particularly in the first 14 months, as this ensures your puppy’s coat grows out in the healthiest way possible.

The easiest way to keep an Afghan Hound’s coat clean and healthy is with weekly baths and brushing with a pin comb. A little dog conditioner will go a long way with this breed and make sure that it is super easy to brush through the long thick coat.

How much exercise do Afghan Hounds need?

The Afghan Hound is an agile, high energy breed and cover distances quickly. They may look delicate and elegant, but these hounds love to run and play.

Afghan Hounds are known for their speed and, in some countries, are even classed as racing dogs. With this in mind, it’s advised to keep them on the lead, particularly in unenclosed spaces or unfamiliar territory, as they tend to speed off without warning! Try to find somewhere that’s safe and enclosed to let them gallop around to their heart’s content.

Despite their killer speed, they are described as low exercise dogs. They can burn off energy quicker than your average pooch. 1-2 hours a day incorporating a leisurely walk and a couple of short sprints is enough to satisfy their instinctual desire to chase will keep your Afghan Hound happy and healthy.

Are Afghan Hounds good family dogs?

Afghan Hounds make great family dogs as they have a friendly and loving nature. Despite their independence, they can be extremely loyal, and they love to have fun and play all day long.

Are Afghan Hounds good with children?

Afghan Hound Puppies can be socialized with children of all ages. If you’re introducing an older dog to your family, older children are preferable.

Unless your Afghan Hound has grown up around other family pets from a young age, they’re best to be the only family pet or surrounded by similarly sized pets. As sighthounds, they have a pretty strong prey drive, and as they are not great at recall, it’s best to keep smaller animals at a distance when you’re out and about and keep your hound on the lead, particularly when walking anywhere that may have small wildlife.

Are Afghan Hounds good guard dogs?

Afghan hounds make excellent guard dogs. They are extremely watchful, are wary of strangers, and loyal to their owners. The females seem to be more protective than their male counterparts.

Do Afghan Hounds bark a lot?

Some breeds prance around, jump on you, bark, and generally make their presence known, but this dog isn’t one of them. If owners were asked to describe their Afghan hound in three words, you might hear “peaceful,” “calm,” and “dignified.” That said, these dogs want their surroundings to be similar.

Are Afghan Hounds aggressive?

Afghan Hounds are not known for being aggressive. They have a laid-back character; although they do like their own space, it’s best to let them be when they clearly want some me time.

Given their high prey drive and hunting instincts, it’s best to keep an eye on them when around smaller animals.

Are Afghan Hounds intelligent?

These hounds are not smart, but it just adds to their clownish charm. They may not be able to learn the latest tricks all too quickly, but Afghan Hounds make excellent companions, and we think that’s the most important thing for our four-legged friends!

Can Afghan Hounds swim? Do they like it?

Yes, the Afghan hound can swim and seems to like the water (more so, when the weather is hot). Check out this video of a swimming Afghan Hound.

Are Afghan Hounds hypoallergenic (non-shedding)?

Yes. Afghan Hound is a hypoallergenic breed. They are infrequent, below-average shedders. Many Kennel Clubs include Afghan Hounds among its breeds recommended for people with allergies.

Do Afghan Hounds shed a lot?

No. Afghan hounds are a low shedding breed. They’ve only got one coat instead of other breeds, which have both a top coat and an undercoat. As a result, they don’t shed as heavily as other dog breeds. Their coat is more like human hair because it’s in a constant state of growth and needs regular trimming, just like humans.

How fast can an Afghan Hound run?

The average Afghan hound can reach speeds of up to 40 mph. For comparison, that’s about as fast as a purebred racehorse. The fastest horse in the world can run at 55 miles per hour.

How long do Afghan hounds live?

Afghan Hound’s Life span is about 12 to 14 years.

How much does an Afghan Hound cost? How much is an Afghan Hound puppy?

The cost to acquire an Afghan Hound can be up to $1200 for a pedigree Afghan Hound puppy. You’ll also need to consider the cost of insurance, regular grooming, and food.

There are several rescue organizations where you can rehome an Afghan Hound. Beware of websites selling Afghan Hound puppies or dogs at low prices. There’s a risk of poor dog and puppy welfare as increasingly puppies are farmed for quick money.

What is a Domino Afghan Hound?

Domino is a phenotype of the Afghan Hound (Phenotype is the term used in genetics for the composite observable characteristics or traits of an organism). The Domino name was derived from a famous Afghan Hound show dog named Tanjored Domino, born in 1954.

Domino Afghan Hound
Domino Afghan Hound

Choosing a good afghan hound puppy

The definition of the best afghan hound puppy depends on your requirements. Your expectations from an adult Afghan hound can be broadly categorized as follows: Confirmation for show or breeding; obedience; smart guard or watchdog; homely pet.

Although it is tempting to look for all these qualities in the one afghan hound puppy you are planning to buy, it is seldom possible to find all qualities in a single pup.

If you want your Afghan Hound puppy to grow up to be a champion in the show ring, you should look for confirmation of the Afghan Hound dog breed standards. We have put together a general guideline for selecting an all-around good puppy for you. Our guideline includes breed standards and gives importance to temperament, appearance, physical details, gait, health issues, grooming needs, and maintenance.

Look for the following characteristics while choosing an Afghan Hound puppy.

Afghan Hound General Appearance

The Afghan Hound is an aristocrat, his whole appearance one of dignity and aloofness with no trace of plainness or coarseness. He has a straight front, proudly carried head, eyes gazing into the distance as if in memory of ages past. The striking characteristics of the breed – exotic, or “Eastern,” expression, long silky topknot, peculiar coat pattern, very prominent hip bones, large feet, and the impression of a somewhat exaggerated bend in the stifle due to profuse trouserings – stand out clearly, giving the Afghan Hound the appearance of what he is, a king of dogs, that has held to tradition throughout the ages.

Afghan Hound image

Afghan Hound

Afghan Hound photograph

Afghan Hound Temperament

Aloof and dignified, yet cheerful.

Afghan Hound Size

Height: Dogs, 27 inches (69 cm), plus or minus 1 inch (3 cm); Bitches, 25 inches (64 cm), plus or minus 1 inch (3 cm). Weight: Dogs, about 60 lb. (27 kg); Bitches, 50 lb. (23 kg).

Afghan Hound’s Coat and Colour

Hindquarters, flanks, ribs, forequarters, and legs well covered with thick, silky hair, splendid in texture; ears and all four feet well feathered; from in front of the shoulders, and also backward from the shoulders along with the saddle from the flanks and ribs upwards, the hair is short and close forming a smooth back in mature dogs – this is a traditional characteristic of the Afghan Hound. The Afghan Hound should be shown in its natural state; the coat is not clipped or trimmed; the head is surmounted (in the full sense of the word) with a topknot of long, silky hair – this also an outstanding characteristic of the Afghan Hound. Showing of short hair on cuffs on either front or back legs is permissible. All colors are permissible, but while all color or color combinations are pleasing, white markings are undesirable, especially on the head.

Afghan Hounds

Afghan Hounds

Afghan Hound style

Afghan Hound’s Head

The head is of good length, showing much refinement. The skull is evenly balanced with the foreface. The occipital bone is very prominent. A topknot of long silky hair surmounts the head. There is a slight prominence of the nasal bone structure causing a slightly Roman appearance, the centerline running up over the foreface with little or no stop, falling away in front of the eyes, so there is an obvious outlook with no interference; the under jaw showing great strength, the jaws long and punishing. The nose is of good size, black in color. The mouth is level, meaning that the upper jaw and lower jaw match the teeth evenly, neither overshot nor undershot. This is a difficult mouth to breed. A scissors bite is even more punishing and can be more easily bred into a dog than a level mouth, and a dog having a scissors bite, where the lower teeth slip inside and rest against the teeth of the upper jaw, should not be penalized. The eyes are almond-shaped (almost triangular), never full or bulgy, and are dark in color. The ears are long, set approximately on a level with outer corners of the eyes, the ear’s leather reaching nearly to the end of the dog’s nose, and covered with long silky hair.

Afghan Hound’s Neck

The neck is of good length, strong and arched, running in a curve to the shoulders.

Afghan Hound’s Forequarters

Shoulders long and sloping and well laid back. Shoulders have plenty of angulation so that the legs are well set underneath the dog. Too much of the shoulder’s straightness causes the dog to break down in the pasterns, which is a serious fault. Forelegs are straight and strong with great length between elbow and pastern; elbows well held in; pasterns long and straight; forefeet large in both length and width; toes well arched; feet covered with long thick hair, fine in texture; pads of feet enormous and well down on the ground.

Afghan Hound dog breed running

Afghan Hound’s Body

The backline appearing practically level from the shoulders to the loins. The height at the shoulders equals the distance from the chest to the buttocks. The brisket well let down and of medium width. Strong and powerful loin and slightly arched, falling away towards the stern, with the hip bones very pronounced; well ribbed and tucked up in flanks.

Afghan Hound Hindquarters

Hindquarters powerful and well-muscled with great length between hip and hock; hocks are well let down; good angulation of both stifle and hock; slightly bowed from hock to crotch. The hind feet are broad and of good length; the toes arched and covered with long thick hair. All four feet of the Afghan Hound are in line with the body, turning neither in nor out.

Afghan Hound dog breed

Afghan Hound’s Tail

Tail set not too high on the body, having a ring, or a curve on end; should never be curled over, rest on the back, or be carried sideways, and should never be bushy.

Afghan Hound running

Afghan Hound’s Gait

The Afghan Hound moves at a gallop when running free, showing great elasticity and spring in his smooth, powerful stride. When on a loose lead, the Afghan can trot at a fast pace; stepping along, he has the appearance of placing the hind feet directly in the footprints of the front feet, both thrown straight ahead. Moving with head and tail high, the Afghan Hound’s whole appearance is one of great style and beauty.

Afghan Hound puppy
Afghan Hound puppy with lovely almond-shaped eyes.

Faults that are observed in the Afghan Hound dog breed.

Sharpness or shyness. Lack of shorthaired saddle in mature dogs. Coarseness; snippiness; overshot or undershot; eyes round or bulgy or light in color; exaggerated Roman nose; head not surmounted with a topknot. Neck too short or too thick; a ewe neck; a gooseneck; a neck lacking in substance. Front or back feet misaligned outward or inward; pads of feet not thick enough; or feet too small; or any other evidence of weakness in feet; weak or broken-down pasterns. Roach back, swayback, goose rump, slack loin; lack of prominence of hip bones; too much brisket width causing interference with elbows. Too straight in stifle; too long in hock.

Afghan Hound Videos

Afghan Hounds are the perfect dog for you if you enjoy grooming and are ready to take on the challenge of training this independent beauty and enjoying the outdoors. Healthy, loyal, and with buckets of character, we’re confident you’ll have lots of tails of adventures.

We hope you enjoyed reading about the Afghan Hound dog breed. You may consider sharing your views in the comments section below. Inputs and priceless experiences from dog owners, Afghan Hound breeders, and dog lovers, in general, help us better understand our most loyal friends. Thank you for your interest.

9 thoughts on “Afghan Hound”

  1. Those who think the Afghan Hound’s natural terrain is the fashion runway are surprised to hear that he is one of the most ancient breeds of dogs. It is said that Noah brought a pair of Afghans aboard the ark. Under that glamorous coat beats the heart of a powerful hunter, swift enough to bring down gazelles and even snow leopards. The long coat protected him from the harsh elements, and his big feet and thick pads helped him traverse mountainous regions. The Western world became acquainted with the breed when Major Amps from England was stationed in the Kabul region after the Afghan War of 1919. He and his wife, Mary, developed a keen interest in the breed and established their Ghazni Kennels in the hill country of Afghanistan at an elevation of 6,000 feet. Mrs. Amps wrote about the difficulty of acquiring these hounds from the hunting parties, and it took the intervention of officials before the natives reluctantly turned over a few hounds. The Afghan Hounds that eventually arrived on American shores did so by way of Great Britain.

    A comic twist
    The Afghan Hound’s American history began in 1931, starring none other than Zeppo Marx, the youngest of the madcap Marx Brothers. While in England shooting a film, Marx first laid eyes on an Afghan, at which point he and his wife insisted on taking a pair back to California for breeding. He reached out to Phyllis Robson, the then editor of English Dog World, who also owned a famous champion from Major Amps’ Ghazni bloodlines. Marx left the decision making to Robson, merely requesting a pair of light-colored hounds with an abundant coat. Omar and Asra soon joined them in Hollywood

    Dignified and aloof
    The first paragraph of the breed standard captures the Afghan Hound’s essence. Under General Appearance, he is described as “an aristocrat, his whole appearance one of dignity and aloofness … with eyes gazing into the distance as if in memory of ages past.” The striking characteristics of the breed include his “exotic, or Eastern, expression, long silky topknot, peculiar coat pattern, very prominent hipbones … [and large feet] … giving the Afghan Hound the appearance of what he is, a king of dogs, that has held true to tradition throughout the ages.”
    Hair of the dog

    The “peculiar coat pattern” mentioned in the standard refers to the arrangement of the hair on the dog. The face is smooth but is framed by a topknot of long, silky coat and long ears also adorned with hair. At maturity, the fluffy puppy coat gives way to a strip of short hair down the back, called a “saddle,” while long, silky hair drapes down the sides of the body. The smooth tail is carried high in a ring or a curve, with a bit of feathering on the underside. While the silky coat mats easily and requires regular brushing and bathing, a bonus is that there is little shedding. Some owners prefer to keep the coat clipped down to a more manageable length.

    A rainbow of colors
    Few breeds offer owners the array of colors and patterns that the Afghan Hound does. Solid colors range from black to white and virtually every shade in between: dark and light blue, silver, gold, and cream, with or without the traditional black mask. Color patterns or combinations include brindle (stripes), black-and-tan and domino (dark widow’s peak and saddle, contrasted by lighter-colored face and side coat), the latter term coined to honor Champion Tanjores Domino, a Swedish Afghan of this unusual coloring that came to America in the 1960s.

    Afghan Hounds are highly intelligent, but never robotic, push-button dogs that will fetch your slippers or perform endless tricks. Once taught a command, they see no purpose in repetition. Breeds in the Hound Group are stubborn, and the Afghan hound is no exception. They are very cat-like in temperament; speedy athletes outside, but mellow and chill in the house. For all the haughtiness they display to the world, they are sweet, loving and clownish with their chosen ones. If that sounds like a dog you’d appreciate, then definitely look into the ancient Afghan Hound.

    1. Afghan Hounds are extremely sensitive to stress and can end up literally sick to their stomachs, with severe digestive upsets and neurotic behaviors, if the people in their home are having family problems. Sighthounds are peaceful dogs who need a peaceful, harmonious home.

  2. The Afghan Hound tops the dumbest dog breeds list according to The Intelligence of Dogs, but Afghan lovers surely disagree. Afghans are sighthounds, which means they were bred to hunt using their extraordinary speed and eyesight.

  3. Hi! I’m considering getting an Afghan Hound in the future and am wondering how much it changes the necessary frequency of grooming to keep their coat fairly short? I’ve heard that you can brush & bathe them less frequently without matting if you give them haircuts to keep the coat short. How often would I have to give them a haircut to have them look like this picture?

    There will be periods in my life where I will have enough free time to do the necessary grooming required in letting their hair grow out, so they can feel all glitzy in their full majestic regal look!! But most of the time I think I would like to keep the coat short so it’s less frequent grooming work?

    1. We are having the hardest time with our Afghan Hound! We got him cut just like the one in the picture as a puppy (maybe about 1). Now we are stuck with a mat machine. He hates, HATES to be brushed. He bucks and cries and squirms and runs away. I have tried to be very gentle when I brush him but he just hates it. We are going to have to keep him short like that so we don’t have this fight every day of our lives.

      I think you will be better off keeping him like that. With long hair, they bring in sticks and leaves and bugs, etc. When we get in bed at night, it’s like we are camping. It has become an everyday job to vacuum the bed and suck out the great outdoors he has brought in with him.

    2. My boy is 8 or 9 and we have a groove. So when he was going I would give him things to lick while we groomed him (peanut butter, bacon and hold it so it takes a long time to eat the whole piece) so he led associate good thugs w brushing.

      You can have a groomer thin the coat and now we have him groomed once a month, brush him a few times in the month and he’s fine.

      Just keep him from getting tangled as it hurts their skin. I don’t show him anymore, he’s just our family dog so if I find a tangle that’s bad, just cut it out.

      There’s no wrong answer for your Afghan except make sure you keep him groomed enough. He just wants to be a dog, like other dogs. So don’t get jammed about a perfect coat. Just enjoy him. Good luck!

    3. You need to brush your Afghan hound at least once a week! I was a groomer for almost 20 years and have had 3. The reason they don’t like being brushed is that they are always tangled! If you brush once a week they should feel better about it because you’re not pulling on them or gouging their skin with the brush. Start from the ends of the hair instead of close to the skin to keep from overbrushing the skin. It’s also easier to get tangles out. Good luck!

  4. I keep my male Afghan’s hair short. We shaved him approx. 4 times a year. Even at that length in the picture, his hair mats. Mine does not like to be brushed and he has thick coarse hair. He was rescued and is neutered. He still requires being brushed at that length. Despite his coat length too he is bathed and groomed every 6-8 weeks still.

    I also have a female that I’ve had since she was a puppy. She was bathed frequently, in the beginning, to get her used to being groomed. I think thats the key, getting your dog used to frequent baths and brushing.

  5. The Afghan Hound is a large dog. Afghan puppies cost about $1200 to purchase from a good dog breeder. Afghans have long, glamorous coats which look best if combed daily. Professional grooming costs average $75 per trip.. Afghans look rich and are considered one of the most expensive dogs for rich owners!

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