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 the attention of British soldiers 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 a coursing hound by nomadic tribes to hunt for meat and hare, with the help of falcons, who swooped down at the prey.

How to groom an Afghan Hound?

One of the Afghan Hounds 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 puppies 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 have a tendency 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 socialised with children of all ages. If you’re introducing an older dog to your family, older children is 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 sight hounds, 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 aggressive?

Afghan Hounds are not known for being aggressive. They have a laid back character although do like their own space, so 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!

Do Afghan Hounds shed?

Afghan hounds are a low shedding breed. They’ve only got one coat, as oppose to other breeds which have both a topcoat and an undercoat. As a result, they don’t shed as heavily as other breeds. Their coat is more like human hair because it’s in a constant state of growth and needs regular trimming much like we do.

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.

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.

How long do Afghan hounds live?

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

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

The cost to acquire an Afghan Hound can be quite steep, up to $1000 for a pedigree Afghan Hound puppy. You’ll also need to consider the cost of insurance, regular grooming and food.

There are a number of rescue organisations where you can rehome an Afghan Hound. Beware of websites selling Afghan Hound puppies or dogs at cheap 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?

Whether it is called domino or grizzle depends on dog breed in which it occurs. Like that, this phenotype is Saluki dog breed is known as grizzle, but it is called domino in the Afghan Hound breed. The name was derived from a famous Afghan Hound show dog named Tanjored Domino, born in 1954.

Choosing a good afghan hound puppy

Definition of the best afghan hound puppy depends on your requirements. Your expectations from an adult afghan hound can be broadly categorised as follows: Confirmation for show or breeding; obedience; smart guard or watch dog; homely pet.

Although it is tempting to look for all these quality in the one afghan hound puppy you are planning to buy, it is almost never possible to find all qualities in a single pup.

If you want your afghan hound puppy to grow up to be a champion, you should look for confirmation to afghan hound breed standards. Physical construction, head, proportions, bite, etc are all a priority over temperament. Look for the following characteristics while choosing a 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 some-what 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 true 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 Coat and Colour

Hindquarters, flanks, ribs, forequarters, and legs well covered with thick, silky hair, very fine in texture; ears and all four feet well feathered; from in front of the shoulders, and also backwards from the shoulders along 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 colours are permissible, but colour or colour combinations are pleasing; white markings, especially on the head are undesirable.

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. The head is surmounted by a topknot of long silky hair. There is a slight prominence of the nasal bone structure causing a slightly Roman appearance, the centre line running up over the foreface with little or no stop, falling away in front of the eyes so there is an absolutely clear outlook with no interference; the under jaw showing great strength, the jaws long and punishing. The nose is of good size, black in colour. The mouth is level, meaning that the teeth from the upper jaw and lower jaw match 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 colour. The ears are long, set approximately on level with outer corners of the eyes, the leather of the ear 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 straightness of shoulder causes the dog to break down in the pasterns, and this 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 unusually large and well down on the ground.

Afghan Hound dog breed running

Afghan Hound 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 the end; should never be curled over, or rest on the back, or be carried sideways; and should never be bushy.

Afghan Hound running

Afghan Hound’s Gait

When running free, the Afghan Hound moves at a gallop, 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 whole appearance of the Afghan Hound is one of great style and beauty.

Afghan Hound puppy

Afghan Hound puppy

Faults observed in Afghan Hound dog breed

Sharpness or shyness. Lack of short-haired saddle in mature dogs. Coarseness; snipiness; overshot or undershot; eyes round or bulgy or light in colour; exaggerated Roman nose; head not surmounted with topknot. Neck too short or too thick; an ewe neck; a goose neck; a neck lacking in substance. Front or back feet thrown 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, sway back, goose rump, slack loin; lack of prominence of hip bones; too much width of brisket causing interference with elbows. Too straight in stifle; too long in hock.

Afghans

Links: Hound dog breeds; Greyhounds

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

2 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.

  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.

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