The Afghan Hound is the most elegant dog breed you could ever imagine. They are tall, thin, and impressive. They attract looks wherever they go and they can thank that to their stunning coat. Their coat is long and silky. That means they require proper grooming and coat care to keep their good looks and for their coat to remain healthy.
They are considered one of the oldest dog breeds out there, and their origins are from the modern-day Afghanistan area. Their original name was Tazi, and they are known by many names. Some of those names include Balkh Hound, Barakzai Hound, Kabul Hound, Shalgar Hound, and Galanday Hound. This exotic breed is gaining popularity around the world, and many of these dogs compete in dog shows as well as dog sports.
These dogs have been described as adaptable and quite affectionate with their family members. They are a part of the sighthound family of dog breeds, so they can be fairly energetic. They were originally used for hunting purposes and were praised for their independent hunting ability. They needed little to no human guidance while hunting. They can run over great distances, and at a very fast pace, so you shouldn’t be surprised that they are one of the fastest dog breeds in the world. In their native region of Afghanistan, their coat served a purpose. That purpose was to keep them warm while hunting in mountainous regions.
24–28 in (61–71 cm)
50–60 lb (22–27 kg)
The Afghan Hound originated in Afghanistan. Their original name was Tazi. The breed has been attributed to pre-Christian times for a long time. According to DNA studies, the Afghan Hound is one of the world's oldest dog breeds, dating back thousands of years.
An English officer stationed near Kabul is the first documented Western Afghan Hound breeder. In 1925, he moved his dogs from his renowned Ghazni kennel and transferred them to England. After a short while, he moved the entire kennel to America. American cynology associations recognized the breed in 1926. The Afghan Hound Club of America was accepted as a member of the main American cynology institution in 1940.
The pioneer of importing this breed to the US was Zeppo Marx. The famous toy, Barbie, which makes more than 80% of overall Mattel's sales, and Beauty, her companion Afghan, quickly became one of the most popular toys in the late 1970s. The toy was bought by countless American girls, boosting the hound's popularity and appeal.
Lure coursing competitions grew in popularity during the same decade, adding to the breed's desirability. Despite its independent attitude, this breed quickly became a popular dog show contender in the 1980s. These days, Afghans moved into different competitions.
Dog Breed Characteristics
Since this is an ancient breed, it is not surprising that they are registered and accepted by most of the major cynology associations in the world. One of these associations is the FCI - a union of 98 national cynology associations. The FCI has a standard for this breed, and it describes them as a pure combination of speed and power. These dogs give an impression of dignity and strength. FCI placed the Afghan Hound in Group 10 (Sighthounds) Section 1 (Long-haired or fringed sighthounds). These dogs are not required to undergo a working trial. According to this standard, the required size for these dogs is 26,5 – 29 in (68 – 74 cm) for the males and 25 – 27 in (63 – 69 cm) for the females.
This breed was registered by the FCI on the 12th of December 1961.
Afghan Hound has hair similar to humans – thick and silky. Grooming is essential for these dogs. Their coat tends to tangle, and regular brushing will prevent the forming of mats and tangles. Many owners decide to leave the grooming to professional groomers with the necessary expertise to do the job right.
Afghan Hound coat colors: All colors are permissible according to their official standard.
These dogs will also need other basic care; brush their teeth at least every three days. Check their ears for signs of infection and redness, bathe them regularly, and trim their nails if they don’t wear them down naturally.
Afghan Hound is a highly energetic and active breed. They were bred to work all day, so these dogs need a lot of daily exercises. These dogs need an active lifestyle to be happy. They love to be outside and be part of the action, whether running and chasing balls, playing, jumping, or jogging. If you are thinking about getting an Afghan Hound, make sure you have enough free time and energy to spend outside playing and training your Afghan Hound. If your schedule doesn’t allow you that, consider getting a less active breed.
Socialization and training
Afghan Hound was bred for hunting, and because of that, they will need proper training if you want your dog to develop into a well-behaved dog. Also, their high prey drive can be a problem that you will need to take care of.
When training an Afghan Hound, make sure you use positive training methods. Never use fear, punishment, or pain because not only is it cruel, it can result in an overly shy or even aggressive dog. Be firm, fair, and consistent, but use only positive reinforcement! Involve as many treats as you can and keep the training sessions interesting.
There are many ways you can socialize your Afghan Hound. The most important thing to do is get your dog familiar with different situations they can find themselves in. Take your dog to dog parks where they can meet other dogs and people. They can learn to react accordingly and understand that they don’t need to be scared of strangers and other dogs. It is also possible to socialize and teach your dog how to handle other pets, although they might never learn to “play nice” with other pets due to their high prey drive.
Afghan Hound and kids
These dogs will prefer a family with no children. Still, with proper socialization, they will be loving pets. They can be trained to tolerate and behave around children that respect the dog and know how to safely interact with them.
Afghan Hound and other animals
If they are adequately trained, the Afghan Hound is as good a pet as any other breed. They will have a lot more energy than your average lap dog, but if you live an active life, you can have a great companion that will gladly follow you on all your adventures. These dogs can even learn to coexist with other pets. However, you should never be left unsupervised with smaller pets because of their genetic prey drive.
Potential health problems
Like any other dog breed, the Afghan Hound can potentially develop health problems. If you are buying a dog, make sure the breeder can provide you with the necessary health tests and guarantees. Always ask to see the results of tests from the puppy’s parents. The health problems these dogs are associated with are:
- Hypothyroidism - A health problem caused by the underproduction of hormones from the thyroid gland.
- Allergies - these dogs are prone to have allergic reactions to specific foods, products, or medications.
- Canine cancer - Just like humans, dogs can get cancer as well. Treatments include chemotherapy, medication, and surgery.
- Cataracts - Cloudy spots on the lens of the eye
The Afghan Hound is generally considered a very healthy breed that can live 12 - 15 years.
Afghan Hound breeders
Before you start looking for Afghan Hound breeders, make sure that this breed will be a good fit for you and/or your family. These dogs are usually very stubborn, so make sure you know how to properly train and socialize your dog. Large dogs are also a large responsibility, so do your research and make an informed decision about getting a demanding breed like this one.
If this breed is a good fit for you and/or your family, make sure that you find a registered and reputable Afghan Hound breeder that can provide you with a great dog that will be physically and mentally healthy. Ask the breeder to show you the health certificates of his breeding dogs and if you can try and see what the puppy’s parents look like.
Buying a dog from a responsible breeder will cost you more money, but you can be sure that you will get a healthy puppy. When you bring your new puppy home, start immediately with the training and socialization. By doing so, you will end up with a well-behaved dog whom you can trust. Provide him with enough daily exercise for him to be happy.
World Dog Finder team