Afghan Hound is a purebred and a beauty in itself with a regal appearance. Afghan Hounds are known for their elegance, loyalty, and cascading silky coats. These hounds belong in the mountains of Afghanistan and are powerful hunters. The terrains of Afghanistan are hard, and their paws are built in a way that they act as shock absorbers. Afghan Hounds are known to be a special breed and best for owning a pet.
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Afghan Hound Overview
Afghan Hounds are ancient breeds of Afghanistan, known for their exotic coats. Also called Tazi, they are traced back to the pre-Christian era and are one of the oldest breeds in the world. They are pure breeds, tall, elegant, and with powerful bodies. They are affectionate, friendly, loyal, and adapt to homes of any size. They are highly energetic and require plenty of exercise. They have the most attractive coats and are easy to groom. They make an excellent family companion and entertain with their comical nature. Overall, Afghan Hounds are playful and mischievous and make a perfect mate for your family.
Afghan Hound Pros and Cons
|Gentle, warm, and social||High exercise needs|
|Athletic and graceful||High – maintenance|
|Powerful and energetic||High prey drive|
Afghan Hound Basic Information
- Name: Afghan Hound
- Origin: Afghanistan
- Group: Hound dogs, Sighthound dogs
- Size: Large
- Height: Male: 27 inches; Female: 25 inches
- Weight: Male: 55-65 pounds; Female: 45-55 pounds
- Coat: Long and smooth
- Color: Fawn, black, silver, silver and black, black and tan, gold, brindle, white, red, cream, blue, blue and cream, gray, and tricolor
- Energy: High
- Activities: Agility, obedience, walking, running, lure coursing
- Barking Level: Low
- Shedding Level: Low
- Hypoallergenic: No
- Litter Size: 6-8 puppies
- Other names: Tazi, Clown
- Original Passtime: Hunting
- Life Span: 12-17 years
- Breed Recognition: Afghan Hound Club of America
History of Afghan Hounds
Afghan Hounds are one of the ancient dog breeds originating from Afghanistan. Their origin is traced back to the pre-Christian era. These hound dogs were taken to England in 1925 from the kennel of an English officer stationed near Kabul. Eventually, they made it to America and were recognized by AKC in 1926. Afghan Hounds were popular among American girls, along with Barbie and her favorite Afghan hound in the 1970s. They excel in a dog sport called lure coursing, adding to their appeal. Afghan Hounds were the most popular ring stars in the AKC shows in the 1980s. Their popularity rose as elegantly as their appearance and nature.
Afghan Hounds Highlights
- Afghan hounds have long silky coats which protect them from the harsh winters of the Afghanistan terrains. They shed less yet need more attention for grooming.
- They were primarily bred for hunting deer in the wild. They have a high prey drive and chase small animals like cats, rabbits, and hamsters.
- They have high energy levels and need abundant exercise.
- They are not easy to train and need training classes along with patience.
- Afghan Hounds have low tolerance levels for pain and wounds and should be handled gently.
- They are loving, friendly, and compatible with children.
Afghan Hounds Personality
Afghan Hounds are large breed dogs with athletic, well-muscled bodies, growing up to 28-30 inches and weighing about 60-100 pounds. Though they are non-hypoallergenic, they do not shed a lot. The long and silky coat protects the dog from the harsh winters of the Afghan mountains and is rough and hard. It adds to the dog’s beauty and requires high maintenance. The coat color includes fawn, black, silver, silver and black, black and tan, gold, brindle, white, red, cream, blue, blue and cream, gray, and tricolor with markings of the black mask, brindle, brindle, brindle black mask, domino, and brindle domino; white on chest, toes, and tail tip.
Tazi puppies look different from their adults. Tazi puppies have wooly hair called monkey whiskers on their cheeks and over their saddles. This short, smooth coat falls off when they are a year old, growing to a long, glossy adult coat. While walking and running, Afghan Hounds look elegant with their shiny and fluffy elastic coat, majestic stride and pace, and graceful coat hair.
Afghan Hounds are elegant and have long legs that help them to run fast while chasing animals. The tail is long and curved. The eyes are dark with an exciting look. Overall, Afghan hounds carry elegance and beauty together.
|Good for apartment living||High|
|Good for new owners||Medium|
|Tolerates being alone||Low|
Afghan Hounds Physical Features
Head: The head comes with a good length with an evenly balanced skull. The ears are long and set on level with the eyes. The eyes are almond-shaped and dark. The head is crowned with long silky hair.
Neck: The neck is long, strong, arched, sloping, and well-laid back.
Topline: The topline is level and firm. They have deep and muscular chests.
Body: The body is strong, leveled, and firm. The loin is powerful and the ribs are well-sprung.
Tail: The tail is not too high or curved or curled.
Forequarters: The forelegs are straight and strong, and the elbows are well-held. Forefeet are covered with long and thick hair with a fine texture.
Hindquarters: The hindquarters are firm and well-covered with thick, silky, fine-textured hair. They are powerful and well-muscled.
Feet: The feet are broad and have good length. The toes are arched and covered with long, thick hair.
Coat: The coat is flat, not straight and fuzzy, but not curly. The undercoat is waterproof. The ears, skull, and neck are well-coated with hair.
Color: The coat includes fawn, gold, brindle, white, red, cream, blue, gray, or tricolor.
Gait: The action is free, smooth, and powerful with well-balanced movement.
Disqualification (AKC Standards)
- White markings on the head.
- Lack of short-haired saddles in older dogs.
- The tail should never be bushy.
- The neck must not be short or thick.
Afghan Hounds Temperament
Afghan Hounds are large, athletic, sturdy, and affectionate family dogs. They are independent and perform well in dog shows. They don’t bark much and are not great watchdogs. However, they are easy-going, content, and energetic. Although they prefer to be aloof, they also love outdoor activities. They don’t mingle well with strangers yet are brave and protective towards their families. Their overall temperament includes:
- Companion dogs
Afghan Hounds Training
Afghan Hounds are intelligent, and their eagerness to please makes training easy. However, like other dogs, they need early socialization, obedience training, and puppy training classes. They are active and look forward to the training sessions; activities like playing fetch and frisbee help in training regarding behavioral corrections. Afghan Hounds training session requires patience and consistency. They are sensitive to any adverse reactions and need positive reinforcement while training. They do not respond to harsh commands; hence lots of praise, cuddles, and treats can help during the training. Their activity can include the following:
- Early Socialization
- Crate Training
- Positive Reinforcement
- Teach bite inhibition
- Walk with a harness
- Leash Training
- Obedience training
- Potty training
Here are a few dog interactive toys and products that you can use while training:
|Easy to train||Medium|
|Barking and Howling tendencies||Low|
Afghan Hounds Exercise Need
Afghan Hounds have massive bodies but are highly active and energetic and need enough exercise. A daily exercise routine of 30-60 minutes is ideal for keeping the dog’s mental and physical stimulation intact. Walking 2-3 times daily with running and play keeps the dog happy and healthy. They excel in activities like agility, flyball, and running. In addition, they enjoy running, walking, hiking, and indoor games. A proper exercise routine helps the dog with the following benefits:
- Social interaction
- Weight Control
- Stress Relief
- Behavioral Corrections like excessive chewing, persistent barking
- Brain stimulation
- Strengthening Muscles
- Routine Toileting
- Mental health and happiness
Here are a few puzzles and dog toys to keep your pets engaged:
Exercise Needs Overview
Afghan Hounds Grooming
Afghan Hounds have short coats and require little maintenance. They do not shed heavily and can have seasonal shedding during the spring. As a result, they are easy to groom yet must be brushed 2-3 times per week. Brushing helps remove matted hair and pull out the loose fur during shedding.
One of the essential parts of grooming is bathing which keeps the dog clean. You can bathe your dog once a week using pH-balanced shampoos; pet wipes keep his coat fresh, clean, and shiny. Frequent bathing may cause dry skin and itches. However, daily brushing helps to keep the fur from knots and tangles.
Afghan Hounds are prone to collect ear wax quickly. Hence, ears should be cleaned and regularly checked as they are prone to ear problems. Brush their teeth daily to prevent plaque and other dental problems. Never brush their teeth with a stiff brush, as it will harm the gums and teeth. Also, make sure to use dog-friendly toothpaste.
Also, clean their eyes and trim their nails as a part of everyday grooming needs. Their toenails must be checked once a week as longer nails may harm and injure the dog. You can trim the toenails with a commercial dog nail trimmer or with the help of a vet or professional groomer.
|Easy to groom||Medium|
|Amount of shedding||High|
Afghan Hounds Health
Afghan Hounds are healthy and active dogs. Yet, it’s always wise to be aware of their health conditions.
|Weight gain tendencies||Low|
Cataract: As in humans, canine cataracts are characterized by cloudy spots on the eye lens that can grow gradually. Cataracts may develop at any age and often don’t damage vision, although in some cases cause vision loss. A board-certified veterinary ophthalmologist certifies the breeding dogs after testing them free of hereditary eye disease before breeding. Usually, cataracts are removed surgically with good results.
Bloat: Sometimes, dogs suffer from bloat. It is a condition where the stomach is filled with air and twists. The gas in the gut leads to bloat. This can be life-threatening and need immediate vet care.
Allergies: Your dog can be prone to allergies which can appear in the following ways:
- Food-based allergies: If your pet is allergic to certain food ingredients, you can adopt an elimination diet that involves deliberately removing the suspected ingredients to which your dog may be allergic.
- Contact allergies: When your dog’s immune system reacts adversely to topical substances such as bedding, flea powders, dog shampoos, and other chemicals, he suffers from contact allergies. However, eliminating the cause of the allergy reduces the symptoms.
- Inhalant allergies: If your canine accidentally inhales airborne allergens like pollen, dust, and mildew and suffers from any symptoms, he is said to have inhalant allergies. Treatment for these allergies varies with the severity of the disease. Often, ear infections accompany these allergies.
Cancer: The Black Great Pyrenees has a higher life expectancy than the other breed. So they are prone to cancer as they grow older. Cancer can be cured by surgical removal of tumors and chemotherapy. However, it is essential to recognize the symptoms and diagnose them earlier.
Spay or Neuter: In spay, the ovaries or uterus in females is removed, and in neuter, the testicles of the male dogs are removed. It is done to eliminate the possibility of pregnancy or fathering unwanted puppies and decrease the likelihood of certain types of cancer.
Recommended Tests for Afghan Hounds
- CT Scan
- Hip Evaluation
- Thyroid Evaluation
- Ophthalmologist Evaluation
Afghan Hounds Diet and Nutrition
Afghan Hounds need high-quality food and should eat 2.5 to 4.5 cups of meals daily. Each puppy is distinctive, and the correct amount and food quality depend on age, weight, activity level, health, etc. You can split their meals into two 2 cups daily.
Afghan Hounds are prone to obesity, and hence overfeeding must be avoided. You can give them dry, wet, or a combination of both. Ensure the diet contains omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, chondroitin, and glucosamine with fruits and vegetables that give carbohydrate energy. Please provide them with clean, fresh water at regular intervals. Never hesitate to consult a vet to meet your pup’s dietary requirements to keep them happy and healthy.
You can use ear stockings or snoods to prevent the soiling of your Afghan Hound’s ears while eating.
Afghan Hounds Living Condition
Afghan Hounds love to be around their humans, follow them all day and night, are adaptable, and can live in apartments with sufficient exercise or homes with bigger yards. They suit homes with smaller kids and strangers with early socialization. Afghan Hounds love outdoor activities like walking, running, playing, hunting, and visiting dog parks with their family. They are laid-back, calm, and active dogs. The place should be adequately fenced in a backyard, as they may wander chasing cats and squirrels.
Afghan Hounds do well with other canines with adequate training and socialization. However, they are sensitive and prone to destructive behavior when left alone. They can tolerate cold temperatures, and during hot weather conditions, they need extra care. You can reduce outdoor activities if the weather is hot to prevent overheating. They enjoy companionship, playtime, training, praise, and cuddles.
Afghan Hounds Club Recognition
- American Kennel Club
- United Kennel Club
Did You Know?
- Pablo Picasso owned an Afghan Hound called Kabul. Also, his painting, Femme au Chien features an Afghan Hound.
- The breed’s popularity rose as it became Barbie’s pet dog.
- An Afghan Hound named Snuppy was the first to be cloned in 2005.
- The Afghan Hound was first found in America in 1940.
- Zeppo Marx of the Marx brothers was the one to bring the first Afghan Hound to America.
- The breed won the show at Westminster in 1957 and 1983.
Adding an Afghan Hound to Your Family
Things to Remember Before Adding an Afghan Hound to Your Family
Getting Afghan Hounds from a reputable breeder is best to prevent unavoidable circumstances like health disorders and provide you with vaccination certificates. It is best to check with the puppy’s parents to ensure his health and happiness. Always remember the following red flags to avoid backyard breeders and puppy mills.
- Puppies are available around the year.
- We recommend you visit the puppy and his parents and get health clearance and vaccination certificates, to avoid purchasing a weaker puppy.
Cost of an Afghan Hound
The cost of an Afghan Hound ranges from $5000 to $7000.