- DNA studies have shown that the Afghan hound is one of the oldest breeds still in existence.
- Afghan hounds originated in Afghanistan, where they were used by nomadic tribes to chase down hare and gazelle over rocky mountainous terrain. They are extremely agile and excellent jumpers, as well as being extremely fleet.
- The first Afghan hounds came to England in the early 1900s. At the time they were called Barukhzy hounds.
- A particularly striking dog named Zardin was used as the model for the standard of perfection.
- The breed became known as one of the most glamorous of dogs, and was often seen with celebrities.
- In the 1970s, the Afghan became very popular as a status dog.
- The breed’s popularity has since fallen so that it is now unusual to see one outside of the show ring.
Afghan Hound Behavior Concerns
- Makes a loyal, gentle, but independent companion.
- Can be clownish and playful, but its independent nature may make play frustrating for children. It is not a retriever at heart, but does like to chase and run.
- It is inclined to run off and is not very good at coming when called.
- It loves to hunt and chase small animals outdoors. It is good with indoor pets, including cats, however.
- A one family dog, tending to be aloof toward strangers.
- Adequate watchdog but poor protection dog.
- Learns quickly, but is easily bored.
- Does best with reward-based training involving food or games.
Afghan Hound Suggested Exercises
- Makes a quiet housedog as long as its exercise needs are met.
- Requires a long walk or jog, or a run in an enclosed area, every day.
- Most Afghans should not be let off leash unless the area is securely fenced.
- A few games and tricks provide needed mental exercise.
- Its long coat provides good protection against cold weather.
Afghan Hound Grooming
- Coat is long and soft. Some coats (called “cotton coats”) tend to mat more than others.
- The coat needs brushing and combing every two to three days—daily when the puppy coat is being shed.
- Weekly bathing will reduce tangling.
- Neutered and spayed dogs tend to lose the breed’s characteristic saddle, the area of short hair along the backline.
- Shedding is below average.
Suggested Afghan Hound Nutritional Needs
- Afghans are naturally very thin. Their conformation is such that even in good weight their hip bones are prominent. Feel under the coat to make sure they are not too thin. You should be able to feel the ribs, but they should not be too noticeable.
- Adult dogs should be fed a balanced diet, with restricted calories if the dog starts to gain too much weight.
>>> SEE ALSO: Know Your Pet