The Afghan Hound

Narrated from: Dog Breeds


The Afghan Hound is often referred to as an aristocrat because his appearance is one of dignity and aloofness. He is completely covered in very fine silky hair. His coat can be found in a wide array of colors but it always is long and silky. The Afghan is a hunting dog and he hunts by sight. The breed was discovered in western Afghanistan back in the 19th century. They moved from Afghanistan to Scotland in 1920 and began to gain in popularity. They were introduced to the United States several years later. They tend to be an average of 25 to 27 inches in height and normally weigh about 50 to 60 pounds. The Afghan Hound is usually tall and slender in build. They are generally happy dogs but can become very shy if they are not properly socialized from a very young age. 

They are a member of the sight hound group according to the American Kennel Club. Their eyes are almond shaped and a beautiful warm brown and his ears lie flat to his head. The tail is long and curled at the tip. Owners of the breed can testify to the breed being courageous, sensitive, dignified, very sweet and loyal. They must be well socialized at an early age to keep them from becoming dog aggressive. They have a low level of dominance but still need a firm and consistent trainer. They are not recommended for families with small children; older children who understand how to be gentle are best. If clear guidelines are not given, the Afghan can become a rowdy dog. Even with adequate exercise these dogs can be difficult to train and often have problems with becoming housebroken. 

If you want to bring an Afghan home you must be ready to spend plenty of time grooming your dog. If you brush his dry coat you will break off the fine hair which will create mats of hair that are almost impossible to remove. You will need to bathe him often and use a pin-brush on his still damp coat. You can also expect him to be an average shedder. You will also spend a lot of time exercising your dog. A long daily walk or even a brisk jog is required and a large fenced yard for him to romp in is best. They are not apartment dwellers and they need both mental and physical stimulation to stay healthy. 

On the topic of health you can expect your Afghan to live approximately 10 to 15 years. Just like many large breeds their life span is relatively short. The number one killer for this breed is cancer and keeping him healthy is essential and will require regular visits to the veterinarian. Since they are a large breed they can develop hip dysplasia. Many sight hounds have problems with any type of anesthesia and the Afghan Hound in particular can have trouble with allergies. 

You are more likely to find these elegant dogs in a show ring than at the park. Since they lack the confidence of other breeds they are more likely to be shy and avoid the pack except when it comes to their human family. 


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