Meet the Breed: The Afghan Hound

Afghan HoundI’ll admit it. I’ve always wanted an Afghan Hound because my Barbie Doll had one. And I wanted Barbie’s pretty life. But Afghans are more than just a pretty face, though you can bet that luxurious coat takes some work!

Let’s learn if the Afghan Hound might be right for you (and my little-girl dream.) 

Barbie's Dog

Overview:

  • Height: 26-28″ (Male), 24-26″ (Female)
  • Weight: 60 lbs (Male), 50 lbs (Female)
  • Historical function: A sight hound used for hunting gazelles and leopards
  • Modern Function: Elegant companion

AKC classification: Hound

Physical Characteristics: An elegant, lithe dog with profuse silky, fine fur on the top of the head, the neck, the ribs, the legs, and hindquarters. The head is long and narrow with little to no stop from the muzzle to the top of the head. The nose is dark, and the almond-shaped eyes are brown. The ears are dropped and lay close to the head. The neck is long and strong. The height at the withers should be almost level and the abdomen well tucked up. The hipbones are quite prominent. The tail is unique in the way it curls at the tip. The coat is most often the color of sand with a darker face and ear fringes, though all colors are permitted. White markings, however, are discouraged, especially on the head.

History of the Breed:
This is an ancient breed exclusive to the area of Sinai, Afghanistan. They were depicted in cave drawings from 4,000 years ago. Afghans were used for hunting and herding and never permitted to be exported. They were smuggled to Europe in the 1900s and grew in popularity with their regal appearance.

Temperament: The Afghan is described as being almost cat like in the way that they appear somewhat aloof and show affection on their terms. They are considered to be loyal and intelligent, though may be resistant to training, as if they are just simply too cool to submit to requests. They can be sensitive, so they require gentle yet firm leadership from an intuitive trainer. They are active and love to run, especially when they spot wildlife, so they require supervision during outings. They run very fast, up to 40 MPH, so an adequate, safe space for this is helpful.

  • Best suited for: Families with older children, hairdressers, active people.
  • Preferred living conditions: Needs to run in a large fenced area.

Care and Health:

  • Grooming requirements: Hair is the hallmark of the Afghan Hound.  Keeping the Afghan Hound clean, conditioned and mat free is the key to a beautiful coat. Afghans require daily maintenance and weekly bathing. Special tools, procedures and products are required.
  • Exercise needs: This breed should have regular walks/jogs daily. Fresh water should always be available as this breed has a long coat, which can cause overheating. Thirty minutes of running per day is recommended.
  • Life expectancy: About 14 years.
  • Health concerns: Generally healthy but can develop hip dysplasia. Sensitive to pain and anesthesia.

Breed Club Links: Afghan Hound Club of America

BaxterBoo Perfect Pairings: Fur Ball Coat Detangling Spray by Pet Head. UGroom Combo Brush. Best in Show Combo Pack by Pet Head (Shampoo, Conditioner, and free brush!)

Featured photo by Paul Dixon.

Do you have any stories about an Afghan Hound? Please Share!

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