Breed GroupHound
Life Span12-15 years
Height25-27 inches
Weight50-60 pounds
OriginAfghanistan
Best ForBreed knowledgeable owners

Afghan Hound Overview

Dog Breed:
Afghan Hound
Breed Group:
Hound
Characteristics:
Dignified, aloof, loyal, independent and sensitive
Height:
25-27 inches
Weight:
50-60 pounds
Life Span:
12-15 years
Coat Colors:
All colors
Area of Origin:
Afghanistan
Best For:
Adult family/Breed knowledgeable owners/Large securely fenced yard.

Afghan Hound Characteristics

Friendliness
Intelligence
Good for First-Time Owners
Good with Children
Easy to Train
Exercise Requirements
Ease of Grooming
Amount of Shedding
Amount of Drooling
Tendency to Bark

About The Afghan Hound

  • An independent sighthound

  • Affectionate with family but aloof with others

  • Careful research needed to ensure owners can meet their needs

afghan-hound-about

Originally bred to hunt large game, the Afghan Hound was prized for his flowing coat and speed across both desert and mountain ranges. Their independent nature and ability to think for themselves were highly valued and allowed them to work at a great distance, holding the game until the hunter caught up on horseback.

While the Afghan is no longer needed to hunt leopards, they do retain the independent streak, a feature of many of today’s sighthounds. They are affectionate with their family, but they tend not to be a ‘needy’ dog who requires continual attention and to be close by to their owner at all times.

The Afghan could easily be considered to be a specialized breed which is best in a home with those who understand and love their unique temperament and needs.

Afghan Hound Breed History

  • Came from an area covering Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan

  • Bred to be a hunter of both small and large game

  • Arrived in the US in the 1920s

The Afghan Hound was originally bred by the nomadic people of Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan, where it was known as the Tazi or Kuchi Hound. Despite there being very little breed history, we know that the Afghan has been around for thousands of years going right back to pre-Christian times.

Developed to course game across mountainous terrain, the Afghan became a skilled hunter who was used on both small and large game such as leopards and antelopes.

An English officer stationed near Kabul exported dogs from his Ghazni Kennel to England in 1925, and after that, they then made their way to America. The breed was then recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1926.

Their glamorous appearance attracted celebrity fans, with Zeppo Marx of the Marx Brothers being one of the first US owners. The toy company Mattel can also be credited with encouraging the rapid growth of popularity for the breed in the 1970 which is was when they decided that Barbie’s pet dog would be an Afghan called Beauty.

Afghan Hound Size & Weight

  • A large dog who needs a home big enough to accommodate him

  • Males up to 28 inches and 60 pounds

  • Females up to 26 inches and 50 pounds

afghan-hound-size

The Afghan is a large breed with dogs measuring between 26 and 28 inches and females measuring 24 to 26 inches. Males weigh around 60 pounds and females around 50 pounds.

Careful consideration is needed as to whether you have space in your home, yard, and car, for a dog the size of an Afghan. This is not a dog who will curl up in the corner of your settee, they’re going to take over the whole thing!

Afghan Hound Personality & Temperament

  • Independent, one person/family dog

  • High Intelligence but low trainability

  • Can cope with a wide range of temperature conditions

afghan-hound-personality

If you’re looking for a dog who will follow you around and lie adoringly at your feet, the Afghan may not be the right choice for you. This is a dog who is more likely to expect you to come to them. There are always exceptions, and the females can be a little keener to please than the males. However, this is not a breed that will tick all the boxes for many people who are searching for a new member of the family.

The Afghan is generally a one-person or one-family dog; they’re unlikely to go rushing up to say hello to a stranger. Instead, he’s likely to be pretty indifferent to their presence. This is the independent nature of the Afghan, which their fans adore and celebrate along with their regal appearance.

The breed is intelligent for sure, but that doesn’t translate to trainability. That said, they are though very capable of learning the necessary behaviors to be a polite companion. The Afghan’s independent nature and large size may make him best suited as an adult companion. Though, while they’re not probably going to want to get involved in the children’s games, they can adjust to family life.

The Afghan can get along well with other dogs in the home as long as they are careful introductions and supervision during the early days. With their hunter’s instinct, care is needed around small animals.

The Afghans home country is a place of extreme temperatures with freezing winters and hot summers. This then means that they tend to be able to cope well with the weather across the US. Care does need to be taken to ensure they have continual access to shelter and water in the summer and a warm bed in the winter.

Afghan Hound Health & Grooming

  • Some genetic conditions which responsible breeders will screen for

  • Low body fat means care is needed with anesthetics

  • High maintenance grooming needs

afghan-hound-grooming

As with all breeds, there are some genetic conditions that responsible breeders screen their dogs for before considering them to be suitable for breeding. These include –

  • Hip Evaluation
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation
  • Thyroid Evaluation

The low body fat levels of the Afghan Hound mean that they can be extremely sensitive to anesthesia. Chat to your dog’s breeder for recommendations for a sighthound-savvy veterinarian should your dog need surgery.

This is a breed that either requires an owner who is passionate about grooming or one who has the finances to fund monthly visits to the groomers. The coat of an Afghan puppy is pretty easy to maintain, but it doesn’t stay that way for long. The long silky adult coat needs several hours of grooming every week to keep it mat and tangle-free.

Regular baths are also needed with shampoo and conditioner to get their fantastic coat in top condition.

Afghan Hound Training

  • Gets bored quickly

  • Very capable of learning basic obedience

  • Reward-based methods will get the best results

afghan-hound-training

The Afghan is probably not going to be the first choice for someone who is looking for a performance sport dog. Their attention tends to be pretty short, which means they get bored quickly with endless repetitions. However, they are very capable of learning all the behaviors needed to be model citizens, including loose leash walking and greeting people politely.

Finding a great rewards-based training class is the key to getting great results. Avoid any trainer who tells you that you need to use force, discomfort, or pain to get results, it could cause significant damage to the relationship that you have with your Afghan.

The Afghan tends not to be a particularly vocal breed. They may bark once or twice when a stranger arrives at the door, but that’s likely to be it.

Afghan Hound Exercise Requirements

  • Gets bored quickly

  • Very capable of learning basic obedience

  • Reward-based methods will get the best results

afghan-hound-exercise

With their sighthound hunting heritage, Afghans have a strong instinct drive to chase anything they perceive as being prey. However, walking purely on the leash does not provide enough exercise for this athletic breed. It’s essential to have access to a well-fenced area where they can run full out, several times a week.

Do be aware that Afghans are excellent jumpers, so not only does the exercise area need to be fenced, it needs to be high enough to keep them safely inside.

Cani-cross, a sport where owners run with their dogs, can be an excellent option for the breed along with accompanying family members on a daily jog.

Afghan Hound Diet & Feeding

  • Get professional advice on individual dog’s nutritional needs

  • Can be susceptible to a life-threatening condition called bloat

  • Regular weight checks needed to ensure a healthy weight is maintained.

afghan-hound-diet

If you need feeding advice for your Afghan, then we recommend chatting to your veterinarian or pet nutritionist. Generally, though, most pups will have specially formulated puppy food to ensure they receive all the nutrients needed by their growing bodies.

Then, at around 6 months of age, they will move across to adult food, which needs to be selected on the life stage, size, and exercise intensity of each individual dog. Many owners use a snood to protect their Afghan’s ears from becoming covered in food while they’re eating.

As a deep-chested dog, Afghans can be susceptible to bloat. This sudden swelling of the stomach can be life-threatening and needs immediate veterinary attention. While its exact cause is not known, it is thought that feeding directly before and after exercise, along with giving just one large meal a day, could be triggers for the condition.

Afghans tend to be very thin under their thick coats, so regular weight checks are essential to ensure they maintain a healthy weight.

Afghan Hound Rescue Groups

If you’re interested in offering a home to a rescue Afghan, we recommend speaking to a breed rescue for help and information. These include –

Afghan Hound Club of America Rescue – http://www.afghanhound.net/

Afghan Hound Rescue of So. California – https://ahrsc.org/

North East Afghan Hound Rescue – http://www.neahr.org/

For further information on the Afghan Hound, take a look at the website of the Afghan Hound Club of America –https://afghanhoundclubofamerica.org/.

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