Afghan Hound – The supermodel of the dog world

Featured image by © bigstockphoto.com / Snark

What is an Afghan Hound?

Dignified, extremely loyal, and aristocratic are some of the words that come to mind when describing an Afghan Hound. However, If you are looking for a dog who will come running when you command, the Afghan Hound may not be for you.  This is an Ancient breed of more than 6,000 years, and was bred to run down gazelles, hares and other wildlife in the deserts of Afghanistan. Since the ancient days, this breed has been famous for their elegant beauty, but make no mistake, this is a hunting dog with great instincts. Indeed, the Afghan Hound is a special breed for the correct person

Pros and Cons

  • Afghans are gentle with people and other dogs
  • Known to act both dignified, and downright silly
  • Beautiful long, flowing coat.
  • Extremely athletic and graceful
  • Minimal shedding and low odor breed
  • Can be shy and suspicious of strangers
  • Requires a large enclosed space to run free
  • Strong instinct to chase running animals
  • Emotionally sensitive to stress and anger
  • Extensive grooming, including a daily brushing

Appearance

Height:   25-27 inches
Weight:  48-59 pounds
Group:   Hound

 

The Afghan hound has a thick, silky, flowing coat that is the breed’s most famous trait. However, this definitely is no lapdog, and the coat isn’t just for show – it serves as protection from the harsh climate of Afghanistan where the dogs originated from. Beneath the Afghan’s glamorous exterior is a powerful and athletic dog. The Afghan’s coat typically features unicolor incorporating black, tan and domino.

Afghan Hound © bigstockphoto.com / katamount
Afghan Hound © bigstockphoto.com / katamount

Temperament

Afghans are independent, regal, and aloof in general. They are affectionate, love clowning around, and are extremely loyal to the humans they have bonded with. Be prepared to use all your superhuman skills to train this dog, as no amount of training will overcome the breed’s hunting. They love to chase and can easily break off and do their thing. This dog breed is quite sensitive and needs to be handled with lots of patience and sensitivity. Afghans have been known to stop co-operating and ignore you if it feels unjustly treated.

With lots of affection, this dog will go out of its way to please its owner, unlike other Sighthounds who in general are very different from other kinds of dogs. They are independent thinkers, and don’t particularly care about pleasing you per se.

Grooming

The long, silky coat of an adolescent or adult Afghan is high maintenance, despite being low shedding. Afghan puppies are surprisingly low maintenance, but that changes quick. Keep the brush handy as the Afghan Hound needs daily de-tangling to keep it looking at its aristocratic best.  Several hours per week of brushing are required to keep the hair free of tangles and mats, and clear of debris. If you can’t commit to frequent brushing, you have to perform frequent clipping to keep the coat short and sanitary. A shorter coat is definitely much easier to maintain.

Health

Afghan hounds are generally a sturdy breed and don’t have many health issues. The dog possesses excellent sight, but may be prone to cataracts. Additionally, the breed is also prone to hip dysplasia due to its unusual anatomy. Their hips are higher and wider apart, allowing them to make quick maneuvers around the uneven Afghani mountains. Like all sighthounds, Afghans have naturally low body fat, so they can be sensitive to anesthesia. Since the breed is deep-chested, be on the lookout for bloat.

Gorgeous Afghan Hound © bigstockphoto.com / Wildstrawberry
Gorgeous Afghan Hound © bigstockphoto.com / Wildstrawberry

Life Expectancy

The Afghan’s lifespan is around 12-14 years.

 

5 Fun Facts About Afghan Hounds

  • They are an ancient dog breed, perhaps even being a part of Alexander the Great's army
  • The average Afghan can reach speeds of 40 mph. That's almost as fast as a race horse!
  • The Afghan is a member of the sighthounds group. This group includes the greyhound, whippet, saluki.
  • Picasso had an Afghan, who is featured is several of his paintings
  • Afghans have a low tolerance for pain, and are known to whimper at the slightest of injuries.

Environment

Although the Afghan ranks fairly high as suitable for city living, it requires plenty of daily physical exercise. Short walks simply do not provide enough exercise for this athletic breed. Consider taking the dog for a long run several times per week, and always keep this dog on a leash. Since Afghans are sighthounds, they have a strong instinct to run off and chase prey. Ideally, it is preferable to have a large, enclosed yard with a tall fence, where they can gallop around and explore freely. Please keep in mind that Afghans are athletic and tall, making them excellent jumpers!

If you’re looking to add an Afghan Hound to your family, consider adopting one instead. Rescuing and animal is a win-win for all. Its way cheaper and you save a life.

https://www.facebook.com/afghanhound.rescueme.org/