Afghan Hound

Country of origin: Afghanistan
Registries: AKC, UKC, CKC
Breed Group: Hound Group
Occupation: Hunter, companion
Size: 22.5–27.5kg (50–61lb),
64–74cm (25–29in)
Longevity: 10 to 12 years
Exercise: Daily run
Training: Challenge
Grooming: Difficult
Colors: All solid or shaded colours

Of all the sight hounds, the Afghan is perhaps the most regal in appearance, with an expression that can seem to look straight through you. Although they are somewhat aloof, they are loyal and affectionate, and exuberant when playing or exercising. The aristocratic expression and luxurious coat of this breed have made it a fashion accessory and show dog in the West, but in its native Afghanistan, where there are also short-haired and fringed variants, it is still used to guard flocks and to hunt foxes and wolves. The world’s first ever cloned dog, Snuppy (an acronym of “Seoul National University puppy”), was an Afghan pup born in Korea in 2005.

Originating in Afghanistan, the Afghan Hound traces far back to ancient times. The purebred canines of today originated from dogs brought to Great Britain almost a century ago. Since these luscious canines have been around for so long, there’s bound to be different variations. In Afghanistan alone, there are 13 known types of Afghan Hounds and that number is climbing.

The Afghan Hounds were known as different names. In the 1800s, they were known as Barukzy Hounds when they were just being discovered. They also went by Persian Greyhounds because of their similarity to sighthounds.

These dogs were known and desired for their graceful appearances. They stood tall (quite literally at that!) at dog shows and contests. Some are known for taking the prize for being most beautiful and powerful.

The Afghan Hound averages at around 2 feet tall with the ability to be at least 29 inches. They weigh anywhere from 44 to 60 pounds. With that said, Afghan hounds stand large and proud with power.

This stance of strength attributes to the history of being utilized for hunting. Although the Afghan Hound is no longer used for hunting purposes, they are still sought out for great pets, showcasing, sports, and breeding.

Their coats can be any color variation but usually very long and sleek. Sometimes Afghan Hounds have markings on their face. Sometimes these glossy canines may have white marks on their faces. These marks are usually frowned upon in regards to dog showing. Some may even have mustaches that resemble Fu Manchu, also known as “mandarins”.

There are features very unique to this particular breed. Some features include low hair on their back, small ring on the end of the tail, and top knots of hair on their head. If a dog has a spot of another color, this could mean impure breeding was involved.

Although Afghan Hounds have a powerful pose, their personalities certainly do not match up. They are often opposite in personality traits. They are distant and detached but sweet. They are quite silly in nature and often referred to as clown-like when playing, but independent. When they aren’t playing, they may seem unapproachable because they’re calm and collected.

Despite their contradictory traits, they are often known for their loyalty. Owners and trainers alike speak very highly of their silky-haired companions.

Afghan Hounds are great with kids but exercise caution with other small animals. Since they have a high prey drive, they may mistake another small animal as such and possibly become aggressive.

As mentioned before, Afghan Hounds are known for their glossy and luxuriously long coat. With that said, the most work you put into this breed will be for grooming. An owner must take great care when brushing their furry companion’s hair. Damage could occur from brushing a dry coat. Hair loss and matting should be avoided at all costs. One technique is to invest in a pin brush or give more frequent baths.

These graceful beauties should be trained with love and kindness due to their unique personality. They aren’t alpha so tough training is not necessary. Firmness is key but so being gentle is a must.

Being that they are high energy dogs, they will need to walked often for stimulation and exercise. This helps improve behavior and will help them release some energy.

Be mindful that the some Afghans can have hip problems, cancer, and hypothyroidism in their old age. Hip problems can be attributed to the fact that this breed has such high hip bones. It is vital to be aware of your dog’s jumping habits and avoid over-exertion.

Despite having health issues, these dogs have a lifespan of up to 14 years. With proper breeding, training, and regular trips to the vet, there are high hopes for this loyal breed.

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