The Afghan Hound is a truly ancient breed, older than written history itself. Bred for grace and speed, these are sighthounds, which are able to track and chase down prey with wicked speed. As pets, these dogs are aristocratic in bearing, but can let their goofy side shine with those that they love. Read on to learn more about the Afghan Hound.
Description of the Afghan Hound
These dogs are known for their gorgeous coats. It comes in many, many shades, and even more markings. Silky, thick, and long it ranges the gamut: black, blue, black and silver, blue and cream, red, silver, cream, black and tan, and white.
Behind all that hair is an elegant build. Surprisingly big paws propel the lean frame into bouts of uninhibited speed.
Noblemen bred these dogs to be hunters and companions. Their breeding took place deep within Central and South Asia, and they made their way to Europe and the British Empire decades later.
Life Expectancy and Size
Well-bred and cared for Afghans can live lengthy lives. Their life expectancy is anywhere between 12 and 18 years.
Although these dogs are lanky, they don’t have much bulk. They can stand between 25 and 27 inches tall, and weigh just 50 to 60 pounds.
This breed, like most sighthounds, is not a protector. Afghans are generally wary of strangers, but quiet and non-aggressive. Their elegant looks aren’t much of a deterrent, either!
These dogs can be reactive and even jumpy. If they feel that you are yelling, or have an intimidating presence, they will likely shut down. Afghans do not like to be manhandled and may simply refuse to do anything if they are uncomfortable.
Early obedience training will instill good habits. Maintain a positive and calm attitude, both during training, and in your daily life, and your Afghan should have no trouble listening. Take the time to be sure he fully understands what you want.
Be sure to build training on reward- and relationship-based methods from the get-go. Treats can be a great motivator to help set a positive and fun tone for training sessions.
These dogs need bouts of strenuous daily activity. It is important to let them stretch their legs in order to keep fit and mentally sound. For most of the days, Afghans are content to laze around as long as they have that hour or two of activity.
What Living with an Afghan Hound is Like
This dog is a quiet, composed companion most of the time, as they’re content to serve as a beautiful throw rug. However, when Afghans feel comfortable, they’ll show their goofy and playful side.
These dogs have sensitive personalities and require calm, collected owners. In the right situation, they can live long, joyful lives.
Care of the Afghan Hound
These dogs are not necessarily hardy, but are well adapted for sighthounds. Their sensitive personalities will reward owners that care.
The Afghan’s long coat will protect him from most of the elements. They are slim enough to avoid overheating like many larger dogs. Still, in the winter, their hair serves as an efficient coat. In extreme cold, they may require additional protection or more time indoors.
The most important part of the Afghan’s routine is his run. These dogs should have a safe, enclosed area for all-out sprints. They are generally too distractible to run in the open and may easily get themselves into trouble.
After this daily bout of exercise, most Afghan Hounds are content to chill out. They may enjoy additional play time with their family where they can let their goofy side loose.
Shedding and Grooming
Surprisingly, this breed does not shed heavily. However, they will still need plenty of coat care.
When fully grown, Afghans require hours of brushing each week. At least a short session each day will help their coats avoid tangles. Baths can be less frequent, just once a month or so.
Ideal Home Environment
This breed is perfect for a sensitive owner that will appreciate her beguiling personalities. As a dog that is reserved most of the time, the Afghan saves her true personality for those she cares about.
Owners should be calm and well-adjusted. These dogs may get along with well-behaved children, but are generally too sensitive for shenanigans.
Homes should have plenty of enclosed outdoor space for running.
Afghans suffer from common problems like eye degeneration, hip pain, and bloat. Other issues include thyroid regulation. Generally speaking, though, this breed is quite healthy.
Most sighthounds are sensitive to anesthesia, so make sure your veterinarian is aware.
This breed can be destructive when distressed. This may stem from boredom, stress, or loneliness.
Other issues surround Afghan Hounds’ uncanny athletic ability. They can scale high fences, and chase after prey, faster than you can call out their name. Take care with enclosures.