Afghan Hound

Other Names :
Tazi, Baluchi Hound
Country of Origin :
Afghanistan
Dog Group :
Hound

Origin

The Afghan Hound is one of the most ancient of dogs, and legend states it was this breed that Noah took into the Ark. Whether or not this is true, the Afghan's pedigree is without a doubt pre-Christian. Northern African sight-hounds migrated into the mountains of Afghanistan and the hounds with the heaviest coats were used to breed from, thereby creating the Afghan. The breed then spread into the border areas and even into India where they assisted both hunters and shepherds. In Afghanistan, the breed is used to guard sheep and cattle, and to hunt deer, wolves, gazelles and foxes. The elegant, aristocratic Afghan was no pussycat, hunting leopards and panthers single-handedly to the kill. Originally export of this dog was prohibited and the first to arrive in England and the United States was at the turn of the 20th century. Captain Banff imported "Zardin" from Afghanistan around this time and he was first shown at the Crystal Palace Kennel Club Show in 1907, making a tremendous impact. The breed received Kennel Club status in Great Britain in 1926, but it took another ten years for its acceptance in the United States.

Description

With their aristocratic appeal and supreme dignity, Afghans are one of the flashiest of dogs making them the top show-dog contenders. Their long silky coats, eastern expressions and commanding statures ensure they are noticed wherever they go. At all times, their heads are held high, showing their nobility and elevated self-esteem. It is a wonderful sight to see an Afghan in full flight, covering the ground with long, powerful strides, its long, silky coat flowing in the breeze.

Size
Large
Colour
All colours and colour combinations are possible.
Coat Length
Medium Long
Weight/Height Range
The weight for dogs is normally between 25 - 28kgs. and bitches 23 - 25kgs. The height of dogs at the withers is normally 68 - 74cms and bitches 63 - 69cms.
Ailments
Afghans have a unique hip structure which allows for excellent moving and turning at speed but they are prone to hip and elbow dysplasia so screening of the parents is a must. Necrotic myelopathy, a respiratory paralysis resulting in death, is restricted to the breed. This normally shows up at 3 to 6 months of age. Afghans have a known sensitivity to anaesthesia, tranquillisers and cortisone which can cause their coats to drop out. Milk allergies are also common in young pups. Ear mites and yeast infections should be looked out for on a very regular basis. Again, before purchase of a puppy, check with the breeder regarding cataracts and hypothyroidism in the parentage.
Breed Classification
The Afghan Hound is, as the name implies, in the Hound group. One of the typical sight-hounds of the world, they are hunters and will chase almost anything that moves. As well as being show-dogs, Afghans are today used in lure coursing.

Feeding & Ownership

Afghans can easily become finicky, spoiled eaters and a strict eating regime should be enforced when they are puppies, with no treats being given.

Food Cost
$15 to $20
Other Expenses
Afghans can be fairly expensive to keep, especially if you pander to their eating habits. Grooming equipment, again, can be expensive but if looked after properly will last for years.

Personality

The breed has a tendency to be aloof with those they do not know but has great affection and loyalty for their owners. Despite this aloofness with strangers, they can be the greatest of clowns at playtime and are very much people-orientated dogs. Many are especially good with children, and love to be included in family matters both indoors and outdoors. The most important time for personality development is between the ages of 7 and 16 months, therefore proper socialisation during this time is imperative because of their sensitive natures. Afghans need plenty of social time or they can become introverted which, in turn, can be detrimental to their health.

Intelligence
The Afghan is an intelligent, confident and often highly-strung dog. They can also be stubborn and headstrong making them difficult to train. Perseverance, patience and consistency is the key to success. Do not rush them as they can become irritable, spooky or shy. Puppies are generally difficult to housetrain, so again, because of their sensitivity, patience is of the utmost importance.
Energy
High
Suitability for Children
High
Tendency to Bark
Low
Overall Exercise Requirement
As puppies, Afghans often appear awkward, with uneven growth, gawkiness and loose limbs, and for this reason, exercise must be carefully monitored to avoid injury to their growing bones. As they grow older, exercise can be increased until maturity, when plenty of running time must be available as well as roadwork to ensure the correct development of muscles. Once exercised, they will quite happily curl up and sleep.
Suitability as a Guard Dog
Low
Ease of Transportation
High
Level of Aggression
Low
Other Animal Compatibility
High

Grooming

As they lose their puppy coat, extra grooming is necessary to avoid the new coat matting with the old, which would cause discomfort. The older animal's coat should be groomed daily and bath given once a month. Frequent, fastidious combing is necessary to ensure the Afghan looks tidy and feels comfortable.

Grooming Requirements
Every Day
Amount of hair shed
Moderate