About Afghan Hounds
The Afghan hound is a very old sighthound breed. They were originally bred to hunt rabbits and gazelle. Being a versatile breed they also hunted wolves, jackals, marmots and snow leopards. Their body and coat developed desirable traits to work in the rugged and cold terrain of Afghanistan.
Their most distinguishing feature is a beautiful, long, silky coat. An Afghan’s back line appears level from the shoulder to their strong loin. They have very pronounced hipbones, well ribbed and a tucked up flank. Their body is built for strength, stamina and speed. These traits were needed to help bring down prey on a long and strenuous chase. They typically weigh between 45-60 pounds. Some Afghans have facial hair that looks like a Manchu moustache that is called "mandarins."
Generally this is a happy and clownish breed. They can also be very sweet, loyal, affectionate and sensitive with their owners. Afghans like all sighthounds can be aloof with strangers so it’s recommended to socialize at an early age. They can do well with families and well-behaved children that are gentle. Because of the exercise demands of this breed, it’s not recommended to have them while living in apartments.
This breed can be difficult to housebreak. Afghans can be timid and high strung if they do not receive enough mental and physical exercise. It’s recommended that you take an Afghan on a 3-mile walk 5-6 times a week. You should also find a safe, fenced field to let them run 2-3 times a week. Never turn an Afghan loose unless they are within a fenced area. The fence must be of sufficient height because Afghan Hounds seem to have springs in their legs and can jump very high even from a standing start.
The Afghan is a free thinker. Afghans are very intelligent, cunning and inventive, they will use this to their advantage. The trick is to make your Afghan think that whatever you wish him to do is really their own idea, and then to praise him for being so smart. Afghans do not take to harsh training methods and if treated roughly, will often simply refuse to EVER do that exercise again. Afghans can be disobedient if an owner does not give the dog clear guidelines as to what is expected of them. Consistency with their training and a sense of humor is key when it comes to training an Afghan Hounds.
Afghan coats require A LOT OF GROOMING! They require weekly baths and brush outs to prevent the coat from becoming a tattered mess. Neglected Afghan coats are prone to parasites, abscesses and skin diseases, so meticulous coat care is very important.
Typically Afghans live between 12-14 years. Afghans suffer from many of the same geriatric complaints that other breeds get, such as failing eyesight and hearing, and arthritis. Cancer and heart disease take their toll on the breed as well. The breed is generally a healthy one, but vet visits and proper breeding is needed to avoid hip dysplasia, juvenile cataracts, hypothyroidism and enzyme.
If you’re interested in an Afghan, always consider rescuing first. There are so many dogs that need good homes.
For more Afghan Hound Information
Afghan hound Rescue
Afghan Hound Club of America
If you would like to talk with a local Utah Afghan owner, contact