The Afghan Hound is a basal breed of dog. It is a very distinguishing type of a dog which you can recognize by its unique coat. With very long hair and a ring curl on its tail, this breed is very much recognizable and easy to spot once you see it.
They have been specifically bred this way so to endure the cold climate of Afghan mountains from which they originate from. The locals call this dog Tāžī Spay or Sag-e Tāzī, and some people also refer to it as Balkh Hound, Baluchi Hound or the Barakzai Hound.
Afghan Hound History & Origins
The Afghan Hound is related to basal breeds. But the modern version has been established in the 19th century. The modern breed is also connected with the Saluki, and it all started when the Afghan King gave away some specimens in 1920 which were brought to Britain. It is very hard to determine the background of the Afghan hound now, but there are traces of it being related to some Tasy breeds from the region. The modern version does not share so many characteristic that the ancient one was bred for. But they still have some hereditary traits which are very recognizable.
Once out of Afghanistan and into the UK, the breed has been crossbred with some other forms of dogs. Some coming from Britain and some with other hounds from the original area. Today there are more strains with few differences. But the breed has managed to survive to this day and has become a very popular one. It has been used for hunting in the past and now you can even see it in various showrooms.
Characteristics & Temperament
The Afghan Hound is usually described as aloof but dignifying. You can actually determine that based on its appearance and stance alone. But this dog likes playing and will always appear foolish and clownish whenever it does. It shares the characteristic of many sighthounds and these also have a high prey drive. This is why they may often chase other animals, particularly the smaller ones. You can try and train them so they don’t do it, but it will still be in their nature to do so.
The dog possesses great agility and often performs well in various dog trials. This also means that the dog requires frequent physical exercises. Like any hound, it is active but not as some smaller breeds. Some trainers have also stated that it is slow when learning certain things. So it is always better to allow it more new experiences and provide it with socialization with other dogs and people.
Afghan Hound Appearance, Colors, Size
The Afghan Hound is a very tall type of a dog. It stands at 61–74 cm of height and weighs about 20–27 kg. As far as the coat goes, they can actually be any color, due to the fact of its mixed breeding process. One thing that is not acceptable and is mainly discouraged are white markings that can appear on the head of the dog. On the other hand, a black mask is perfectly acceptable.
These dogs are known for their fine-textured coat, a long topknot and a shorter-haired saddle. This is something which makes the Afghan Hound very recognizable They also have high hipbones and unique small ring on the end of the tail.
The lifespan of the Afghan Hound is estimated somewhere at 12 years. It is expected for a dog of this size to live as much and anything more than that would mean that the dog is pretty healthy. Nevertheless, the leading cause of death is still cancer. Oher common death cases are old age, urologic and cardiac.
Some specific conditions that owners will have to be aware of include allergies, hip dysplasia, sensitivity to anesthesia and chylothorax. These conditions are actually usually found in other sighthounds and affect them all equally. But if you take care of your dog properly and give it care, you might avoid these problems.
Afghan Hound Grooming & Shedding
Just by looking at the Afghan Hound you will conclude that it is a nightmare to groom. A well-groomed dog will be simply beautiful. This is why this dog is often used at dog shows. But in those cases people usually hire professional groomers who can do the job properly. But when you do it yourself, you really have to be careful.
First of all the Afghan Hound has really soft hear. In order to keep it that way you have to provide it with frequent brushing. Since their coat is very gentle, you too have to be very careful when brushing it. Grooming their coats is not easy for anyone and we do not recommend beginners to try it. But it can be learned if you are patient and go slowly. You can also introduce baths to the dog, but try using a special doggy shampoo for their neat coats.
Price and Breeders
The Afghan Hound is a breed which is very attractive to a lot of people. Its unique appearance and specific properties make it a very popular type of a hound. But the price is also quite respectful as the dog will cost about 1,000 dollars for a single pup.
This dog has not been easy to find in the past, but recent breeders have made it possible and a lot easier for people who are interested to find this hound.
Afghan Hound Rescue
Rescue groups have also taken it on themselves to provide people with options of adopting an Afghan Hound. There are various organizations that can help us find a suitable dog which you can adopt and keep. Rescuing a dog is a very popular way in modern times and you should not shy from it as well. Check out such organizations as Afghan Hound Club of America Rescue and Afghan Hound Club of Canada for more details.