Afghan Hound Dog Breed
Aliases: Baluchi Hound, Tazi, Afghanischer Windhund, Levrier Afghan, Lebrel Afgano, Sage Baluchi
|Life Span:||14-16 years|
|Litter Size:||average of 8 puppies per litter but may be up to 15|
|Group:||Southern, AKC Hound|
|Recognized By:||CKC, FCI, AKC, UKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, APRI, ACR|
|Color:||all colors and patterns acceptable but white on the face or body is considered very undesirable.|
|Male Height:||27 to 29 inches (68.58-73.66cm)|
|Male Weight:||58-64lb (26-34kg)|
|Female Height:||27 to 29 inches (68.58-73.66cm)|
|Female Weight:||58-64lb (26-34kg)|
|General info courtesy of terrificpets.com. Additional information about this breed can be found on their website.|
|Living Area:||The Afghan Hound needs large spaces to be able to run and exercise. They can tolerate apartments provided they have lots of exercise but do best in a house with a large fenced yard.|
The Afghan Hound is a very ancient breed of dog with a regal and elegant bearing and carriage. They are highly recognizable with their narrow and tall body and long, thick and profuse coat. In general shape the Afghan Hound appears like a very tall and long haired Greyhound and like the Greyhound, they are capable of great speed and the ability to cover long distances without effort.
The head of the Afghan Hound, like the body, is long and narrow. They are often described as having a very aloof appearance since they tend to carry their head high at all times. The profile of the head is rather straight from the top of the skull through to the slight stop and then the nose actually curves outwards in a slightly convex shape, referred to as a Roman nose. The muzzle is very tapered and refined and ends in a black nose on all coat colors. The eyes are always very dark in color and almond to triangular in shape, set into the head and not bulging or sunken in appearance. The eyes should give the look of calm intelligence. The ears are long and set across from the eyes. When pulled forwards the ears should almost reach the end of the long muzzle. The lips are tight to the teeth and the bite is even, with no underbite or overbite.
The neck is long and arched, blending nicely into the long, sloping shoulders and the narrow but deep chest. The neck is set high into the shoulders adding to the proud carriage typical of the breed. The back is straight from the withers to the hips and the appearance should be of lean power and muscles. The brisket is deep but not thick or heavy, with a definite cut-up to the abdomen. The hips are well developed and pronounced with powerful and long hind legs. The front and hind legs should be well boned but not heavy and should not appear slight or lacking in development. The legs will all be held close to the body as well as straight forward in orientation with the body. The pads of the feet are large and thick to allow these dogs to run over sand and through mountainous terrain.
The coat is long and profuse and the breed has a natural silky topknot. The coat can be of any color or pattern and color combinations are often more favored than solid colors. There is no white allowed on the head and all other areas white is highly undesirable. The tail is long, thin and very tapered and has a curve or a ring in the end but should never curl around and touch the body.
The Afghan Hound has a very flowing gait but also has the amazing ability to change directions almost instantaneously. They tend to have a very elastic and jaunty step with the front and hind feet seeming to move at the same spacing, making their footfalls in the same tracks.
The coat of the Afghan Hound is thick, long and very silky in texture. The hair is uniformly long across the body although adults will have a shorter smoother saddle area that extends along the back and ribs. The legs, chest and flanks and neck have long feathered hair and there is noticeable feathering on the ears. The head has a long and silky topknot that typically parts and falls to both sides of the head. For show the coat is left natural although cuffs may be clipped in long hair above the feet to accentual the size of the feet.
Most breeders prefer some pattern or color combination rather than solid colors.
The Afghan Hound is an ancient breed that originated in what is now Egypt. There are records of the Afghan Hound going back approximately 4000 years when they were used for hunting as sight hounds. The dogs had to be able to chase prey and turn instantaneously in harsh terrain and in the mountains. The Afghan Hound moved with nomadic tribes from Egypt into the area now known as Afghanistan where they were used to hunt gazelles and other nimble and fast prey. The long, heavy and thick coat of the Afghan Hound has been developed over centuries to allow this breed to live in the high mountains in the extreme winter conditions found throughout the areas of the Middle East.
These dogs remained fairly isolated in with the native tribes of the Afghanistan mountains. They were not brought out of the country until the early 1900\'s when they were illegally exported from their native country to England. Still a relatively rare and exotic breed the Afghan Hound has been used for hunting, herding, watching, racing and as a show dog.
The Afghan Hound, despite it is aristocratic physical appearance is actually a very sweet, loving and playful dog that enjoys human interaction and companionship. They will bond with one or two people in the family and will typically choose to attend to these people rather than responding to commands from everyone. The Afghan Hound is very much like a cat in some aspects of its personality. They need to be able to pick and choose when they want attention and companionship, although this trait will vary greatly between dogs, and males are more aloof typically than females.
The Afghan Hound typically is not a good dog in a house with very small children. Despite their large size they can be timid and are often nervous of sudden movements and loud, unpredictable sounds, both of which are traits of most small children. They do enjoy interacting with older kids and are very patient with kids in general. The Afghan Hound is usually good with household pets once they have been socialized and properly introduced, however they will chase strange animals that may come into the yard.
Afghan Hounds will have a wide variety of temperaments from timid and high strung if not socialized to a well adjusted family pet with proper training and socialization. While not a dominant breed of dog they are very sensitive to any type of correction and will typically respond to a simple "no" and then ignoring. The Afghan Hound is a good companion dog although some are not excessively playful once they are out of their puppy stage. There are also some Afghan Hound that continue to love to play, chase and be a clown well into their adulthood.
The breed is known for an independent streak which is usually noted by the dog seeming to not hear commands, especially a call to come back when they are out running and playing. Consistent, regular positive interactions and lots of time with the family is the best way to enhance the Afghan Hounds sweet and gentle personality.
Thyroid Disease - Medium Risk
The Afghan Hound ranks #58 among all breeds for autoimmune thyroiditis prevalence. While this is not a high risk breed, there is still a good chance of disease transmission through breeding. Therefore, all dogs intended for breeding should be tested first.
|Rank Among Breeds||Number of Dogs Tested||Percent of Dogs With Disease|
You can download the full report (on all breeds) by the Michigan State University Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health. Here
Other Health Problems
The most commonly seen health problems noted with the Afghan Hound are typically the heart, eyes and injuries to the tail. Overall the Afghan Hound has a low pain tolerance and they seem to need a bit of special attention should they have any type of minor injury. The most common health conditions with the Afghan Hound are:
- Necrotic myelopathy - a respiratory paralysis that typically occurs at 3 to 6 months of age and will result in death.
- Ear Mites and ear infections - this is common with any breed with folded over ears.
- Allergies - milk allergies as well as certain food and environmental contaminants and items can result in allergies that will result in hair loss and possible skin infections if there is scratching and licking.
- Cataracts - eye conditions that may be corrected by surgery and drug therapies.
- CHD - canine hip dysplasia can be mild to severe and will be gradually degenerative.
- Tail injuries
In addition it is important for owners and vets to be aware that the Afghan Hound is very sensitive to many different types of medications as well as to anesthesia. This is an important consideration when deciding on specific surgical procedures and drug therapies.