Afghan Hound

The elegant and dignified Afghan Hound is without doubt one of the most stunning dogs in existence. This ancient sight hound originates from Afghanistan and forms part of the popular hound group of dogs.

Afghan Hound Breed Group

Hound

Size of the Afghan Hound

Large

Time of original development

The Afghan Hound is believed to be one of the oldest known dog breeds in existence, with references going back over 4,000 years in its native Afghanistan. It was actually banned from being exported for many years, and only arrived in Europe in the 1900s.

The Afghan Hound’s uses through History

The Afghan Hound is an impressive sight hound with excellent hunting skills, this dog was capable of hunting large game such as deer, goats and even wolves. It also worked as a proficient shepherd guarding flocks, with its long silky coat providing protection from the fierce heat and cold variations it endured in the challenging and mountainous terrain in Afghanistan.

Afghan Breed Introduction and Overview

The Afghan is a slim, graceful dog with a long silky, fine coat, long lithe limbs and a distinctive curly tail. The muzzle is narrow, elongated and powerful. The face may be darker in colour, and referred to as the mask. The ear feathering are long and silky.

Sadly, although many people can instantly identify the handsome Afghan Hound, it’s quite an uncommon dog breed with only 108 puppies recorded with the Kennel Club during the whole year of 2015. So, why are Afghan Hounds not so popular these days?

The Afghan has a true hunting instinct, and still retains many of these natural urges. Afghan Hounds can be slow and tricky to train, and once trained can often forget simple commands when it is out on walks, making running off and roaming a constant problem.

The Afghan Hound today is kept mainly as a companion pet. It still retains its strong hunting instincts and drive for work and enjoys dog activities such as agility, racing and lure coarsing.

The Afghan Hound is also known as the Tazi.

The beautiful coat is a big time commitment for owners of this breed, and new owners should expect to pay the same or more on grooming their Afghan than on their own hair!

Prospective owners still keen to own this breed, will have a dog that will turn heads and attract comments and admiration from everyone you meet.

Colour varieties of the Afghan Hound

The Afghan Hound comes in a wide variety of colours and markings which include:

  • Black
  • Black and Brindle
  • Black and Cream
  • Black and Silver
  • Black and Tan
  • Black Masked Cream
  • Black Masked Gold
  • Black Masked Red
  • Black Masked Silver
  • Blue
  • Blue and Cream Domino
  • Blue Domino
  • Brindle
  • Brindle Domino
  • Cream
  • Cream Brindle
  • Gold
  • Oyster Brindle
  • Red
  • Red Domino
  • Shaded Mask Cream
  • Shaded Mask Gold
  • White

Size and weight of the Afghan Hound

Height bitch 63-69cms

Height dog 68-74cms

Weight (kilos) bitch 20-27kgs

Weight (kilos) dog 20-27kgs

Exercise requirements of the Afghan Hound

The Afghan Hound is an energetic and athletic breed that requires at least 2 hours of vigorous exercise daily off the lead. The Afghan Hound is a big dog and needs plenty of space in a family home. It’s not a dog suited to urban living. This dog needs access to plenty of safe and secure open spaces to exercise adequately. If exercise or stimulation levels are too low, the Afghan Hound can present unwanted behaviour around the home.

The Afghan has a tendancy to roam and forget recall commands. Ensure sure gardens are escape proof!

The Afghan Hound has an impressive turn of speed, and in full flow really is a beautiful sight to watch.

Afghan Hound temperament, socialisation with children, other dogs and other pets

The Afghan Hound is a fairly good family pet, and forms a strong bond with its master. It can be aloof and suspicious with strangers and unfamiliar dogs. With good socialisation skills from an early age the Afghan Hound can mix happily in the family unit. It has a playful and fun side to its personality in the family home, but often take on a more reserved and serious mood when out.

Afghan should not be trusted with cats or any smaller pets, in the home or outdoors.

Is the Afghan Hound a good dog for a first time dog owner?

No. The Afghan Hound is renowned for being slower to mature than many dog breeds. It can be stubborn, with a limited span of attention to training. It requires an experienced owner who can provide the leadership this breed needs to prevent bad habits ie. running off and roaming. Training needs to be regular and prolonged, and patience is essential.

Afghan Hound coat length & grooming requirements

Long and silky.

The Afghan Hound needs daily and time consuming hours of grooming to keep the coat in good condition. The coat is silky, so tangles and matts are quite easy to tackle. A padded pin brush or very soft slicker should be used to brush the coat every day.

Ears should be checked for thorns, brambles and old food deposits, as they may well dangle in water and food bowls. A protective snood can be worn to keep meal times clean and your Afghan clean. The Afghan Hound can be bathed once or twice a year. Consult your local pofessional dog groomer, who can advise the best way to keep the coat in good shape.

Hypoallergenic?

No. The Afghan Hound sheds hair steadily throughout the year, making it an unsuitable choice of dog for allergy sufferers.

Health Issues in the Afghan Hound

This is generally a healthy breed, but the following health issues have been recorded, so do consult your breeder:down should be discouraged.

  • Hip Dysplasia - A malformation of the hip joint, has been found in the breed, so ensure your puppy has been hip scored.
  • Cancer
  • Ears problems - The long feathered ears should be checked on a daily basis for any signs of infection.
  • Allergies

As with all pedigree dogs, it is very important to obtain a puppy from a reputable source where you can be guaranteed that it has been bred with a view to avoiding the inherent physical and psychological diseases of the breed.

Average lifespan of the Afghan Hound

A healthy Afghan should expect to enjoy a lifespan of 11—13 years.

Approximate Afghan Hound pedigree puppy price

Expect to pay around £1,000 for a puppy, and be aware that available litters of puppies are few and far between. Register your interest with established reputable breeders, so they can notify you when a litter is expected. You may have to travel long distances to find your suitable puppy. There are generally 6-8 puppies in an average litter.

Estimating how much an Afghan Hound would need to be fed each day

A dog or bitch weighing between 20-27kgs will require around 283-345gms of complete dry food daily. An average bitch weighing 20kgs will cost around £7.00 per week to feed.

An average dog weighing 25kgs will cost around £8.00 per week to feed.

Our figures are based on feeding an ‘above average quality’ and popular complete dry food bought from a leading supermarket. A good quality feed is suggested for the energetic dogs in the hound group.

Other financial costs to consider when owning any dog breed

Remember to budget for essential pet treatments and procedures that are not covered by pet insurance policies including:

  • Worming and fleas preparations
  • Annual Vaccination boosters
  • Neutering or spaying
  • Microchipping
  • Dental treatment