Breed Type: Hounds
Weight: 60 lbs for Males, 50 lbs for Females
Height: 27 inches for Males, 25 inches for Females
Coat Type: Very long fine hair
The Afghan Hound is a breed of very old sighthound dog. This breed is famous for its thick, fine, silky coat and its tail with a ring curl at the end. This breed was originally used in Afghanistan to hunt hares, and gazelles by coursing them. Other names by which this breed has been called are Balkh Hound, Baluchi Hound, Barutzy Hound, Shalgar Hound, Kabul Hound, and Galanday Hound. It is also sometimes incorrectly called African Hound.
The modern Afghan Hound breed comes out of the longhaired sighthound types known in Afghanistan. Sighthounds were divided into two main strains. The first were a group of hounds brought to Scotland from Baluchistan by Major and Mrs. G. Bell-Murray and Miss Jean C. Manson in 1920, and were known as the Bell-Murray strain. These dogs were of the lowland or steppe type, also called kalagh, and are not heavily coated. The second strain was a group of dogs from a kennel in Kabul owned by Mrs. Mary Amps, which she shipped to England in 1925. This breed was also known as the mountain breed. The first Afghans in Australia were imported from the United States in 1934.
The French breed club FALAPA was formed in 1939. The mountain and steppe strains became mixed into the modern Afghan Hound breed, and a new standard was written in 1948, which is still used today. The stunning beauty of Afghan Hound dogs made them highly desirable show dogs and pets, and they are recognized by all the major kennel clubs in the western countries. The Afghan Hound, named Ghazni Sirdar, won BIS (Best in Show) at Crufts in 1928 and 1930. This breed was the most popular in Australia in the 1970’s and won most of the major shows in the country. Afghan Hound also won BIS at the 1996 World Dog Show in Budapest. It was also BIS at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in 1957 and again in 1983.
The Afghan Hound is one of the tall breeds of dogs, which is 24 to 29 inches in height. It weighs around 45 to 60 pounds. Its coat is found in varied colors, but dogs having white markings, particularly on the head, are not accepted. Many of these dogs have a black facial mask. Afghan Hounds are also found in white color. Dogs, which are white with red or black spots, are not acceptable and may indicate impure breeding. It is suggested to buy Afghan hounds in single color rather than spotted ones. Some Afghan hounds have facial hair that looks like a moustache known as "mandarins." The long topknot and the shorter-haired saddle on the back in the mature dog is one of the distinctive features of the Afghan Hound coat. This breed is particularly famous for their high hipbones and unique small ring on the end of the tail.
This breed is very aristocratic breed. It has dignified appearance and maintains an aloofness of the elite. It is proud, intelligent and noble in its temperament. It remains very calm indoors but once outside, it transforms into a fast and active dog. They like to dominate males especially, and to gain upper hand in the family hierarchy. Thus, they are not easily trained and it is difficult to subdue them into obedience. If they are not teased much, they are tolerant of children in the household. The Afghan Hound is not slavish in its obedience as other breeds of dogs. The Afghan hound loves independence. They are often seen to ignore the commands of their owner.
Afghan Hounds major health issues are allergies and cancer. They are also very sensitive towards anesthesia. Most of the Afghan hounds develop chylothorax which is a rare condition causing the thoracic ducts to leak, and thus, allowing large quantities of chyle fluid to enter the dog's chest cavity. Chylothorax is not necessarily, but is often fatal.
Afghan Hounds needs careful grooming for at least one hour twice a weak and timely cleaning of ear passages is also a must. The long and fine-textured coat requires considerable care and grooming. Afghan hounds need lots of heavy-duty exercises and running which can help them to burn off their energy.