AFGHAN HOUND Breed Standards
The Afghan Hound was discovered by Western travelers in Afghanistan in the 1800s. Later during that century, the Afghan was brought to England. The Afghan Hound's history and heritage before that point are practically unknown, although there are some theories. Some believe the Afghan lived in ancient Egypt, while others place the breed in various regions of Asia. The Aghan Hound has long been used as a herder, hunter and coursing hound. A coursing dog tracks its prey by sight and is followed by hunters on horses. Depending on the region, the Afghan has hunted on its own, in packs, and even in conjunction with falcons.
In 1907, a man named Captain Barff brought his Afghan to England to great interest. This began the breeding of the Afghan Hound in the West. However, after World War I, the Afghan Hound disappeared in the West and did not re-emerge until after 1920. Around this time, Westerners re-discovered the breed’s usefulness as a lure racer and show dog. This coincided with the resurgence of the breed, which gained recognition by the American Kennel Club in 1926. To this day, the Afghan Hound remains a popular choice in dog shows and as a family pet.
The Afghan Hound is one of the most regal and aristocratic of all the canine breeds. The head is rather lengthy, with a balanced foreface and skull. The muzzle is normally long and very slender; this feature is sometimes referred to in breeding and show circles as the Roman Nose. The Afghan Hound's eyes are so almond shaped that they almost appear triangular, and are dark brown in color. The long ears are set level with the outer corners of the eyes, with the ends almost reaching the nose. On top of the head is a silky topknot of hair. The neck is long, arched and strong. Hipbones are quite prominent and the back is level from the shoulders to the loin area. The tail is long and curved, and like the majority of the body, covered with long, silky hair. The coat is long and fine except along the saddle from the flanks up to the ribs, where the hair is short in length and coarse in texture. The coat can be most any color, from dark shades like black to pale shades like creamy beige. White markings are not desirable, but various color combinations are.
Afghan Hound Temperament
The Afghan Hound is proud in carriage but more active than many people might think. The breed is not terribly affectionate, and will generally only warm to a small group of people. They are herders and hunters by nature, and require a good deal of physical exercise. Because these dogs are so fast, they need a secure area like a yard with a high fence in which to run. The Afghan stubbornness is legendary – if this breed does not feel like coming when called, it doesn't. This is why many people describe its disposition as catlike. Afghan Hounds are gentle, and not overly hyper when greeting people. They make fantastic family pets, and are ideal for people who desire an active yet independent dog that is not too boisterous.
Caring for an Afghan Hound
The Afghan Hound requires a great deal of grooming. For those that plan on showing this breed weekly baths are a good idea. The length of the coat makes it prone to tangles and rats, some of which can become painful to the animal if left over time. The Afghan Hound is not suited for apartment or enclosed living. It requires regular exercise to maintain its optimum health and fitness. The animal should be walked on a daily basis for no less then one half hour. It is best to make sure that you have a safe place for this breed to run as it is inactive while indoors. The Afghan Hound is one of the healthier breeds, and infirmities are rare. The dog is somewhat prone to cataracts, necrotic myelopathy and canine hip dysplasia.