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The Afghan Hound originated from Afghanistan and is part of the UKC, Sighthound, and the AKC, Hound Group. The Afghan is one of the oldest dog breeds. It was used for hunting by tribal chieftains. This dog breed was a status symbol among chieftains in the Asian mountain kingdoms.
The Afghan Hound was used to chase prey with a hunter on horseback. It is said that for many centuries the Afghans were fleet-footed hunting companions. The royals and aristocrats enjoyed this breed. This breed belongs to a subcategory of the hound dog group, known as sighthounds. Sighthounds rely on their vision and explosive speed to see and pursue their prey.
During the late 1800s, British officers introduced this breed in Europe. By the early 1900s, the Afghan Hound was the most popular dog breed to the British gentry in the U.K. This dog breed was first registered with the AKC in 1927. By the early 1930s, the breed became popular in the U.S.
The Afghan is a large, squarely-built dog breed. It is powerful and agile. This dog breed has an elegant, long, and refined head and neck. With a long and tapered muzzle, the Afghan has a black nose and dark triangular eyes. This very aristocratic dog breed has long ears that are covered with long silky hair.
The feet are long and are in line with the body. This dog breed has prominent pelvic bones and a long tail that is curved. The forelegs are straight and strong. The coat is long and silky, with feathering ears and feet. The head carries a long, silky topknot that can be of any color. The gait is a gallop and is powerful. The trot is fast.
Dogs 27 inches
Females 25 inches
Dogs 60 pounds
Females 50 pounds
The Afghan Hound is a sweet yet powerful dog breed. It is strong-willed and highly dignified. Although aloof with strangers, this breed is affectionate and loving with family. This breed may be difficult to train because it is so independent. That said, this dog breed is not aggressive and has lots of courage and vigilance. The Afghan is even-tempered with a high stimulus threshold.
This dog breed can be too playful. It is good with children if well socialized and positively trained from puppyhood. Males can be more authoritative and quirky. This breed does best with a large garden or farm. It is not an apartment dog. The Afghan needs large spaces to run. Positive dog training should be tailored to this breed’s specific temperament. The Afghan is a sensitive dog breed that benefits from gentle handling.
Possible Health Concerns
The Afghan Hound is an active and healthy dog breed that may be susceptible to the following health conditions:
- Hip Dysplasia: This is a hereditary condition that affects the Afghan. HD is an abnormal development of the hip joint in medium and large dog breeds like the Afghan. It is generally characterized by a loose joint and then degenerative joint disease. Dogs should be fed a high-quality diet that is geared towards their life stage. Puppies should only be fed high-quality puppy dog food. Excessive growth, types of exercise, nutritional factors, and hereditary factors all play with hip dysplasia. Consult with your veterinarian for expert advice.
- Bloat: This breed is deep-chested and thus more prone to bloat. Bloat is a life-threatening emergency. It is caused by the stomach’s twisting, together with the accumulation of gas, with or without fluid. It is best never to elevate your Afghan’s water and food bowls. Stress is also a significant factor in causing bloat. Avoid feeding a large meal, followed by vigorous exercise. At the first signs of dry vomiting, restlessness, and discomfort, contact your emergency veterinarian. Don’t wait for a few hours. This is a true life-threatening emergency!
- Anesthesia Sensitivity: This dog breed has low body fat. It is best to discuss anesthesia concerns with sighthound veterinarian experts. Consult with your veterinarian.
- Hypothyroidism refers to decreased levels of thyroid hormones that result in a slower metabolic rate. Because of this deficiency, all organ systems are affected. Hyperthyroidism can also occur. In this case, there is an excess of thyroid hormones.
All dogs need exercise, some more so than others! The Afghan dog breed does well with fun exercise schedules. Dog sports like agility are fun for most dog breeds. It is enjoyable for both handler and dog and also reinforces the dog-pet parent bond. Elderly Afghans can participate as well. Make sure to visit your veterinarian for a health check before beginning any vigorous sports with your dog.
Flyball is also another fun activity and is a team sport that is social and stimulating for both dogs and handlers. Obedience trials are famous today, with obedience training being the basic building block for your dog. The sooner positive puppy training begins, the sooner your dog understands and responds to what you’re asking him to do.
Regardless of whether you’re going to participate in fun canine sports with your Afghan, regular daily exercise is a must. Off-leash runs at the dog park or beach do wonders to get your dog calm and focused. Combining that with positive training classes and plenty of socialization which should begin during the first eight weeks of age, allows for your Afghan to be the best that he can be. All positive dog training needs to be tailored around the sensitivity and intelligence of this stubborn and intelligent dog breed. This dog breed requires a patient and calm dog parent.
Feed your Afghan the highest-quality dog food you can afford. Consult with your veterinarian as to the best dog food for your dog. Every dog is different, and some brands will be better suited for certain dogs. When it comes to dog foods, understanding your pet’s current health and nutritional needs is paramount. As usual, always remember to ask your veterinarian for advice before changing your dog’s diet.
If your dog is a picky eater who doesn’t readily accept kibbles, dehydrated dog foods are a good option. Considering that dehydrated dog food uses free-range chicken, cage-free turkey,beef, or wild-caught fish,it allows dogs to eat the very best ingredients. There are no substandard ingredients listed, and most formulas are AAFCO approved.
Each brand of dog food should be chosen with your dog’s unique and specific health needs in mind, as well as his lifestage. Consult with your veterinarian as to the best dietary option for your Afghan.
The Afghan has a coat that is silky and soft. Afghan puppies have short and fuzzy coats. They also have darling facial hair called “monkey whispers.” Grooming needs to be daily with a soft bristle brush and a metal dog comb to remove tangles and matting. Grooming is intense with this breed, and several hours will be required each week.
There are many natural grooming products like deodorizing spritzes, waterless shampoos, grooming wipes, shampoos, and conditioners.
There are also numerous shed- control shampoos and conditioners that contain healthy ingredients like shea butter, omega-6 fatty acids, and colloidal oatmeal. These offer many benefits to keep your dog’s coat healthy and clean. Additionally, the latest in products for an easy pawdicure makes it easy to clip nails. That said, the Afghan does best with regular ear cleaning and teeth brushed daily. Twice yearly dental visits are recommended for cleanings to prevent gum disease in your Afghan.
Adopting an Afghan Hound
The Afghan Hound is an affectionate and happy dog breed that makes for a perfect adoption. This dog breed is eager to please and will quickly adapt to your home. This dog breed does best with sensitive and caring dog parents that are active and respect the needs of an active dog breed. Keep in mind that training the Afghan may be difficult since this breed’s hunting instinct may result in it running off and pursuing a squirrel chase mid-training.
Because this breed excels at most dog sports like agility, rally, tracking, hunting, flyball, and showing, it is recommended that the Afghan partake in as many fun sporting activities that he most enjoys. This dog breed does not do well alone at home all day and needs to participate in plenty of family activities. This breed is gentle and loving with children and will make for a great reading buddy!
As with any dog adoption, make sure that you have the time and resources to take good care of your Afghan Hound!
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