- Dog suitable for owners with some experience
- Extra training required
- Generally healthy breed
- Enjoys active walks
- Enjoys one to two hours of walking a day
- Large dog
- Minimum drool
- Requires grooming every other day
- Chatty and vocal dog
- Welcomes everyone happily
- Generally friendly with other dogs
- May need additional training to live with other pets
- Great family dog
- Needs a large garden
- Best suited to countryside
- Can be left occasionally with training
|Colours:||The glorious coat comes in all colours – from black to silver, with every colour, pattern and combination in between!|
|Kennel Club group:||Hound|
|Easy to train:||1/5|
|Tolerates being alone:||2/5|
|Likes other pets:||3/5|
Often aloof with strangers, early socialisation is a must for this regal dog, as is early puppy training. With their family and those they know, there’s no hint of standoffishness – they are wonderfully loyal and loving - and a bit of a clown.
History and Origins
Country of Origin: Afghanistan
Possibly the most glamourous of the sighthounds, the Afghan is probably a descendant of the Saluki brought to Afghanistan from Persia. As the climate in Afghanistan can be punishing - especially in the mountains, the dogs developed a longer coat as protection as they worked pursuing a variety of prey of all sizes including hare, gazelles, wolves and even snow leopards.
The dogs were highly prized by the Afghan nomads who would gather together every year for a festival to celebrate their dogs and would dress them with traditional necklaces and flowers.
The earliest Afghans appeared in the UK in the 1920s but thanks to their glamorous appearance, they soon became extremely popular.
The Afghan dog breed is generally healthy and robust, with few breed specific problems commonly occurring.
The breed club monitor the health of the breed carefully and should be contacted for the most up-to-date information and details of any DNA or additional testing they recommend. Breed Clubs can be found on the Kennel Club website.
An adult Afghan Hound needs a moderate amount of exercise (1-2 hours) but does need the opportunity for free running.
A large dog, the Afghan appreciates space - both indoor and outdoors. Most importantly however is having access to safe, secure areas to run that are far from roads or any other hazards.
Large breed dogs benefit from a different balance of nutrients including minerals and vitamins compared to smaller-breed dogs. Afghan Hounds are prone to bloating and stomach problems; smaller, more frequent meals can help minimise this risk.
The glamorous, long, silky coat of an Afghan Hound comes at a price: it is labour-intensive to keep it in tip-top condition, with daily grooming recommended to prevent tangles and mats, and regular bathing required to keep it clean. Fastidious grooming is especially important when they lose their puppy coat, to avoid the new coat matting with the old.
Like most sighthounds, Afghans rather look down on the whole idea of training but early socialisation is important - as is training them to walk on a lead. It is worth putting the effort into training a good recall - although it shouldn’t be relied upon if a squirrel is spotted! Once an Afghan is enjoying their thrill of the chase - or even just of running free - all thoughts of recall leave their minds. If they are to live with cats, puppies should come from a breeder who has raised them together - or else time and care must be taken. They may never be reliable with strange cats or other small animals.
The Afghan Hound makes a good family dog - although prefers a quiet home with constant company and so they are better with older sensible children.
While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children, all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.
Did you know?
- Given their speed, Afghan Hounds have been tried out on traditional greyhound tracks - but without much success. Being smart and resourceful they see no point in running round the outside of the track when they can just cut across the middle and head the prey off without any effort.
- The Afghan Hound is one of the oldest dog breeds and legend has it that this breed was one of the animals rescued on Noah’s Ark.
- This is one of the fastest ever dog breeds and can reach speeds up to 40mph.
- Afghan Hounds were one of Picasso’s favourite dog breeds.
- They have scent glands in their cheeks which produces a musky odour which is said to be quite pleasant!