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Afghan Hound

Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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Dog Breed Profile: Afghan Hound

One of the sight hounds, the Afghan Hound is an elegant and dignified dog, originally bred to run down wild game. Today, the Afghan Hound usually serves as a prized family pet. The flowing coat and loping gait make it an outstanding dog in the show ring.

Interesting Breed Facts:
Popularity: 93rd in 2008; with 631 registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC).
First recognized as a breed: Though exact history of the breed is somewhat controversial, the breed was first discovered by the Western World in 19th Century Afghanistan. The breed was soon brought to England and arrived in the United States in the 1920s. They were first accepted by the AKC in 1926. The current AKC standard was approved on September 14, 1948.
AKC Grouping: Hound.
Size: Males measures between 26"-28" high at the shoulders and weight approximately 60 lbs. Females measures between 24"-26" high and weight about 50 lbs.
Appearance: An Afghan Hound has a very long and elegant face, almond shaped, dark eyes, and a large black nose. The ears are low, set back, and carried close to the head. The head is covered with a topknot of long silky hair, which is considered to be an outstanding characteristic of the Afghan Hound. The hindquarters, flanks, ribs, forequarters, and legs are all well covered with thick, silky, fine-textured hair. The tail is low-set, slightly feathered, and slightly curled at the tip. A mature Afghan Hound has a smooth back and short, close hair from in front of the shoulders and also backwards from the shoulders along the saddle from the flanks and the ribs upwards. For the show ring, the coat of the Afghan Hound should be unclipped and shown in its natural state. In show dogs, all coat colors are permissible, and combinations are pleasing. However, white markings, especially on the head, are undesirable.
#1 preventable health problem: Afghan Hounds are susceptible to a variety of eye diseases, including retinal atrophy and cataracts. Regular veterinarian exams are necessary.
Preferences: An Afghan Hound has a fair amount of energy and playfulness and requires moderate exercise for mental and physical health. Although the coat of the Afghan Hound makes living outdoors in temperate climates possible and hot and cold temperatures are tolerated fairly well, he is better suited as a house dog. Although this is a larger breed, an Afghan Hound is able to reside in an apartment setting if a dog park or field is available for daily exercise.
Best features: This breed tends to do well with children as well as other dogs and pets; however, he may chase smaller pets out of instinct. He can be a bit leery of strangers. The Afghan Hound is dignified in appearance, yet lighthearted and carefree. Afghan Hounds are also fairly long-lived with a lifespan of between 12-14 years.
Biggest challenge to owners: Due to the fact that the Afghan Hound tends to be strongly independent, he may be difficult to train. Keeping that in mind, an Afghan Hound requires obedience training and handling from a young age. This is not to say that the Afghan Hound does not seek human companionship because he enjoys it. This breed also enjoys play and requires regular care and grooming, especially when puppy coats are shed. Daily brushing and combing are necessary or serious matting occurs.
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