Afghan Hound: Insights into Characteristics, Temperament, and Breed Details

Discovering the secrets of this epitome of canine elegance

Photo of author

By Manu

afghan hound

The Afghan Hound is a sleek and elegant dog, easily recognized by its long and fringed coat, which adds further lightness to its movements.

The Afghan Hound, as the name suggests, is a dog breed originating from Afghanistan. Its beauty and elegance in movement, accentuated by the length of its coat, almost give it an aloof air, as if it knows it is beautiful and classy.

Perhaps due to these characteristics, it has accompanied numerous celebrities over time and has even been chosen to represent Beauty, Barbie’s dog.

Learn all about the most interesting dog breeds.

Origins of the Afghan Hound

The Afghan Hound is likely the oldest dog breed in the world. Images of the breed have been found in graffiti dating back to 2000 B.C., in the current northern regions of Afghanistan.

Despite its geographic origins in Afghanistan, it is believed to have come from the Sinai. Its presence has been documented in ancient Egyptian papyri. If that’s not enough to confirm its ancient origin, it is said that even two specimens of this breed were present in Noah’s Ark.

Originally bred as a hunting dog to assist in capturing gazelles and other grazing animals in the Caucasus region.

Its original name is Tazi, which means Arab, reflecting its probable origin in the Middle East.

It arrived in Europe at the end of the 1800s, accompanying British soldiers returning from the Anglo-Afghan wars. In fact, it is said that the English secretly brought some specimens, as the Afghans had no intention of letting these animals leave their country. The Afghan Hound was considered too beautiful and important to part with even a few individuals.

Despite over a century passing since its arrival in Europe, the Afghan Hound has remained true to its ancestors. The breed standard was established in 1912.

afghan hound
Unparalleled elegance…

Appearance of the Afghan Hound

The Afghan Hound is a large and robust dog.

At the withers, it measures between 63 and 74 cm, depending on whether it is a male or female. It has a proportionate head with a long and tapering muzzle. There is a tuft of fairly long hair on its head. Its tail forms a ring at the end. The body has a light and graceful structure, giving it an unmistakable class.

Its main distinctive feature is its coat. The silky and long fur is most similar to human hair. It is usually left in its natural state, although in some cases, a stripping operation is performed on the back to emphasize the saddle’s forms.

All coat colors are accepted for the Afghan Hound. The most common ones include golden blonde, fawn or cream (with a dark mask), and black. There exists a very rare and sought-after variety known as Oyster (mother-of-pearl), characterized by a grey-silver back, white fur elsewhere, ears fading from ivory to hazel, and a light muzzle.

Its agility makes it a highly valued dog in the field of agility competitions. It is incredibly fast and can reach speeds of up to 60 km/h. The average life expectancy for these dogs is 12-13 years.

Do Afghan Hounds shed?

This is a legitimate question, especially considering the length of this magnificent dog’s coat. In reality, the Afghan Hound never sheds and undergoes only one molt throughout its entire life. It does not have a strong odor unless extremely dirty, does not sweat, and therefore requires no special care in this regard.

The Afghan Hound lacks an undercoat, freeing it from the feared process of shedding that could pose a management issue, especially for its owners.

FOCUS: Do you know which dogs don’t shed?

Afghan Hound Temperament

The Afghan Hound is a very gentle dog with its owners. Sweet and affectionate, its main characteristic is undoubtedly tranquility. It is also a proud and stubborn dog, which doesn’t make it particularly easy to train. Often, its racing instinct drives it to sudden sprints and dramatic retrievals by its owner.

Despite its history as a hunter, today, it is primarily a companion dog when not engaged in beauty competitions or racing events. Its reputation as a fast dog, in fact, makes it a star in many amateur races.

afghan hound puppies
Aghan hound puppies

It is not particularly resistant to cold, lacking an undercoat. Therefore, it is advisable to keep it indoors or in sheltered areas. Its long coat requires proper care, including regular grooming, especially in older dogs or breeding females. Despite this, managing it is often much easier than it may seem.

The Afghan Hound undergoes only one molt in its entire life, occurring during the transition from puppy to adult—an easily manageable sacrifice.

Fun fact: Pablo Picasso had an Afghan hound called Kabul (how fancy, huh, these artists) that appears in his 1962 painting “Femme au chien”; painting that was auctioned for a cool 10 million dollars in 2012!

Afghan hound feeding

Given that the diet of the Afghan hound does not present any particular critical issues, it must be said that an adult specimen that carries out the physical activity (playing, running, walking) that it needs requires approximately 500 grams of food per day, in two well-balanced meals. distanced.

The diet must be well balanced, rich in nutrients and meat-based. If you opt for kibble, for the sake of practicality, as well as to precisely dose the rations, choose good quality products.

Naturally, these indications must be calibrated according to the activity that your four-legged friend usually carries out.

afghan hound

Afghan hound breeding and prices

The Afghan Hound is not a particularly widespread breed, which makes it rare and precious. A puppy can cost up to 2,500 dollars, up to 5,000 dollars and more for the precious Oyster variety.

The price barrier certainly makes it an elite dog and therefore not very widespread compared to other breeds.

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