The Afghan Hound is a slender, graceful dog with silky hair that typically ranges from wheaten to red-brown. The breed has an undercoat and two layers of long outer coat that stand off the body like fur on a bear or lion’s mane. They are classified as sighthounds since they hunt by chasing down their prey and often have a “chase” or “glide” as they run.
The Afghan Hound was bred in Afghanistan from the East to West, with some influence from the Middle Eastern countries of Persia (now Iran), Turkestan (modern-day Central Asia) and India. The dog has been known by many names, including Tāzī, Balkh Hound, Baluchi Hound among others.
The Afghan Hound is a member of the sighthound group that includes such breeds as greyhounds, Borzois (Russian wolfhounds), Salukis (Persian Greyhounds) and whippets. The Afghan’s build is defined by having long legs with a deep chest to provide for a powerful lunging of the shoulder muscles.
The Afghan Hound’s tail is long, thin, and tapering, docked or left natural in length. The ears are also significant but folded down rather than up like some other hounds.
Afghan Hound Quick Facts
- Afghan Hound dogs are loyal, intelligent and gentle
- They are not aggressive or hyperactive
- They can live in any climate as long as they have access to a yard and plenty of outdoor space
- They enjoy playing with other dogs but will be happy on their own too
- Afghans love children and get along well with cats and other animals
- The lifespan is 12-14 years
Origins of the Afghan Hound
The Afghan Hound dog breed is one of the oldest breeds in existence. It originated in Afghanistan and bred for its superb hunting skills, intelligence, courage, speed, power and endurance. The Afghan Hounds were used for hunting big game, including wolves and bears before they became popular as companions dogs among European royalty.
Characteristics and personality of the Afghan Hound
Great dog for families because they are intelligent, social animals that get along well with others.
They have a strong prey drive and may not be good companions for smaller pets in the house, such as hamsters or rats.
Their coat sheds heavily, so frequent grooming is necessary; it also requires daily exercise at least twice a day to prevent boredom, leading to destructive behaviour out of frustration.
Afghan Hound Health Overview
The Afghan Hound dog breed is vulnerable to various health problems, including skin tumours and eye diseases. The most common disorder for this breed is progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), which causes vision loss in the later years of life. Other conditions include canine hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism and gastric torsion.
Hip dysplasia is the most severe and prevalent problem in this breed. This condition may be genetic, with a significant percentage of the population affected by it. Many Afghan Hounds are born without hip dysplasia but develop it as they age, leading to crippling pain or even muscle atrophy that causes difficulty walking for long distances.
Hip X-rays become necessary at the age of three months when owners start noticing symptoms like limping, stiffness after sleep or exercise and reluctance to climb stairs; however, these tests cannot be done until maturity (around one year old) because bones need time to calcify before testing for hip problems becomes accurate.
Treatments include weight control (to prevent obesity), anti-inflammatory medications (for immediate relief) such as ibuprofen or aspirin and pain medications to help with the discomfort.
Afghan Hound: Dietary Requirements
Dogs require a balanced diet that is high in protein and low in carbohydrates. The number of calories should be adjusted according to the dog’s activity level.
The Afghan Hound can have a pretty sensitive stomach, which means that they are more prone than others dogs to food allergies and sensitivities. This requires careful attention when assigning the type of food being fed and making sure it’s not just one food, but a variety of them.
The typical diet for the Afghan Hound breed consists of high-quality kibble and taking care to provide them with joints supplements since they are prone to arthritis due to their large size. In addition, these dogs need an additional boost to their diet with fruit mix and beef or chicken/lamb or turkey.