Afghan Hound Puppy Facts
Did you just bring home a new Afghan Hound puppy and want to learn more about the breed?
Maybe you are thinking about buying a puppy and want to know if this is the right breed of dog for you and your family?
No matter what your situation may be, you will find the answers to your questions right here!
Very little is known about the origins of this breed. What we know for sure is that it's been around for several thousand years and is one of the oldest dog breeds in existence today.
According to one theory, the breed originated in Egypt. Another theory suggests it originated in the steppes of Asia. But these are just theories -- so far, the research could not prove or disprove which one of these theories, if any, is correct. What everyone agrees on is that the current breed was developed in Afghanistan's mountainous countryside.
The western world was introduced to the Afghan Hound in the late 19th century when returning British soldiers brought the first specimens to England. The dogs were initially called Persian Greyhounds by the English but the breed eventually got its name due to the fact that it was discovered in Afghanistan and surrounding regions.
Just like other members of the sighthound group, the Afghan is extremely fast and hunts by sight. It was used to hunt hare, deer, wild goats, wolves, and snow leopards. Being a very versatile breed, it could hunt alone, in pairs, or in packs. Some even hunted with specially trained falcons.
The Afghan Hound was also used to protect villages and shepherds used it as a watchdog and a herder.
Today, Afghans are kept mainly as pets. Because of their aristocratic beauty and aloof attitude, they are also very popular on the dog show circuit.
The first specimens were brought to United States in 1926.
Physical Characteristics of Afghan Hound Puppies
The Afghan is a large, squarely built and aristocratic looking dog.
It has a long, narrow head with powerful jaws and long, tapered muzzle, long neck, dark eyes, long ears, and black nose. The tail is curved at the end and should not be curled over the back or be carried sideways. It also should never be bushy.
The Afghan Hound also has prominent hip bones, straight and strong front legs, well-muscled back legs, and large feet that are covered with fur. All four feet are in line with the body, turning neither in nor out.
When on a loose lead, the Afghan has the appearance of placing the back feet directly in the foot prints of the front feet.
The fine, silky coat is long, especially on legs and sides. This type of coat is usually found among animals native to high altitudes. The only exceptions are the face and back, where the hair is short and glossy.
Afghan Hounds come in many colors, but white markings, especially on the head, are discouraged. The most common colors are gray, black, and red, with darker markings around the face and ear fringes.
|Male||26 to 28 inches||60 pounds|
|Female||24 to 26 inches||50 pounds|
This is a strong-willed and independent dog. Unlike many other breeds, it doesn't try to please all the time and has low dominance level. Its independence makes it very cat-like.
While not hostile, the Afghan Hound is suspicious and aloof with those it doesn't know. Even after socializing your dog, it may take certain amount of time to gain its trust.
It can be trusted with a family cat when raised with a cat from a young age but because of its strong prey drive, it can't be trusted around other small animals.
It has a reputation among some trainers of having a relatively slow "obedience intelligence" but I don't like the use of this term. Yes, it's not the easiest breed to train but that's because of its independent nature, not low intelligence.
Because of the environment the Afghan Hound lived in and the way it was used to hunt, it's a free thinker. It had to think on its own and make quick decisions. No wonder it has slow "obedience intelligence"!
If you are having hard time training your Afghan, here is a little trick you can use. Whenever you want your pet to do something, make him think that whatever you wish him to do is really his own idea. And after he does it, reinforce the behavior with praise and a treat.
Afghans are also difficult to housetrain. Don't expect your pet to be fully housebroken until he is well over six months of age.
Like other strong-willed breeds, the Afghan Hound does not respond well to harsh training. It responds best to gentle and calm but firm treatment.
Best Owner / Living Conditions
The breed requires an active and patient family, preferably with older children, living in the suburbs.
Some Afghan Hound breeders may interview prospective owners to make sure this is the right breed for them.
Activity and Exercise
While the Afghan Hound is a moderately active breed, it's pretty inactive indoors. To compensate for that inactivity, it will need to get most of his exercise outdoors.
If you have a fenced yard, your pet will enjoy and get plenty of exercise running and playing off leash.
At a minimum, take your pet for several long walks every day.
This breed is an average shedder but its long, fine-textured coat requires considerable care and grooming.
Afghans require weekly baths to keep the hair shiny and less matted. Brush once a week to prevent matting and tangling, but only after the bath. Brushing dry hair may damage it.
Like all dog breeds, Afghan Hounds are susceptible to complications caused by internal and external parasites such as ticks, fleas, and worms.
While it's less prone to genetic defects than other breeds, hip dysplasia, heart problems, eye problems, and hypothyroidism can be found in the breed. For more information about dog diseases and health, visit dog health problems.
Buy only from reputable Afghan Hound breeders to reduce the risk of the above and many other health problems (visit dog breeders to learn how to identify responsible dog breeders).
No matter how small the risk of health problems is, any puppy may get sick or injured. Many health problems will require an immediate attention from your Vet, but there are many others that will not, and you may handle them on your own.
To save time and money, learn how to diagnose and treat dog health problems that don't require your Vet's attention.
The average life expectancy for Afghan Hound puppies is 12 to 14 years but many live up to 18 years.
Did you ever consider adopting your next pet?
If this is the breed you are interested in, and adoption appeals to you, consider contacting your local Afghan Hound rescue. There are thousands of pets waiting for a loving home and, yes, it's possible to adopt a purebred dog.
Not happy with your pet's behavior? Need help with training your dog for obedience? Then check this Afghan Hound Behavior and Obedience Training Guide.
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