- Beautiful in appearance
- Loyal and affectionate
- Good with children who do not tease
- Needs plenty of exercise
- Not suitable for apartments
- Needs daily grooming
- Must have firm, loving handling
- Can be fiery tempered, particularly in adolescence
The Afghan is dignified, aloof and fond of comfort. Though it enjoys nothing more than surveying the scene from a cosy armchair, the Afghan is not the ideal choice for apartment dwellers or those with a small house and garden. For despite its beautiful house manners, the Afghan is basically a hunting dog, warmly affectionate to its owners and usually trustworthy with children. But it is independent in character and often quite fiery in temper, particularly in adolescence.
It is impossible to show an Afghan too much affection, and it shouldn’t be bullied. But it is important to maintain superiority from the first, especially during showing and training sessions, or later you may suffer the indignity, and physical near-impossibility, of publicly wrestling with a powerful creature armed with a mouthful of large teeth.
Ideal height: dog 27-29in (68.5-73.5cm), bitch approximately 2-3in (5-7.5cm) smaller.
Afghans need free running to keep fit and happy. Their original task was to hunt wolves and gazelles in the deserts of Afghanistan , so a stroll in the park or a run up and down a suburban garden will not be enough to subdue their boundless energy. A puppy, from the first, should be allowed unrestricted exercise in its waking hours. This should be in a safe enclosed place. An adult should have a minimum of half an hour’s free galloping a day, as well as disciplined walking on the lead.
Daily grooming is important to prevent the dog’s thick coat from matting; the well-groomed Afghan is a delight to behold, the neglected specimen an abomination. Indeed, this breed is definitely not for those with little time on their hands for grooming and exercising.
The only type of brush capable of getting through an Afghan’s coat is one with an air cushion behind the tufts. The best of all is a real bristle brush – made for humans. The nylon version is cheaper, but remember to use a coat lubricant with this, otherwise static electricity will build up and cause the hair to become brittle. An air-cushioned brush with steel pins is excellent and is not expensive.
Recommended would be 20-330z (587-936g) cans of a branded, meaty product with biscuit added, or 3-5 cupfuls of a dry food, complete diet, mixed in the proportion of 1 cup of feed to 1/2 cup of hot or cold water.
The Afghan do well on dry food but will of course appreciate raw food as well. All dogs will love you a little more if they get raw food. You should always make sure to feed them a high quality dry food if you choose to feed dry food. Examples of good dry foods includes such as Eukanuba, Royal or 1st Choice
Origin and history
The Afghan is an ancient breed reputed to have existed thousands of years ago in the Middle East . Present-day experts believe that it was crossed with the Saluki.
A papyrus found in Sinai dated at 3000 BC was, from early translations, thought to refer to a Cynocephalus, or monkey-faced hound; this could have been the forerunner of the Afghan, which because of its facial resemblance is often called a ‘monkey dog’. However, later work on the translation confirmed belief that it referred not to a dog but to a hound-faced baboon.
At any rate a Greyhound-like dog was destined to find its way, perhaps through Persia , to Afghanistan , where it grew a long, shaggy coat for protection against the harsh climate and found favour with the royal and aristocratic families of that land.
The Afghan Hound Breed Club was formed in the United Kingdom in 1926, the same year as the breed was officially registered for the first time by the American Kennel Club. The Afghan began making strides in the United States in 1931 when leppo Marx and his wife imported an English bitch named ‘Asra of Ghazni’ and a dog named ‘Westmill Omar’. The Marxes eventually sold this pair, who went on to form the cornerstone of the breed in America .
General appearance. The Afghan Hound should be dignified and aloof with a certain keen fierceness. The Eastern or Oriental expression is typical of the breed; the Afghan looks at, and through, one. The gait of the Afghan Hound should be smooth and springy with a style of high orde[ The whole appearance of the dog should give the impression of strength and dignity combining speed and powe[ The head must be held proudly.
Colour. All colours are acceptable. (You will see the breed in fawns, silvers, grey and tan grizzles and black and tan.)
Head and skull. Skull long, not too narrow with a prominent occiput. Foreface long with punishing jaws and slight stop. The skull should be well balanced and surmounted by a long topknot. Nose preferably black, but liver is no fault in lightcoloured dogs.
Tail. Not too short. Set on low with a ring at the end. Raised when in action. Sparsely feathered.
Feet. Forefeet strong and very large in both length and breadth and covered with long thick hair; toes arched. Pasterns long and springy, especially in front, and pads well down on the ground. Hindfeet long, but not quite so broad as the forefeet, and covered with long thick hair