Adopting An Afghan Hound

History and origin: Often referred to as the “Dog of Noah’s Ark”, the Afghan Hound is one of the oldest, if not the oldest breed in existence. He was used as a herding dog, a guard dog, and a hunting dog. The Afghan’s long coat allowed him to stay warm in the harsh climate of Afghanistan, something that his faster, short-haired cousin from Egypt, the Greyhound, would not have been able to do.

Description: The Afghan Hound stands 25 to 27 inches at the shoulder and weighs between 50 and 60 pounds. He possess an athletic body that is capable of supple and agile movement. The shedding coat is long, silky, and hard to maintain. It absorbs moisture and odors and requires daily brushing and regular clipping to prevent matting. The feet and ears are feathered, and there is a topknot of long silky hair. The color may be silver, cream, black, brindle, black-and-tan, or a combination of shades.

About the breed: This fast, graceful sight hound is aloof, dignified, and somewhat snooty with all but his close family. He is very elegant and aristocratic by nature who is also reserved and suspicious toward strangers. Though warm and affectionate to his owners, the Afghan is a hunting dog who is very independent and will not tolerate boisterous children or uninvited attention. He may shy away from the unwanted petting hand of a stranger. This breed is very laid-back at home, happily curling up on a sofa idling the day away. However, he also needs plenty of exercise and free running to keep him fit. Training is difficult with the Afghan. Sensitive and not overly bright, he will balk if pushed too quickly. He processes information more slowly than other breeds. Training technique must therefore be clear, slow, and precise. Overbearing methods will only to panic the breed and possibly bring on fearful snapping. As with most sight hounds, the Sit and Come commands take an especially long time to teach. The Afghan needs to be socialized from an early age so as to limit his aloof, distrustful nature. This is not a breed to spoil or pamper, despite his beauty and his elegance. Spoiling will enhance a dominant attitude and increase the chances of aggression. Because of his hunting nature, this breed can also be small dog-aggressive and has a very high prey drive toward smaller animals.

Feeding: Recommended feeding for this breed is 1 ½ -2 ½ cans (13.3oz) of high-quality meaty product with added biscuit in equal part or 5 cupfuls of a complete dry food.

Ideal Home: The owner of an Afghan Hound should be an easy-going person who does not demand constant attention and affection from the dog. A hunter by nature, this breed needs a big place for him to be able to run free and is therefore not suitable for apartment living.