Species group: Hound Group dogs
Other name(s): Afghan; Affie; Sage Baluchi; Tazhi Spai; De Kochyano Spai; Tazi; Ogar Afgan; Afghanische Windhun
The Afghan Hound is an elegant aristocrat that might be easier to manage if you happen to have a staff and a large estate. The American Kennel Club (AKC) points out that this ancient breed was developed to chase a variety of challenging prey-- including jackals, wolves, and snow leopards-- often at high altitude: "Because of the variety of game hunted and the diversity of the geography, the Afghan Hound's most desirable traits were being sure-footed and agile to work the rugged terrain, strength and speed to bring down prey, plus the stamina to maintain a strenuous chase for a sustained length of time."
For the pet owner, that means you'll need to have time, space, and energy to exercise your dog. It also means that the personality is somewhat variable and independent. Some Afghans are standoffish, some are silly and playful, and some may be a little stubborn. The same ability to pick up on quick cues that made them a great member of hunting teams including humans, falcons, and other hounds will also make them somewhat sensitive. You'll need to bring your best dog psychology to train your pet with love and a focus on positive rewards.
And there are a couple of quirks you probably can't train away. This dog may not be able to resist chasing smaller pets, so think carefully before bringing them into the multi-pet home. And, finally, how much time do you have to spend brushing out that beautiful coat?
Appearance / health:
Within the breed there are two styles, one originating from a desert region and one originating from a mountainous region. The main differences between the two types are hair length (longer in the mountain variety and patterned in the desert hound), height (taller in the mountain variety), and build (more muscular in the mountain variety).
General breed characteristics show the dog as tall and thin with a refined head, silky topknot, strong jaws and big feet. Dark almond shaped eyes sparkle from the face, and the ears lie flat to the head. Other distinguishing characteristics include prominent hipbones and a ring at the end of its tail.
The Afghan Hounds’ ears have such long hair that at times it will get in their mouths when they eat. There is a simple cloth device called a “snood” that helps keep their ears in place while eating.
Though the traditional long coat requires daily grooming, the Afghan Hound is actually an average shedder. Brushing the dog’s dry coat can cause fur damage, which can lead to matting. Bathing the Afghan is recommended weekly and air-cushioned brushes or pin brushes are useful for grooming.
This breed needs much exercise, which can be achieved through games, long walks, hikes and runs.
Afghan Hounds have a particularly low pain threshold, meaning that even minor injuries will affect them more that might be expected otherwise. Typical health issues include cataracts and progressive paralytic diseases, hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism and other eye issues. They are known to be allergic to the chemicals on flea collars and in applications for flea and tick control.
Behavior / temperament:
With an independent streak and much energy, this dog is a great athlete. Originally bred to run down prey including the gazelle, wolves and snow leopards, they are known to show dominant behavior and thus need a dominant owner. For these reasons and others, this breed is not appropriate for the novice dog owner who may not have time to keep their Afghan appropriately socialized or trained.
Generally the Afghan Hound is considered aloof, dignified, affectionate, sweet and to have a sensitive temperament. They are also described as reserved, lively, noble, courageous, and suspicious of strangers. They are sometimes disobedient if not properly trained and have at times been seen as timid and high strung.
Afghan pups aren’t typically easy to train, but this will depend on your particular dog. They can and will be trained, however it has been known to be challenging. When training any Afghan Hound, patience, gentleness, and a good sense of humor are required.
Afghan Hounds can be noisy - this trait seems to vary from dog to dog.
incredible gold hair, extreme clowns, posh dog, elegant hound, majestic appearance
dysplasia, secured fenced area, good brush, high maintenance breed, constant care, nervousness
luxurious coat, tall breed, truly majestic appearance
My husband and I were friends with another young couple in Boston, and they had a beautiful, black Afghan Hound named Clyde. Clyde was elegant, quiet and friendly- a perfect dog for a city brownstone apartment. Once, we visited with our two-month-old son and, when he fell asleep, we put him in the middle of our friends' bed. We had dinner in the next room, and when I went in to check, there was Clyde, curled up on one side of my son, keeping him safe. My husband and I decided that an Afghan Hound would be a good family dog for us.
We got a female Afghan Hound from a local breeder and, of course, had to name her Bonnie to go with their Clyde. Bonnie was an apricot, long-haired beauty, graceful, prancing as she walked or ran, and was full of energy. She loved her walks and runs around the yard, and we loved watching her move. She slept at the end of our bed, and sometimes tried to sneak in between us, stretching out her long legs and pushing either me or my husband to the edge of the bed. Bonnie was gentle with our son, careful to not knock him over, and was a stranger to no one who visited.
One hot summer we decided to keep Bonnie cool, and cut her hair short all over, with small tufts on her head and feet. She looked sweet, but after we cut her hair she slunk around the corners, as if embarrassed, for a few days until she got used to her new "look". Then the prancing, happy dog came back to us. Of course, her hair grew back by winter, and she was her elegant self again.
We had taken care of two male Afghan Hounds for a few months before we got Bonnie, and they were wild ones who leapt our six-foot fence and took off to the woods. They required a lot of watching and chasing, but Bonnie had a wonderful temperament. She was content to be with us, followed me around during the days, welcomed my husband home after work, slept under the table while we ate dinner, and curled up with us for the evening while we read or watched tv. I would call her the perfect family dog, and she was certainly the Bonnie to our friends' sweet Clyde.
Photo: "Afghan Hound" by Sannse at the English language Wikipedia. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Afghan_Hound.jpg#/media/File:Afghan_Hound.jpg.
From IoneLove55 Mar 16 2015 1:47PM
For puppies that don’t have their full set of vaccinations, walking them outside alone can be dangerous. Public water also holds dangerous viruses and bacteria that puppies should not drink from. At our shelters, I would advise new owners to keep their new puppies contained in their home and their own back yard until their puppy was fully vaccinated, as vaccination is one of the best ways to keep your puppy healthy and more resistant when they come in contact with viral contamination. .
From Dsasada 8 days ago
Choke collars are not the best tools to use for dogs who pull. How many times have you seen people walking their dogs on a choke collar and the dog pulling?! This is because to properly use a punishment device, which is what a choke collar is, you should only have to give 3 or 4 firm, appropriate corrections and then your dog should never repeat the behavior again. People do not have the stomach to give their dogs a stiff enough correction to work in 3 or 4 trials. Further, weaker handlers do not have the strength to give their (large) dogs a strong enough correction for them to understand. Hence, while the correction will work in the short term, all too soon, the dog is back to pulling again and that level of correction has become simply a nag. Then the correction will need to be stronger to get them to attend to it.
For a dog who outweighs or out-muscles its handler, the use of a head halter is a better choice, as it gives one greater control of the weakest part of the dog's body, their head. Just as we can use a halter to guide a horse, so can we use the same technique to guide a dog.
Laura Garber, CPDT-KA, CC, FFCP
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