The Afghan Hound is a large, noble long-haired dog that requires regular, labor-intensive care. Intelligent, with a slight distance to the world, but not fearful or aggressive. He seems inaccessible, but in fact, he is very sensitive and needs close contact with the owner.
The Afghan Hound looks impressive, is proud and graceful. He seems inaccessible, but in fact, he is sensitive and needs close contact with the owner. He’s very attached, but he doesn’t show it as exuberantly as dogs of other breeds. His devotion is evidenced by small signs, often noticed only by his guardian.
The representative of this breed is gentle and tolerant of children. He behaves like a frisky puppy for a long time, so he quickly finds a common language with the little ones. However, you have to make sure that they treat him properly and don’t disturb him too much.
In general, his relations with other dogs and pets are good, but hunting instincts can be heard on the walk.
Although in the past he served as a guard dog, he was never aggressive. It protects its territory, but one should not expect defensive reactions from it. Initially, he may be distant and distrustful of strangers.
Afghan is lively, so it needs a lot of movement, including the ability to run freely in the open. The tendency to chase animals or fast-moving objects means that the city should walk on a leash. You can let it loose in a fenced area or where there is no traffic.
Greyhounds can move very fast, which is why they were originally used for chases in the open. They belong to the group of visual people, which means that they hunt with a keen eye. In the homeland, they were treated only utilitarianly and used as hunting dogs for large games (snow leopards, foxes, hares and wolves), they also helped falconers. They guarded sheep and cattle, they were used to watch in settlements. British soldiers in India were used to send reports.
Currently, afghans are companion dogs, but they also work well in sports. They can participate in track races, during which the speed and purity of the race are assessed.
Another competition is coursing, i.e. the pursuit of an artificial hare in the open ground, whose movement imitates the keying of a real animal. On the route, there are natural obstacles that dogs must overcome, as well as hills or bushes behind which real wildlife could hide. Dogs start in randomly selected pairs, which is why they wear muzzles. Each is assessed individually, and an account is taken of stubbornness, agility, intelligence and how to overcome obstacles.
The third competition is the attempts to work in natural conditions (so-called greyhound leashes), in which two or three dogs start. Preferably, they are owned by one person or have already worked together. Their cooperation, perseverance, courage and fierce pursuit of an artificial lure are assessed.
Afghan hound. Training and education
The opinion that afghans are not very smart dogs is incorrect. Their intelligence is simply not about the speed of executing commands, but about resourcefulness and cunning. In the country of origin, they were treated rather harshly and had to earn their own living. As a result, they are independent and can adapt to any conditions.
They learn easily and understand what is required of them, but independence makes them react with apparent lingering and reluctance. Inexperienced owners usually get irritated and raise their voices, which slows down the dog even more.
Afgan requires gentle and cordial treatment. Award-winning and consistently treated willingly cooperate with a man, but you must remember that he will never be an absolutely obedient dog.
Puppies require a lot of attention and patience. Early socialization is very important – a toddler who has been isolated from the world for too long can react later with anxiety about new things. He must meet other dogs, people and different situations. He’s good to do in dog kindergarten.
Who is this race for?
The Afghan hound is demanding both in terms of upbringing, physical activity and care. Connoisseurs meet him who will appreciate his independence and will not expect absolute obedience.
Afghan hound. Advantages and disadvantages
- requires labor-intensive and systematic care
- has a strong pursuit instinct
- independent and rather difficult to train
- attached to the owner but not obtrusive
- gets along well with children
- tolerates other dogs and pets
- can participate in races
- wet hair does not emit a dog’s smell
Afghan hound. Health
The Afghan Hound is resistant and tolerates all weather conditions well. In hot weather, however, you must provide him with a shaded place to rest and access to water; you can also cover it with a wet towel. It is best to take long walks early in the morning or evening. Autumn humidity and rain do not bother him, but they favor the formation of tangles.
The most common ailment in this breed is cataract (cataract), which leads to the clouding of the lens and loss of vision. Long, hanging and very hairy ears are exposed to infections, so they require systematic control.
Sometimes there are allergies of various causes, asthma, and in old age cardiological problems and cancer.
Chylothorax (pleural effusion) occurs sporadically, which is the result of the accumulation of lymph fluid in the pleural cavity and leads to shortness of breath and rapid breathing. Like all greyhounds, afghans are hypersensitive to drugs used during anesthesia, as well as to pain. They must regularly remove tartar.
Afghan hounds tend to gain weight, which is why the type of food must be adapted to the dog’s lifestyle. You can give them both ready-made food of good quality and homemade food.
Dry foods are especially recommended for puppies that grow quickly and a shortage or excess of micronutrients can have an adverse effect on their skeleton.
The home menu must be supplemented with calcium and vitamin and mineral preparations (after consulting a veterinarian or an experienced breeder). Bitches after oestrus usually lose large amounts of hair, which is why supplements are used to support skin regeneration and coat rebuilding.
The daily portion for an adult dog is best divided into two or three meals and keep him calm after eating. Because of the long neck and limbs, leaning to the ground is uncomfortable for the greyhound, so you can put the bowl on a slight increase.
An undercoat Afghan hound coat is often smug, which is why caring for this breed of dog is labor-intensive and requires regularity. Its costs also constitute a large part of the monthly expenses for maintaining a quadruped.
Afgan does not molt seasonally, but small amounts of hair fall out alone or when brushing. However, they are soft, they clump into small balls and are easy to remove from upholstery or carpets.
Puppies up to about a year and a half are covered with fluff, which gradually loses, and in its place grow silky (sometimes woolly or mixed) hair. A saddle with characteristic short and dense fur appears on the back. Long hair grows throughout the dog’s life and only a few years old individuals has a fully mature coat.
We are already getting used to grooming puppies for several months when their coat is still short. We wet the adult dog – after wetting the hair – every two days with a brush with protected wires and a metal comb. We tear the dumplings with our fingers and comb them out thoroughly (preparations are available to facilitate this). After the walk, remove Velcro, sticks, seeds from the hair.
In order for the dog to have an impressive coat, it must be bathed once a week (with woolen hair and during the exchange of the coat for an adult even every three or five days). We use cosmetics for long hair (shampoo and conditioner), e.g. with lanolin, which will moisturize the hair. While washing, we do not measure hair, we distribute shampoo from the base of the hair to the ends. Then we apply the conditioner, which we rinse or leave on the dog. We squeeze the hair into a towel and dry it with a medium temperature dryer, combine it with a long wire brush.
It can take from an hour and a half to even three hours. It is also necessary to regularly shorten the claws if the pet does not rub them by itself.
Preparing afghan for the exhibition is similar to daily care. Before the show, you can use anti-static and hair-weighing cosmetics. We present the Afghan hound on a matching ring. It can be set and held or displayed with the so-called free hand (the dog stands alone).
Afghans have rather narrow heads and sensitive necks, which is why wide greyhound collars are recommended. In the first months, it is better to use ordinary strong leashes, automatic ones will be more effective for older dogs that can walk peacefully.
You can often find dogs of this breed wearing hats – so-called snood – which protect long hair on the ears from damage.
Afghan hound. History
The origin of the Afghan hound is not exactly known, but the legend says that its roots date back to biblical times, because dogs of this breed were to take with him to Noah’s ark. The oldest found remains of quadrupeds in this type come from about 6,000 years. According to the researchers, they could belong to both Afghans and Persian Greyhounds saluki, because these breeds are closely related. Skeptics, however, undermine the credibility of the find. Afghans say that “these dogs have come out of nowhere and are simply”.
It is possible that the ancestor of the Afghan hound came from North Africa or from Persia (today Iran). In turn, the original name of the tazi breed and the similarity to the Central Asian Taza greyhound, as well as the proximity of Russia and Afghanistan may indicate a common beginning of the breed.
Afghans probably arose as a result of the selection of dogs with the longest coat. Other names that were used to refer to them are: balkh, barkuzy or Kabulian greyhound. The breed quickly spread to border regions and India. Initially, these dogs were not allowed to be sold to foreigners, and it was only at the beginning of the 20th century that the first representatives of the breed appeared in the United States and Europe.
The most famous afghan was Zardin, who was captured by John Barff from India to Great Britain. It was first shown in 1907 at an exhibition at Crystal Palace, where he won his class and caused a sensation. He later won many shows, and his fame reached Buckingham Palace. He left behind one litter, but lived long enough to permanently enter the history of the breed – his appearance was used to develop the first model.
In the 1920s, Afghan hound was bred in two types. The first – also called desert – are animals from Major Bell-Murray’s breeding. They were characterized by tall height, light physique, scanty hair, a long neck and a low set end with a ring.
The second type called Ghani or mountain came from the culture of Mary Amps. They were thick-bone dogs, with strongly angulated limbs, well-arched chest and an abundant coat. Common mating of both types in the early 1930s meant that current greyhounds hardly resemble their Afghan ancestors.
The first breeders’ club was established in Great Britain in 1926. In this country, in the khanabad kennel belonging to the author of the monograph of the Margaret Niblock breed, the first dog with a blue coat was born and thanks to her efforts this color were introduced into the pattern. In the United States, the Afghan hound was recognized in the 1930s.
Afghan hound – group X FCI, section 1, reference number 228
- Country of origin: Afghanistan; patronage: Great Britain
- Size: height at the withers of dogs 68-74 cm, bitches 63-69 cm
- Coat: long, very fine on the sides, shoulder blades, ribs, fore and hind legs; in adult dogs on the back and loins there are so-called saddle with short, close-fitting hair; from the forehead to the back of the head, the hair is long and forms a silky strand; short coat on the muzzle; ears heavily sprouted
- Color: all colors are acceptable
- Maturity: 4 years
- Lifespan: 12 years
- Weather resistance: high
Greyhounds were the first specialized dogs acquired by man. They can develop high speeds, which is why they were used for chases in the open. They belong to the so-called eyesight, which means that hunting uses only sharp eyesight.