Afghan Hound

Other Names/Nicknames:

  • Tazi
  • Afghans

Country/Date of Origin:

  • Afghanistan
  • 17th Century

Height:

  • Females:  24 to 26 inches
  • Males:  26 to 28 inches

Weight:

  • 50 to 60 pounds

Personality:

  • Alert and aloof.
  • Ignores strangers as if they are beneath acknowledgement.
  • Reserved nature.
  • Not particularly intelligent and can be difficult to train.

History

The Afghan originated in an area along the Afghan border with Iran known as Seistan.  Obviously from the same stock as the other Middle East Gazehounds, the Afghan changed to better do its job—coursing gazelle and leopard in the cold, mountainous terrain of Afghanistan.  Its primary difference from the other coursing dogs is its long coat, which was developed to insulate the dog from the cold and protect it from scrapes as it hunted on rocky slopes.  English soldiers returning home from the Afghan War brought these beautiful dogs home with them at the turn of the 20th century.  The first Afghans were registered in the American Kennel Club (AKC) stud book in 1927.

Body Type:

  • An exotic appearing, coursing dog of great athletic ability.  Slim, muscular body is wrapped in a long, glamorous coat.
  • Hanging ears are not altered.
  • Long, tapering, curled at the tip tail is not altered.
  • Hip bones are very prominent.
  • A mandarin beard is desired in both male and female Afghans.

Coat and Grooming:

  • Long and silky, the single coat tangles easily.
  • The high-stepping gait of the Afghan is springy and appears to flow out behind it.
  • Very high-grooming maintenance.

Health & Wellness:

  • Afghan myelopathy.
  • Metabolic bone disease.
  • Cataracts.
  • Hypothyroidism.
  • Osteosarcoma.

What you should know:

  • Unusual in hunting dogs, Afghans have a low tolerance to pain and they will let you know it.
  • Very high-strung and will become hyperactive if not exercised regularly.
  • One of the first Afghans imported to the United States belonged to Zeppo Marx of Marx Brothers fame.