Afghan Hound Breed History
Generations of hunting in the harsh mountainous terrain of Afghanistan produced a fast dog that also has a good deal of stamina and with incredible leaping ability and nimbleness. The Afghan hound’s long coat protected it from the cold mountainous climate. Hidden in the impenetrable Afghanistan mountains, Afghan hounds remained isolated for centuries. The Afghan hound first arrived in England in the early 1900s where they were known as Persian greyhounds or Barukhzy hounds. At that time, Afghan hounds had diverse appearances, so a standard of perfection was eventually modeled on Zardin, a well-known and striking Afghan hound. Popularity of Afghan hounds grew slowly, with the dog appealing mostly to the social elite. However, the Afghan quickly became one of the most competitive and glamorous dogs in the show rings. The Afghan hound first appeared in the United States in 1926. In the 1970s, the Afghan was a fad breed among the pet owners, but it has since dwindled in popularity.
Afghan Hound Breed Appearance
This breed is recognizable for its exotic appearance as well as a manner of carrying itself that is dignified and proud, almost appearing to be pretentious. Typically the Afghan hound moves with its head and tail high, making them beautiful runners with lines much like a greyhound, bursting into a gallop with speed and spring, enabling them to overtake swift game. The Afghan’s short back and high pelvis give the breed a remarkable leaping ability and a low turning radius, both impressive characteristics, which along with their large paws and thick, silky, and warm coats, are of great value in the rough terrain that is common in the high altitudes of mountainous regions.
Afghan Hound Breed Temperament
While the Afghan hound will normally restrain its hunting instincts while indoors, this breed is a hunter and runner at heart and therefore needs room to run in a fenced area under supervision every day. It is during this exercise time, however, that the pet-owner will likely experience one of the Afghan’s few shortcomings, which is a reluctance to come when called. Even though Afghans tend to do well in sharing a home with other pets and small children, this breed tends to have little interest in interacting or playing with children or other pets. Described by some as “catlike,” it is independent yet sensitive and not overly demonstrative. Typically, Afghan hounds are reserved, almost aloof, around strangers; some Afghans can be considered timid. Notably, Afghans can be very destructive when bored. The Afghan hound's independent disposition often makes it appear as though the Afghan does not acknowledge its owners displeasure with his destructive behaviors. The Afghan hound is well suited for families with time and dedication to maintain its luxurious coat, sufficient space to allow it to romp and run full-speed each day and the patience to provide consistent discipline despite the Afghan’s aloof nature.
Afghan Hound Breed Maintenance
The Afghan hound is noted for its thick coat of long silky hair, but that coat requires hours of grooming each week to maintain its beautiful appearance. Brushing and combing is recommended at least every two to three days. Although the Afghan hound’s coat may allow it survive living outdoors in temperate areas, the aristocratic Afghan prefers a warm, soft bed and is better suited as a house dog.