The Afghan Hound

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afghan houndHistory of the Afghan Hound

The Afghan Hound originated in Afghanistan.  They are elegant, ancient dogs dating back more than 4000 years ago.  Pictures have been found in Egyptian papyruses as well as pictured I he caves of northern Afghanistan.  Exportation was prohibited thus keeping the breed pure for centuries.  The Afghan Hound reached Europe in the early 1900s by being smuggled out of Afghanistan.  The Afghan Hound is a sighthound, which means it hunts by sight.  This breed has also been used by shepherds as herders and watchdogs.  Two main strains of sighthounds known in Afghanistan make up the modern Afghan breed.  The first group of hounds brought to Scotland are called Bell-Murray strain.  These were from the lowlands and were less heavily coated.  The second strain was from a group in Kabal which were shipped to England in 1925.  This Ghazni strain were more heavily coated from the mountains.  Most of the Afghans found in the United States are developed from the Ghazni strain from England.

Description

The Afghan is considered an aristocratic sighthound.  They are tall and slender with a long, narrow head.  The muzzle is slightly convex and the nose is black.  Eyes are dark and almond shaped.  The ears are flat to the head.  Their tail has a curl to the tip, but does not carry over the back.  They weight between 45 and 65 pounds and are 24 to 29 inches tall.  Their life span is about 14 years.  Their long, silky coat is usually the color of sand with a darker face and ears, although all colors are permitted in show dogs.  White markings are frowned upon for showing.  Litters of Afghan Hounds range from one to fifteen puppies, although eight is the average.

Demeanor

The Afghan Hound has been described as the “king of dogs.”  They are sweet, loyal, affectionate and sensitive.  They may seem aloof, but socialize well.  They are suspicious of those they do not know, but are not hostile.  Afghans do best with families with older children, active and sporty types.  This breed is not recommended for apartment living.  They enjoy the outdoors, although they are content being inside.   Long daily walks help to keep them happy.  Their pure joy is running free in an open, fenced secure area.

Photo:  Courtesy of Thinkstock

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