The Afghan Hound: A Huge Dog, An Eccentric Mystery

The Afghan Hound is a peculiar dog breed. You’ll see that Affies are relatively tall and thin, yet have thick, long hair.

They’ve got contradictory behavioral habits and can be quite lazy, but also quite lively. They’re incredibly quirky with a mind of their own. 

The beautiful Afghan Hound dog

We’re going to be telling you a bit more about these fascinating dogs and help you decide whether you might want one of your own.

The Affie shares many characteristics with other sighthounds, including various greyhounds such as the Persian Greyhound.

Where Did the Afghan Hound originate?

The Affie descends from a line of sighthounds, hunting dogs who used their sight for hunting their prey.

The Afghan hound has accustomed itself to a rough climate as it originally had to survive within the mountains of Afghanistan and in steep, arid terrain within Persia. 

Afghan Hound portrait
Image source

Valued for their uncompromising. persevering attitude and speed, the Afghan Hound frequented large prey such as gazelle, and would defend its owners from animals like leopards.

These purebred dogs have an incredible ability to leap and can be quite nimble in challenging scenarios. 

This ability is again a result of their complex history and experience with nomadic tribes.

These communities used the Affie to defend against large animals and track and kill small animals for daily sustenance. It wasn’t just this that set these powerful dogs apart. 

Their intelligence and mental fortitude made them extremely valuable as they could hunt under their own volition.

Though historians speculate that their origin is Egypt, this pre-Christian era hound’s exact birthplace is unknown. In the early 1900’s, British soldiers brought this independent dog through to their borders. 

This curious dog found its way to United States soil through the famous Zeppo Marx of the Marx Brothers, a popular comedy group that found success on Broadway and early motion films.

Did you know that Pablo Piccaso even owned one? He named his Kabul. The Affie was officially recognized as a breed by the American Kennel Club back in 1926. 

Although not widely popular due to being high-maintenance dogs, the Affie has become renowned as a show dog. It’s not hard to understand why.

A well-cared-for Afghan Hound looks incredibly stunning. They’re also quick-learners with the right trainer, although their stubborn nature can make them a challenge. 

The breed found fame within the earliest dog shows and in the oldest kennel club in the world, proudly named, The Kennel Club.

The dog found more significant popularity during the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Shows. Back in 1957, it won best in show. It won its place in the show ring again in 1983. 

Affies have many other feats of greatness. They’re even considered one of the top dogs when it comes to the sport of lure coursing. 

Characteristics: What does an Afghan Hound look like?

Average Breed Size 

These are giant dogs and may not be suitable for small apartments. At a height of about 27 inches and weighing in at any around 55 pounds, you’ll find that they take up a lot of space.

Given their height, they are relatively thin, with naturally low body fat.

Afghan Hound in the lake
Image source

An Affie’s Coat 

They’ve got a beautiful silky coat that looks quite a lot like human hair and a long silky topknot. It’s a running joke that their long coat is similar to that of a human.

We actually found quite an amusing article on this. This is a breed standard

Other than this, their signature floppy ears, long-legs, and aloof nature make this breed incredibly interesting.

The funny thing about the breed is that we don’t get to see their indistinguishable long coat when they’re little Afghan Hound puppies. It’s as they mature that you begin to see it. 

These coats come in various colors such as white, brown, and black, with some hounds ending up brindle. Regardless of the color, all of these dogs have their characteristic thin hair, which is very easily tangled. 

Personality: What is Affies like? 

Described as almost aristocratic in its general appearance, the Afghan Hound appears quite dignified at first. It’ll give the impression that it thinks of itself as the king of dogs.

It has an independent nature and has low trainability. We support patient and gentle encouragement as the dog can be quite sensitive to criticism. 

White long haired Afghan Hound
Image source

It can sound a little tricky at first and may even be off-putting, but we can assure you that it’s well worth it. For more on Affie training, read on here.

Aside from its more challenging traits, the Afghan Hound can be quite a comedian. Clownish behavior owing to its independent mind is not uncommon.

It will also be wary of strangers and tends to prefer one particular person or group of people. It is a loyal hound breed

We suggest not to expect the worst in families with children, but proceed with caution as the breed is sensitive and may react poorly to children if aggravated.

Be warned that Affie’s do not deal well with being left alone. They may begin to exhibit destructive behaviors if put in those circumstances.

They do well with receiving lots of personal attention when they’re younger. They will, however, become distant in later years.

This breed is both gentle and standoffish. It is both even-tempered and headstrong. You’ll find that it can sometimes be challenging to pinpoint what it is like. The Affie is a complicated dog.

We can describe them as “charmingly contradictory” and not fond of conformation. The Affie is ordinarily quiet and won’t bark very often. They may not be for you if you are looking for a watchdog

Afghan Hound: General Care and Energy Level

Exercising and Energy Levels 

We would also suggest that you keep your Afghan Hound busy. These dogs have lots of energy, so they may become prone to misbehavior if they get bored.

They need plenty of exercises. The breed is incredibly athletic and has daily exercise needs

Two beautiful Afghan hounds running in the park

That said: you’ll discover that their natural prey drive and irresistible urge to chase leads them over your fence and into potentially dangerous scenarios (traffic, strangers, etc.).

These dogs also have an extreme amount of wanderlust and may, even in the absence of prey, decide on their own accord that they will explore. 

This tendency is, yet again, quite sketchy as it may cause them to risk their lives. Pay careful attention to your curious Afghan Hound

Grooming and Care: Do Afghan Hounds Shed? 

For many owners, the length of the Affie’s hair is extremely challenging and can be off-putting. They are very high maintenance in this regard and require a few hours per week of brushing.

Try to divide it into daily brushing sessions. 

During these sessions, be sure to check your Affie for signs of skin inflammation, discharge from the eyes, tics, and sores on their skin. They are, however, a low shedding breed.

For a deeper look into grooming, you can get some interesting information from the Aghan Hound Club of America

Like any other breed, regular grooming is a must. We suggest regular bathing, trimming of their nails, and brushing their teeth. It would be best if you trim their nails at least once a month.

This practice not only keeps your dog looking neat, but it also prevents them from hurting you with their long nails. 

It would help if you brushed their teeth at least two times a week, which prevents dental symptoms such as bad breath, gum disease, and tooth decay.

On top of this, we recommend weekly checks on their ears; this is because breeds with hanging ears frequently experience ear infections.

We recommend cleaning their ears out with a cotton ball or a safe ear cleaner designed for dogs. Please do not use other means, as you could very well damage their ear canals.

Signs of an ear infection include a tender inner ear, constant scratching of the ear, and a foul smell. 

An Ideal Affie Diet

At first, their protruding hipbones may alarm you. There’s no need to feel this way. These are a perfectly natural characteristic of these towering figures.

Best fed medium portions twice a day; you should not leave out food for them all day. We prefer high-quality dry dog food for them. 

Feeding your Afghan Hound dog
Image source

Afghan Hound Dog’s Health

An Afghan Hound’s expected lifespan is between 12 and 15 years of age, with some living up to 16 years and older. You’ll need a big yard to get this dog to live that long, though. Affies will not fare well in an enclosed area

Overall they’re a relatively healthy breed. Like any other, Affies do have their health problems, including hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism (a disorder of the thyroid gland), myelopathy, and juvenile cataracts.

Unfortunately, they are also prone to heart disease; this is a genetic predisposition that veterinarians treat with control medication.

We must cover all this breed’s dispositions. We’re doing this so that you know what to look out for, and should the worst happen that you know how to intervene.

By saying this, we are saying that the Afghan Hound is an unhealthy breed, just that it’s essential to be aware of everything that could happen.

The Affie experiences a bone and joint problem known as eosinophilic panosteitis. This issue generally starts very early in a young Affie’s life and is essentially inflammation in their legs.

Although not life-threatening, it is crucial to have this diagnosed so that you can give your Affie the appropriate pain medication. 

Earlier, we mentioned hip dysplasia. This genetic condition of the hipbones can, regrettably, lead to arthritis, causing significant pain later in their lives. This problem, too, is treatable.

Another condition we find worth mentioning, commonly known as Bloat, is when your dog’s stomach twists and fills with gas. 

This is an emergency condition and requires immediate surgery. Be sure to look out for any signs of severe discomfort, heaving, or an enlarged abdomen.

Are you interested in learning more about this condition? You can read more from the American Kennel Club.

There is another saddening predisposition that ails this breed. This condition is known as Leukodystrophy.

It occurs when there is a loss of myelin in the brain, resulting in impaired movements and, at its worst, paralysis. This condition is, however, uncommon.

We’ve found much more information that you might benefit from. 

As a word of caution, we say that It’d be wise to pay particular attention to their weight.

Obesity in this breed can worsen problems with their joints, cause back pain, and increase their heart disease risk. This inevitably causes a shortened life span and a lower quality of life. 

It’s a fear of ours that veterinary professionals may not consider the breed’s issues with anesthesia due to an oversight.

The American Kennel Club, or AKC, have even noted their sensitivity to “going under,” so to speak. This problem goes back to the hound’s naturally low body weight.

Be sure to consult with your local veterinary clinic about this.

For further information about this sensitivity, we suggest you consult further sources

Getting Your Very Own Afghan Hound Puppy

Afghan Hound puppy
Image source

Owing an Afghan Hound is not cheap: these are large dogs with high costs. After buying the dogs, having it neutered, and getting it shots, it becomes quite expensive.

You still have to consider food costs, pet care products, potential medical bills, and, if you choose, medical aid. 

Adopting may rid yourself of some of these costs, but not all. You must consider all these things before buying/adopting your very own. 

Afghan Hound Breeders

If you find it challenging to find one of these dogs, a reputable breeder is something you want to consider. You’re going to want to think about a few things:

  • Is the breeder open to questioning regarding the health of his dogs and how he cares for them?
  • How much can he tell you about the breed? Is he knowledgeable?
  • Does he seem to be in a rush to “get rid of” the dog?
  • Does he have testimonials? Are there people who have purchased from him before? Are they satisfied?

We may find that the breeder checks off this list but still seems a bit sketchy. Especially when purchasing online, we need to think about exercising caution.

If there’s an excessive availability of dogs and you get your “pick,” that may very well be a red flag. Getting yourself an Afghan Hound is a big responsibility but well worth it once you’ve done your research.

You have to make sure that you buy from only safe breeders who have a history of providing happy and healthy puppies. Consult your local breed club for more information. 

Afghan Hounds for Adoption 

We like to encourage readers to purchase from a pet rescue or animal shelter. There are many happy and healthy dogs just waiting for the right home and some welcoming hearts. 

Curious about Afghan Hound Mixes? 

Like any dog, the Affie can be mixed with other breeds to cause some very interesting outcomes indeed. Here are some very curious ones that we think that you should know about

The Pooghan is a cross between a Poodle and an Afghan. A purebred Affie can be quite pricey, so an alternative like this can give you all the interesting qualities of an Afghan Hound while saving you some money.

This is a completely no-shed breed that can be both fun-loving and calm.

Afghan Hound and Poodle mix dog
Afghan Hound and Poodle mix – Image source

The Afghan Retriever is a much bigger breed than our last mention. It is a cross between a Golden Retriever and an Affie.

It has an interesting mix of traits: being both silly and dignified. With the bonus of the loyalty of a Retriever: what more could you want?

Handsome Afghan Retriever dog portrait
Meet the one-of-a-kind Afghan Retriever dog – Image source

What do you Think About the Afghan Hound?

This breed, which native breeders often call Tazi, can be challenging to care for, but it does make for an excellent family dog.

It’s unfortunate, but you’ve got to have plenty of room and free time to get an Affie. If you’ve got that, and are willing to commit to its active lifestyle, there’s no reason not to get one. 

Afghan Hound beautiful face
Image source

We love them for their independent minds and clownish behavior. 

Please don’t take our word for it, though. Would you buy yourself one of these high-spirited hounds? Comment below and let us know what you think.

Similar Breeds:

It’s possible that you may find the intense hair-care regime of the Afghan Hound a bit too time intensive. Maybe the Affie just isn’t what you’re looking for. 

Don’t worry about it. You might find what you’re searching for down below. 

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