Afghan Hound: The dignified, glamorous, & delightful dog breed

Last Updated on April 25, 2023

Affectionately called Affies, Afghan Hounds are peculiar-looking fidos that are relatively tall and thin with thick, long hair.

However, these quirky dogs have a mind of their own. They can be simultaneously lazy and lively.

The magical Afghan Hound dog

Their regal look makes them one of the most eye-catching breeds in the canine world, but there’s more to these doggos than just appearance. Want to know more?

Keep scrolling and find out everything about these glamorous pups.

Where Did the Afghan Hound Originate?

Originally called Tazi, the Affie is one of the ancient basal breeds that descend from a line of sighthounds.

Though historians speculate that their origin is the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, much of the Affie’s history became lost due to political unrest.

These purebred dogs have an incredible ability to leap and can be pretty nimble.

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

Amazing portrait of an Afghan Hound dog walking in the woods
An amazing portrait of an Afghan Hound dog walking in the woods

The Afghan Hound was valued for its uncompromising perseverance, attitude, and speed. It frequented large prey such as gazelle and defended its owners from animals like leopards.

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

In the early 1900s, British soldiers brought this independent dog through to their borders.

Today, many of the Affies descended from these English Afghans, known back then as Persian Greyhounds or Barukhzy Hounds.

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.

The Affie caught the attention of the affluent. Pablo Piccaso owned one named Kabul. The breed was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1926.

Its popularity soared in the 1970s when Beauty was introduced as Barbie’s pet Afghan Hound.

While renowned as a show dog, its popularity was short-lived due to its high maintenance nature. During one Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, one nabbed the award for best in show in 1957.

What Does an Afghan Hound Look Like?

Afghan Hound standing on sand at sunset
Stunning Afghan Hound dog standing on sand during sunset

You can’t mistake the Afghan Hound breed for any other because of their distinctive yet regal appearance. They have a refined skull and muzzle, floppy ears, and slender legs that give them a delicate profile.

And being blanketed in that layer of long, glamorous, and silky fine hair is explanation enough on why they’re referred to as “King of Dogs.”

According to their AKC breed standard, they have Eastern features and show no sign of coarseness.

Being a refined and ancient breed, they’re elegant canines that are apparent from their silky topknot to their low-carried tail.

How big do Afghan Hounds get?

With a height of 25 to 27 inches (63.5 to 69 cm) and a weight of 50 to 60 pounds (23 to 27 kg), these sizable fidos aren’t suitable for small apartments.

Afghan Hounds can also outrun horses, so it’s best that they live in a house with a large yard and tall fences.

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

The Affie’s long coat & its colors

Those lengthy, luxurious, and silky coat is probably considered #hairgoals in Dogdom!

It comes in various colors such as white, cream, red, black, black and tan, and even blue. Some can have a brindle or domino shade, which is characterized by a “widow’s peak.”

Creams and reds often have black masks, but it’s not a rule.

But did you know that Affies aren’t born poised divas? Afghan Hound puppies look entirely different with their monkey whiskers over their saddles and cheeks.

At around the 1-year mark, their adult coat grows in, and they become aloof in return.

Personality: Is the Afghan Hound a dangerous dog?

A full-grown portrait of Afghan Hound dog
Source: @afghanhoundclub / IG

Aristocratic may be a word often used to describe this breed as they appear quite dignified, but aggressive isn’t one of them. They can be goofy and moody.

They might even exhibit clownish behavior when they feel like it. And in a blink of an eye, they’ll turn unresponsive, especially with strangers.

We can blame it all on their independent nature. It may be the reason why they’re prized for their hunting capacity, but it means you can’t count on their trainability.

Experienced dog owners are better suited to raise an Afghan Hound because they’re stubborn and self-assured doggos that aren’t as obedient and reliable as Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds.

First-time dog owners, you can take this pooch off of your list of breeds to own.

They’re highly intelligent and sensitive, so training Affies can be difficult. And without early socialization, they can become distrustful.

No matter what, it’s best to never let these pups off-leash in open areas. Even with consistent training and practice with recall, if their hunting instincts and high prey drive takes.

With that said, we don’t recommend this dog breed to families who own other pets and small animals.

If you’re not looking for a watchdog, then good because you can’t rely on this pooch to alert you. You may appreciate their gentleness and not-so-vocal traits since they don’t bark a lot.

They’re also perfect family pets for active families with older kids. They’re okay with small children, but these standoffish dogs wouldn’t appreciate getting startled all the time. They’re only affectionate when they want to be.

Caring for your Afghan Hound

This is a high-maintenance doggo that will keep your hands full. We’ve covered why in terms of temperament, but they also require plenty of attention when it comes to grooming.

Plus, you have to make sure that the daily exercise needs of the incredibly athletic Afghan Hound is met.

Here’s what else you should know if you want to raise and take care of your Affie like a queen.

Two beautiful Afghan hounds running in the park
The two beautiful Afghan hounds running together in the park

The Afghan Hound’s high energy levels

This highly energetic dog breed would need at least 40 minutes of exercise every day. Aside from stealing the spotlight at show rings, Affies are incredibly talented at lure coursing.

It’s a great way to encourage your pet to utilize her pivotal hip joints.

If you want to get your fur baby a chance to do what she’s bred to do, which is run, give her a chance to stretch those legs in an unconstrained and enclosed area.

And since they have cat-like behavior, they don’t just excel in dog sports like agility courses, but some can serve as therapy dogs, too.

Grooming: Do Afghan Hounds shed?

Affies only have a single layer coat that’s low-shedding, but it requires daily brushing to keep knots and tangles at bay. Ignoring them can quickly turn into a grooming nightmare.

This video will show you how to groom an Afghan Hound properly:

You should also be prepared to give your pet baths that are time-consuming. Regardless if you wash her monthly or weekly, it will eat up hours of your time.

The most sensible thing to do is to send your pup to a professional groomer to be pampered.

Remember that regular grooming can become an added expense if you don’t have the patience to brush and wash that coat.

Don’t forget to clean those ears weekly. They should be clean and dry to prevent ear infections, which are prevalent in this breed.

If you see your Affie scratching, shaking her head, or has an unusual smell, it’s a sign of a problem.

Then there’s teeth brushing every week and nail clipping every month or so. Many active dogs wear their nails down naturally, but if your pooch doesn’t, cut them off before they get too long.

An Ideal Affie Diet

Graceful Afghan Hound dog lying on the carpet
A graceful Afghan Hound dog lying on the carpet

Most Affies should be fed 2 to 2.5 cups of high-quality kibble. You can divide this over two meals and clear off any uneaten dog food after 20 minutes.

Don’t leave them to graze as this could encourage bad habits from forming, like overeating and misbehaving as they don’t want to follow your routine.

Bloat is common with this breed, and if it gets worse, surgery is needed. Be on the lookout for signs of severe discomfort, especially if your doggo like to eat a lot and fast.

Some show an enlarged abdomen, while others are heaving or are in a prayer pose for extended periods without initiating play.

That is just the general recommendation for this breed. You still have to consider your pet’s health, activity level, size or weight, and age when choosing the type of dog food and deciding how much to feed her.

At first, these dogs’ conformation with protruding hip bones may alarm you, but don’t worry, it’s part and parcel of the breed standard. They’re meant to be that skinny, and it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re underweight.

Afghan Hound Dog’s Health & Lifespan

The Affie has an average life expectancy of 12 to 18 years, which is pretty long for this breed’s size. While it has no real significant health problems, there’s still a handful of illnesses that can plague this fido.

Afghan Hounds are predisposed to health conditions like thrombopathia, hypothyroidism, which is a disorder of the thyroid gland, eye problems such as juvenile cataracts and corneal dystrophy, and cancer.

There are also heart diseases such as Degenerative Myelopathy (DM), which affects the spinal cord, and Dilated Cardiomyopathy that can lead to heart failure. And some can have Von Willebrand’s Disease.

Afghan Hound owners should watch out for Canine Hip Dysplasia and Eosinophilic Panosteitis, as well.

Bone and joint problems can either be hereditary or caused by other factors like being overweight and activities that put too much strain on your dog’s legs.

Leukodystrophy is uncommon, but it’s another predisposition that ails this breed. It’s a loss of myelin in the brain resulting in impaired movements and paralysis.

We mentioned surgery, but some Afghan Hounds and sighthounds have sensitivity to anesthesia. It’s known as barbiturate anesthesia.

Not all Affies will get these health issues, but it’s best to know what can affect the breed you’re interested in to be prepared and help keep them healthy.

How Much Does an Afghan Hound Puppy Cost?

Cute little Afghan Hound puppy
Source: @riotheafghan / IG

Afghan Hound puppies have an average price of $1,000 each. That’s just the amount to purchase a pup, so owning this breed is expensive.

Before you go window shopping online for an Affie puppy, ensure that you’re ready and are able to provide all the needs of this dog. One example is taking your pet to a professional groomer, which can cost about $65 per session.

If the expenses involved in owning an Afghan Hound aren’t a problem, then we can move on to look for Affie puppies for sale.

Afghan Hound Breeders

Besides the AKC Marketplace, The Afghan Hound Club of America has a breeder directory that you can check out.

Now, before paying or signing a contract, there are steps to take to ensure that you’re purchasing a healthy puppy from a responsible breeder.

When seeking a breeder, consider the following:

  • Is the breeder open to answering your questions regarding his dogs’ health 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 close the sale?
  • Does he have testimonials? Are there people who have purchased from him before? Are they satisfied?

Even if the breeder ticks all the boxes, you should still exercise caution. We suggest going with your gut.

Getting yourself an Afghan Hound is a big responsibility, and getting any dog is never to be taken lightly.

Afghan Hounds for Adoption

Adopting an older dog is a great way to give canines in shelters a chance to be part of a family again. That’s why we encourage dog lovers to adopt, as well.

Rescue organizations have purebred Afghan Hounds and mixes that you might fall in love with at first sight – the Afghan Hound Rescue of So. California, INC in San Dimas, CA, has a few dogs up for adoption.

These hounds’ breed club also has a National Rescue website. You can visit their page to see if they have available Afghan Hound orphans.

Curious about Afghan Hound Mixes? 

Like any dog, the Affie can be mixed with other purebred dogs to create some exciting outcomes. Here are a few examples of those hybrids.

Pooghan (Poodle & Afghan Hound mix)

Fuzzy Pooghan dog lying down on a rug
Source: @maxthepooghan / IG

Crossed between a Poodle and an Afghan, this designer dog is perfect for dog owners who’d prefer a little less shedding.

This pooch is both fun-loving and calm, making it an excellent pet for families with children.

Afghan Retriever (Golden Retriever & Afghan Hound mix)

Handsome side view portrait of an Afghan Retriever dog
Source: @charliefernandeza / IG

Thanks to the Golden Retriever’s reliable and loyal traits, its hybrid offspring is a better option for first-time dog owners. It’s an interesting breed because it’s both dignified and silly.

Afghan Collie (Border Collie & Afghan Hound mix)

Long hairy Afghan Collie standing on the yard

Combining the spirited Border Collie with Affies resulted in a people-pleasing mixed breed that has the intelligence of its parents, as well as the need to run.

So if you want this fido, you better prepare yourself for a whole lot of energy!

What Do you Think About the Afghan Hound?

Affies may be demanding and challenging as a fur baby, but these divas with an attitude are also loved for their clownish behavior, majestic physical traits, and companionship.

They make excellent family dogs for experienced owners and handlers who have older kids and live a very active lifestyle.

You have to be able to match these dogs’ high energy levels and provide the time they require.

Let us know if you would get an Afghan Hound or one of the other hounds below, and make sure you share this article so more people know about these glamorous yet mercurial pooches.

Further reading: Similar Breeds to the Affie:


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