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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Breeds > Afghan Hound

Afghan Hound

Origin: Afghanistan

AKC Group: Hound

Height: 24 inches (Male)

Weight: 50 pounds (Male)

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Afghans are dignified and beautiful, but they have a tendency toward nervousness. They're extremely fast runners, and they need daily walks and runs. Afghans are suspicious of strangers, and sometimes aggressive with cats and rabbits. Professional obedience training is highly recommended. Afghans are sometimes hard to housebreak.

Male height: 
24 inches
Male weight: 
50 pounds
Long and silky except for the face and back. Needs frequent brushing.
Black, cream, silver, brindle, and others. Eyes are dark. Nose is black. Tail is fringed and curved at the end.

This ancient sighthound was developed in Afghanistan, India and Pakistan to be both a guardian to the people and their livestock and a protector. Part kindly shepherd and part lethal weapon, the Afghan Hound has always needed to be an independent thinker, as well as a dog who could handle the harsh environment of that part of the world. Afghans were used to hunt everything from gazelles to hares, yet they also did double duty as the guardians of sheep. Originally, the Afghan people prohibited sale of their national dog to outsiders, and the first specimens in Europe and America arrived as late as the turn of the 20th century. Today's Afghan is prized for his exceptional beauty and a power that captivates.

The elegant and independent Afghan may fool you with his looks, on the outside, it's all flash and style; on the inside is a dog with a silly streak. An Afghan Hound is a fast friend who will follow you to the ends of the earth and quietly and faithfully be there for you. An athletic and determined dog, the Afghan can hold his own and is resilient and hardy. His unconditional love knows no bounds if you nurture his soft side.
At home: 
Although the Afghan Hound can be adaptable to many different living arrangements, he is probably not best suited for apartment life. A securely fenced-in yard is a -- the Afghan can outdistance you in a matter of seconds and is not likely to respond to a recall once he's on the chase. He should not be left off leash unless in a secured area. His large, thick feet and coat protect him against cold and heat.
Afghans require lots of daily exercise. Originally bred to hunt swift-moving prey, they have a need for speed that must be appropriately directed. These dogs thrive on several long walks a day and the chance to run in a safely enclosed area.
Some Afghan Hounds are known to be picky eaters. They need a balanced, high-quality diet to stay healthy.
The independent-minded Afghan may be difficult to train, but he is intelligent. He responds best to positive, motivational methods. The Afghan must be socialized from puppyhood to cut down on his strong prey drive.
The Afghan Hound is a large, independent breed that needs plenty of socialization to get along with children. He does best with older children who understand and respect him. His strong prey drive means that he should be watched around cats and other small animals.
The average life span of the Afghan Hound is 12 to 14 years. Breed health concerns may include allergies; anesthesia sensitivity; bloat; cancer; cataracts; chylothorax; and hip dysplasia.
Fun fact: 

The first cloned dog was an Afghan Hound named Snuppy.

Grooming blurb: 
Afghans require intensive grooming. Their thick, flowing coats must be washed before being groomed because brushing the dry hair will damage it. After bathing, use a pin brush and slicker brush to remove any mats. Keep the long hair on the ears out of food and water bowls with a snood, a tube-like covering for the ears and neck. A professional groomer is a must for a first-time Afghan owner.
Copyright by T.F.H. Publications, Inc. This document has been published with the intent to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter within. While every reasonable precaution has been taken in preparation of this document, the author and publisher expressly disclaim responsibility for any errors, omissions or adverse effects arising from the use or application of the information contained herein. The techniques and suggestions are used at the reader's discretion and are not to be considered a substitute for veterinary care. If you suspect a medical problem consult your veterinarian.