Afghan Hound: Breed, Personalities, Traits, Training, Nutrition, and Facts

Afghan Hound

The Afghan Hound (Afghan), originally called Tazi is a dog breed originating from the nomadic tribes of Afghanistan possibly thousands of years ago. While there is no hard evidence of that possibility, the Afghan Hound does resemble the Saluki, one of the oldest dog breeds. 

Originally bred to hunt large prey such as leopards and gazelles across the harsh mountainous region throughout Afghanistan, they are well known to reach upwards of 40 mph. Today, when Tazis are not in the show ring, competing in agility events, or utilized as service dogs, they are friendly and loving family companions, albeit a tad challenging and a bit sneaky.

Afghan Hounds are a tall, medium to large size breed, typically weighing between 45 and 65 pounds (20 to 29 kg) and standing 24 to 27 (61 to 68.5 cm) inches tall at the shoulder. They come in a wide variety of colors, with 9 colors being standard. These colors include black, black & tab, black & silver, blue, blue & cream, red, silver, and white. As puppies, Tazis have short and fuzzy coats. As they mature, their hair becomes long and silky. While they are known for a long, luxurious coat that makes them appear regal and dignified, it is a single coat and they do not shed frequently. Because of that fact, the Afghan Hound is considered a hypoallergenic breed.

The speed, independence, and hunting instincts of Afghan Hounds made them the go-to large prey hunters. Today, those same instincts make them competitors on any agility course. Their instincts and intuition also make them fantastic therapy dogs as well as affectionate companions. Without proper socialization, however, the quick movements and high noise levels of children can startle an Afghan. 

Afghan hounds are not lap dogs and are fairly inactive while indoors, but they do need regular exercise. While they are suitable pets for larger properties, with enough exercise, they can make great apartment dogs. Early obedience training, socialization, and exercise is necessary to prevent them from herding young children and other pets.

Afghans are well-known for their agility, speed, elegant beauty, and for their powerful scent tracking abilities. Coupled with their strong prey drive, adaptability, and competitive streak, they love to participate in competitive sports like agility, flyball, and scent tracking events. To remain happy and healthy, they need at least 90 minutes of exercise and mental stimulation. The Afghan can be considered a high maintenance breed, but their cheerful, aloof, and clownish personalities make up for their independent stubbornness. 

Afghan Hounds need consistent training and jobs to tame their strong prey drive and help them become obedient companions. While Tazis can be difficult to train, basic obedience training must begin at an early age. Advanced training in areas they excel, such as agility work and scent tracking, can go a long way in taming their wild side. Consistent, positive, rigid training techniques are recommended, as Afghan Hounds can become anxious or aggressive if subjected to harsh training methods. 

Afghan Hounds should eat a balanced diet that is high in quality protein to maintain their weight and energy levels. Feeding Afghans high-quality dog food that is a good fit for their age, size, and activity level is critical to their health. They also benefit from supplements such as glucosamine and fish oil to support joint health and inflammation. Additionally, because Afghan Hounds can become overweight, not overfeeding them is important, as is plenty of exercise.. 

Afghan Hounds include being prone to certain health issues, such as hip and elbow dysplasia, thyroid disease, a blood clotting disease (von Willebrand’s) and even laryngeal paralysis. Afghan Hounds may not be one of the most popular breeds in the United States, ranked 117 out of 200, and there may be only about 2,000 registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC) per year, but they are a show stopper on every stage. But in Central Asia and the Middle East, Afghan Hounds continue to be popular pets and canine hunters.

In This Article:

What is an Afghan Hound?

The Afghan Hound is a breed of dog that began in Afghanistan and is called Tazi by the nomadic tribes in the area. 

Well-known for their long, thick, silky coat that makes them appear regal and aristocratic while also protecting them from the harsh conditions of the Afghanistan region, they were bred to hunt large prey like antelopes across deserts and mountains alike. Today, they can be found in the dog show circuit, on agility courses, tracking scents, and as a human companion, and a therapy dog. 

The average Afghan Hound weighs between 45 and 65 pounds (20 and 27 kg) and stands between 24 and 29 inches (61 and 74 cm) in height at the shoulder. Afghan Hounds are considered to be medium to large size canines and are characterized by a single, long, and silky flowing coat that rarely sheds, making them a hypoallergenic breed. They also have floppy ears, a slim, upright curved tail, and a coat that is heavier on the hind and forequarters The coat colors of the Afghan Hound range from primarily black, but also, black and tan, black and silver, blue, blue and cream, cream, red, silver, and white. Markings include a black mask, domino, brindle domino, brindle black mask, or brindle pattern coloring.

Afghan Hounds, aside from their hunting abilities are recognized for their speed, cunning personality, and high prey drive, making them great hunting dogs. However, they can be challenging to train, hypersensitive to pain and illness, and can be high maintenance. Therefore, they need to have firm and consistent training, exercised daily, and given proper love and attention to avoid any issues resulting from a bored hunter. Regular physical activity and advanced training include activities like speed, agility, and herding tasks or games to remain healthy and in a happy mood. A happy Afghan Hound is an extremely loyal and loving Afghan Hound.

To maintain their muscular mass and energy levels, Tazis need to eat a balanced diet that is rich in high quality protein and fat. It is essential for such types of dog breeds to provide them with high-quality dog food that is suitable for their age, size, and the amount of physical activity they get. Additionally, to help maintain healthy joints, Afghans reap the benefits of joint vitamins and supplements like glucosamine and fish oil.

What is the History of the Afghan Hound?

The Afghan Hound was not only bred to an independent hunter but they were bred to be companions of hunters. Thus, they are as fast as a racehorse, loyal, friendly, loving, and fun to be with.

Originating in what is now Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Northern India, it is theorized that the Afghan originated thousands of years ago during the pre-Christian era. While there is no proof or evidence to say one way or another, Tazis are still considered one of the eldest breeds around.

Because of their unique 270-degree vision range, while most breeds only have a 180-degree vision range, Afghan hounds are known as the “King of Sight Hounds”. This wider vision range makes them the best breed at hunting by sight, not just sound. This trait made them important to the primitive, nomadic tribes, as they could be protected from all sides in rough terrain.

It wasn’t until the late 19th century, that Afghan Hounds finally left the Afghanistan area when British soldiers, after fighting in the Indian-Afghan war, returned home to Europe with Afghans in tow. From there, their popularity for their looks and personalities continued to grow.

By 1926, the American Kennel Club (AKC) officially recognized the Afghan Hound for their rising popularity among hunters and individuals alike, and they joined the Hound Group. Also in 1926, one of the entertaining Marx brothers – Zepp Marx – brought one of the first Afghans home to America. Pablo Picasso is also known to not only own Afghan Hounds, but they were also said to have been his muse. Salvador Dali was also a fan. And in a more mainstream setting, Barbie had an Afghan that she named “Beauty” in 1979. 

Interestingly, in 2005, South Korea cloned the world’s first dog – Snuppy, a black and tan Afghan Hound. With their connection to primitive tribes, South Koreans effectively helped them become a symbol of the future. In 2010, South Korea cloned those clones, creating the first recloned puppies in the world. 

Where is the origin of the Afghan Hound?

Afghan Hounds are a breed of dog that reigns from Afghanistan, Northern India, and Pakistan and is said to be one of the oldest, if not the oldest, dog breeds in the world. Since they do not have a traceable origin, theories abound as to the true origin of the Afghan Hound. However, since they did occupy Afghanistan the longest, that is how they earned their name.

Other theories include that they date back to Alexander the Great’s army, and one legend even says that Noah himself selected the Afghan Hound as the dog to bring aboard the ark. However, the only documented proof of their origin is when British soldiers brought them home to the United Kingdom (UK).

Regardless of where they originated, or when, it is impossible to not look at the Afghan Hound and not see a regal, dignified, and powerful breed ready to hunt and play and protect their companions, their hunters, and their families. 

Afghan Hounds were purposefully bred to be large, agile, and fast to keep up with all the wild animals tribes encountered in the mountainous region of Afghanistan. Any wild animal they encounter is easily taken down when faced with an Afghan Hound, partly because Afghans have high placed hips, allowing them to quickly navigate around twists and turns scattered amongst the Afghanistan landscape they hunted in. 

In 1909, Captain John Bariff was the first to import Zardin, an Afghan Hound born in Iran. Zardin was then put on show at the popular Crufts dog show and stirred so much attention that Queen Alexandra invited Captain Bariff and Zardin to visit her home at Buckingham Palace. In 1912, Zardin’s appearance became the first breed standard, but World War I wiped out all of his bloodline.  

As British soldiers traveled to where the Afghan Hound is considered to have originated after World War I, the popularity of the Afghan Hound began to rise again, only for their authenticity to be questioned. There are now a few different bloodlines of the Afghan Hound. One is the Bell-Murray bloodline that Major and Mrs. G. Bell-Murray and Miss Jean C. Manson took to Scotland. This bloodline has a silkier coat, and a sleeker outline, and are considered “desert” dogs. 

Another is the Ghazni strain, brought to England by Mary Amps, wife of a stationed soldier in Kabul in 1925. The most popular Ghazni Afghan was a dog by the name of Sirdar who ultimately helped bring the breed into the spotlight. In fact, the Ghazni bloodlines and the Bell-Murray bloodlines continuously competed against each other to the point that each breeder ended up cross breeding their respective lines, creating the modern Afghan Hound we all love to stare at in awe.

What is the dog breed group of Afghan Hound?

The Afghan Hound is a member of the hound group, one of the seven groups of the American Kennel Club (AKC), and a member of the sighthound & pariah breed group of the United Kennel Club (UKC).

Dogs in the AKC hound group are bred specifically to hunt. These dogs have the stamina to run almost forever. Dogs in this group include the American English Coonhound, American Foxhound, Borzoi, and the Bloodhound. Hunting dogs include breeds that find and return game, seem to have supersonic speed and use their snouts to trail their prey. Additionally, hounds in the hound group have an intense prey drive and will do almost anything to reach their goals.

As for the sighthound & pariah breed group of the UKC, the Pariah group consists of some of the oldest breeds around that went from wild creatures on the outside of human settlements, scavenging to survive, to domestic animals that helped hunters find food. The breeds in the sighthound group, on the other hand, are the evolved versions of pariah dogs that became not just hunting partners but also critical for hunters. Especially those hunters on horseback. These dogs tend to have long heads, deep chests, and lighter bones that aid in their quickness. Additionally, sighthounds are prized for their beauty and talents, so it makes sense that Afghan Hounds are included in this UKC group.

What are the breed colors of the Afghan Hound?

There are a wide variety of breed colors of the Afghan Hounds, including black, blue, cream, red, and domino, and a range of patterns such as bicolor, brindle, and solid coats with white markings. The most popular coat colors include solid colors, but the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes 24 coat color and pattern combinations including domino, fawn, apricot, blue, and oyster. 

  • Black: One of the more popular breed colors, black Afghan hounds can be solid black or have white markings on their extremities – the chest, tail, and feet. Black Afghans also have a black mask that is indistinguishable from their coat.
  • Red, Gold, Silver: Some Afghan hounds have a coat with multiple colors. These are referred to as sable patterned coats. The most frequent sable patterned coats include layers of red, gold, and silver and often have what is called countershading. Countershading occurs when the undercoat is lighter than the top coat. Afghans with this coat color can have masks that are silver, black, fawn, gold, apricot, red, and any combination thereof.
  • Brindle: Afghan hounds with a brindle coat have a sable undercoat and either sparse or dense vertical strips of black pigmented hair. Brindle Afghans can also have a black mask or not.
  • Black & tan: Black and tan Afghan hounds are mostly black, but have tan patterns around their eyes, throat, nose, under the tail, belly, and legs. This coat color can also be considered a brindle pattern. If they have a black mask, the mask can cover some of the tan markings on their face.
  • Domino: A domino coat decreases the amount of dark hair shading and patterns, making lighter colors more pronounced. This breed color, while it can happen with any other coat color, is considered rare amongst Afghan Hounds.
  • Blue: Blue Afghan hounds have a coat that looks grey and is not actually blue. Instead, those with a blue coat have paler black pigmented hair and a much lighter undercoat.
  • White or Cream: Afghans with white or cream coat colors have a coat with very little pigment, thus causing a coat with light yellow or off-white hair. Those with this coat color will also have a lighter colored mask and white whiskers as they cannot have a black or dark mask due to the lack of pigment, 

Keep in mind that some Afghan Hounds can have a combination of all these colors or a coat that differs slightly from what is thought to be standard for the breed. However, non-standard coats have been bred out over the years. 

What does an Afghan Hound look like?

An Afghan hound looks like the aristocratic hunter that they are. Considered a medium to large breed with a very narrow yet long muzzle, they embody regal and dignified. Afghans, known for their luxurious hair, have a long, silky coat that has a similar texture to human hair. With their coat heavier on their hind legs to protect their protruding hip bones that are unique to the breed, this magnificent breed is powerful yet agile on their feet. 

Afghan hounds also have big paws, long necks and legs, long floppy ears, and short narrow tails. Furthermore, while they are known for their coat, they only have a single coat and do not shed much and thus are considered hypoallergenic dogs. As puppies, Afghan hounds actually have fuzzy and short coats. It isn’t until they reach one year old that their coat starts to become the infamous long, silky coat.

What are the grooming tips for Afghan Hound?

Listed below are some grooming tips for Afghan Hounds. 

  • Give them baths as needed: Afghan hounds need to be bathed regularly and as often as once every one to two weeks to keep their coat clean and silky. More so if they are show dogs. Use a high quality shampoo that is specifically made for dogs and a light conditioner. During the colder months, adding oils to their coat can be beneficial as their coat can dry out. Make sure to avoid getting water in their ears or eyes. 
  • Keep their coat well-brushed: It’s important to brush the Afghan Hound’s long coat as often as daily or after a bath when they are almost dry to keep it from tangling and matting and removing any dead hairs. Start with a pin brush at the bottom of their coat, moving upwards in sections. Pay closer attention to the areas behind their ears, underarms, elbows, groin, and between the toes as these are areas with higher occurrence of matting. To remove a mat, gently pull it apart with fingers then utilize a slicker brush.
  • Look for ticks and fleas: Due to their long hair, it is important to keep an eye on the Afghan Hound and treat them as needed when it comes to flea and tick prevention. Especially if they spend time outdoors or in the woods where fleas and ticks are common.
  • Clean their teeth: Afghan hounds have a tendency to have more dental problems than other breeds. To ensure they have good dental health throughout their lifetime, it is essential to brush their teeth at least three times a week.
  • Keep their ears clean: Because their ears are long, they have a tendency to get dirty. It is imperative to keep the Afghan hound’s ears clean to prevent ear infections or other issues. Some may even need their ear hairs plucked to remove any blockage and allow air to circulate. Use a specifically for dogs ear cleaner and a cotton ball to clean the inside of their ear canal. If hair needs to be plucked from the ear, take it to the vet if you are not properly trained or uncomfortable doing it yourself.
  • Regular nail trimming: Every two to three weeks, trim their nails with a clipper or a rotary grinder. At the very least, trim their nails before they touch the ground. However, because Afghan hounds have a coat that also covers their paws, it is important to make sure the nail trimmer being used does not snag in their hair. This can be done by cutting a hole in a sock and putting the sock over their paw. The fur on their paw can also be trimmed back.
  • Visit a skilled groomer: If the owner of an Afghan Hound is uncomfortable grooming them alone, taking them to a skilled groomer is a viable option. They possess the expertise necessary to keep the dog’s hair, ears, and nails in optimal condition for the breed..

How often should an Afghan Hound be groomed?

An Afghan hound may have a single coat, but it is long and should be groomed regularly, ideally daily. But, two to three times per week at least will help prevent matting and tangles, ensuring healthy hair and skin while removing dirt and debris.  Each individual dog, dependent on their lifestyle, length of coat, activity levels, and whether they are a show dog or not, will have a different grooming schedule. 

Grooming an Afghan hound can take several hours every week. Their coat should be brushed daily, but at the very least, once a week, with a large pin brush that will get through most tangles. If there are mats, or remaining tangles, a slicker brush is the best tool. When brushing, it is advised to start far from the skin and work upwards, using hair clips as necessary.

For Afghan hounds entering the show ring, bathing should occur one to two times per week. For those not entering a show ring, depending on the season and their environment, a bath two times a month is ideal for those with long coats, and 1 to 2 times a month for Afghans with clipped hair. Additionally, it is also recommended that brushing of their coat should occur after a bath, when they are almost dry as brushing a dry or dirty coat can damage their coat. If brushing their coat without a bath, a grooming spray can be used to dampen their coat first.

Grooming an Afghan hound also includes clipping their nails regularly before they get too long and hit the ground with each step, causing pain and discomfort. After each bath, it is ideal to not only check their nails but also check their ears for any signs of infection or dirt as, with their long droopy ears, debris can hide and cause problems. Keeping their ears clean will help prevent infections. Likewise, Afghans should have their teeth brushed two to three times a week as they are highly prone to dental problems. 

Year round, but especially in the warmer months when parasites are most active, regular checks for fleas and ticks are necessary as well, and flea and tick preventatives must be applied monthly.

Regular grooming will reduce any potential skin or coat issues while also keeping the dog happy and healthy. Regular care will also prevent any potential health problems before they become worse. Whether it is done at home by the owners, or completed by a trained groomer because the owner does not feel comfortable performing grooming tasks on their own, the high maintenance of an Afghan hound is worth the time and effort.

What is the best grooming tool for an Afghan Hound?

Listed below are some of the best grooming tools for an Afghan Hound and their uses.

  • Slicker Brush: Any responsible Afghan Hound owner must always have a slicker brush on hand. The brush’s delicate, short wires help remove any difficult mats and tangles that can be hidden in an Afghan Hound long coat. A slicker brush removes dirt, debris, and any loose hair, making it easier to maintain their coat. It is best to start at the bottom and brush in the direction that the hair grows out, but be gentle so as not to scratch the skin, working upwards to the top.
  • Pin Brush: Pin brushes are a long haired dog’s best friend, helping untangle top coats quickly without doing damage while also spreading their natural oil throughout their skin. 
  • Dog-specific Shampoo: Because Afghan Hounds need frequent bathing, a dog-specific mild shampoo is recommended. Preferably, a shampoo that has a neutral pH, contains no harmful ingredients and is made specifically for dogs with sensitive skin, is ideal for Afghans. Wet the dog completely, then apply shampoo by massaging with fingers and thoroughly rinse the shampoo off.
  • Grooming spray: Because brushing the coat of an Afghan hound while it is dry can damage their coat, if their coat needs to be brushed without a bath beforehand, a grooming spray specifically designed for dogs can help dampen their coat so they can be brushed without causing damage.
  • Hair Dryer: For Afghan Hounds with long straight hair, it is advisable to use a stand dryer while brushing to ensure their hair remains straight. If the Afghan has curly hair, it should be immediately hair dried while still very wet. 
  • Nail Clippers: Whether manual or electric, a high quality nail clipper is a good investment to keep an Afghan Hounds nails short.
  • Hair Clips: Afghan Hounds have a long coat that can get in the way when brushing. Hair clips can help part their coat into sections to make sure every inch of their coat can be brushed.

How to Adopt an Afghan Hound

To adopt an Afghan Hound, there are a number of avenues. Before adopting an Afghan hound, there are a few essential factors to take into account. These include knowing the breed’s characteristics and traits, finding a reputable rescue or adoption agency, taking into account the dog’s age and background, ensuring the home is a proper environment, preparing a family, choosing a healthy diet, and the ability to routinely socialize and train them.

Research the breed’s characteristics. Afghan hounds are loyal, silly, and love their companions, but they can also be challenging to train due to their independence and competitive nature. Coupled with their strong prey drive, they may not be ideal for first time dog owners or owners that cannot provide them with the proper care and attention. Before bringing home an Afghan, it is imperative to make sure prospective owners and their homes are ready for this dog breed that has a big personality.

Find a trustworthy adoption or rescue agency. To ensure a successful adoption, when locating adoption or rescue agencies, ask questions about their policies, procedures, and any other question relevant to your situation. It is also helpful to see if they have any assistance or resources for post-adoption. The average price to adopt a dog can range from $55 to $600, with Afghan hounds being on the higher end.

Take the Afghan Hound’s age and history into account. Older dogs have different needs than younger dogs and vice versa. While younger dogs tend to have more energy and require more exercise, older dogs may have more health problems. Additionally, behaviors in dogs that are younger versus older can be drastically different. When finding a rescue dog to adopt, it is necessary to inquire about the dog’s history, temperament, and personality, as well as their health records. These questions will help determine if the prospective owner and their home are a good fit.

Prepare the household and family members. Before bringing home an Afghan hound, everyone in the household should be prepared for this change. Adopting a rescue of any breed is a big life change, but Afghans in particular can be even more intense than others. Afghans need consistent training and exercise, but their grooming needs are also high maintenance. Additionally, even though they need plenty of exercise, Afghans do make good apartment dogs and do not require a large yard or property.

Select high quality premium dog food. When adopting an Afghan Hound, they may already have a diet that they have adjusted to. Make sure to check it is a high quality dog food. After bringing them home, make sure you either continue with the food they were given at the shelter or slowly introduce them to a brand that is specifically made for large breeds in mind and that has a premium source of protein and zero fillers. Brands like Royal Canin, Wellness Complete, Hill’s Science Diet, and Purina Pro Plan are just a few premium options for Afghan Hounds.

Ensure adequate time and space for learning, training, and socialization. Afghan Hounds were bred to run and hunt and still have those instincts and will need extensive socialization and training to ensure they are well-behaved and well-adjusted. Before adopting an Afghan hound, ensure you have the time to devote to obedience training, exercise, and introducing them to new places and people. 

How to Feed an Afghan Hound

Feeding an Afghan Hound depends on six elements, including choosing a high-quality protein diet, the dog’s age and activity level, a food with few fillers and additives, selecting a recognized brand, any health conditions, and feeding requirements.

First, select a dog food that is high in quality animal protein. Because of their energy levels and size, Afghan Hounds have high protein needs. High quality animal protein, such as chicken, turkey, lamb, duck, or beef, should be the very first item on the ingredients list.

Second, it’s important to consider the age of the dog and how active they are. An Afghan Hound puppy’s nutritional requirements will differ from those of an adult dog, and even more so from those of a senior dog. To promote healthy growth and development, puppies have higher calorie and nutritional needs. Whereas an adult dog’s diet will be lower in caloric needs as their growth levels out. However, more energetic Afghans will need more calories than their less energetic counterparts. It is also important to choose a dog food that is designed for their age and size, i.e. large breed puppy food or large breed adult food. 

Third, steer clear of dog food with extra ingredients such as artificial colors, preservatives, and added tastes that do not come from animal protein or vegetables in the food. Added fillers and additives can cause stomach problems for Afghan hounds as these extra ingredients can be difficult to digest.

Fourth, pick a well-known name brand that has a positive reputation. Well-respected companies are more likely to employ high quality ingredients. Great options to consider for your Afghan hound include Hill’s Science Diet, Wellness Core, Natural Balance, and Orijen. 

Fifth, make sure any health concerns, such as allergies and obesity, are taken into account before choosing a new dog food. If there are any health concerns, it can be beneficial to talk to the vet about the best kind of dog food for your specific Afghan hound, especially if they have special dietary needs. 

Sixth, follow recommended eating habits but be flexible. The Afghan hound’s nutritional requirements will vary with age, size, and activity levels. There are feeding instructions on all dog food packages that should be followed, but keep in mind any special requirements that should be taken into account. It is recommended to feed your Afghan at the same time every day. Afghan hound puppies between 8 and 12 weeks of age should receive four meals a day; ages three months to six months need 3 meals, and adult Afghan hounds over one year should eat once to twice a day with a total of 2 and 2 and a half cups of dog food per day. Regardless of age, Afghans are prone to obesity, so it is imperative to make sure not to overfeed them.

How to Choose a Fence for Afghan Hound

To choose a fence for an Afghan Hound there are 6 main things to consider.  These include the height of the fence, materials, if they are a digger or a jumper, strength and durability, yard size, and DIY or expert installation are all important factors to think about.

Select a fence that is at least six feet tall in order to prevent Afghan hounds from easily jumping over the fence. Afghans are very agile, athletic, and can jump high even from a sitting position.

Fences come in a range of materials such as wood, plastic, metal, and wire. When selecting a material, take into account how long the material will last, if it will need maintenance, and cost. Additionally, a high visibility fence seen from afar will help prevent Afghan hounds from running into it and injuring themselves. If a high visibility fence is needed, a chain link or metal fence is a good option.

When selecting a fence, select one that has a gate with a lock and a secure access point for owners to easily enter and exit without providing an easy escape route for an Afghan hound.

When choosing a fence, consider the size of the yard. Smaller yards may be fine with just a simple fence, but a larger yard may need a more robust fence. Cost will also play a role in determining which fence will be best as larger yards will need more fencing material. Regardless of which material is chosen, to ensure it is done properly, consider hiring a professional fence installer if you are not comfortable installing it yourself.

A more modest fence is appropriate for a smaller yard, whereas a more substantial fence is appropriate for a larger yard. Owners should consider hiring a professional to install the fence so they can be sure it will be done correctly and offer sufficient security and long term sturdiness.

Another popular alternative to a structured fence is a wired, wireless, or GPS dog fence. Wired fences are installed underground whereas a wireless fence does not wire that needs to be dug into the ground. All three options transmit either a signal below or above ground to create a boundary around the property. When the dog gets close to the boundary, its collar will notify them to turn around. In the event the dog crosses the boundary line the collar can beep, spray, or provide a gentle shock to the dog to stop them from proceeding.

Some reputable companies that make wired, wireless, and GPS dog fences include PetSafe, SportDOG, and Extreme Dog Fence. While they all provide similar services, there are many wireless and GPS collars that offer different options for all types of yards. It is also important to take into account any special requirements of the Afghan hound and their temperament when selecting a fence. Afghan hounds are a sensitive breed and respond much better to positive reinforcement than negative. When training an Afghan hound on one of these fences, remember to provide lots of praise.

How to Choose a Collar for Afghan Hound

To choose a collar for an Afghan Hound, there are six facts that need to be considered for their health and wellbeing. The most important considerations include size, materials, width, whether it has a buckle or clip, if it is reflective or illuminated, as well as length.

Afghan Hounds need a collar that will fit their long, powerful neck with layers of long hair. To get your Afghan Hound’s neck measurement, take a fabric tape measure and wrap it around the neck where the collar will sit. Record the length that fits securely yet has enough room to easily slide two fingers between both the dog’s neck and the leash.

Collars are made from a number of materials, such as nylon, leather, neoprene, polyester, and PVC plastic which is weather resistant and durable, ABS plastic which is light and flexible, or metal. When choosing which material collar, consider how long each material will last, how comfortable it will be, and how each material will stand up to odors over time.

As for width, Afghan Hounds need a wider collar to spread the pressure on their long neck out evenly. A thin collar, or one that is too narrow, can dig into their necks and can cause pain or even problems breathing. 

Afghan Hounds have a strong prey drive and can bolt as fast as a racehorse. To prevent their collar from accidentally coming off, it should have some sort of clasp. A buckle will make it more secure whereas clips are easy to remove but tend to be less secure. Additionally, to help see the dog when it is dark, consider purchasing a collar with reflective trim or one with lighting.

Ruffwear, Tuff, Blue-9, Black Rhino, Kong, and Kurgo are all good dog collar brands. When making a final decision, think about the Afghan Hound’s needs and its walking behavior. For instance, if the Afghan Hound tends to pull on the collar, a harness with a front-clip can help reduce tugging and stress. Likewise, for a puller, a martingale style collar will prevent the dog from choking itself.

Which Country are Afghan Hounds most popular in?

The country that Afghan Hounds are most popular in is Afghanistan, the place of their origin. Other regions where Afghan Hounds are popular include Central Asia, the Middle East, Australia, and the United States. 

The Afghan Hound dog breed reached peak popularity in the 1970s and has slowly lost their luster. In terms of popularity, they rank 117th out of 200 in the United States, with only 2,000 Afghan Hounds being American Kennel Club (AKC) registered every year.

Afghan Hounds and their lively and loving personalities, elegant appearance, and powerful agility, make them amazing competitors in agility courses and show floors. While they are not used as hunters anymore, when they aren’t competing, they can be found as companions and even service dogs due to their adaptable, sensitive, and cheerful attitudes.

Whether or not Afghan Hounds are popular is determined, and changes, based on the culture and society in any given country. Today, Afghans are seen as a status symbol more than an actual working dog. Regardless of their popularity, Afghan Hounds may be aristocratic in looks, but they are aloof and clownish behind the scenes.

Which countries Afghan Hounds are banned?

The first country is Qatar. Because they have been used in the past as fighting dogs or trained to be fighting dogs, Afghan Hounds are outright banned from Qatar, along with Boston Terriers, Boxers, Bulldogs, and Great Danes. Regardless of these breeds having loving personalities, because of a piece of their history, they are banned. 

In Beijing, China, a law was passed in 2003 that banned dogs from entering the city itself, if they reached over 14 inches tall (35 cm) due to them being considered “large and vicious”. Other breeds included in this rule include St. Bernards, Australian Shepherds, German Shepherds, Chow Chows, Greyhounds, and Japanese Akitas, among others.

Unfortunately, certain countries and localities have rules against keeping specific dog breeds. Several examples of countries with dog classification restrictions are provided below.

  • United Kingdom: The Dangerous Dog Act of 1991 bans the ownership of Pit Bull Terriers, Fill Brasileiros, Dog Argentinos, and Japanese toast. Afghan Hounds are not included on the list.
  • Norway: There are restrictions on owning specific dog breeds, such as American Staffordshire Terriers, File Brasileros, and Pit Bulls. Afghan Hounds are not included on the list.

Breed-specific regulations, bans, and restrictions on certain breeds vary from one location to the next. Some place reasoning on better educating dog owners, others have higher ownership standards for all different breeds, while some countries have outright bans due to their history of violence, aggressive behaviors, or potential harm that they could potentially cause.

Over the years, breed-specific legislation has caused a lot of debate as well as controversy. Not only can identifying a breed based on their appearance alone be difficult, but not all dogs in the same breed have the same temperament or personality. These laws result in discrimination, thus the growing controversy of how legitimate they are to begin with. Regardless of what breed owners have, good ownership habits, training, and socialization should be the primary focus of dog owners.

What are the other names of Afghan Hounds?

The Afghan Hound is sometimes referred to as Sage Baluchi, Balkh Hound, Baluchi Hound, Tazi, and even Affie.

Affies are known not only for their elegant looks, but also for their speed, agility, and companionship, making them worthwhile competitors on the agility field, in the show ring, and as a service dog. When not in any of those situations, their loyalty, cheerfulness, and sensitive natures brighten their families’ days.

What is the lifespan of an Afghan Hound?

The lifespan of an Afghan Hound is, on average, 12 to 14 years with proper nutrition, care, and love from their owners. This average lifespan is on par with other breeds of similar size. However, some Afghans will live shorter or longer lives due to their genes, lifestyle, and level of care provided.

To promote a long and healthy life, an Afghan Hound needs daily exercise, a well-balanced diet, and routine veterinary check-ups that will not only help prevent health problems but be able to diagnose and treat any health problems early on. Socialization, mental stimulation, and physical exertion all go a long way in improving an Affies quality of life. 

What are the different types of Afghan Hound?

Because the Afghan Hound breed crossed borders with hunters and was brought home by soldiers in various wars within Afghanistan, Northern India, and Pakistan, where they originated, there are at least 13 different types of Affies that have resulted in mixing breeds. It is said that, by just looking at one of these, their country of origin can be easily ascertained. Below is a list of just a few of these types. 

  • Taigan Breed: Originated on the Chinese border of Afghanistan in the mountainous region of Tian Shan and has a longer coat around ears, tail, and chest to keep them warm as they live and hunt 10,000 feet above sea level. This breed is not standard and can have long or short coats, with medium, curly, smooth fur. 
  • Saluki Breed: Originated in the region that is now the United Kingdom and Germany and have a slim build, similar to the greyhound, but are curvier where the Afghan has angles, a shorter head compared to the Afghan’s long, narrow muzzle, and a short coat. Saluki’s are most closely linked to Afghan Hounds.
  • Bell-Murray Strain: Bred in Scotland in the 1920s, Bell-Murray strain Afghan Hounds are also referred to as Kalagh, and are noticeable for their lack of a heavy coat.

What are the personality traits of an Afghan Hound?

The personality traits of an Afghan hound include bravery, self-confidence, humbleness, happiness, and loyalty. All of these traits together, combined with their aloofness, have earned them a reputation as a dignified, independent, breed. 

The following list of personality traits is also typically associated with Afghan Hounds.

  • Affectionate & Loyal: Afghan hounds are known to be affectionate to their companions and families and reserved around strangers or when in new locations. They may not be clingy or the typical lapdog, but they do not do well when they are left alone for a long time, needing to be close to their handlers. 
  • Sensitive: Afghan Hounds are a sensitive breed. They do not handle stress or change very well. When training an Affie, it is important to give praise and positive corrections, rather than harsh punishments.
  • Athletic: Bred for their agility and speed, Afghan Hounds can reach speeds upwards of 40 miles per hour (MPH). As the third fastest breed behind the Greyhound and the Saluki – both sighthounds as well – Affies are built to be agile on their feet to safely traverse mountainous terrain.
  • Intelligent: While Afghan Hounds can be difficult to train due to their independence, they are very smart. They were bred to hunt harsh terrains and be on their own, but they also are known to do things on their own terms. 
  • Independent: Afghan Hounds were bred to think for themselves and make decisions. For thousands of years, Affies have been bred to work in tandem with hunters yet separately to go off by themselves.

What are Afghan Hounds good for?

Afghan Hounds are competitive yet adaptable and can succeed in a select number of situations. Below are a few of the environments Afghan Hounds can be found excelling in.

  • Service Animal: As long as they have the proper training and a positive handler, due to their loyalty, calm demeanor, and ability to provide emotional support, Afghan Hounds can excel at being service animals.
  • Hunting Companion: While not as common today, Afghan Hounds still hunt alongside handlers in Central Asia and the Middle East across rough terrains.
  • Agility Competitions: Afghan Hounds are agile on their feet and can run as fast, if not faster, than horses. With the proper training, agility competitions were made for Affies to shine.
  • Show Floors: Due to their long, silky, regal looks, Afghan Hounds can be found strutting their stuff on the show floor.

How large can an Afghan Hound grow?

The Afghan Hound is a medium to large breed with an average weight of anywhere from 45 to 65 pounds (20 – 29 kg) and stands, on average, 25 to 27 inches (63.5 to 68.5 cm) inches tall at the shoulder. The size and weight of an Afghan Hound will vary depending on the sex of the dog. Male Afghan Hounds can reach a shoulder height between 27 – 29 inches (69 – 74 cm) and female Afghan Hounds reach an average shoulder height between 24 – 27 inches (61 – 69 cm). In terms of weight, both are similar but male Afghan Hounds are a little heavier at 45 – 60 pounds (20 – 27 kg), while females weigh a tad less at 45 – 55 lbs (20 – 25 kg).

How tall and heavy an Afghan Hound will become depends largely on their genetics, the nutrition provided, amount of exercise they receive, amongst other things. Additionally, some Afghan Hounds will have dimensions outside the norm on either end. 

Generally, Afghan Hounds are considered fully grown between 18 months and two years of age, with some not fully physically or emotionally developed until they are three years old. Between six months and one year of age, the Afghan Hound will start developing its personality. It is recommended that Affies must be trained during this stage of life as it can become more difficult to control them if not.

In general, Afghan Hounds are medium to large dogs whose agile body is high off the ground but their long, silky hair almost reaches the ground. They have an elongated neck and a narrow face that adds to their elegant and regal look.

Bred to be hunters, today, they are routinely kept as companions and family pets. Tazis require regular grooming, medical care, physical and mental stimulation, and socialization for a fulfilled life. 

What is the height of a Male Afghan Hound?

The height of male Afghan Hounds at their shoulder, averages between 27 and 29 inches (69 and 74 cm). There are a number of factors that can affect an Affie’s height, including lineage, levels of activity, nutrition intake, and genetics. There will be some male Afghans that are smaller or taller than the average height.

An Afghan hound’s height is a contributing factor when trying to determine their appropriate weight to height ratio. On average, while weight fluctuates and can vary based on similar factors that affect height, male Affies tend to weigh between 45 and 60 pounds (20 and 27 kg). As with height, there are Afghan Hounds that will weigh less than the average or more than.

Regardless of breed, a dog’s height and weight are two of the most important elements in defining how big they will get, but these are just two variables to consider. Its structure, bone density, and overall muscular strength are other factors to take into account when trying to determine how big a dog will be. 

What is the height of a Female Afghan Hound?

The height of female Afghan Hounds at the shoulder is between 24 and 27 inches (61 and 69 cm). A number of factors such as genetics and nutrition can affect an Affies individual height. Some females will be on the smaller size whereas others can be larger than the average.

Depending, in major part, on their height, a female Afghans weight will range from medium to large and their average weight is between 45 and 55 lbs (20 to 25 kg). For the same variables that cause height differences, a female Afghan Hound’s weight will also vary, with some being on either end of the spectrum.

A dog’s size can be predicted by more than just its height and weight alone. Other factors include bone density, body composition, bone and muscle structure, and overall health.

What is the weight of a Male Afghan Hound?

The weight of a male Afghan Hound averages between 45 and 60 pounds (20 and 27 kg). An individual’s Affies weight will fluctuate due to factors like genetics, type of nutrition provided, as well as exercise opportunities provided. Some Afghans males will be smaller or larger than the average weight range.

Afghan Hounds are a medium to large size breed whose strength is partly dependent on their body mass. Averaging in height between 27 and 29 inches (69 to 74 cm) at their shoulder, the height of male Afghan Hounds depends upon similar factors affecting their weight.

Much like height, there is more to consider than just a dog’s weight and height when trying to estimate its size at full maturity. General build, muscle mass, and body composition all contribute to their overall weight and size.

What is the weight of a Female Afghan Hound?

The average weight of Female Afghan Hounds ranges between 45 and 55 lb (20 – 25 kg). Because every individual dog is different, factors such as genes, lifestyle, nutrition, and activity levels all contribute to variations in weight. Some female Affies will be on the smaller side whereas others will be heavier.

Being a medium to large breed, the agility and endurance of a female Afghan Hound can be affected by their weight. Additionally, similar to the factors affecting weight, those factors can also affect height. Female Affies, on average, stand 24 to 27 in (61 to 69 cm) tall at their shoulder.

Remember, a dog’s individual size will be determined by multiple factors, including height, weight, build, stature, muscle mass, and body composition, in addition to overall lifestyle.

What are the Traits of an Afghan Hound?

Here are some common Afghan Hound traits.

  • Strong-willed & Independent: Because they were bred to run and hunt, Afghan Hounds tend to be independent. Coupled with their strong-willed personality, they act how they want when they want. And they get what they want when they want. They do need a positive yet firm hand when it comes to training.
  • Dignified, Aloof, & Clownish: Afghan Hounds take life seriously and can be reserved, and distant, around strangers, yet also be happy, full of life, and entertaining, especially when playing with their companions.
  • Affectionate: Afghan Hounds show their love from a distance as they are not the typical lapdog. However, they do need to be close to their humans and do love a good snuggle on the couch and one can feel their love when they look into their eyes.
  • Loyal: Afghan Hounds are known for their loyalty to their handlers and companions. They do not do well separated from their humans for long stretches of time as they were bred to be hunting companions.
  • Athletic & Graceful: Afghan Hounds can run as fast as a racehorse. With their unique hip placement, they were bred to be agile in any situation. With their regal looks, they look graceful as they run like the wind.
  • Quiet: As long as their needs are met, especially their exercise needs, Afghan Hounds rarely bark and are considered a quiet breed, perfect for apartment living.

What is the Coat Type of Afghan Hound?

The coat type of the Afghan Hound is a single, long haired coat that is fine and silky to the touch and requires regular maintenance. Even with all their hair, they are considered a low shedding breed and thus a hypoallergenic breed. 

Afghan Hounds are known for their fine, silky hair that flows with their every movement. However, their long hair is not just for looks, their long hair also serves a purpose. Their thick, flowing hair protected them from the harsh, rough terrain of the mountains they hunted in.

As a puppy, though, Afghan hounds actually have a short and fuzzy coat with cute hair on their face that is referred to as “monkey whiskers” However, that cute look does grow out into a long, regal coat as they reach maturity.

An Afghan Hounds coat is the most high maintenance aspect of this breed. It must be groomed frequently to help prevent mats and tangles, thus keeping its long coat shiny, strong, and healthy. It is recommended that they are brushed daily, but weekly at the very minimum. And while they do not shed much, their hair can be cut short to a couple of inches long. 

The coat of an Afghan Hound does come in a variety of colors. The most common of which include white, tan, and black. Other coat colors include silver, red, domino, and brindle. Some Afghan Hounds have white markings, but those patterns are not recognized as standard by the American Kennel Club.  

What is the Coat Length of an Afghan Hound?

The coat length of an Afghan Hound can be as long as they are tall, around 20 inches in length. WIth very short hair on their muzzle, their long droopy ears will have long hair that is as long as their neck is tall and can often be worn in a topknot atop their head. The Afghan Hound coat is long, silky, thick, fine, and straight. Coat length and density are affected by both heredity and the environment, including things like climate and food.

According to the AKC breed standard for Afghan Hounds, their paws should be well covered in hair, as well as their hindquarters, legs, flanks, and ribs. Along their saddle, from their shoulders to their hindquarters, the hair can be shorter, but it is still long. 

Due to the length of their coat, they are considered a high maintenance dog, and require regular grooming, as often as once per day. If an Afghan Hound will not be on the show floor, their coat can be cut shorter in what is called a “puppy cut”. 

What is the Coat Density of Afghan Hound?

The coat density of an Afghan Hound is considered very dense due to how much hair they have. Their coat is also fine, silky, and straight and the length of their hair is a protective mechanism, protecting them from harsh conditions in the mountains they hunted.

While their luxurious, long flowing coat gives it its well known aristocratic look, their coat kept them safe from the hot sun as they travel deserts, and insulated as they hunted through the cold and snowy mountains.

An Afghan Hound’s coat density is not just affected by their genetics, but also by environmental factors as well as grooming routines. To maintain the health of their beautiful coat, regular bathing and brushing to prevent mats and tangles is important.

What is the Coat Texture of Afghan Hound?

The coat texture of an Afghan Hound is typically fine and silky, but some can have a more cotton-like feel that leans more fluffy. But, the standard norm is dense, fine, and silky.

This long silky hair has a dual purpose – protecting them from the heat in the desert and insulating them in the cold, snowy mountains. 

Afghan Hounds, because of their single coat, do not shed very much. In fact, because they infrequently shed, they are considered hypoallergenic. With that being said, they still do shed some. Daily brushing will help reduce their shedding frequency even more.

Because of their unique coat, Afghan Hounds can thrive in both hot and cold climates. They can even live in sub-zero climates. However, they are not meant to live permanently outdoors, regardless of the outside temperature. 

What is the Possible Coat Color of Afghan Hound?

The possible coat color of Afghan Hounds varies depending on their genes and lineage. Most Afghan Hounds are solid black, white, or cream, but the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes nine different colors, including solids such as white, silver, red, cream, blue, and black, and bicolors of black and tan, black and silver, and blue and cream.

The AKC also recognizes five different marking patterns, including Afghan Hounds with black masks, brindle pattern, domino pattern, brindle domino, and Affies with a brindle black mask. White markings on the chest are acceptable, but white markings on the head, however, are considered undesirable and not AKC standard.

Brindle Afghan Hounds will have a red or yellow base color with strips of black, cream, and tan. Some brindle patterned Afghan Hounds are referred to as sable. Regardless, brindle patterned Affies will have alternating colors across their body.

Afghan Hounds with the domino pattern, also known as the grizzle pattern in other sighthounds, tend to have lighter colored snouts, chests, legs, and a darker saddle. Domino Affies are rare, and with a widow’s peak, they are certainly unique.

Whatever coat color and markings an Afghan Hound has, they all have one thing in common. They all look regal and like they run the world. 

What is the Brushing Frequency of Afghan Hounds?

It is recommended that the brushing frequency of the Afghan Hound be done on a daily basis to keep their coat from getting knots and tangles. Additionally, daily brushing is advised to brush out any debris that has been caught up in their long coat, to remove loose, dead hairs, and to keep their coat healthy and luxurious.

Coat density is directly related to the time spent without brushing. Brushing your dog on a regular basis helps remove dead hair and avoid matting, especially if the dog has a dense coat. 

Coat texture is also a determining factor in how often a dog’s coat should be brushed. Rough, coarse, and wiry coats should be brushed more frequently, whereas smooth coats do not require brushing as often. 

For Afghan Hounds that are not competing for dog show awards, their coat can be brushed as minimally as once a week. But, no less than that. For dogs with long and dense coats, like Affies, consistent and regular grooming is imperative to keep their coat functional and elegant.

How was the playfulness level of the Afghan Hound?

The Afghan Hound dog breed has plenty of energy and can be playful, but, generally, they are not an overly playful breed. While they can be silly sometimes with their human companions, they prefer to remain distant and watch other dogs, and people, playing. 

With their high energy levels, they love to run as fast as they can, and if they escape, they can run seemingly forever. For their health and wellbeing, they need at least two hours of exercise per day. Since they love the chase, playing fetch with them is a great exercise. They also excel at canicross activities, or any activities that allow them to run. A simple, long walk is also suitable for Afghan Hounds.

However, because they enjoy the chase, make sure to keep an eye on them at all times around other animals and children. With that being said, they have a very balanced disposition and make great family companions for people and families with active lifestyles.

Afghan Hounds were initially bred to be hunting dogs, hence why they love the chase, and why they have so much energy. Coupled with their independence, they can be stubborn and hard to train. Training them early, consistently, and with a firm hand is imperative to overriding their hunting instincts. Keeping an Afghan Hound physically and mentally stimulated through a combination of play and work, is important to their wellbeing. 

How was the barking level of the Afghan Hound?

The Barking level of the Afghan Hound is loud and, with their size, can be quite intimidating. However, because they were bred to be hunters, they did not bark much as barking would alert their prey. Keep in mind that individual dogs within the same breed bark more frequently than not.

Afghan Hounds can be quite wary of strangers and thus would make a great watchdog. But because they prefer to be aloof, they do not make great protection dogs. Other reasons that Affies are known to park are because they are playing or being silly, they may be afraid, angry, or they are alerting to territorial threats. If an Afghan Hound is not barking for any of those reasons, they may have a health concern that needs to be checked out. 

An Afghan Hound’s bark can still be limited with early exposure to different environments, situations, and people. Through training and exposure, they can be trained to know what warrants barking and what doesn’t. Never use harmful or negative consequences as Affies are a sensitive breed. However positive reinforcement using treats or verbal praise can be effective when trying to reward the barking behavior wanted. 

Additionally, providing ample opportunities for body and mind exercise can also prevent boredom, limiting barking. An active Afghan Hound is less likely to bark excessively than one who has too much built-up energy.

How was the shedding level of the Afghan Hound?

The Afghan Hound is a dog breed known for its long and silky single coat that has a very low shedding level and is thus considered a hypoallergenic breed. This long coat is not just for looks, as it is also protection against harsh weather conditions they were bred to hunt in. It is long and thick to keep them protected from the hot desert sun, and insulated and warm in the cold mountains.

While they may not shed much, they do shed year round, and much like human hair, they can still lose hair from time to time. Daily brushing and regular baths can help lessen the amount of hair loss by removing loose hairs before they fall by themselves. Using an oval pin brush is ideal for brushing out debris, mats, and tangles from their fine coat.

Tazis, when born until they are 18 months to two years of age, will have short, fluffy hair that will begin growing out to full long as they reach adulthood. Both male and female and affies of all ages and health conditions will shed at their own rate, year round. Some will shed more, such as females in heat or with menstrual irregularities, or elderly dogs with health issues. Genetics and overall health ultimately determine the shedding level. With proper grooming, even infrequent shedding can be manageable.

How was the drooling level of the Afghan Hound?

The Afghan Hound drools very little compared to other hound dogs whose bone structure cannot contain their drool. Of course, some Afghans will drool more than others, but as a whole, the breed is considered to have a very low drooling level.

Dogs that do drool can be triggered by a variety of reasons. These reasons include overall health, behavior, and genetics. Other reasons for drooling in an Afghan Hound include being excited for food or for play, stress, a female’s first heat, or an older dog that has dental issues.

Health concerns also play a part in drooling levels in Afghan Hounds. Since they rarely drool, any abnormal drooling should be checked out by a veterinarian to rule out any health concerns such as problems swallowing, stomach issues, dental problems, and even rabies. 

How was the intelligence level of the Afghan Hound?

Afghan Hounds are ranked as one of the least intelligent dogs. However, that ranking is largely based on their ability to follow directions with just one command. Because Afghan Hounds were bred to be independent, this trait lends to their stubbornness and the level of difficulty when trying to train them.

Stanley Coren, a renowned professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia, conducted a study in 1994 that determined Afghan Hounds were the number one dumbest dog breeds. According to Coren, Afghans needed 80 plus repetitions of a command to understand it and only followed said command less than a quarter of the time.

In reality, they are quite intelligent. Just not in terms of obedience. Afghans do learn things quickly, they love to run and explore, but most importantly, they prefer to do things on their own time. 

Tazis had to be smart and think outside of the proverbial box as they hunted and had to be one step ahead of their prey. This includes being one step ahead of their handlers, leading to mischief, sassiness, and stubbornness. 

When testing an Afghan Hound’s intelligence, their social intelligence, problem-solving skills, and memory should be taken into consideration. Not only do they love being with their human companions, but they also come up with clever tactics to get what they want, and they are loyal to a fault to their companions.

This unique combination of smarts is the reason they made such great hunters and why they are competitive agility competitors. They may not do well with change, but they are flexible in terms of hard situations and difficult tasks. They just may do it on their own time rather than with their handlers.

What are the behavior and training tips for Afghan Hound?

Afghan Hounds, as a breed, are independent and competitive dogs that can actually be difficult to train. Especially for first time dog owners. While they are intelligent, their intelligence is not strong in obedience. Thus, early training from a very early age, seven to eight weeks of age, is imperative. Early and consistent training and socialization are the foundation of a well-behaved dog. The following are some training tips for Afghan Hounds. 

  • Separation Anxiety: Not only are Afghan Hounds a sensitive breed, but they also form very strong attachments with their handlers, so separation anxiety can become an issue. To reduce destructive behaviors, escape attempts, excessive barking or whining, handlers can gradually lengthen the time they are apart, make sure they have plenty of exercise before being separated, and provide them things to play with during this period.
  • Exercise: Due to their high energy, Afghan Hounds need ample, consistent, physical playtime daily as well as mental stimulation to prevent boredom and destruction. 
  • Socialization: Afghan Hounds need early socialization with both humans and other animals. Additionally, because Tazis can find it challenging to adapt to new environments, such as moving homes, it is beneficial to expose them to a wide variety of different situations to help them develop appropriate behavior.
  • Leadership: Because they can be challenging to train and were bred to be hunting companions, Afghan Hounds need a firm, yet gentle, leader that can establish themselves as pack leader. 
  • Positive Reinforcements: Afghan Hounds are a sensitive breed. They do not handle stress well and definitely do not react to negative or harsh punishment well either. Thus, when training an Affie, positive reinforcement, gentleness, and praise will go a long way in training one.
  • Consistency: Consistency is key for all breeds, but especially for Afghan Hounds. They need a routine and positive training that rewards the good behaviors that are wanted. More consistency increases the likelihood that a command will become second nature to an Afghan Hound. 
  • Grooming: Because Afghan Hounds need daily grooming, this time is a chance for handlers and Affies to connect and bond, as well as keep their coats healthy and tangle free.

Are Afghan Hounds easy to train?

No, Afghan Hounds are not easy to train. Their original purpose was to hunt alongside hunters, as well as on their own. Having to rely on their instincts, their strong prey drive, and their tendency to be aloof, has set them up to be a stubborn breed and challenging to train.

With that being said, the ease of training depends in part on the trainer’s ability. Inexperienced trainers and owners will find Afghan Hounds frustrating. Because of their intelligence and sneaky attitudes, they like to do what they want to do, on their own time and no one else’s. 

Afghan Hounds have one thing in mind. To ran as fast as they could through the mountains in Afghanistan, Northern India, and Pakistan, catching up to their prey. While they are rarely used as hunting dogs today, their instincts and strong prey drive still remain. These instincts can be difficult to override, but they do want to please the people they bond with.

Positive reinforcement techniques, such as using verbal praise, treats, and even gentle pats on the head, go a long way in helping train an Afghan Hound. Instead of using negative or harsh training techniques that can cause more harm than good, positive techniques will help set clear expectations and a well-behaved Affie.

What are the exercise needs for Afghan Hound?

The exercise needs for the Afghan Hound consist of at least two hours per day of physical movement as well as mental stimulation. Because of their need to run, activities such as running with their companions, participating in agility events, playing fetch, or chasing scents, are all appropriate exercises for both an Affie’s mind and body.

Some Afghans will need more or less than two hours per day. The proper amount per individual Tazi will be determined based on their age, health, and energy levels. Ensuring they can expend energy daily will help better their mental health as well as keep their bodies lean and in shape. However, like all breeds, they can overdo it. Keep an eye on them before, during, and after exercise.

If they do not receive enough stimulation, they can become destructive, frustrating, and obese, among other things. Moreso in younger Affies that have more energy to expend. Providing opportunities for exercise will help them redirect that energy to something positive, rather than anxiety and/or anger.

Consistent exercise, physical movement, and mental stretches will go a long way in reducing and preventing unwanted, destructive behaviors, while also promoting their health and well-being. Likewise, any type of exercise is an opportunity for the Affie and their owner to bond and connect further.

How were the exercise needs of the Afghan Hound?

The exercise needs of an Afghan Hound include at least two hours of physical and mental exercise per day to maintain their health and wellbeing. Due to their DNA, they are an energetic breed that enjoys running and playing with their owners, participating in agility courses, and jogging alongside their companions.

The length and level of physical exercise needed for an Affie will vary based upon a few factors, including their age, health, and overall energy levels. Elderly, less energetic, and pregnant Affies do not necessarily need a lot of movement. However, puppies and young Afghans are more active and will need more time to expend their energy. A minimum of one hour per day is a good place to start with this breed.

Actively exercising, such as playing and running after balls, tracking scents, participating in agility classes, or just a brisk walk a couple of times per day, all add up. Every opportunity they can get to stretch their legs and their minds, will keep them active, happy, and calm, and reduce the likelihood of boredom and destructive behaviors because of that boredom.

Exercise, consistently, will benefit the Tazis in a number of ways. For starters, physical movement will improve their overall health and limit possible health problems, such as obesity and hip problems. Additionally, by exercising with one another, both the owner and the Affie will strengthen their bond and deepen their relationship.

What are the fun activities for the Afghan Hound?

Afghan Hounds, an active and competitive breed, thrive with physical movement and mental exercise. Below are some activities that Afghan Hounds find fun. 

  • Running/Canicross: Bred to run, Afghan Hounds love to run aside their owners. Participating in Canicross, a sport where the dog pulls the runner with it, is a great way to expend their energy.
  • Agility training: An agility course provides the perfect balance of mental and physical challenges that an Afghan Hound excels at.
  • Food puzzle toys: Food puzzle toys are a perfect way to not only slow down their eating to avoid digestion issues but also help keep their mind sharp and calm.
  • Flirt Pole: Afghan Hounds are known to jump from even a sitting position. A flirt pole is a pole with a toy attached that owners can use to lure the Affie to run, jump, and catch their “prey”. 
  • Swimming: Swimming is a personal preference but many Afghan Hounds enjoy swimming, especially when the temperatures are high. Swimming provides a low-impact outlet and can be great for elderly Affies. 

What is the energy level of an Afghan Hound?

The energy level of an Afghan Hound can be described as high energy. Their original purpose was to run as fast as they could to hunt down large animals and prey. They may not be used for hunting purposes anymore, but they still have an innate need to run and expend that energy. 

Behavioral problems and destructive patterns occur when dogs are not allowed to expend all of their energy, whether through physical movement or mental stimulation. Training Afghans can be a tad challenging due to their independent natures. However, providing ample amounts of energy expenditure activities can help reduce those negative behaviors and help owners be able to train their Affies easier. 

Keep in mind that not all Afghan Hounds will have high energy levels. The energy level for an individual dog within the breed will vary due to age, health, and overall activity levels, amongst other factors. Elderly, pregnant, and Affies with health problems may not require as much exercise as puppies and adolescents.

How to keep an Afghan Hound clean?

Listed below are the steps on how to keep an Afghan Hound clean. 

  1. Groom an Afghan Hound frequently by brushing their hair daily to remove loose hairs and debris that can get caught in their long, silky coat. Because their coat is fine yet dense, a pin brush works best for tangles and mats. If an Affie is not a show dog, brushing them, at minimum, once per week, is acceptable.
  2. The ears of an Afghan Hound should be looked at weekly for signs of infection, including swelling or discharge. Their ears should be cleaned with a cotton ball or moist cloth. If any signs of infection are present, a visit to the vet should be had.
  3. To prevent an Afghan Hound’s claws from overgrowing and causing discomfort, their nails should be trimmed once per month using a nail clipper for dogs. Avoid the quickness of the nail as it contains nerves and blood vessels.
  4. Afghan Hounds are known to have bad teeth. It is important to use a canine-safe toothbrush and toothpaste to brush their teeth at least three times a week, if not more. Teeth brushing will help prevent gum disease, bad breath, and other dental issues. 
  5. Waste should be picked up with a plastic bag or pooper scooper and properly disposed of on a regular basis to keep the Afghan Hounds area clean and to prevent the spread of possible parasites and diseases. 
  6. Once to twice per month, because of their long hair, an Afghan Hound should be given a bath with a shampoo made for dogs, and specifically for their type of coat. Using human shampoo and even dishwashing soap can get rid of natural oils on the dog’s skin.
  7. The living space of an Afghan Hound should be kept clean. Toys, food dishes, and water bowls should be cleaned with a mild soap and warm water once or twice per month, and rinsed thoroughly to make sure no soap residue remains.

What is the Average Maintenance for an Afghan Hound?

The average maintenance cost for an Afghan Hound will depend on numerous factors, such as their age, health, lifestyle, veterinary costs, and even location. Annually, an Affie can cost between $2,500 and $5,750 per year, depending on age and health needs. This cost includes food, grooming supplies, toys, training, veterinary care, licenses, microchips, and miscellaneous supplies such as collars and leashes.

This average annual price does not include dog boarding, hiring dog walkers, or emergency vet bills. Costs for training and socialization of an Afghan Hound can range from $100 to $500 per year and are highly recommended. Yearly food costs can range from $130 to $600, depending on brand and quality purchased. If professionally groomed, the average cost of grooming can be $500 a year. Vet costs annually can range from $400 to $850, excluding emergencies and more intensive health conditions such as chronic disorders. Veterinary prices are also dependent on location, with some places being more expensive than others. Over the course of 14 years, on average, the total price of owning an Afghan Hound can range from $36,000 to $110,000. 

Any dollar numbers listed above are approximations. Actual maintenance costs for owning an Afghan Hound can be more or less expensive depending on factors such as location and situation. As a regal, aristocratic breed, Afghan Hounds are on the more expensive side, requiring time and money. In return, the loyalty, love, and entertainment an Afghan Hound can provide, is worth it.

What are the nutritional tips for Afghan Hound?

Listed below are some nutritional tips for Afghan Hounds. 

  • Provide a healthy, well-balanced diet: With high energy levels, Afghan Hounds need a diet rich in animal protein and healthy fats. It is important to find a dog food brand with meat as its first ingredient and avoid any fillers such as corn and soy. 
  • Think about age and activity levels: Puppies and adolescents will naturally have a higher need for nutrients and calories than adults and elderly dogs. As an Afghan Hound ages, they will require less calories and fat. Likewise, more active Affies will need more calories than those who lead a more sedentary lifestyle. 
  • Prevent overfeeding: Like any breed, Afghan Hounds can also be prone to obesity if they overeat. This can lead to a variety of health issues, including joint and hip pain due to unnecessary weight. To prevent obesity and overfeeding, follow the recommended quantity and avoid providing a lot of table scraps and treats. Treats should never be given as a meal replacement.
  • Supplements must be thought about: Supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin can help Afghan Hounds’ joints, omega-3 fatty acids help maintain a healthy, shiny skin and coats, and probiotics help with making sure an Afghan Hound’s digestive system is working properly.
  • Talk to a vet: A veterinarian will help provide dietary recommendations for an Afghan Hound based on their age, their weight, and their overall health. They can also advise on the amount given and the best supplements.

What should Afghan Hounds eat?

An Afghan Hound should eat a diet that is balanced and provides the nutrients and nourishment that they need to thrive. Below is an outline of what Affies need to consume.

  • Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are necessary to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle for Afghan Hounds. Complex carbs like brown rice, barley, and sweet potatoes, should be emphasized over simple carbohydrates such as corn and wheat, as complex carbs last longer, sustaining activity for a longer period than simple carbs.
  • Foods high in protein: A diet rich in proteins will help maintain the muscle mass and energy of an Afghan Hound. Animal protein like chicken, beef, or fish, should be the first item on the ingredient list of the dog food brand selected.
  • Fruits and vegetables: Fresh produce provides vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that Afghan Hounds benefit from. Look for dog foods with blueberries, apples, spinach, and carrots, or provide them in addition to their kibble.
  • Good fats: Healthy fats, like salmon oil and flaxseed oil, are relied upon for longer energy, and healthy hair, skin, and nervous system. Find a dog food brand that includes good fats, or add it as a supplement.
  • Treats: For food motivated Afghan Hounds, high-quality treats can be used as a reward while training an Afghan Hand to promote good behavior. Never use treats as a substitute for one of their meals, and avoid any treats with fillers or artificial preservatives. 

It is always a good idea to discuss with the vet any specific needs for an Afghan Hound. Every dog is different, requiring different nutritional needs based on their age, weight, and health.

How much should an Afghan Hound be fed?

An Afghan Hound should be fed between one and two and a half cups of food per day, depending on their age, weight, level of activity, and overall health. Affie puppies need between one and one and a half cups, spread across 3 to 4 meals, per day. It is ideal for adult Affies, between 45 and 65 pounds (20 – 29 kg) to consume 2 to 2.5 cups, spread between two meals, per day.

Every dog is different and the ideal proportion of dog food will vary based upon facts such as activity level, their age, their weight, and their health. Afghan Hounds that are older, pregnant, or puppies, will all require different nutritional intake. Senior Afghans will not be as active, and thus will not need as much calories as a puppy or even as an adolescent.

When choosing which dog food to feed an Afghan Hound, a premium dog food that has high-quality animal protein, such as lamb, salmon, or chicken, should be number one on the ingredient list. The food chosen should also not have any fillers or additives included as those can be harmful. Additionally, Afghan Hounds need a well-balanced diet that has moderate fat content and is low in carbohydrates.

Since Afghan Hounds are more prone to obesity, it is important to keep an eye on their intake and how it is affecting their weight, modifying accordingly. If they are gaining weight, either reduce the amount fed or switch to a lower calorie diet. On the other hand, if they are losing weight, increasing the amount they feed, or switching to a higher calorie food, can be beneficial. But, when in doubt, always check with a veterinarian before changing diets or amount fed.

How to Feed an Afghan Hound?

Below are nine steps on how to feed an Afghan Hound.

  1. When deciding what food to feed an Afghan Hound, factors such as their age, size, and activity level need to be considered. Seek advice from their veterinarian if there is any doubt about what the appropriate amount of food to give the Afghan is.
  2. Select a premium, high-quality dog food with protein as the first ingredient, and meet the Afghan Hounds dietary needs. Avoid brands with fillers, additives, or chemical preservatives.
  3. Split the Afghan Hound’s daily ration into two feedings, once in the morning, and once in the afternoon. This split will help prevent overeating and digestion issues as a result.
  4. Utilizing a kitchen scale or measuring cup will help owners ensure they are feeding an Afghan Hound the appropriate amount. Follow the directions on the dog food package, or the recommendations from the veterinarian.
  5. When choosing a food dish, select one that is the proper size for the Afghan Hound’s meal. To avoid the growth of bacteria, clean it regularly with warm water and soap, making sure to wipe off all the soap before feeding the dog.
  6. Afghan Hounds should have access to clean water at all times. To avoid illness, the water dish should be cleaned regularly as well as kept full.
  7. Because of their increased chance of obesity, Afghan Hounds should not eat human food or be given table scraps as they contain fat, salt, and sugar in high levels that can lead to gastrointestinal problems.
  8. Keep an eye on the Afghan Hound’s weight regularly, adjusting their food intake appropriately. If they are gaining weight, decrease the calories provided or switch to a low calorie food. If they are losing weight, increase their caloric intake or provide a high calorie dog food.
  9. Discuss any concerns with the Afghan Hound’s weight or nutritional needs with the veterinarian as they can provide advice and recommendations to ensure the dog reaches, and maintains a healthy weight.

What are the best dog foods for Afghan Hounds?

Some of the best dog foods for Afghan Hounds are listed below. Each meets standards set forth by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO)

  • Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food: The Afghan Hound will greatly benefit from this recipe that is not only budget friendly, but is also a formula of easily digestible proteins geared for breeds like the Afghan that is prone to skin and stomach issues while also supporting healthy skin and coats with healthy fats.
  • Orijen Grain-Free Puppy and Adult Dog Food: Orijen’s dog food recipe is packed with nutritious ingredients, including real animal protein, fresh fruits and vegetables, and grain-free is ideal for an Afghan Hound.
  • Purina Pro Plan Large Breed High Protein Dog Food: Purina Pro’s recipe for large breeds is made with natural prebiotics to help an Afghan Hounds immune system and has a ratio of high protein to moderate fat that is ideal for big breeds like the Afghan Hound.
  • Iams Large Breed Dog Food: Ideal for Afghan Hounds and other large breeds, this recipe, with chicken as its first ingredient, is specifically designed to help joints, muscles, and the digestive systems of large breeds.
  • Nutro Wholesome Essentials Adult Dry Dog Food: Nutro’s premium protein, heart-healthy fats, and other nutrients in their Wholesome Essentials Adult Dry Dog Food recipe help promote a healthy lifestyle, keeping the Afghan Hound in top shape. This recipe does not have any added colors, flavors, or preservatives, and is all-natural. 
  • Holistic Select Large Breed Dog Food: Made specifically for large breeds such as the Afghan Hound, the Holistic Select recipe includes all natural ingredients, great for dogs with allergies, sensitive stomachs, and digestive issues.

The ideal food for an Afghan Hound will vary as every dog is different. Their optimal diet will depend on their age, weight, health, and any allergies or sensitivities they may have. Specific dietary requirements can be discussed with their veterinarian who can also provide guidance and recommendations.

Are Afghan Hounds allowed to eat fruit?

Yes, Afghan Hounds are allowed to eat fruit. There are safe fruits that can be provided under close supervision and in small amounts and contribute to a healthy lifestyle. And there are fruits that can be toxic and hazardous.

Apples without their core, blueberries, oranges, strawberries, watermelon, and blackberries, amongst others are healthy options to provide an Afghan Hound. Eating too many fruits, however, can lead to overeating. And, because of their natural sugars, they can create unnecessary health problems.

Grapes, peaches, plums, cherries, and some citrus fruits should never be given to an Afghan Hound as these fruits contain toxins such as cyanide (peaches and plums), and harmful pieces such as pits (cherries). Additionally, these fruits can cause kidney failure, blockages and obstructions, renal damage, and even depression.

All seeds, pits, and cores must be removed before giving an acceptable fruit to an Afghan Hound due to their increased likelihood of causing digestive issues or causing the dog to choke. 

Before adding new foods to an Affies diet, a vet should be consulted. They can advise how much, and how often, fruit can be added to their diet based on their specific dietary needs. Likewise, fruit should never replace a meal. 

Are Afghan Hounds allowed to eat vegetables?

Yes, Afghan Hounds are allowed to eat vegetables. Some vegetables can improve their health and be beneficial as they are high in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. However, there are some vegetables that can be toxic and cause health problems.

Vegetables on the approved list, that Afghan Hound can consume safely, include carrots, cauliflower, cucumbers, peas, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and zucchini, amongst others. Whether they are eaten raw or cooked, they help digestion, promote healthy skin and coats, and even promote a healthy immune system. All vegetables should be provided in small quantities, under close supervision, and never replace a meal.

Vegetables that should never be given to an Afghan Hound include onions, avocados, garlic, mushrooms, and, while not a fruit or vegetable, macadamia nuts. Vegetables have higher levels of carbohydrates, but those on the unapproved list can cause anemia, trouble breathing, allergic reactions, and other neurological problems.

When introducing a new vegetable, contact the vet for their advice and approval. Similar to when dogs are introduced to a new food, gradually, and slowly, introduce healthy vegetables while watching for any allergic or negative reaction.

Are Afghan Hounds allowed to eat meat?

Yes, Afghan Hounds are allowed to eat meat as it is a vital component of an Afghan Hounds well-balanced diet. Protein, especially animal protein, is critical for not only the growth of the Afghan but protein also promotes healthy immune systems and ensures all vital body processes are working efficiently.

Additionally, modern, domesticated dogs may no longer be wild animals, but they are still carnivores. Meat from buffalo, fish, lamb, and chicken amongst other sources, are still needed, even if they can eat a range of foods. Make sure to choose lean, high-quality meat free from seasonings or sauces for an Afghan Hound as those can be toxic.

Domesticated dogs can eat plant protein, however, they will not get all of their nutritional requirements from plant protein alone. An all plant protein diet should be discussed with the veterinarian. 

All dogs are different, even individuals of the same breed. Afghan Hounds need a balanced diet high in meat, moderate fats, and low carbohydrates to remain healthy, along with water and vitamins. When determining how much meat they should be receiving, a veterinarian will be able to make recommendations based on their age, size, and overall health.

Are Afghan Hounds allowed to eat fish?

Yes, Afghan Hounds are allowed to eat fish. Fish is not only high in protein but also provides omega-3s, an important fatty acid that is beneficial for numerous reasons. Omega-3s promote healthy skin and coats, support their immune systems, and improve their overall health and well-being.

Some examples of safe fish to consume include high-quality or frozen salmon, whitefish, walleye, and flounder. Be cautious of long lived fish, such as tuna and swordfish, as they can contain high levels of mercury or other poisons. 

Never serve an Afghan Hound a raw fish. Always make sure to completely cook the fish, as well as remove bones, before giving it to them. Undercooked, raw, or fish with bones can cause choking, digestive issues, or the spread of bacteria and parasites that could make them sick. If need be, raw fish should only be given under very close supervision in case of a negative reaction.

To be safely consumed, fish should be given in moderation and only part of a balanced meal plan. Talking to a veterinarian will help determine the proper amount to provide based on their age, health, and size. Always talk to the vet before making any sort of changes to the Afghan Hounds diet, as every dog is different and will have specific nutritional requirements. 

Are Afghan Hounds allowed to eat raw food?

Yes, Afghan Hounds are allowed to eat raw food.  There is a growing number of owners who claim to feed their dogs a raw food diet, much like they would have eaten in the wild, is easier to digest, reduces allergies, increases their energy, and is more supportive for their immune system. 

Feeding raw food to Afghan Hounds comes with many advantages. Including those stated above, chewing raw bones helps eliminate tartar and any built up plaque, benefiting their dental health. Likewise, it is said that raw diets are also more balanced than just dry and/ or wet food and help keep their coat shiny and healthy. 

While Afghan Hounds are allowed to eat raw food, not all Afghan Hounds will benefit. In fact, there are dangers to a raw food diet. Salmonella and E. Coli can be found in raw food, leaving humans and dogs alike ill. Additionally, a raw food diet may not be able to provide all the nutrients an Afghan Hound requires, and supplements will be needed to ensure they remain healthy. 

Choosing a raw food diet over a dry food diet or wet food diet is a personal choice, but should be made with the help of the vet. If a raw food diet is chosen, always use high-quality ingredients and follow safety precautions in order to lower the risk of infection.

Are Afghan Hounds allowed to eat eggs?

Yes, Afghan Hounds are allowed to eat eggs, and, as long as they are cooked, are safe to eat. If done so sparingly, eggs provide essential protein, vitamins, and minerals.

The high protein and healthy fatty acids provided by eggs make them an excellent nutrition source for Afghan Hounds. Eggs benefit their skin, coat, immune system, and mental health, and are even sources of increased energy and focus.

Eggs should only be provided in moderation and fully cooked. Afghans receiving a lot of eggs can end up with upset stomachs or nutritional deficits. Raw eggs should never be given due to the high risk of salmonella poisoning.  

As can be seen, eggs are a valid source of beneficial nutrition. Before adding eggs to an Affies diet, check with the veterinarian to ensure they are already in good health, with a balanced diet, before making any modifications to their diet.

How was the health of the Afghan Hound?

The health of the Afghan Hound is considered fairly healthy. They, like any other breed of dog, are prone to health issues, but in general, are not more or less prone to illnesses. There are multiple factors that play a role in how healthy an Afghan Hound is, including DNA, activity levels, lifestyle, and diet. An Affie that is well loved, lives on average, 12 to 14 years.

Much like other large breeds, Afghan Hounds will be more predisposed to some diseases, including hip dysplasia, a painful joint problem; hypothyroidism, a lack of the thyroid hormone that causes tiredness, coat abnormalities, constipation, and weight gain; and myelopathy, a degenerative disease of the spinal cord, causing paralysis.

Afghan Hounds can also be affected by bacterial illnesses, viral infections, heart disease, musculoskeletal issues such as eosinophilic panosteitis, or inflammation in the long leg bones, and bloat, a deadly gastric issue where the blood supply to the stomach is cut off as the stomach fills with gas.

Food intolerances and environmental factors can also play a part in an Afghan Hound developing skin disorders and health conditions. To prevent health issues, or to treat an issue right away, owners should check their health regularly, keeping an eye on them, and taking them to the vet at the first sign of an issue.

With the proper care and attention, most health problems can either be prevented or maintained before they get out of control or cause too much pain and discomfort for an Afghan. With regular exercise, vet exams, ample mental stimulation, as well as a nutritious diet, Affies will live a long, happy, healthy life.

What are the health tips for Afghan Hound?

Six health tips for the Afghan Hound are listed below.

  • Regular exercise: Afghan Hounds were bred to run. They are energetic, and for their own mental well-being and overall health, they need regular exercise daily. Running or walking with them, playing fetch, and even getting them on an agility course on a daily basis will help them maintain a healthy weight and prevent destructive behaviors from boredom.
  • Well-balanced, nutritious diet: Afghan Hounds need a diet high in protein to keep their vital body processes working, as well as healthy fats, a mix of simple and complex carbohydrates, and essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals are necessary to stay healthy. Avoid giving them table scraps or food for humans. Choose high-quality dog food with no fillers or additives.
  • Regular vet visits: Taking an Afghan Hound to the vet regularly will help catch any problems early on, reducing the likelihood of severe issues from developing. Immunizations, dental cleanings, and parasite control are all essential to the overall health of an Affie.
  • Intellectual stimulation: Because Afghan Hounds are working dogs by nature, they need not just physical exercise, but also mental stimulation. To reduce boredom and destructive behaviors, provide puzzle toys, take them to training programs, or give them a job.
  • Keep an eye out for symptoms of the disease: Loss of appetite, lethargy, vomiting, and confusion are all symptoms of disease that should be looked at further by a veterinarian. Bloat, joint pain, and cataracts are all common health problems for Afghan Hounds.
  • Maintain a neat appearance: An Afghan Hound has a long coat that should be brushed daily to prevent tangles and mats. To keep their hair and skin healthy, daily brushing and a bath once or twice a month is necessary.

If owners adhere to these tips and provide ample love, care, and attention, Afghan Hounds will be able to live a long and healthy life.

What are the common Afghan Hound health problems?

Listed below are just a few of the most common Afghan Hound health problems. 

  • Cataracts: Cataracts cause vision loss and can lead to total blindness. Cataracts typically occur in later ages, however, Afghan Hounds are susceptible to cataracts at a young age. Other eye diseases Afghan Hounds are prone to include corneal dystrophy, cherry eye, and progressive retinal atrophy.
  • Bloat: Oftentimes, bloat can be fatal for all dogs, especially in deep-chested dogs like the Afghan Hound. Bloat occurs when the stomach is distended with gas, twisting on itself, cutting off oxygen, resulting in vomiting, breathing problems, and diarrhea. If not treated immediately, this can result in death.
  • Thyroid Disease: Approximately up to 30% of Afghan Hounds are affected by hypothyroidism or low thyroid levels. This can cause weight gain, lack of energy, dry hair, aggression, and skin or ear infections.
  • Hemangiosarcoma: Afghan Hounds are more prone to bleeding tumors than other breeds. While normally found in the spleen, they can be located elsewhere. They are referred to as bleeding tumors because they burst and cause internal bleeding before any symptoms show up. Yearly check-ups are imperative as blood tests and ultrasounds can usually catch these.
  • Chylothorax: While an uncommon condition, this is a serious, life threatening condition that plagues Afghan Hounds. Chyle, a milky liquid, fills the chest cavity and can cause breathing problems, exhaustion, and coughing.
  • Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency: Afghan Hounds are prone to not having enough digestive enzymes, causing nutritional malabsorption, leading to weight loss, stinky bowel movements, and dry, flaky skin.
  • Skin allergies: Afghan Hounds, like most dogs, are prone to environmental allergens such as food, pollen, and dust. Triggers can cause itching, rashes, and hot areas. A visit to the vet can provide guidance on how to navigate a skin allergy.
  • Hip and elbow dysplasia: Common in large dog breeds, painful and inflamed joints are more prevalent in Afghan breeders, at 6% and 7% respectively. These are inherited disorders and occur when the hip or elbow joint forms incorrectly, causing bones to rub against each other.

There will be some Afghan Hounds that are more prone to diseases than others, while others will never encounter some, or any, health issues. Proper care, attention, and veterinary check ups go a long way in helping decrease the likelihood of health problems in an Afghan Hound.

What are the benefits of having an Afghan Hound?

Listed below are a few benefits of owning an Afghan Hound.

  • Family companion: Afghan Hounds are loyal, loving, and generally happy, making them a perfect addition to an active family. They are also great with children as they love to play.
  • Exercise partner: Afghan Hounds were bred to run as fast, as far, and as long as they could, thus making them ideal workout partners for their owners. Whether they are running, jogging, playing fetch, or following the leader on an agility course, they have high energy that needs an outlet. Regular exercise is also a chance for both humans and dogs to bond more.
  • Hunting partner: The original purpose of the Afghan Hound was to be able to hunt big game alongside humans. They may not be used by many hunters today, but hunting is still in their DNA, and they would enjoy tracking games.
  • Guard dog: Afghan Hounds are aloof and wary when it comes to strangers. Because of their loyalty to their companion, they are watchful for potential threats. Combined with their strength and speed, make great guard dogs. 
  • Emotional Support Animal: Because they are independent and hard to train, Afghan Hounds do not make good service dogs. However, they are naturally empathetic, gentle, loyal, and intuitive, making them a great candidate to be an emotional support animal. 

Afghan Hounds, while known to be independent to the point of stubbornness, still have many qualities that make up for their stubborn nature. They are loyal, dedicated, and know how to have fun, and make loving companions for many years. 

What are the limitations of having an Afghan Hound?

Listed below are some of the limitations of loving an Afghan Hound.

  • Daily exercise: Afghan Hounds have high energy, and need to be exercised daily for at least 90 minutes. Prospective owners that are unable to provide enough exercise on a daily basis, should reconsider bringing an Afghan Hound home.
  • Grooming needs: Due to their long hair, they need to be brushed daily, or, weekly at minimum. Because of their high-maintenance grooming needs, potential Afghan Hound owners should understand the level of commitment required.
  • Training needs: Afghan Hounds are smart dogs that do not do well with obedience or listening and following commands. They are trainable but require a firm, gentle, positive trainer who knows how to handle independent dogs. Training must be consistent and started from an early age to prevent negative behavioral issues.
  • Protection instincts: Afghan Hounds are extremely loyal to their owners and, due to their original purpose, are always watching for intruders, including strangers. While they are extremely loyal, they can also be dangerous to those they do not know. Owners need to be aware of the potential aggressive behaviors Afghans can exhibit if they do not get the appropriate training, exercise, care, and attention.
  • Size: As long as they are exercised regularly, Afghan Hounds can be apartment dogs. However, they can be prone to boredom and separation anxiety if left alone for a long period of time. So, it is important for owners to understand how necessary regular exercise is to keep them calm and happy.
  • Health issues: Afghan Hounds, like dogs of all breeds, are predisposed to a number of different health problems, including hip dysplasia and bloat. It indicates that owners need to be prepared to face the prospect of incurring veterinarian costs and needing continuing medical care.

Afghan Hounds are a breed unto themselves. They make amazing companions who know how to love with their whole heart. But they also have a strong prey drive that, when coupled with their independent nature, can cause more harm than good. Prospective Afghan Hound owners should do the appropriate research before bringing home an Affie so that they understand, and are ready to provide, the care and attention that is required to meet their unique needs.

What are Afghan Hounds allergic to?

A list of some things that Afghan Hounds are allergic to is listed below.

  • Food: Afghan Hounds can develop food sensitivities and allergies to meat, poultry, grains, fruits, and vegetables. When trying to determine what the trigger is, working with the veterinarian is a great place to start.
  • Medications: Medications and pharmaceuticals such as antibiotics, pain relievers, and even supplements can trigger allergic reactions in an Afghan Hound.
  • Flea bites: If an Afghan Hound is scratching themselves an abnormal amount, has a rash, dry or flaky skin, or other skin issues, this can be caused by flea bites and even flea saliva.
  • Environmental allergens: Environmental triggers such as pollen, dust, mold, grass, and trees can trigger allergy symptoms such as itchiness, sneezing, hair loss, and runny eyes, amongst other symptoms.
  • Cleaning products: Whether they inhale toxic fumes, or come into contact with them, some cleaning products and chemicals can cause breathing issues and irritation to an Afghan Hound’s skin. Call the veterinarian if you notice any symptoms.

Every dog is different. Not all Afghan Hounds will be allergic to any of those mentioned above, and some may be more allergic to certain allergies than others. If they are having an allergic reaction, it is best to take them to the vet to rule out possible triggers to find a solution to limiting their allergies.

What are Afghan Hounds afraid of?

Listed below are some things Afghan Hounds can be afraid of.

  • Specific objects: Certain objects, like vacuums, motorcycles, the water hose, are some objects that dogs like the Afghan Hound are scared of.
  • Strangers: Afghan Hounds can be territorial. They are extremely loyal and thus can be aggressive towards intruders and people they do not know.
  • Separation: Afghan Hounds need to be with their human companion as much as possible. When left alone for too long, they can experience separation anxiety that can result in destructive behaviors.
  • Loud noises: Loud cars, thunder and lightning, fireworks, gunshots, and even loud metal sounds can cause anxiety and fear in an Afghan Hound.
  • Other animals: Most Afghan Hounds are accepting when it comes to other dogs, but when it comes to smaller animals, their prey drive can kick in. However, if they are not socialized properly, Afghans can be fearful of or aggressive towards other animals.
  • New environments: Afghan Hounds are a sensitive breed that does not handle change well and will be anxious in new situations and unfamiliar places.

Keep in mind, fear is a spectrum. Not all Afghan Hounds will be afraid of anything while some may be afraid of everything, and others will be somewhere in between. When handling an Affie that is afraid, it is important to use positive, constructive reinforcement and basic training to help navigate potential triggers. Veterinarians, professional dog trainers, and behaviorists are also a good place to start if required. Thundershirts and drug therapies, with a vet’s guidance, are also possible solutions to relieving fear and anxiety.

What are the fun facts about Afghan Hounds?

Below, find some fun facts about Afghan Hounds.

  • They are as fast as a racehorse: Afghan Hounds are sighthounds that were bred to run far and fast can reach speeds up to 40 mph (64.4 kph) and have incredible stamina. The fastest racehorse ever recorded reached 43.97 mph (70.8 kph).
  • They are well-known for their looks: When out in public, owners of Afghan Hounds get stopped all the time so admirers can take photos.
  • They were bred to hunt large animals: Afghan Hounds were originally bred to hunt large predators such as leopards, gazelles, and antelopes, as well as small game like rabbits and deer.
  • They can thrive in cold and hot climates: Their long, silky hair acts as insulation in cold temperatures and doubles as protection against the hot sun.
  • Their bone structure resembles mountain sheep: Afghan Hounds have uniquely shaped and aligned hips that are higher and wider than most breeds. This unique feature allows them to be agile and able to turn on a dime.
  • They have 270-degree vision: Most breeds have 180-degree angled vision, but their unique head shape means Afghan Hounds have a field perspective of 270 degrees, allowing them to see more, hunting by sight alone. 
  • They were the first dog successfully cloned: In 2005, Korean scientists successfully cloned an Afghan Hound by the name of Snuppy, the very first dog cloned. This clone was then cloned again, successfully, creating two generations of cloned dogs.
  • They are celebrities: Due to their aristocratic and majestic looks, the Afghan Hound has been featured in movies such as Balto, 101 Dalmatians, and Lady and the Tramp II. Barbie is also a fan of Affies after one named Beauty was introduced in 1981.

As a breed, Afghan Hounds have a long and noteworthy past. Mostly because they are considered one of the oldest dog breeds. However, they are also admired for their regal looks, their proud demeanors, and their empathetic loyalty to their companions.

Are Afghan Hounds good dogs?

Yes, Afghan Hounds are excellent canine companions. Towards their handlers, they are friendly and affectionate. They are independent, sensitive, happy, and, with love and attention, they can adapt. Whether they are running free or alongside their human, lounging around the house, or competing in agility events or on the show floor, Afghan Hounds are good dogs. Only towards strangers and intruders can they be aloof, or a little bit aggressive as they can be territorial and protective of their companions. With proper socialization, training, care, exercise, and attention, behavioral problems can be prevented early on.

Are Afghan Hounds kid-friendly?

Yes, Afghan Hounds are kid-friendly. As long as they are trained and socialized from a very young age on how to interact with children, they make great family pets. However, they are much better with older children rather than younger kids as they can move too fast or too loud for an Affie. Regardless, Affies are protective and love to play for hours on end with kids. In order to protect both kids and the dog from potential harm, all interactions between children and Afghan Hounds, as with any other breed, should be monitored closely. Additionally, teaching youth how to approach and interact is critical to preventing any issues.

Are Afghan Hounds dog friendly?

Yes, Afghan Hounds are dog friendly, but there are exceptions. Because of their strong prey drive, they can have a tendency to chase smaller animals and should be watched closely when around smaller pets. With that being said, some Afghan Hounds will be dog friendly, others are not, and some will be somewhere in the middle. Ample socialization and obedience training will promote dog-friendly behavior. However, Afghan Hounds, like any breed, should be watched carefully when interacting with other animals, and owners should be aware of their Affies reactions to other dogs.

Are Afghan Hounds friendly toward strangers?

No, Afghan Hounds do not tend to be friendly toward strangers. Recognized for their enthusiastic loyalty and protection of their companions, they can be standoffish and wary around strangers and intruders. Other times, they can simply be reserved around people they do not know. Interactions between Afghan Hounds and strangers should always be closely monitored. Training, socialization, and introduction to different situations and people can go a long way in encouraging positive behavior between Affies and strangers. 

Are Afghan Hounds aggressive?

No, Afghan Hounds are not known to be aggressive, but can be protective of their companions, and be wary towards strangers, and their strong prey drive can affect smaller animals. Afghan Hounds, as a breed, can be characterized as laid back, loveable, and silly. Adequate training and socialization can go a long way in preventing aggressive behaviors. If an Afghan Hound is not trained, socialized, or given enough exercise, they can show aggressive behavior. Any interaction between an Affie and a stranger, or a small animal should be watched closely for the safety of everyone involved.

Are Afghan Hounds good with cats?

No, Afghan Hounds are not good with cats naturally. They require training, patience, and positive reinforcement to help override their strong prey drive. Some Afghan Hounds can learn how to live alongside cats, especially if they are both raised together. But they are more likely to chase them and try to hunt them, rather than see them as a friend. When Afghan Hounds are introduced to a cat, it is important to watch over any interaction and provide positive redirection if need be. Socialization will play a key role in training Affies in the correct ways to associate with a feline. When first introducing them, do so gradually and carefully. Provide a space for each animal, with their own resources, so any territorial issues can be limited.

Are Afghan Hounds hypoallergenic?

Yes, Afghan Hounds are considered a hypoallergenic breed because, even with their long hair, they rarely shed. Of course, they do need to be groomed at least once a week, preferably daily. Afghans have a single coat with a thin undercoat that does not leave much dander behind or in the air, making them a great companion for people who are allergic to dogs. With that being said, people with animal allergies should spend time with an Afghan to make sure they won’t have any allergic reactions before making the decision to bring one home. Regular grooming, and keeping the home clean, will go a long way in reducing any remaining potential allergens.

Are Afghan Hounds Protective?

Yes, Afghan Hounds are protective because of their intense loyalty to their handler and family. Because of their large bark when provoked and their large size, they scare off intruders without the need to run after them. However, because they were bred to run after large prey if threatened, they could defend their territory and their family. It is essential for Afghans to receive proper socialization and training from an early age, as well as ample opportunities to be introduced to different situations to help limit and prevent any potential violent protective behaviors against unfamiliar situations. Always keep an eye on interactions with the Afghan Hound and other people, dogs, and especially, small animals that they may want to chase after. 

Can Afghan Hounds swim?

Yes, Afghan Hounds are able to swim and even enjoy swimming, especially when it’s hot outside. Part of their origin story is that they had to also traverse bodies of water, rivers, and streams to hunt their prey. With that being said, swimming is a personal preference as not all Afghans like to swim or are natural swimmers. For those who are not born swimmers, proper training, a slow introduction, and supervision go a long way in helping Affies get comfortable with water, while also reducing any potential injuries or accidents. Keep an eye open for underwater barriers, obstacles, large waves, and rip tides before letting an Afghan loose in the water. 

Can Afghan Hounds be left alone?

Yes, Afghan Hounds can be left alone for short periods of time, around four to six hours. However, while they are not needy, they do prefer to be with their human companion as much as possible. Before leaving them alone, gradually and slowly increase the time apart so they can adjust easier thus limiting separation anxiety, and make sure they get enough physical and mental exercise to avoid destructive boredom behaviors. Having a safe, comfortable place for them to hang out in, such as a crate or a separate room, along with toys to keep them occupied, will also help reduce anxiety and boredom. Provide clean water and try to check on them periodically to make sure they are safe and happy.

How much does an Afghan Hound cost?

An Afghan Hound costs between $600 and $5,500, with some fetching prices upwards of $7,000. Companion quality animals can be found at the lower end and a high-quality show dog, from a show breeder, or a high-quality hunting Afghan, can be found at the top end of that range. Afghans are one of the most expensive breeds, but the price of an Affie is dependent on a variety of reasons, including breeder, heritage, location, and age. The initial cost of purchasing an Afghan Hound is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Ongoing food costs, veterinary care, training, and their high maintenance grooming needs, are just some of the additional costs associated with loving an Afghan Hound. Prospective owners should make sure they can financially take care of an Afghan before bringing one home.

Where can I buy an Afghan Hound?

Afghan Hounds can be bought from a variety of establishments including Afghan Hound specific breeders, animal shelters, and rescue groups. The Afghan Hound Club of America is a great resource that can help prospective owners find the perfect companion. Research all potential breeders or groups to ensure a happy, healthy Afghan Hound is coming home. All reputable and honest places will answer any questions, be able to provide proof of health and/or pedigree, and may even have resources once the adoption is complete. When selecting the right place to buy an Afghan Hound, location, price, availability, and reputation are all important factors to consider.

How to buy an Afghan Hound?

To buy an Afghan Hound, finding a reliable, reputable breeder or rescue group is critical. Whether or not it is local, is not as necessary. Prospective Affie owners can ask other Afghan Hound owners for referrals, recommendations, and even advice. When looking for organizations that have Afghan Hounds, inquire about the Afghan’s health, personality, lineage, and any needs. Before choosing an Afghan Hound, seeing them in person to play with them or hang out with them will help owners get an idea of their temperament and character, and whether or not they will be a good fit. Also, before buying and bringing home an Affie, confirming if they have had their vaccines and health checks first, is essential. Once a reputable organization has been selected based on thorough research, finish the paperwork and payments, and get ready to bring home a new best friend.

Is purchasing an Afghan Hound allowed?

Purchasing an Afghan Hound is allowed and acceptable, especially amongst show quality Afghan Hound breeders. Other than Qatar and China, these Affies can be found for sale and adoption around the globe. Before purchasing one, it is important to research any local rules and regulations where they will call home, as there can be breed-specific limits, and it is critical to follow them as to avoid having an Afghan Hound be taken away and placed into a shelter. Additionally, because an Afghan Hound has high energy levels and their grooming is considered high-maintenance, prospective owners need to understand just how much time, energy, money, care, and attention an Afghan Hound demands, and make sure they have the means to provide such for a long, healthy, happy life. 

Is adopting an Afghan Hound better than purchasing one?

The answer to whether adopting an Afghan Hound is better than purchasing one is not straightforward. Adopting or purchasing largely depends on the prospective owner’s situation, preference, and choice. Those that want to provide a home to a dog in need, may find that adopting an Afghan Hound that has found themselves in a shelter or rescue, is a better option. Plus, the cost of adoption will be less than if purchasing a puppy or one from a breeder. Rescues and shelters, while they will not have full knowledge of their lineage, will tend to provide health checks and get the dog up to speed on their vaccinations. With that being said, adopting a dog comes with its own challenges. Rescue dogs may have behavioral or health problems, and owners must be patient, and prepared to give their new Afghan the time and attention they will need to adjust to their new environment. For those who want to know an Afghan Hound’s full pedigree and health within that lineage, buying from a breeder, while expensive and does increase demand for purebreds, is an acceptable option as well. Whether a prospective Afghan Hound owner purchases or adopts, the decision should be made with full knowledge of the breed and its needs, individual situations, and lifestyles in mind to make sure the best outcome is possible for all involved.

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Jesse Hopping, CCDT

Jesse is a natural-born dog-lover certified dog trainer (CCDT), dog foster, and former volunteer at Richmond SPCA and surrounding dog shelters for over 10 years. Her pack includes a Bernedoodle and 3 Boston Terriers. She’s sipping caramel coffee and watching her pack play in the sun when she’s not writing blogs. Jesse has her Certified Dog Trainer designation from CATCH Canine Trainers Academy since 2018 and and majored in English from the University of Virginia.

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