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Afghan Hound Dog Breed Profile

Afghan Hound

General
Other Names
Tazi, Baluchi Hound 
Dog Group Kennel Club
Hound 
Breed Classification
The Afghan Hound is, as the name implies, in the Hound group. One of the typical sight-hounds of the world, they are hunters and will chase almost anything that moves. As well as being show-dogs, Afghans are today used in lure coursing. 
Cost of Ownership
Average Food Cost
£7.50-10 per week
Feeding Requirements
Afghans can easily become finicky, spoiled eaters and a strict eating regime should be enforced when they are puppies, with no treats being given. 
Other Expenses
The price of a puppy will be around £400 in Scotland, England and Wales, but in Northern Ireland and Eire the price will be around £250. Afghans can be fairly expensive to keep, especially if you pander to their eating habits. Grooming equipment, again, can be expensive but if looked after properly will last for years. 
Lifespan
9 - 15 years
Afghan Hounds can live for 14 years or more which is quite unusual for a larger breed. 
Average Litter Size
Litter sizes can vary dramatically from 1 to 15 puppies, but on average 8 puppies will be born. 
General Physical Description
With their aristocratic appeal and supreme dignity, Afghans are one of the flashiest of dogs making them the top show-dog contenders. Their long silky coats, eastern expressions and commanding statures ensure they are noticed wherever they go. At all times, their heads are held high, showing their nobility and elevated self-esteem. It is a wonderful sight to see an Afghan in full flight, covering the ground with long, powerful strides, its long, silky coat flowing in the breeze.

Height Min Max
Bitch 63cm (25") 69cm (27")
Dog 68cm (27") 74cm (29")
Weight Min Max
Bitch 23kg (51lbs) 25kg (55lbs)
Dog 25kg (55lbs) 28kg (62lbs)
Size Category
Large 
Weight Height Range
The weight for dogs is normally between 25 - 28kgs. and bitches 23 - 25kgs. The height of dogs at the withers is normally 68 - 74cms and bitches 63 - 69cms. 
Ailments
Afghans have a unique hip structure which allows for excellent moving and turning at speed. Necrotic myelopathy, a respiratory paralysis resulting in death, is restricted to the breed. This normally shows up at 3 to 6 months of age. Afghans have a known sensitivity to anaesthesia, tranquillisers and cortisone which can cause their coats to drop out. Milk allergies are also common in young pups. Ear mites and yeast infections should be looked out for on a very regular basis. Again, before purchase of a puppy, check with the breeder regarding cataracts and hypothyroidism in the parentage. 
Common Ailments

Necrotic myelopathy, causing respiratory paralysis.
High sensitivity to chemical preparations, anesthesia, cortisone  
Susceptibility To Illness
Medium 
Other
History
The Afghan Hound is one of the most ancient of dogs, and legend states it was this breed that Noah took into the Ark. Whether or not this is true, the Afghan's pedigree is without a doubt pre-Christian. Northern African sight-hounds migrated into the mountains of Afghanistan and the hounds with the heaviest coats were used to breed from, thereby creating the Afghan. The breed then spread into the border areas and even into India where they assisted both hunters and shepherds. In Afghanistan, the breed is used to guard sheep and cattle, and to hunt deer, wolves, gazelles and foxes. The elegant, aristocratic Afghan was no pussycat, hunting leopards and panthers single-handedly to the kill. Originally export of this dog was prohibited and the first to arrive in England and the United States was at the turn of the 20th century. Captain Banff imported "Zardin" from Afghanistan around this time and he was first shown at the Crystal Palace Kennel Club Show in 1907, making a tremendous impact. 
Intelligence
The Afghan is an intelligent, confident and often highly-strung dog. They can also be stubborn and headstrong making them difficult to train. Perseverance, patience and consistency is the key to success. Do not rush them as they can become irritable, spooky or shy. Puppies are generally difficult to housetrain, so again, because of their sensitivity, patience is of the utmost importance.< 
Show Characteristics
The head is long and refined with a prominent occiput, slight stop and mounted by a long silky 'top-knot'. The nose should be black but liver is permissible in lighter-coloured dogs. Whilst any colour is acceptable, white markings, especially on the head is undesirable. The eyes, nearly triangular in shape, should preferably be dark but golden colour is allowed. The ears should be set low and well back and carried close to the head, covered with long, silky hair. The jaws are strong and should have a perfect, regular scissor bite. The neck is long and strong carrying the head proudly. The shoulders should be long, strong and well-muscled without being loaded. The back should be level with a reasonable spring of ribs and good depth of chest. The forelegs should be straight with good bone, the hindquarters powerful, well bent with well turned stifles. The forefeet should be strong and very large in length and breadth, the hind feet long but narrower than the front, both front and hind being covered in long thick hair. The tail should not be too short and set on low with a ring at the end, and always carried up. 
Country Of Origin
Afghanistan 
Famous Examples
 
Records Held
 
Characteristics
Energy
High 
Overall Exercise
> 2 hours per day.
As puppies, Afghans often appear awkward, with uneven growth, gawkiness and loose limbs, and for this reason, exercise must be carefully monitored to avoid injury to their growing bones. As they grow older, exercise can be increased until maturity, when plenty of running time must be available as well as roadwork to ensure the correct development of muscles. Once exercised, they will quite happily curl up and sleep. 
Distress if Left Alone
Medium 
Personal Protection
Low 
Guard Dog Suitability
Low 
Risk of Sheep Worrying
High 
Tendency to Bark
Low 
High 
Level of Aggression
Low 
Compatibility With Other Animals
High 
Suitable For Children

High 

General Character And Temperament
The breed has a tendency to be aloof with those they do not know but has great affection and loyalty for their owners. Despite this aloofness with strangers, they can be the greatest of clowns at playtime and are very much people-orientated dogs. Many are especially good with children, and love to be included in family matters both indoors and outdoors. The most important time for personality development is between the ages of 7 and 16 months, therefore proper socialisation during this time is imperative because of their sensitive natures. Afghans need plenty of social time or they can become introverted which, in turn, can be detrimental to their health. 
Grooming
Coat Length
Medium/Long 
Grooming Requirement
Every Day 
Trimming
 
Requires Professional Groomer
True 
Grooming
As they lose their puppy coat, extra grooming is necessary to avoid the new coat matting with the old, which would cause discomfort. The older animal's coat should be groomed daily and bath given once a month. Frequent, fastidious combing is necessary to ensure the Afghan looks tidy and feels comfortable. 
Colour
All colours and colour combinations are possible. 
Shedding
Moderate 
Suffers From Allergies
 

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