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August 24, 2012 at 8:00 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Afghan Hound

By Victoria Swanson More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the Purebred Star Blog Series

Do you LOVE the beauty of this breed? Looking for a loyal and loving breed? The Afghan Hound could be what you are looking for!

The Afghan Hound is considered one of the oldest breeds, originating from the mountains of Afghanistan and Iran, where it was used for hunting with tribes. Because these tribes were so isolated, the breed was kept very "pure" and was unknown to outsiders until the 19th century. As one of the oldest breeds, the Afghan has been genetically tested for background information. These tests place the breed as having the least genetic difference from their ancestor, the wolf. However, the modern Afghan are descended from other sighthounds brought to Great Britain around the 1920's.

Bred For

This breed was bred to hunt rabbits and gazelles by coursing them. Coursing is where the dog chases their prey through sight, not scent, and with extreme speed.

Appearance

The Afghan Hound height is 25 - 27 inches and they can weigh between 50 - 60 pounds. The Afghan coat is long and silky, except on the face and back where the coat is short and the coloring can be of any. Their ears are very long (sometimes referred to as "pendants" ;-) and feathered, as are their feet. They require regular grooming and daily brushings to prevent mats. Their tail is long and curves. Their body is large, square-shaped, and long.;

Personality

The Afghan is aloof with strangers, but very playful and affectionate with their family. They're also often described as "dignified." All Sighthounds have a very strong prey drive and sometimes don't do well with other small animals in the household. A fenced-in yard is a requirement for this breed, because they will take off running at a moment's notice. They can be difficult to train because of their strong-willed spirit, so early obedience training is a must for this breed. Proper socialization at an early age will help this breed with small children and animals.

Activity Level

Their activity level is moderate. They require one 30-45 minute walk a day. This breed is active and they enjoy playing with other dogs, making doggy daycare a great option. Further, the Afghan is an excellent candidate for lure-coursing, as well as other agility sports. They also make great therapy dogs and serve well as companion dogs.

Health Concerns

The typical life span for the Afghan Hound is 12 years. Health concerns are: Hip Dysplasia, eye problems, cancer, allergies, and chylothorax (a condition where the thoracic ducts leak, causing large fluid amounts to enter the chest cavity).

Rescue First

As you begin looking for an Afghan Hound, please check with rescue organizations first. Every year, there are millions of dogs being euthanized, not because they're bad dogs, but because there's no home for them and insufficient resources to care for them at rescues. By adopting a dog, you are truly saving a life!

At the very least, NEVER purchase any dog from a pet store. Unfortunately, those puppies almost always come from puppy mills. Instead, look for a reputable breeder to work with.

On a final note, it is important to spay and neuter your puppy by 6 months old to have a healthy and happy pet for many years to come!

Resources:

Dog Breed Info

Original Dog Bible, 2nd Edition by Kristin Mehus-Roe

More from Health Coach Victoria Swanson Others Are Reading

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