Breed of the Week: Afghan Hound 06/13/16

Afghan Hound 4

Breed Stats

Country of Origin: Afghanistan

Average Height: Males 26.5-29 inches (68-74 cm), Females 24.5-27 inches (63-69 cm)

Average Weight: Males approx. 60 lbs (24 kg), Females Approx. 50 lbs (20 kg)

Average Lifespan: 12-14 years

Coat: The coat is quite long, silky and very fine; Considerable grooming and maintenance is necessary.

Colour: All colours are acceptable.

History

            The Afghan Hound is a demonstrably ancient breed of dog, however there is no verifiable written or visual records that would connect today’s modern Afghan Hounds to specific Afghan owners or locations.  The breed has been mentioned numerous times in Egyptian papyruses as well as depictions in caves in Northern Afghanistan.  The breed has been kept very pure, as for quite a long time it was forbidden to export any dogs.  The Afghan is a sighthound, meaning they hunt for prey with sight and speed instead of scent.   They were used to hunt various types of game including deer, wild goats, snow leopards and wolves.

The modern version of the Afghan Hound has primarily descended from dogs that were brought into England in the early 1900s.  One dog in particular, Zardin, was brought to England in 1907 and became the ideal dog for the breed and served as the basis for the writing of the first breed standard in 1912.  The Afghan made its way to North America soon after and they were accepted for registration in 1926.  The Afghan Hound Club of America was admitted for membership with the AKC in 1940.  Nowadays the Afghan is largely kept as companions and as show dogs.  They have been fairly prominent in the show dog scene, having won best in show at many dog shows.  The Afghan hound is recognized by every major kennel club in the English speaking world.

Classifications

FCI: Group 10, Section 1 #228

AKC: Hound

UKC: Sighthounds and Pariah dogs

CKC: Group 2 – Hounds

KC (UK): Hound

Temperament

            The Afghan Hound is generally dignified, loyal, aloof, sensitive and affectionate.  They can have a very high prey drive and may not get along with small animals.  They can be quite tough to train, as they are rather independent, in addition they aren’t generally motivated by food and do not possess a strong desire to please their owners.  However, the Afghan is known for outperforming other breeds when the decision to do so is their own.  Regular exercise and mental stimulation is necessary in order to prevent the dog from becoming timid and high strung.

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