Family Pet Guide > Dogs > Hounds > Afghan Hound

Afghan Hound

Quick Checklist
with kids
with seniors
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Training Needs
Grooming Needs
Size: Large (60 to 100+ lbs.)
Lifespan: Long (12 to 15+ years)
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Afghan Hounds, also known as "Affies," are an ancient Middle Eastern breed of sighthound resembling a silky, long-haired Saluki or Greyhound, that were bred to hunt gazelle and hare in the harsh, mountainous regions of Afghanistan. They were the only dogs considered important enough to be allowed into nomadic homes. Afghan Hounds today are considered aristocratic and elegant, gaining faddish popularity in the US in the 1970s for their long, glamorous silky coat (developed as a shield from the cold mountain air.) Like their sighthound cousins, Afghan Hounds are a sweet, sensitive, gentle, and loyal breed with a low dominance level and a high energy level. Afghans have been called aloof and shy, yet owners describe them as exuberant and "clownish" dogs full of love and devotion. Despite their hardy origins, Afghan Hounds resemble Greyhounds in their need for affection and attention, and can be needy and demanding of your time. Afghans make good watchdogs, but not guard dogs, and, like most sighthounds, are suspicious of strangers yet make great pets for families with older or considerate children.

General Care

Because of their long, thick, silky coat and ears, Afghan Hounds need brushing with a pin brush and bathing two or three times a week, making them expensive and high-maintenance in the grooming department. Some will also need their ears held back when eating, or you can purchase a "snood" at a pet boutique or online pet store. Afghan Hounds are very agile and energetic, needing lots of off-leash activity and long walks daily, and enjoy lure coursing and agility challenges like their sighthound cousins. Afghans are spirited and can seem independent during training, responding best to positive reinforcement, but owners should not be surprised if this breed seems to just completely ignore commands at times. Another sighthound trait, Afghan Hounds are difficult to housebreak completely. Due to their hunting instincts, Afghan Hounds are not good around cats and small animals. Common health problems include allergies, cancer, cardiac and bladder issues. Sighthound breeds cannot metabolize barbiturate-based anesthetics, so please work with your veterinarian closely if your dog requires surgery.

For more information about Afghan Hound or "Affie" ownership and care, check out the Afghan Hound Rescue of California.

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