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The Afghan Hound, referred to
as "The King of Dogs", is one of the
most ancient dog breeds. Recent DNA research has
revealed the Afghan Hound dates back for many
thousands of years.
The people of Afghanistan refused to sell the
breed to outsiders which is why it wasn't until
the 19th century it was discovered by the Western
world. Not much is known about the Afghan Hound's
origin, but one theory suggests the breed existed
in Egypt thousands of years ago and another says
it evolved on the steppes of Asia and was the
original sighthound. Neither theory has ever been
The Afghan Hound's features are unique. It is
covered in long, thick, silky hair and has a tail
with a ring curl. The eyes are almond shaped and
dark in color; hipbones are high. Mature dogs
have a smooth, shorter-haired saddle. The Afghan
Hound's long and silky topknot is one of its most
The breed was originally used as a coursing hound
(refers to the sighthound group) which pursued
a varity of game such as hare, wolves, marmots,
foxes, snow leopards and gazelles.
Its original native name, Tazi, betrays its connection
to the very similar Tasy breed of Russia. The
close proximity of southern Russia and Afghanistan
makes a good argument for a common origin for
The height for an Afghan Hound is between 24 to
29 inches (63-74 cm)
The weight for an Afghan Hound is between 45 to
60 pounds (20-30 kg)
The Afghan Hound has a very long and
thick with a fine, silky texture on the fore and
hindquarters ribs and flanks. The hair from the
shoulders backwards and along the saddle should
be short in mature dogs. This creates a smooth
back which is a traditional characteristic of
the Afghan Hound. A striking characteristic of
this breed is a long, silky topknot. The hair
is short on the face. The ears and all four feet
are well covered. Caring for the coat can be difficult.
Special grooming tools are needed for proper grooming
since the more you brush it, the more it becomes
matted. Trimming the coat is not recommened; it
is best to let it grow long and beautiful.
All colors acceptable for the Afghan Hound. Color
combinations are pleasing, although white markings
- specifically on the head are not desired.
The Afghan Hound is energetic, dignified, free-spirited.
Known to be independent and aloof with a keen
fierceness. It is not uncommon for an Afghan Hound
to ignore commands at times which makes proper
training a must. It's best to socialize this breed
at a young age, otherwise, they can be very shy
and aloof towards strangers.
The average life span of an Afghan Hound is 12
years. In 2004, the UK Kennel Club conducted a
survey which indicated the most common causes
of death were cancer (31%), old age (20%), cardiac
(10.5%), and urologic (5%). The Afghan Hound is
among the breeds which are most likely to develop
the rare disease chylothoraxalso, which is an
accumulation of chyle in the thoracic cavity.
Allergies are a major health issue and the Afghan
Hound is sensitive to anesthesia. This is common
in the sighthound group because of relatively
low levels of body fat.
• During WWI, the Afghan Hound breed literally
disappeared in the Western world. Todays Afghan
Hounds dates back to 1920 when Major & Mrs.
G. Bell Murray and Miss Jean C. Manson brought
to Scotland a group of Afghans they had acquired
or bred during an eight-year stay in Baluchistan.
At the time, Baluchistan was an independent state
south of Afghanistan, but today it is part of
• It was not until 1926 the Afghan Hound
first appeared in the United States and in 1940,
the Afghan Hound Club of America was admitted
to AKC membership and held its first specialty
• The Afghan Hound is the first dog in history
to be cloned.
AKC: Group - Hound
KC: Group - Hound
ANKC: Group 4 - Hounds