Dog Breeds: The Afghan Hound

Dog Breeds: The Afghan Hound

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Description: The Afghan Hound is an unusual choice of dog in modern Britain, with most households favouring Labradors and Alsatians. The breed is therefore perfect for those looking for something a little unusual. In this article, we’ll take a look at the Afghan Hound in greater detail.

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Contents:
Afghan Hound

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One of the more glamorous pedigree
breeds of dog in the world is the Afghan
hound. It’s easy to spot, thanks to its
incredibly long, silky fur coat, its curly tail
and its black face.
The Afghan Hound is an unusual choice of
dog in modern Britain, with most
households favouring Labradors and
Alsatians. The breed is therefore perfect
for those looking for something a little
unusual. In this article, we’ll take a look at
the Afghan Hound in greater detail.

Profile: what is an Afghan Hound?
The Afghan Hound belongs to a category
of domestic dogs called Aristocratic
Sighthounds. Unlike scent hounds,
sighthounds hunt primarily by keeping
their prey in sight and outpacing them
over a short distance, rather than chasing
them for miles and miles. For this reason,
the sighthound must be bred for short
bursts of exertion; they are wiry and agile,
with long pointed noses and enormous
hind legs.
The Afghan hound is distinguishable from
other sighthounds thanks to its famously
luxuriant fur coat, which covers the entire
body, and its long, floppy ears. Most –
though not all – specimens have a black
facial mask and some even have tufts of
fur, called ‘mandarins’, growing from their
faces, reminiscent of Fu Manchu’s
moustache.

History: Where did the Afghan
Hound come from?
It will surprise no-one to learn that the
Afghan Hound’s ancestry can be traced
back to the mountains of Afghanistan. The
local dogs there had to grow long, thick
coats in order to cope with the harsh
conditions of the winters there. There
were many different sorts of hound
present there, and it wasn’t until later that
these breeds were blended together and
the standard for what constitutes an
Afghan hound was formally defined.
The breed was first brought to Europe in
the early portion of the 20th century, with
early descendants of the modern Afghan
Hound arriving in Britain shortly after the
turn of the century. These early examples
were used both for hunting and as guard
dogs.
Thanks to its highly distinctive appearance,
the Afghan Hound earned special
popularity at the earliest British dog shows.
At the time, there were many different
sorts of sighthound being brought back
from India and the surrounding area. One
particular specimen, Zardin, was brought
back from India in 1907 and would become
among the earliest recorded examples of
the breed – which at the time was still
commonly called the Persian Greyhound.
The breed was standardised for the first
time shortly afterwards, but the outbreak
of the First World War put a halt to any
further breeding activity.

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Personality: What is an Afghan
Hound like to own?
Afghan
Hounds
make
excellent
companions thanks to their warm and
affectionate temperament. While some
report that they are slightly aloof, the
Afghan Hound socialises well with other
dogs. They are not quick to trust strangers,
but they are never hostile toward them.
The breed’s heritage as a hunting dog
makes it easily disciplined – but it requires
strict guidance and consistent rules if it is
to thrive. Afghan Hounds crave strong
leadership on the part of their owners and
will begin to grow miserable if deprived of
it.

As a general rule, weekly grooming
sessions are enough to keep the danger of
matting in check – and this will help to save
time in the long run. It’s not much fun (for
owner or dog) to spend a great deal of time
trying to brush matted fur. By the same
token, the Afghan Hound’s long ears are at
risk when it comes to eating and drinking –
for this reason, many owners give their
dogs specially-designed snoods, which
help to keep the ears from falling into their
bowl.

The Afghan Hound is built for short periods
of high-intensity exercise. They are
bursting with energy, and if they aren’t
given an outlet for this energy, they will
tend to go a little stir-crazy. For this reason,
it’s important that you take them out for
regular walks – and even runs. If you give
them the opportunity, they will quickly
exhaust themselves – making them ideal
pets for joggers and those looking to play
fetch and Frisbee!

Any Special Issues?
As you might expect from a breed with
such a long coat, grooming is a hugely
important commitment for owners of the
Afghan Hound. Regular baths are a
necessity, as are brushing sessions – and
both must be performed at the same time,
since brushing a dry fur coat can cause
damage, making it more easily matted.

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Beeston Animal Health Ltd.,
Whitchurch Road,
Beeston Castle,
Tarporley,
Cheshire,
CW6 9NJ

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