Facts on Afghan Hound

Facts on Afghan Hound

1. Do you know that this dog breed is so old, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly where it originated. Legend has it that the Afghan hound was the dog rescued on Noah’s Ark. More likely, the dogs came over into Afghanistan with Alexander the Great’s army. Many experts point to the saluki as the ancestor of the Afghan hound due to their closeness in appearance; both have been referred to as the Persian greyhound.

2. These graceful dogs might look like they were bred for a life of luxury, but originally they were used to aid hunters in the deserts and mountains of Afghanistan. Once on the chase, the dogs cornered animals (such as leopards) and kept them at bay until their owners could catch up. These clever dogs are capable of hunting and thinking independently, which means they need very little direction out in the field.

3. The average Afghan hound can reach speeds of up to 40 mph. The fastest horse in the world can only reach 43.97 miles per hour.

4. The Afghan hound is not only quick, but also incredibly agile and able to turn on a dime. Their unusual hip placement - they are higher and wider apart compared to other breeds' - allows them to make quick turns and maneuver around the uneven terrain of the Afghani mountains.

5. The Afghan hound is a member of a group of slender dogs known as sighthounds. This group includes the greyhound, whippet, borzoi, and saluki. As the name suggests, they have great vision. These dogs have dolichocephalic heads, which gives them a field of vision of 270 degrees.

6. The most distinctive feature of the Afghan is its long, flowing fur. The silky mane certainly looks regal, but it has a more important function: The fur keeps the dog warm even in the harsh Afghani climate.

7. Zardin, an Afghan Hound of the early 1900s, was brought from India by Captain Bariff, and later became the early standard for what was still called the Persian Greyhound. This dog was the foundation of the writing of the first breed standard in 1912, but breeding of the dogs paused during World War I.

8. Afghan hounds are a sturdy breed and generally don’t have many health concerns; on average, they live to the ripe old age of 14 years. That said, they have a very low threshold for pain and will whimper at even the slightest injury. Keep that in mind while cutting your Afghan’s nails.

9. Afghans are sighthounds, and that means they like to run. Like other dogs in their class, if they see something they want, they will take off after it. It’s important to keep Afghan hounds in fenced-in areas or on a tight leash. It’s not uncommon for the dogs to run across the street without looking both ways.

10. Afghan hounds are also sometimes referred to as “the scented hound.” The dogs have scent glands in their cheeks that emit a pleasant, musky odor. 

11. Afghans are extremely thin under their thick coats, and they eat far less than their size might suggest. A high quality dog food, possibly supplemented with vegetable oil, can help keep the skin and coat healthy. Ear stockings (called snoods) may be used to prevent soiling of the long ears when the Afghan eats.

12. Afghan Hounds are well known for their distinctly long and lustrous fur, but those coats require a lot of grooming. Afghan Hounds need both daily brushing and weekly bathing to prevent mats, to which the breed is highly susceptible. Afghan Hounds need shampoo, conditioner and even blow drying to keep their fur looking best.

13. The Afghan Hound is one of the oldest breeds, with evidence to suggest it has existed for thousands of years. Some theories posit that Afghan Hounds existed in Egypt thousands of years ago. Other theories suggest the breed has its origins in the deserts and the mountains of Afghanistan, with some breed development being done in parts of Russia.

14. These graceful dogs might look like they were bred for a life of luxury, but originally they were used to aid hunters in the deserts and mountains of Afghanistan. Once on the chase, the dogs cornered animals (such as leopards) and kept them at bay until their owners could catch up. These clever dogs are capable of hunting and thinking independently, which means they need very little direction out in the field.

15. On the one hand, the Afghan Hound is loving and deeply attached to his people. With those he loves, he can be an endearing, humorous, and even silly companion. On the other hand, the breed is known for being independent, regal, and and even aloof. Given the chance, the Afghan will be the lord of the manor and take his true place as royalty.

16. These are intelligent working dogs. Being such independent freethinkers was an advantage in their role as hunters expected to work on their own. The challenge is to find creative and positive training methods that will pique and hold your dog's interest.

17. As magnificent as he looks lying decoratively on the sofa, this is a breed that needs a great deal of exercise. He's a working sighthound with an unquenchable prey drive. And he's lightening fast. He needs plenty of room to run at full speed, but always in a fenced-in area. With that speed and prey drive, the Afghan Hound can be miles away in the blink of an eye.

18. Picasso's love of dogs is well-known. In the artist’s lifetime, he kept all sorts of breeds, from terriers to poodles. He was especially close with a dachshund named Lump, but his other favorite was his Afghan hound, Kabul. Kabul appeared in many of his paintings with his wife, Jacqueline.

19. Afghan hounds are also sometimes referred to as “the scented hound.” The dogs have scent glands in their cheeks that emit a pleasant, musky odor.

20. For such an ancient dog breed, it's perhaps not surprising that the Afghan Hounds has gone by many different names. You may hear the breed called Afghanischer Windhund, African Hound, Balkh Hound, Baluchi Hound, Barutzy Hound, Eastern Greyhound, Galanday Hound, Kabul Hound, Kuchi Hound, Levrier Afghan, Ogar Afghan, Shalgar Hound or Tazi.

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