Description: The afghan hound is a beautiful race that we have from Afghanistan. With its aristocratic and noble appearance, this dog surely impresses everybody at the first glance. Legends say that it was the dog that Noah took into his arch.
Native from Sinai, it migrated to the mountains of Afghanistan, and that is why the dog needed a thick coat, because only the thickest resisted and bred. Their impressive coat and almond-shaped eyes that give them the oriental look make them the perfect dogs for competitions. The afghan hound is the Oriental Princess of the rings.
Other names: Tazi, Baluchi Hound
Temperament: Originally used for hunting gazelles, wolves and foxes, the afghan hound proved to be a good herding dog as well. Nowadays is man’s best friend, as each dog should be. Very loyal and affectionate, the afghan hound likes to be involved in all family matters, helping (but not always) the others. Good with children and other pets around, if not properly trained from early stages, it can tend to chase small animals (after all, it is a hound isn’t it?). Even if it proves to be suspicious with the strangers, the afghan does not make a good guard dog, because of its tolerance and low dominance level.
Health: The most severe condition from which the afghan hound might suffer is the necrotic mielopathy, a respiratory disease that appears at 3-6 months of age and results in death. Otherwise, it's a healthy dog, that must be checked on a regular basis for ear mites and yeast infections. Very sensitive to pain, it can’t stand pain very well, but be very careful with anesthetics, it doesn’t stand it well either.
Maintenance/Grooming: The afghan hound grooming is very important, because of its long haired coat. A bath once a week (for show dogs), otherwise a bath a month would keep the coat from matting. Brushing it dry or in between baths will worsen its condition, making it more matted. For grooming and maintenance, this breed needs special tools. Ear cleaning is, as well, important. Normally, the coat would never need trimming or clipping, but, if necessary, do not hesitate to do it. It will fully grow afterwards. The bitches need, sometimes, trimming their coat when bearing babies. As well, they may drop coat after season.
Training: Very high level of energy, this is why you should provide the dog plenty of opportunities to use it. Do not force it into activities when young, because the fragile bones and muscles might suffer. But, once grown up, they need two hours of exercise daily. Very trainable, because of its intelligence, but not renown for its obedience. Being a strong, tall, hunting dog (they say that in its natural environment wouldn’t get back from fighting against leopards) is very important to start training early, to make his the nice, gay family dog you probably want. They might be stubborn sometimes, or too shy, this is why your diplomacy, and both softness and persistence are of great importance.
Breeding, puppies: . Any range from one to 15, but with an average of 8. The puppies shed their coat, this is why is so important to groom them daily because the new coat might matt with the old one.
Varieties: : Any color of coat is accepted, except the spotted one.