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Choosing the Right Dog - the Afghan Hound

By Edited Jun 14, 2016 0 0
Gold Coated Afghan Hound
Credit: By João Marcos Martins [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Breed Description

The Afghan Hound was originally bred in Afghanistan to hunt hares, gazelles and panthers by coursing them.  In Europe and the US today they are rarely used for hunting and instead have become popular in lure coursing events and conformation showing.  They are also popular companion dogs and many people are attracted to their regal looks.

Afghan Hounds are tall, with a height of 24 to 29 inches and weigh between 45 to 60 pounds.  They have long, fine, silky coats that require a lot of care and attention.  Their coat can be any colour although white markings are discouraged.

Character/Temperament

The Afghan Hound is extremely spirited and brave but is also affectionate and can be highly strung and sensitive.  They have a low dominance level and while they can be suspicious of strangers they are not aggressive towards them.  Afghan Hounds have extremely individual personalities which range from lively and outgoing to aloof and reserved.

Costs

Afghan Hound puppies should be bought from a reputable breeder and cost between £300 to £500 in the UK and $800 to $1000 in the US .

Health and Life Span

Afghan Hounds have a lifespan of about 12 to 18 years.  Their main health problems are allergies and cancer and are also one of the dog breeds most likely to develop chylothorax.

 

Exercise Requirements

Although relatively inactive indoors, the Afghan Hound has a lot of energy and needs 2 to 3 hours daily exercise, preferably including time in a secure area where they can run freely.

Training

Afghan Hounds respond best to gentle yet consistent training.  They can be difficult to housetrain so new owners need to prepare to be as stubborn as the Afghan Hound on this issue.  Due to their intelligent nature and reasoning skills, Afghan Hounds may well test owners during training.

Grooming

The immensely long coat of the Afghan Hound needs a lot of care and attention.  A weekly bath is necessary along with daily brushing as if the coat is allowed to become matted it will become impossible to brush out and will have to be entirely clipped off.

Children and Other Animals

Afghan Hounds and children can be brought up together but it is wise to teach the child and the dog mutual respect and behaviours.  Afghan Hounds are calm and patient which makes them good with children and they generally possess the common sense to make themselves scarce when they have had enough of playing.

If brought up with a cat, the Afghan Hound will generally get along with them but will still chase other people’s, this high prey drive also means they should not be kept around other small animals.

Watch dog, guard dog or just plain soppy?

Afghan Hounds make good watch dogs as they are alert and will bark to raise the alarm.

Special Abilities

The Afghan Hound possesses great skills in agility and this has made it popular for these competitions.  With proper training they are also popular in lure coursing events.  They are also used as therapy dogs for hospitals and home care visits.

Fun Fact about Afghan Hounds

Afghan Hounds can reach speeds of up to 40 miles per hour and from a standstill can jump seven feet.

In Summary

Whilst the Afghan Hound is a rewarding companion, potential owners must make sure they have the spare time and energy to take on this breed as it demands a lot both physically and mentally.

Please Consider a Rescue Dog

Before buying an Afghan Hound puppy, please always consider whether adopting a rescue dog would suit your household.  There are many great Afghans in rescue centres and shelters that would love the chance of living with a caring family.  However, also consider your situation carefully first as some rescue Afghan Hounds can come with issues that will need to be worked through and will need extra care and attention

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