The Afghan hound, a dog of noble appearance and worthy of the name, stands proudly and elegantly and wears the long and shiny fur that is its greatest attraction.
A combination of elegant appearance, grace and excellent hunting data is rarely found in one animal. Grace in tandem with power is about an Afghan hound. This breed belongs to the most ancient types of dogs.
We used the Afghan hound to hunt large and small game. It is hard to imagine that such a beautiful, graceful dog is able to engage in battle not only with an antelope, but also with a predator. At home it is called “tazi”, there are other names: Eastern Greyhound/Persian, Afghan, bakhmul. Barakzai Houndm, Ogar Afgan.
Despite its name, Afghanistan is not Afghanistan’s historical homeland. There are versions that the breed came from Mesopotamia, China or from Persia. It is believed that the first varieties of Afghan hound existed in the Middle East millennia ago.
A good reason to call these greyhounds Afghan hound was the findings of archaeologists. During excavations in Afghanistan, images of dogs that were exactly similar to the Afghans were discovered. Ancient creations are dated by the second century BC.
In Afghanistan, the attitude to the pelvis is special. Here they are valued, revered, protected as a national treasure. Until the end of the nineteenth century, a decree was in force in Afghanistan to ban the export of Afghan hounds from the country.
The appearance of the Afghan hound is similar to saluki, the main difference between these dogs is the thicker coat of the Afghan. Becoming a modern Afghan hound was carried out by breeders. During the breeding work, they crossed the ancient Afghan hound with a saluki.
Bakkhmul was an indispensable assistant to his masters during the hunt. In this case, the goal of a greyhound could be both small rabbits and more serious game in the form of predatory animals. Hunting talent and the ability to tirelessly chase the game for a long time, and then hold it until the arrival of the hunter, the Afghan hound is similar to the Estonian and Russian hounds.
Also, these greyhounds were used as watchdogs responsible for the safety of farm property and livestock. Among the nobility, it was fashionable to keep a bodyguard in the form of an Afghan.
After the lifting of the ban on the export of pots from Afghanistan, the English border guards were the first to bring these dogs to the UK. Also, European countries got acquainted with a new type of greyhounds thanks to the British colonialists who brought the Afghans with them, returning to their homeland from the Persian campaigns. This happened at the end of the nineteenth century.
Physical characteristics of the Afghan hound
The appearance of the Afghan hound indicates its independence, pride and a certain alienation. The impression is quite justified on the strength, power and speed of this dog.
Together with the listed characteristics, it can be argued that the Afghan has a very beautiful exterior. For the most part, thanks to the long coat, which resembles a veil, falling to the ground.
The distant ancestors of the Afghans did not look at all as attractive as modern representatives of the breed. They had a grosser physique, although the coat was thick and long, but it did not look so pretty. In character, aggression was welcomed.
Now the Afghan hound is more elegant, beautiful and friendly. The growth of adults is 63-74 cm, weight is about 20-30 kg.
An elongated head rests on a long, powerful neck. Ears are hanging, covered with long, adorning hair. The eyes are triangular in shape, dark or golden.
The muzzle is long, the nose is black or brown (depending on color). The jaws are powerful, the bite is straight or scissor.
All parts of the body with well-developed muscles. Croup with a slight slope towards the tail. The loin is short, wide. The back is straight. The chest is deep.
The tail is of medium length, twisted into a ring at the end.
The legs are long, straight, muscular. The step is light, smooth.
The wool of the Afghan hound is the main decoration and difference of the breed. It is silky and thick. The coat on different parts of the body is not the same:
Extremities, sides, chest – the coat is thin, long.
The muzzle is short.
Frontal part – flowing silky locks.
Paws, ears – long, thick.
The line of the spine – the coat is short, thick.
The most common colors in the Afghan hound : red, black, white, silver, beige, blue. According to the standard, the presence of white marks is unacceptable.
Character and temperament of the Afghan hound
The Afghan hound is often distant with strangers, so it is essential to socialize this royal dog, as well as to train as a young puppy, especially to learn to answer the call of the master.
It will not show any reservations with his family and the people he meets. This dog is extraordinarily loyal and affectionate. The Afghan hound is made to run and its happiest moment is when it runs at full speed with the wind caressing the fur behind a bullet or squirrel it has discovered.
The Afghan hound is infinitely devoted to its master and all members of the household. Puppies and young greyhounds are especially affectionate and friendly. As they grow older, this dog is increasingly showing its independence. But, despite some waywardness, without attention from the owner, such a dog can even get sick, become aggressive or become depressed.
Sudden movements, loud sounds can scare the Afghan hound. Therefore, a pet in the form of a greyhound is not recommended in families with nursing babies or with preschool children. An Afghan is able to be friends with an older child, he will become an ideal companion in outdoor games and a defender in dangerous situations.
You cannot call an Afghan hound a dominant. He gets along well with other pets, especially if he grew up with them. But, in view of the hunting instinct, rodents and birds are not recommended to be kept together with the Afghan. For example, a dog can easily take a rabbit or a guinea pig for prey and arrange a hunt with a deplorable outcome for a rodent.
Afghan hound dogs are wary of strangers. Unreasonable aggression is not manifested, but the instinct of protecting its territory is well developed.
The average life expectancy of the Afghan hound is about 11-13 years. Afghan can live longer, but subject to proper nutrition, maintenance and care. It is important to vaccinate on time, treat internal and external parasites and show the pet once a year to the veterinarian for preventive examinations.
By nature, it’s a healthy dog, but there is a predisposition of the Afghan hound to the following diseases:
- Demodecosis – affects the skin and internal organs.
- Cataract is an eye disease, if untreated, it can lead to dangerous complications.
- Hypothyroidism is a pathology caused by a lack of thyroid hormones.
- Bloating – If you do not take urgent measures, an Afghan can die in a matter of hours.
- Retinal dystrophy is a hereditary disease that leads to vision loss.
- Cardiomyopathy is a pathology of the heart.
- Congenital chylothorax is an accumulation of the chylus in the pleural cavity.
The owner of the Afghan hound should know that his pet has an extremely low pain threshold. Even a minor wound, a scratch gives the greyhound severe pain. It is important to carefully monitor the condition of the dog, treat the injuries with special preparations on time and contact the veterinarian for help without delay.
Representatives of the breed tolerate anesthesia very poorly. If you have to apply anesthesia, you must carefully determine the desired dose.
It is recommended to keep the Afghan hound in a spacious aviary, equipped according to all the rules. Such a dog is not afraid of cold, heat is much more dangerous. The ideal option for maintenance is a private house with a fenced adjacent territory. The chain for the greyhound is contraindicated.
If you keep your Afghan hound in the apartment, be prepared for daily walks with your pet. He should receive regular exercise. Walking time lasts at least three hours a day.
In public places it is necessary to use a leash and a muzzle. Due to the highly developed hunting instinct, the dog can chase a cat or a bird. Look for a place outside the village where the Afghan hound will be able to run around, jump, play active games.
In hot weather, it is not recommended to walk with the Afghan hound, and even more so to load it physically under the scorching sun. Representatives of this breed feel comfortable in a cool climate. Heat can lead to overheating, thermal shock.
To maintain the health and beauty of the appearance of the bakhmul, on time, in accordance with all the rules, carry out the following procedures:
We comb out every day after a walk. We use a special conditioner for long-haired dogs.
During molting, a furminator is recommended.
Do not comb dry and dirty hair. If the dog is very smeared, first bathe with air conditioning, then comb.
We should bathe our Afghan hound every 7-10 days.
Before feeding, we hide the long strands of Afghan hair under a net so as not to get smeared in the stern.
Eyes are regularly inspected, as necessary, cleaned from secretions.
Ears once a week are cleaned with tissues soaked in a special solution.
We cut the claws with a clipper once every 30-40 days.
We brush the teeth with a paste and a special brush weekly.
An adult Afghan hound needs a lot of exercise (preferably about two hours a day or more). It loves to run freely, but because of its tendency to hunt, you must first ensure that it will answer your call and not release it only in safe areas, safe from dangers such as circulation.
Large breed dogs, in addition to having a great appetite, need a different nutritional balance, including minerals and vitamins, than smaller dogs.
The Afghan hound is subject to stomach bloating and other stomach problems; smaller and more frequent meals could minimize the risks.
The Afghan hound is picky in food. If the food is not liked, the dog may refuse food for a long time.
The basis of the ] diet is protein products. We feed adults 2 times a day, the portion sizes should be discussed with the veterinarian. It is important that fresh water is always available to the pet.
It is important to monitor the cleanliness of dishes for water and food. It is also important with a natural method of feeding to provide the dog with vitamin, mineral supplements.
Training and education
Education, training in the rules of conduct in the house and on the street can be carried out by the owner of the Afghan hound without external help. The main thing is to carry out socialization as early as possible.
With regards to more serious training, it is recommended to seek help from a dog handler. The fact is that the Afghan has an independent character, during lessons it can be stubborn, not obey.
Initially, you should tune in for long-term training under the guidance of a coach. It will take patience, firmness and consistency. But even after passing the training courses, the Afghan Greyhound will not be completely subordinate, making decisions independently.
Only after a long and hard work with the dog can you achieve high results in training. The main thing is to have trust and contact with the pet. At the same time, one cannot show weakness. The word of the master is the law!
It is worth noting that training puppies and young individuals should be carried out with great care. The fact is that at an early age, Afghan hound dogs are poorly coordinated and clumsy. This is due to the too rapid growth and development of greyhounds. Based on the foregoing, it is impossible to overexert puppies, their exercises require careful monitoring. In this way, injuries and bone development problems can be avoided.
Afghan hound Fun Facts
- Studies by scientists have shown that the Afghan Hound is on the list of the most difficultly trained breeds.
- According to legend, Noah was chosen by Noah to travel on the ark.
- In Afghanistan, representatives of the breed are called “tazi”, which translates as “fast running.”
- Afghan is capable of speeds up to 40-60 km / h.
- The Afghan Hound is the national symbol of Afghanistan.
Pros and cons of the breed
Only for those who are willing to devote a lot of time to grooming, training, walking their pet, the breed is an Afghan hound. It will be difficult for beginners to cope with such a dog. In any case, before buying an Afghan puppy, you should familiarize yourself with the main advantages and disadvantages of the breed.
- Exotic appearance.
- Adequacy, lack of unjustified aggression.
- The mind and quick wits.
- Security, watchdog qualities.
- The hunting instinct.
- Get along with the children.
- Difficult care.
- Not suitable for housing in small apartments.
- Waywardness, stubbornness.
- Requires a lot of attention and long daily walks with physical activity.
- It is difficult to train.
- Low pain threshold.
- Anesthesia is very poorly tolerated.
- Does not tolerate heat, can quickly get heat stroke.
- The manifestation of the hunting instinct in inappropriate situations.
- Picky in food.