|Group:||Hounds (Group 4)|
|Club:||Afghan Hound Club Of Victoria Inc|
|Contact:||Mrs Margaret Barras|
|Phone:||0407 821 528|
Background In the country from which the breed derives its name, the Afghan Hound is regarded, though unofficially, as the "national" dog. Native Afghans claim that this "monkey-faced" or "baboon" dog, as it has often been called, was the one chosen to accompany Noah on the Ark. They also uphold the belief that the Afghan is the dog portrayed on the cave walls in the northern province of Balkh, which is why the Afghan has also been called the Balkh Hound.
The Afghan Hound is a sight hound, rather than a hunter by scent. It has exceptional vision and great speed, both of which were used in the hunt for prey. The breed’s profuse coat protected it against the extremely cold temperatures of the upper snow regions, while also shielding it from the merciless sun as it coursed the desert. Its huge, thickly padded paws and powerful hindquarters gave the Afghan Hound equal ability to skim across hot desert sands or to scale rocky hilltops in mountainous terrain.
The beautifully coated, well-fed dogs that give rise to the "oohs" and "aahs" in today’s show ring are a far cry from their ancient heritage. Their appearance has changed significantly, as has the purpose to which the dog is put.
Average Lifespan When considering a dog, please realise that you are taking it on for its lifetime. Afghan Hounds live to 12 - 15 years of age.
Breed Personality/Characteristics/Temperament The breed is said to have a good but aloof personality. These dogs are loyal and extremely manageable as adults, however this is not to say that as puppies they do not have their moments. On the whole, though, this is a breed that is extremely good with children, whether introduced to the home as a puppy or adult, and will adapt readily to the household routine. As with all dogs, young children and pets should always be supervised when together.
As with most hounds this breed has a tendency to roam. Afghans should never be off the lead outside their own environment because once the eyes spot a target, the ears switch off. This characteristic also precludes many Afghans from advanced obedience work. They will obviously benefit from basic obedience training; however it is not usually their particular forte.
Compatibility with other pets As adaptable as Afghans are, they do need to be brought up among the animals they will spend time with. Remember they were bred as sight hounds and instinct will dictate their behaviour when confronted with strange animals they do not understand. Having said that, once accustomed to a situation, an Afghan will readily adapt.
Care Requirements Well-fenced enclosures are a must for this breed, as their keen sight will often get them into trouble otherwise. Afghans require regular coat maintenance, bathing and exercise. They need appropriate feeding to cope with their growth patterns as youngsters, and should always have fresh clean water available to drink.
Please Take Note Owners must be prepared to spend time undertaking routine coat maintenance. Regular exercise is also a must otherwise boredom may result in your dog developing destructive tendencies.
Ideal Owner/s Anyone prepared to accept the dogs’ need for exercise and coat maintenance will be well rewarded with this breed. The environment a dog is going into will dictate whether you would be better to start off with a puppy or benefit from acquiring an older animal.
In Conclusion Now you know a little about the Afghan Hound and have decided this is the dog for you or you want more information, make contact with the breed club or your State controlling body for purebred dogs. They will be able to give you information about available puppies and also suggest dog shows where you can see the breed and speak to breeders. In this way you will gain a better perspective of the breed and its needs.