Afghan Hound13 July 2023
Let’s talk about… Afghan hounds: What are they?
- Afghan hounds are one of the oldest recognised breeds, dating back thousands of years. Their distinctive look makes them easily recognisable.
- They are thought to have originated from the mountains of Afghanistan, where they were used to hunt. They were then brought back to the UK by soldiers.
- Afghan hounds are very fast runners, which would have benefited them in their hunting days, but now they are less likely to work and tend to be companion dogs that are often seen in the show ring.
- They usually grow to between 63 and 74cm tall. Like many breeds, the females tend to be shorter than the males.
- They can weigh up to 27kg.
- Their average lifespan is between 11 and 13 years.
What is the temperament of Afghan hounds like?
- They are generally very sweet natured and don’t have a bad bone in their body, but their high prey drive can mean they want to chase small fluffy things. So, although most Afghan hounds can accept an existing cat, bringing a new one into the house can trigger them to chase and catch.
- Afghan hounds like children, but often don’t like the fuss of small children, so are better around older kids.
- As long as they’ve had plenty of exercise they can settle well for a good cuddle with a familiar face. They are less keen on attention from strangers, but can become strongly bonded to their family.
- They will instinctively chase anything that moves quickly so be careful to watch them on walks.
- They don’t tend to bark, and are usually quite quiet dogs.
What kind of exercise do Afghan hounds need?
- Most Afghan hounds have a lot of energy and need to be given at least two hours of exercise per day.
- Ideally they need to be able to run around, but ensure this is in enclosed areas with high fencing, as they can get distracted and run off.
- As well as their daily walks, they need a lot of mental stimulation through games and activities. If they are left to get bored, this can lead to bad behaviour. Why not try an Easter Egg Hunt to entertain them?
Do Afghan hounds need a lot of grooming?
- YES! Afghan hounds need a lot of grooming.
- Afghan hounds can be found in several different colours but the most common are beige colours with a dark mask.
- With that stunning coat, they need at least an hour of grooming twice a week.
- If you are taking on an Afghan hound you need to have the time and patience for their grooming requirements.
- A professional groomer can advise on the best way of managing your Afghan Hound's coat.
- Afghan hounds are prone to dental problems, so regular tooth brushing with a dog-specific toothpaste twice daily is ideal. If you can’t manage that often, just do it as much as you can.
Are Afghan hounds easy to train?
- Like a lot of breeds the puppies are easier to train than the adults.
- Afghan hounds are not the easiest breed to train, and are not generally recommended as a first dog.
- With the right person though, Afghan hounds can be very well-trained, but it can take a lot of work.
- Some suggest training an Afghan hound can be difficult due to them struggling to understand, but some say it’s due to their independence and being unwilling to learn.
What do Afghan hounds eat?
- Often people think Afghan hounds are underweight, as they, like many other sighthounds, can look quite slight. But that is normal. If they look very lean though or you are worried, contact your vet for advice.
- They should be fed two meals a day on good quality dog food. Some of them eat very quickly, which can make them gulp a lot of air, making them prone to a gut condition known as Gastric Dilation Volvulus, so can benefit from slow feeder bowls or smaller, more regular meals.
- They can often have issues with their teeth, so are definitely good candidates for dental specific diets, that make them have to crunch their food!
Are Afghan hounds healthy?
Afghan hounds are a generally healthy breed, but like any dog breed, have some conditions they may be more prone to than others in body systems which include:
Bones and Joints
- Necrotic myelopathy - This rare condition causes a loss of the material that protects nerve pathways, which can result in paralysis
- Panosteitis - Often called ‘growing pains’, panosteitis is when the bones themselves become inflamed and sore, and is usually seen in large breed, young dogs
- Like many sighthounds, Afghans are prone to poor dental health. This can lead to bad breath, gingivitis, tooth loss, infection and in worst case scenarios organ damage. Regular brushing and ensuring your Afghan hound chews their food well can help. Your vet can advise if your dog needs any teeth cleaning, removal or other treatments.
- Afghan hounds can be very sensitive to drugs such as anaesthetics which can mean they take a bit longer to come round after procedures. Your vet should be able to advise on this.
- Gastric Dilation Volvulus (GDV) - this occurs when the stomach twists and gas and contents get trapped inside. It is a very serious condition and a vet should be contacted immediately!
- Hypothyroidism - a condition where your dog does not produce enough thyroid hormone
- Laryngeal Paralysis - this is a condition where the opening at the top of the windpipe starts to collapse in, usually in older dogs.
Always make sure to have your dog insured, so you don’t get caught out with any unexpected vet bills.
This list is by no means comprehensive, so if you have any concerns about the health of your Afghan Hound or if you want to discuss further if an Afghan Hound is right for you, consult with your vet.
Our vet top tip
“Grooming is so important with Afghan hounds. Keeping their coat, and their teeth in tip top condition can really benefit their general health. From a young age you should perform regular grooming and teeth brushing with them, so when they’re older it’s just a normal part of their routine, and nothing to be worried about.”
BorrowMyDoggy loves Afghan Hounds
BorrowMyDoggy has 70 Afghan Hound members.
The most popular name for an Afghan Hound on BorrowMyDoggy is Belle.
Information on this page should never replace advice given by your veterinarian. Potential health issues presented are given as a guide only and are not meant to be comprehensive. If you ever have any concerns about your dog’s health contact your local vet.
Sighthound Dog Breeds
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