Know the Afghan Hound Breed
Referred to as a royal aristocrat, the Afghan Hound‘s appearance is one of dignity and aloofness. Well covered with thick, silky hair, very fine in texture, the Afghan hound‘s coat is a sort found among animals native to high altitudes. They can come in all colors, and while the breed is an excellent hound (hunting by sight) its popularity here has been generated by the breeds’ spectacular qualities as a show dog.
Is It Right Dog for You?
Known for being aloof, dignified, and for having a highly individualized personality, Afghan Hounds are prized and loved by their owners as companions and members of their family. However, it is important to take into account that their coat requires regular grooming, and their larger size necessitates regular exercise.
Afghan Hound Characteristics:
- Group: Hound Group
- Recognition: AKC recognized in 1926.
- Size & Weight: Ideal size ranging from 25 to 27 inches tall at the shoulder and 50 to 60 pounds.
- Type: Hunting dog
- Others: Sighthound
Afghan Hound History:
The Afghan Hound was discovered by the Western World in Afghanistan and surrounding regions during the 19th century, with the first specimens brought to England in the latter part of that century. Of the breed’s origin and its history prior to then, little is known for certain. It was once believed that the Afghan Hound existed in Egypt thousands of years ago, with a second theory that the breed evolved on the steppes of Asia representing the original sight hound. A great deal of research has not provided proof for either of these speculations.
As the breed developed in Afghanistan, two distinct types evolved. Hounds from the southern and western desert regions had a rangy build, were light in color and sparse in outer coat. The dogs from the northern regions were more compact in structure, darker in color and more heavily coated. These and other variations represented logical adaptations to the wide diversity of climate and terrain of the country.
The breed is primarily a coursing hound, pursuing its quarry by sight. The Afghan Hound was hunted singly, in dog and bitch pairs, in packs and combined with specially trained falcons. A tremendously versatile breed, its quarry included hare, wolves, jackals, marmots and snow leopards. Because of the variety of game hunted and the diversity of the geography, the Afghan Hound‘s most desirable traits were being sure-footed and agile to work the rugged terrain, strength and speed to bring down prey, plus the stamina to maintain a strenuous chase for a sustained length of time.
Some Interesting Facts About Afghan Hound:
- The Afghan Hound was discovered by the Western world in Afghanistan and surrounding regions during the 19th century. The current breed was developed in Afghanistan’s mountainous countryside.
- The Afghan Hound first appeared in the United States in 1926.
- In 1940, the Afghan Hound Club of America was admitted to AKC membership and held its first specialty show.
- The long, fine coat of the Afghan is a sort found among animals native to high altitudes, and the contrasting short hair on the foreface, back and dorsal surface of the tail may also be related to climate.
- Two type extremes exist in the Afghan breed with numerous intermediate variations:
- the hounds of the southern and western regions, which tend to be relatively rangy in build, light in color, and sparse in coat
- the hounds of the northern mountain regions, which tend to be more compact, dark, and more heavily coated.
- During World War I, the breed literally disappeared in the Western world, and the start of the Afghan Hounds we have today dates back to 1920, when Major & Mrs. G. Bell Murray and Miss Jean C. Manson brought to Scotland a group of Afghans they had acquired or bred during an eight-year stay in Baluchistan of Pakistan.
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