Dog Breeds 101: Afghan Hound

Dog Breeds 101 - Afghan Hound - WP
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Do the names Shalgar Hound, Kuchi Hound, or Baluchi Hound ring a bell to you? Probably not. However, you may recognize the name Afghan Hound. This is one of the oldest dog breeds alive today, dating back before the Christian Era.

Egyptian records mention this dog and caves in Afghanistan have a handful of illustrations depicting them as well. Some Afghan tribesmen even believe that the Afghan Hound was the dog rescued by Noah’s Ark. [1] However, if you think being a “pioneer” means to be outdated or old-fashioned, the Afghan Hound can render anyone speechless with its extremely striking and elegant appearance. With an extensive, fine-textured, silky coat the Afghan Hound is a real diva among dogs.

This dog’s shockingly long hair is not just for style and fashion. Rather, their coat protects them from temperature extremes not uncommon in the region this dog originated from.

The Afghan Hound’s coat is only one of several reasons this dog is considered to be the fashion model of canines. Prominent hipbones, dark almond-shaped eyes, and a refined head contribute to their exotic beauty and dignified look. The hipbones are set high and wide apart allowing this dog to hunt hares, foxes, wolves and gazelles! [2] Their ability to chase down animals like gazelles is a testament to their speed. They are also classified as sighthounds, or hounds that rely on sight rather than scent to chase down prey.

Afghan Hounds can be sweet, loving, and peaceful household companions. They have a low pain tolerance and are sensitive to stress, so they are best with older children. Possessing the qualities of a noble king, the Afghan Hound can be somewhat aloof, dignified and independent, but still sociable. [3] Because of its indifference, the breed can be challenging to train. For example, using treats as positive reinforcement may not work on this dog as it would others. In other words, the Afghan Hound requires a patient owner who, through kindness, can understand the dog’s slow obedience intelligence and stubborn nature.

Although this dog prefers to be inside, the owner’s yard should have sturdy and high fencing. The Afghan’s natural hunting instincts can drive it to pursue prey (a neighbor’s rabbit or you niece’s hamster, for example) through backyards and across streets. Moreover, this dog requires a substantial amount of grooming. If you do not have the heart for daily care, maintenance or are unenthusiastic about the thought of paying for a professional groomer, the Afghan Hound might be not for you.


[1] The Afghan Hound – A Complete Anthology of the Dog – (Read Books Ltd, 2013).

[2] Sarah Liddell, The Complete Book of Dog Care (, n.d.), p. 109.


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