The Afghan Hound has its origins from Middle Eastern Sighthounds with roots that date back to the Egyptian Pharaohs. Most of these dogs were used by nomadic tribes in order to hunt the ground for gazelles, hare, and other small animals to bring back for food. For centuries, the Afghan Hound breed remained isolated in the Afghanistan Mountains. These mountains were practically impenetrable.
Afghan Hounds often hunted with the partnership of falcons, which were trained to swoop at the quarry. These dogs spent generation after generation hunting through rough conditions in harsh mountains.
They developed great stamina, strength and speed from such hard labor. The Afghan Hound’s most striking physical capabilities were its leaping distance and nimbleness. These great hunting dogs were able to work with great success in the frigid mountain climate by the aid of their thick, long coat.
It wasn’t until sometime during the early 1900s that the very first Afghan Hound made its way to England. At that time these dogs were referred to as “Barukhzy Hounds”. Others called them “Persian Greyhounds”.
The Afghan Hound was quite a diverse breed so in order to draw up a breed standard that was based on perfection, a model dog was used that best illustrated the elegant look of today’s Afghan Hound. That dog was named Zardin.
The breed’s popularity grew at a snail’s pace, but eventually made a name in the show ring. In fact, the Afghan Hound quickly made a name for itself as one of the most glamorous, yet competitive dogs in the rings. The 1970s proved to be a booming time for the breed amongst the public, but since then their status as a common household pet has dwindled.
By viewing the glamorous, striking look of the Afghan Hound, those people unfamiliar with its history would never guess at how skillful its hunting abilities are. This dog is a hunter at heart, capable of finding its prey through rough terrain, yet is peaceful and gentle, especially with children. It needs exercise on a daily basis and can be somewhat shy and reserved around strangers.
Taking Care of Your Afghan Hound
Daily stimulation, both mentally and physically, will keep the Afghan Hound in a happy state of mind. This dog loves the opportunity to run at full speed if you can do so in a safe area. They should live indoors with the rest of the family but have access to an enclosed, outside area during the day. Grooming does take a little extra work with the Afghan Hound. Its coat is long and may need to be brushed thoroughly every other day.
The average lifespan of a healthy Afghan Hound is between 12 and 15 years. These dogs are considered to be very healthy with absolutely no major health issues, and the only minor concerns that may spring up are cataracts. Occasionally seen are CHD and necrotic myelopathy, but these health problems are extremely rare.