Afghan Hound Breeders, Breed Clubs and Rescue
Afghan Hounds are undeniably amongst the most glamorous of dogs; the Breed Standard describes him as giving ‘the impression of strength and dignity … head held proudly’. They are genuinely aloof and resent overtures from strangers; they choose their friends, not the other way round. However as a member of the family, in common with many other hounds, he can be as ridiculous as any breed and absolutely devoted to his family.
The Afghan Hound comes from Afghanistan and there were originally two distinct types; the hounds bred in the mountains, who was shorter coupled and more heavily coated and the hounds bred on the plains, rangier with less coat. They were used to guard livestock and hunt mountain lion, which they did in packs; a sighthound, they have a very strong chasing instinct and must be exercised with caution near livestock. The first hound, Zardin, was brought to Britain at the beginning of the last century but it took time for Afghan Hounds to become established here. By the 1960s they had become something of a fashion accessory and the show ring saw entries of 60 or more in a class. Over-popularity does a breed no good at all, and the Afghan Hound now more safely in the hands of enthusiasts.
A securely fenced garden is an essential part of Afghan ownership. Afghan Hounds are real escapologists and once running will be totally deaf to your calls; he is a menace near livestock off the lead and should only run free away from roads. Don’t expect any reliable obedience; a reasonable degree of co-operation is as much as you can hope for. Like all hounds, he is a natural runner and efforts should be made to find somewhere for him to exercise safely.
The coat is his obvious glory, but to keep him comfortable and tidy at least a thorough weekly groom is essential, plus a bath every four to six weeks. This does take quite a level of commitment, but the skills can be easily acquired to keep your Afghan looking good.
Dogs are quite large – up to about 75cm, and weighing around 70lbs, the bitches being smaller and finer. All colours are acceptable, the most common being gold or red. He is not susceptible to any particular hereditary defects. He is definitely a hard-work dog, but makes a wonderful companion to those who appreciate his qualities.
Rescue and Rehoming
For a full list of Rescue Officers see Afghan Hound Rescue page.
In the unfortunate event you need to re-home your dog, or you are looking to give a home to an older dog, contact the Breed Clubs for their assistance. It is always wise to speak to people who are expert in the breed so you can get the best possible help.