It is considered to be one of the oldest breeds and the descendent of the big Egyptian Hound. More than 4000 year-old inscriptions and drawings of the Afghan Hound were found in the caves of northern Afghanistan. The legends say that this is the dog which Noah took on his ark. One of the best and well-preserved specimens of this breed are found in the highest mountains of Afghanistan, where, due to climatic conditions, the fur is much richer and thicker. The specimens which live in the plain don't have such a rich fur. Some, consider that this breed is the first of the Hound breed. It was developed by the tribes in the area to run after the prey alongside the horseback hunter, being able to hunt rabbits, antelopes and deer. Because they didn't have a good natural camouflage, speed and resistance were essential attributes for these hounds. It was first brought to England by British officers at the end of the 19th century, but only in 1920 was it recognized internationally. A detailed and interesting documentation about the Afghan Hound was made by the English writer M.Clifford L.B. Hubbard in his book "The Afghan Hound".
This is a large sized, strong dog, with a square body. The head is proportional with the body, the skull is long but not too narrow, covered with long strands of hair, shaped like a bonnet. The muzzle is long, conical with a black or brown nose. The eyes are almond-shaped, almost triangular, rather slanting, dark, with a melancholy look. The ears lie flat to the head and are covered with long hair. The neck is long and powerful. The paws are very big, oval, strong and covered with long, thick hair. The tail is pretty long and has a ring at the tip; it is not placed too high and is not covered with much hair. The fur is long and silky, except for the muzzle and back, where the hair is short. On the head it has a long, thick forelock. The coat can have any color, but the most common is reddish with shades of beige. The face is usually darker.
The Afghan Hound is an intelligent, brave, watchful, proud, independent, stubborn dog; it is calm in the house, but very active and fast outside, not so obedient, but at least it doesn't bark much. Loving, playful and devoted to its master it accepts children as long as they don't tease him and is suspicious with strangers. The hunter instinct is very powerful and that’s why he hunts almost any animal. The males can be pretty dominant towards other males.
This dog needs special care. The fur must be combed gently and with finesse (every single bundle, not to miss any areas) twice a week. So, the brushing will take 1 hour. Every 2 months it will need a bath; a special shampoo for dogs, that doesn't dry its skin should be used. The ears must be kept clean.
The Afghan Hound is used to weahter changes and feels good outdoors, being harded for it to addapt to a flat. Do not forget that it’s a stubborn, independent and very active dog, that's why it is recommended that people with experience raise it, or active people who have time. It loves long walks, running in open spaces or next to a bike. The master must always keep in mind this dog's hunting instinct. It can chase smaller dogs or other animals, and if he can't be controlled, it should wear a muzzle. This dog is not recommended for people with no time or patience to take care of its fur, or to families with small children. It needs socializing and training.
The Afghan Hound is hard to train and it is recommended that a person with experience does it. They are independent and will never be entirely submissive, but with a firm training and a gentle voice, the wanted results can be achieved.
Especially in its country, it is a wonderful hunting dog, used for small and big animals (gazelles, deer, wolves, jackals). In some areas, it is used as a watchdog for goat herds. It is a good guard dog. In some areas, where dog racing is popular, it is raised to take part in these races. It is also raised as a companion dog.