Unlike other breeds, the Afghan Hounds are extraordinary and eye-catching, both by their looks as well as their quality traits. The word “Afghan” in their name itself describes their origin; these dogs trace their roots back to Afghanistan. Afghan Hound is an ancient breed and dates back to the pre-Christian times. They are known to be a prehistoric breed, which might not be made out by their looks. Moreover, Afghan Hounds are also considered to be one of the oldest purebred dogs. Their majestic coat makes them stand out as a leader, even in a crowd.
Introduction: Let’s know what’s so special about Afghan Hound dog breed!
The Afghan Hounds are determined and free-spirited. They might look shy at first but are notorious and friendly when taken as pets. Male hounds weigh up to 55-65 lbs, whereas a female hound weighs up to 45-55 lbs. They have a long face and naturally dropping ears covered with long silky hair. They are skinny from inside; but with the course of time, Afghan Hounds were bred for hunting and coursing. Amazing right? A perfect example of a famous phrase “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”
They do not require much attention; as mentioned earlier their “free spirit.” Afghan dogs have a low tendency to bark, snore, dig, and drool. These dogs have an average energy level, with a life expectancy of around 14-15 years. Afghan Hounds require only 40 minutes of exercise daily. Their physical appearance resembles that of a goat; which can be found in the hilly mountain areas of Leh, Ladakh, India. Moreover, the paw-pads of the hounds are large in size; functioning efficiently as shock absorbers for their survival in the rugged landscape.
Baby Afghans do not have a long hairy coat. Also, the hair on the cheeks of baby Afghan Hounds is frizzy in texture like that of a monkey. The hound has a stubborn nature, because of which they require strict training and attention; only then are they able to fit within a domestic household, especially if you have children and other pets.
Hats Off To Their Agility!
The Afghan Hounds are agile in nature. Their agility can be assessed from the very fact that they even run off to chase their prey. Long walks are best suited for this dog breed. The Afghans should be taken out for long runs in large areas frequently. You might be surprised to know that the hounds are exceptionally good jumpers too. Since they are extremely loyal, it is quite easy to housetrain them.
Since Afghan Hounds have an athletic build, they require a proper diet to meet their nutrition requirements. The long and glorious coat of the hound needs frequent grooming. It is important to brush their hair to keep them tangle-free and remove any dirt. Not only should their nails be trimmed and teeth brushed on a regular basis, but they also require timely showers sessions.
Popularity In Modern Culture
Famous Spanish painter and sculptor, Pablo Picasso, also owned an Afghan Hound. What’s more surprising is that Pablo’s Afghan Hound also appeared in his painting titled “Femme au chien.” This painting was sold, in 2012, for nearly $10 million. Picasso even carved out a huge sculpture of his Afghan Hound named Kabul, which is now placed at Chicago’s Daley Plaza.
The Afghan Hounds became increasingly popular and invaded the domestic household when Mattel introduced the pet dog of Barbie Doll, which was none other than an Afghan Hound! In 2005, the first cloned dog, Snuppy, came into existence. The first-ever cloned dog was an Afghan Hound; which was cloned utilizing the skin cells from the same breed and involving nearly 123 surrogates.
History: How did the Afghan Hounds come into existence and went on to become popular?
The Afghan Hounds were bred by the nomads of present-day Afghanistan, Northern India, and Pakistan. It might sound surprising that the Afghans’ traditional prey was the leopard. Therefore, going by the choice of their traditional prey, one certainly cannot judge the hounds by their looks. They were brought up to fight and live in the harsh weather conditions of the cold climate in hilly regions; shaped by the need to course the game across the mountainous terrain. For centuries, Afghan Hounds remained a symbol of nobility among the member of the royal crest of the Asia mountain kingdoms.
The Afghan Hounds marked their entry in Europe around the late 18th century. With the British soldiers, the Afghans made their first journey out of the Middle East and came to England by around the early 1900s. Soon this dog breed gained popularity among the British people.
In 1927, the American Kennel Club made the Afghan Hounds known in America. The hounds became immensely popular by the 20th century not only because of their top-notch qualities as a pet but also their laudable attributes in the ring. In the 21st century, they are best known for being house dogs and entertaining dogs.
Afghan Hound’s Characteristics
1. The Odd One Out
These dogs are very much different from other dog breeds. Their long shiny coat and thin body with a long face make them look every bit different. While taking them outside, you will not have a fear of losing them as you will be able to spot them easily even from a distance.
2. Just Like Spartans
They are great warriors. In ancient times, they were bred for hunting and were given a similar kind of training so that they could survive in the deserted and mountainous areas of Afghanistan. Their clever moves made them win fights against the strong animals. Because they are free-spirited, they do not require much attention and wander off in the wild.
3. Unusual Hips
It is a fast breed as compared to the other breeds; because of the alignment of their hips, which is quite different from that of the other dogs. They are like mountain sheep, that can take quick turns at one time and can easily get used to the mountains’ rocky terrain.
4. Coat Like A Royal Gown
The long, flowing fur gives an Afghan a distinctive feature. It looks classy and shiny, which they carry with extreme pride, just like a model. Their coat needs to be combed regularly so that it does not get tangled and frizzy. Their coat acts as a blanket for them.
5. Just Like A Naughty Child
Afghan dogs must be kept under surveillance or else, just like a small child if they want something, they will chase it. It’s not generally revealed, but Afghan hounds are said to be sight-hounds; which means that they are fascinated by speed and sight, rather than scent.
6. Scented Dog Breed
These dogs have a natural scent gland in their cheeks which gives a soothing, piquant smell. This is why they are often referred to as “Scented Hounds.”
So if you want a companion which looks sassy, has an extraordinary appearance, looks shy but is intelligent and clever like a fox, then Afghan Hound dogs are a perfect choice.