FAST, FUNNY, FURRY
History & Origin
The Afghan hound is famous for its thick, silky coat and its tail that has a ring curl at the end. As the name suggests, the breed originated in the region of Afghanistan. This adorable canine is also known as the Kabul Hound.
The modern Afghan Hounds are actually descendants from dogs gifted by the Afghan Royal Family in the 1920s. Mostly used as hunting dogs and guardians, these dogs arrived in Great Britain and established their breed in the country. Interestingly, Afghan hounds are quite similar to dogs that descend from the cold mountains on the Chinese border of Afghanistan.
Afghan hound hail originally from the Afghan region, but they are thought to date back to the Christian era. In fact, they are considered one of the oldest breeds of dogs. Historically these dogs were used for hunting in the mountainous regions. They were valued for their agility, their thinking ability and more importantly, the courage to attack and hold other larger predators such as leopards and antelopes.
TheAfghan Hound breed was officially recognised by the American Kennel Club (AKC) back in 1926.
PERSONALITY AND CHARACTER
Afghan hound puppies are charming. People love them for their dramatic appearance, exotic face and fashionable looks. But this is not all. The Afghan hound can be very amusing, playful and affectionate when he wants to be. Owners have reported that these mischievous pets can steal objects and even open drawers to pull out clothes.
On most occasions, your Afghan hound puppy would love to seek affection from its owners like any other breed. But sometimes he would simply gaze into distance as if he is recalling memories from the past.
Remember that when indoors; the Afghan hound should never be left unoccupied and unsupervised. The reason – your puppy cannot live without affection, attention and most importantly constructive physical activity. Don’t be surprised if you find your stuff scattered all over the place – yes, the bored ‘destructive’ furry ball cannot be blamed for this!
You need to expose your Afghan hound puppy to people, unusual sounds and other pets. Remember that the breed has strong hunting instincts and it may try to chase smaller dogs, cats and other living creatures that run in the surrounding. This includes your neighbor’s cat, hamster and rabbits. Furthermore, your puppy might become shy or highly suspicious when not socialized enough.
And here’s a friendly reminder. Your pet is one of the most agile breeds so make sure you have high fences and high-quality leash to prevent him from jumping and galloping out of sight within a fraction of a second.
Afghan hounds are known to be independent thinkers and they don’t really care about pleasing their owners. Of course, they love petting and playing around and you can use this trait to keep your puppy busy.
Interestingly, Afghan hounds are extremely sensitive to stress and emotions. If you have people in your family who shout loudly, your puppy might end up with severe stomach upset and abnormal behavior.
Because Afghan hounds are sensitive, they don’t respond well to rough handling. When upset, your puppy may refuse to move or obey instructions. In fact, he will display passive resistance and even become too stubborn.
Although Afghan hounds are well behaved, and make good and loving pets, they can be challenging to train due to their independent thinking nature. Potty training your puppy can take a longer time and it’s important that you don’t give up during the process. Again kindness and gentle handling during training will work best.
An injured Afghan hound might become whiny. Even the smallest wounds can become bothersome because the breed has a low pain tolerance threshold.
Your Afghan puppy has sharp eyesight and strong chasing instincts and he may run after cars and other objects moving in the distance. It is important that you keep a close eye on them and help them become familiar with people, pets and other moving objects.
NUTRITION AND FEEDING
Your Afghan Hound has an average life expectancy of 12 to 14 years if taken good care of!
You shouldn’t be surprised to find a thin dog under thick hairy coat. Afghans are known to eat far less food than other larger breeds. Make sure you feed premium-quality dry food to keep your Afghan hound healthy and happy. Dry food can be mixed with canned food, broth, or water if required.
It is seen that Afghan hounds are fond of cottage cheese, cooked eggs and even fresh fruits and vegetables. But these treats should make up less than 10% of your pet’s daily food allowance.
Afghan hound puppies should only be given top-quality, name brand puppy food to prevent mineral and vitamin deficiencies. Treats should be occasional to prevent dental and bone problems as well as obesity.
Clean water should be available always, and don’t forget to wash water and food bowls very regularly.
Afghan hounds live for 13 years, but with proper care and nutrition, they can live up to 15 years.
Here are some puppy feeding fundamentals:
- Young Afghan pups (especially 8 – 12 weeks old) need at least 4 meals in the 24 hour period.
- Afghan hound puppies that are 3 – 6 months old need three meals each day.
- Older puppies, i.e. older than 6 months need 2 meals each day.
- When your Afghan hound turns one, you can give him or her one meal each day. Some dogs are happy with 2 small servings, but all this depends on your pet’s eating patterns.
COAT AND GROOMING
Size and Coat
A healthy Afghan hound male stands about 27 inches tall. The females are shorter and grow up to 25 inches. On an average, Afghans weigh between 50 and 60 pounds.
The long, thick, shiny and silky coat along with prominent hips and large paws make Afghan hounds an elegant breed. In fact, their curly tail is a distinct characteristic which makes them even more adorable. Your dog will have a long and refined head. The ears are fluffy) covered with lots of silky hair) and quite long.
The good thing is that Afghan hounds are covered with thick, silky hair. The coat is short, but it’s quite glossy. The most common colors you would find include red, white, black, domino, black and tan, cream, blue and brindle. Often Afghan hounds have a wide range of hues but not all dogs have black masks. The coat can be any color, but it is not spotted.
An interesting thing to note here is that Afghan puppies do not resemble the adult dogs. Unlike long-haired parents, the puppies have fuzzy hair on their backs and cheeks, also known as monkey whiskers. Once puppies are about one year of age, their short coat falls out to make way for the longer, shinier and silkier adult hair.
Without frequent brushing, your dog will become a mess. Simply put, an Afghan hound puppy is not the right choice if you cannot commit to frequent brushing. You also have to make arrangements for frequent trimming to keep your dog’s coat short, clean, and healthy. DIY grooming doesn’t work well, so you should be willing to pay a professional groomer for the job.
Of course, your young puppy has fuzzy hair and he would require minimal grooming. But things will change dramatically by the time he is 9 months old. The adult coat will require frequent bathing and brushing, in order to prevent matting and tangles. You also need to watch out for parasites, and other debris that can remain tangled in your dog’s hair and cause infections.
Afghan hounds should be checked regularly for signs of ear and teeth infections. The nails need to be trimmed regularly to avoid chipping, cracking and horrendous overgrowth.
EXERCISE AND TRAINING
Exercise, Energy, and Activities
Though Afghan hound puppies make good apartment dogs and perfect couch potatoes, they still need plenty of physical activities to prevent boredom and destructive chewing. A daily walk and outdoor running are essential. However, never leave your pet unsupervised or else it will gallop away within few seconds.
Afghan puppies are notorious for not responding to their owner’s calls and pleas. Unsupervised play and exercise can make your puppy a threat to neighborhood pets and even children. As stated earlier, Afghan hounds require a great deal of physical exercise to stretch their legs and build muscle strength.
You need to have a large fenced outdoor play area. The height of the fence should be at least six feet because Afghans are excellent jumpers and fast runners. If you’re taking your pet out for a walk, you need to have a strong leash and a properly fitted collar.
Individual exercise needs of your Afghan hound will vary based on your puppy’s age as well as his level of health. Remember that 10 minutes of walk isn’t enough for your pet.
Training and Sleep/Rest
Afghan hounds love to have a peaceful, comfy spot to rest. You need to set their beds off the floor and this is one reason why you should think about investing in a dog bed. If you cannot purchase a dog bed, you can make one out of a clean wooden box. All you have to do is put a clean blanket or pillow inside the box for cushion and allow your Afghan hound puppy to conveniently sit inside.
Needless to say, Afghan hounds spend more time outdoors and when your puppy is outside, make sure he gets plenty of shade and cool water during the summer. When temperatures fall low, you can provide a warm, cozy and dry shelter to your puppy. Afghan puppies have poor bladder control. You might need to wait for at least six months before they are completely potty trained.
Well behaved Afghans are a blessing. However, if you leave your dog untrained, it could become a huge pain for you. Obedience training is a must for young Afghan hound puppies so that they grow up to be well-trained and well-behaved dogs. You can contact your local pet society for more information about obedience training classes.
You should always keep your Afghan hound on a leash, even when he’s a puppy. Just be sure your puppy is trained because an untrained and aggressive Afghan does not play with kids.
Afghan hounds are generally healthy, but like other dogs, they’re susceptible to certain medical conditions. Of course, not all Afghans get these diseases, but you need to be aware of them so that your pet remains healthy.
Hypothyroidism or low thyroid level is the biggest health concern. Eye conditions also occur frequently in Afghan hounds. Even puppies can develop cataracts which if left untreated can lead to serious eye complications including blindness. You also need to get your puppy frequently checked for eye conditions such as corneal dystrophy, retinal dysplasia and glaucoma.
The Orthopedic Foundation of America stated that hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia are not as common in Afghan hounds when compared with other larger breeds. However, their digestive system is sensitive and they are at high risk of developing a gastrointestinal emergency syndrome.
While grooming your pet, you need to watch out for skin rashes, itching and ear infections. Afghan hounds that do not get enough physical activity can suffer from poor muscle tone.
Female hounds should be spayed before they are 6 months old. You can greatly reduce your puppy’s risk of breast cancer by getting her spayed before adulthood. Male Afghan hounds should be neutered before they are 6 months old. Removal of the testes in male Afghan hounds can reduce the risk of prostate diseases and aggression.
Under no circumstances should you try giving your Afghan hound medicines that are not prescribed by his doctor. You will be surprised to know that ibuprofen can cause ulcers in your pet. In addition, Afghan hounds should never be exposed to rat poisons and other toxins. If your dog consumes any toxin or poison, contact your vet immediately.
To Sum Up
The elegant Afghan hound is certainly one of the most stunning pups in existence. With references going back over 4000 years, this dog makes an ideal puppy for owners who are fond of a breed with impressive speed and agility.
As stated earlier, Afghans can be slow and tricky to train, but if you’re willing to be patient, get an Afghan hound puppy home. Remember, you are guaranteed to get a dog that turns heads and attracts appreciation from every person you meet. Go for it!
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