A noble, dignified-looking hound, the Afghan dog stands proudly and elegantly, with his long, lustrous coat as his crowning glory. A large breed, these adult dogs measure 68 to 74cm in height, with bitches slightly less at 63 to 69cm. The glorious coat comes in all colours – from black to silver, with every colour, pattern and combination in between! An average weight is around 25kg, with an approximate range of 20 to 27kg depending on the dog's sex and build.
- Category size: Large
- Grooming requirements: Daily
- Shedding: Moderate
- Allergies: No
- Noise: Not too noisy
- Dog Group Kennel Club: Hound
- Alone: 1 to 3 hours
- Other pets: High
- Stability as a guard: Low
One of the world's most ancient breeds, the Afghan Hound dog breed first came to the attention of the western world in the 19th century. His exact early history is unknown, though legend abounds. Different variations of the breed exist in Afghanistan and they have been used to guard and herd flocks and cattle, as well as to help hunt mountain deer, antelope, hare and even such predators as wolves, jackals and snow leopards!
Often aloof with strangers, early socialisation is a must for this regal dog, as is early puppy training – particularly with recall. With his family and those he knows, there's no hint of standoffishness – he is wonderfully loyal and loving. The Afghan dog is built to run and he is never happier than when sprinting at full speed, the wind in his hair, chasing a ball or a squirrel that he's spotted.
The Afghan dog breed is generally healthy and robust, with few breed specific problems commonly occurring.
An adult Afghan dog needs considerable exercise (ideally, around two hours a day or more). He loves to run free, but given his tendency to chase and hunt, be sure that his recall is reliable and exercise in safe open areas, well away from traffic.
Large breed dogs benefit from a different balance of nutrients including minerals and vitamins compared to smaller-breed dogs. Afghan Hounds are prone to bloating and stomach problems; smaller, more frequent meals can help minimise this risk.
The glamorous, long, silky coat of an Afghan dog comes at a price: it is labour-intensive to keep it in tip-top condition, with daily grooming recommended to prevent tangles and mats, and regular bathing required to keep it clean. Fastidious grooming is especially important when he loses his puppy coat, to avoid the new coat matting with the old, which would cause discomfort.
Is this the right dog breed for you?
All dogs have their own, unique personality, but some instincts and behaviours they’re born with. Try our breed selector and find out which dog breeds better match your preferences and lifestyle. If you and your dog enjoy similar things, you will be more likely to live a happy, fulfilling life together.
What to Consider next
It is incredibly fulfilling to adopt a dog from an animal shelter or rescue organization. It often means offering them a second chance in life. There are many dogs waiting for a loving family, a forever home. Reputable centers will be very careful about matching the right people with the right dogs. Staff learns all they can about the dogs they take in, and will spend time getting to know you, your family and your lifestyle, before they match you with any of their dogs. They’ll also be happy to give you advice and answer any questions you might have before and after the adoption.
Finding a good breeder
If your heart is set on a pedigree puppy, then your best bet is to find a reputable breeder. Contact The Kennel Club or a breed-club secretary who may have a list of litters available, or should be able to put you in contact with breeders in your area. Try to choose a breeder who is part of the Kennel Club’s assured breeder scheme.Visit dog shows to meet breeders in person and inquire about availability of pups of your chosen breed.
Welcoming your dog home
Whether you’re bringing home a tiny puppy or rehoming an adult dog, this is a hugely exciting time for everyone. While you’re waiting for the big day you might need to distract yourself, so luckily there are a few things you need to sort out before you welcome your new arrival. Click here for more information