Afghan hounds are one of those unique breeds of dogs where once you’ve seen one, you’ll never forget what they look like. After all, let’s face it, they’re a pretty magnificent dog breed. What with their tall stance and long silky coat it’s difficult to think of another dog breed with such an elegant stance.
That said however…
Just because they are beautiful does not mean that they’re going to be the right dog for you.
Which is why…
In this article, we want to take a moment and highlight some of the “pros” and potential “cons” of owning an Afghan Hound so that if you do decide that owning an Afghan is right for you, you’re not going to be disappointed with your decision several months from now simply because your Afghan Hound is behaving exactly how he or she should be!
Because one thing…
That any potential Afghan Hound owner needs to understand is that if you’re considering purchasing (or better yet adopting an Afghan Hound from and Afghan Hound rescue center) you’re purchasing an animal that belongs to a proud lineage of sighthounds specifically designed to hunt small game such as mice, rabbit and other small animals.
This coupled with their…
Strong bonding instincts made them ideal working dogs in the mountainous territories from which they originated, but perhaps not quote as suited for apartment or condo living!
While you may have a passion to own one because of their beauty, it’s important to realize that unless you’re the “right” owner, willing to provide your Afghan Hound with everything that he or she is going to need in order to be happy and healthy, it’s quite possible that owning an Afghan Hound isn’t going to be the right choice for you.
This is why…
In addition to learning as much as you can about Afghan Hounds before you decide it’s the right dog breed for you, you should also seek the advice form a quality Afghan Hound breeder as well as reach out to a local Afghan Hound club (if there is one) in your area so that you might be able to spend some time with an Afghan before you make your final decision. You may also find that your local AKC or American Kennel Club may also have a wealth of information for you as well.
When you are ready to purchase your Afghan Hound, you’ll not only know where you should look to find a healthy puppy, you’ll also know who in your area you can turn to if you should have any questions about your new family member.
At this point…
We should also point out that purchasing an Afghan Hound puppy can be really expensive. Which is another reason why contacting your local Afghan Hound rescue center could be a great idea!
So, what makes Afghan Hounds so special (if you didn’t already know)…
Well we here at IndulgeYourPet.com believe what makes Afghan Hounds so special is there rich heritage. You see as we stated before, Afghan Hounds belong to a group of “hound” dogs that function as sight hounds.
Now if you’re not familiar with what the term “sighthound”, it is the term given to hunting dogs that hunt primarily by sight and speed rather than by scent and endurance. These “types” of hounds are also commonly referred to as gazehounds due to the fact that you’ll often see these types of hounds scanning the horizon looking for movement.
They’ve also earned…
The nickname “Persian Greyhound” because while they aren’t quite as fast as a Greyhound, you’ll probably be surprised at just how fast they actually are (particularly if you’re trying to catch him or her). This characteristic combine that with their impressive stamina levels and agility will be one of the first things you notice about them the first time the get loose from their leash!
History and Origin of the Afghan Hound Breed.
Afghan hounds first originated within the high mountainous areas of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran. And as we’ve already mentioned, Afghan Hounds weren’t breed to sit around and look pretty! They we bred to be working dogs. Working dogs that would help hunt small game a provide protection to their owners.
In fact, it wasn’t until…
The early 1900’s that the Afghan Hound were first introduced to the western world when folks began bringing them back to England from their travels because they were so beautiful. It was also then that the Afghan began to be bred and adopted more for their looks rather than their “utility” value.
Afghan Hound Fast Facts
Country of Origin: Afghanistan
Original Purpose: Hunting, herding livestock
Height: 25 to 27 inches tall
Weight: 50 to 60 pounds
Average Life Expectancy: 10-14 years
Dog Breed Classification: Hound Group
Speed: 40 mph! (pretty and fast!)
Size of an Afghan Hound.
The average Afghan Hound weighs somewhere between 50-60 pounds and stands around 3 feet tall (at the head!), making it a mid-size dog. And while the Afghan Hound may not be the largest member of the “hound” family, as its origins suggests, Afghan Hounds will do best when given plenty of room to move around.
Which is something you definitely want to consider if you live in an apartment or don’t anticipate being someone who will be willing to frequently take your dog on long walks or allow him or her to run free in a local dog park.
Afghan Hound Personality.
Don’t let those beautiful coats fool you! These dogs like their exercise. After all, these dogs were raised and breed to hunt small game. Which means that in addition to being a rather energetic breed, they’re also going to love getting dirty.
So, get ready to spend some time combing your Afghan’s long silky hair and giving them a good wash every now and then.
Afghan Hounds are also a bit quirky…
You see much as Afghan Hounds love their exercise, they also tend to be “homebodies” and don’t take to an overdose of vitamin D very well. So, if you do have a yard and you’re thinking you can just leave him or her outside all day, think again…. Most Afghan Hounds are going to want to be where the action is, which means that their going to want to be able to hang around you their owner as much as possible.
Afghan Hound Dog & Kids.
If you have kids or plan to have children in the future, it’s important to understand that adopting an adult Afghan Hound from an Afghan Hound rescue center may not be a good idea for you.
“And Yes, it kills us to say this!”
But the truth is…
Adult Afghan Hounds who haven’t grown up with small children around the house don’t always “transition” well into this type of environment. Now is this always the case? No it’s not, because after all, each individual Afghan Hound is going to have his or her own unique personality, we just want to make sure that you’re aware that this “could” be an issue.
Afghans Hounds are extremely loyal and tend to bond for life. So, while any new dog owner should always consider getting a dog a commitment for life (the dog’s life, that is!), this commitment should be taken even more seriously if you’re considering getting an Afghan Hound because he or she may not do well if you need to one day find a new owner for him or her.
While we don’t advise anyone to get a dog unless he or she is willing to keeping them for life, we especially urge those who may not be willing to make this commitment right away to avoid adopting an Afghan Hound because they don’t handle “break ups” all that well. On the plus side, if you looking for a dog to stay loyal to you for life, well then an Afghan may just be the breed for you.
Sensitive & Independent.
One of the key Afghan Hound traits is their independence. Unlike other dogs who seek human approval, these dogs frequently walk to the beat of their own drum – which as you can imagine can be difficult for training!
Independence streak, Afghan’s are emotionally sensitive. Which means that while they may not always listen to you, at their core, they want you to be happy with them. Which is probably why, they can also be bit of a clown and do respond well to positive enforcement and praise from their owner.
Just don’t get too upset when you find your Afghan Hound is going to have a mind of his or her own.
It should also be…
Pointed out that a calm house is often the “best” house for an Afghan Hound. An environment full of loud noises and screaming (think small children) isn’t always going to be the best fit for them.
Grooming an Afghan Hound.
That beautiful silky hair coat isn’t going to stay that way on its own! Yes, part of agreeing to purchase or adopt an Afghan Hound is also agreeing to getting an Afghan Hound is also agreeing to spend a considerable amount of time caring for that magnificent coat of long silky hair!
Now you could…
Decide to give your hound a “bob cut” so that you don’t have to brush it as much, and who knows, after a few years of owning your Afghan Hound, this may become a very “viable” option.
Most new Afghan Hound owners that we know choose to become an Afghan Hound owner because of that beautiful coat so let’s face it, most folks aren’t going to want to “bob cut” that coat anytime soon.
If you’re looking for that silky beauty, then Afghan Hound grooming is key; get ready to brush this pup daily! This is also a great way to stay on top of any flea or tick issue which can potentially become an issue for you Afghan Hound.
Caring for Afghan Hounds
As we’ve already noted, Afghan Hounds will do best when they have ample opportunities to exercise. They’ll also require frequent “brushing” at least every two or three days to ensure that their coat remains clean and tangle free. Afghan hounds are also prone to suffer from several medical conditions which can become quite expensive to treat.
Potential Health Issues for Afghan Hounds
Here’s a brief list of some of the more common health problems for Afghan Hounds… along with some “rough estimates” on how much they could wind up costing you in the event that you Afghan does suffer from one of them.
- Hip Dysplasia – $2000-7000
- Cataracts – about $2000 per eye
- Thyroid problems – Around $200 for diagnosis, $10-50 per month for the rest of their life for medication
Of course there are a lot of other things that could arise during their lifetime, but these are the most common. Other expensive treatments could include: torn ligaments, stomach problems, spinal problems, and more.
Now as you can see…
Owning an Afghan Hound is a lot of responsibility. It can also be pretty expensive too. This is why we here at IndulgeYourPet.com will often recommend that anyone who is thinking about purchasing or adopting an Afghan Hound also consider purchasing a pet insurance policy for their new companion as well.
For more information…
About how pet insurance policies work and which pet insurance companies offer the “best” programs out there, we would recommend that you check out our Best Pet Insurance Companies article where you can compare multiple different companies simultaneously.
Still now sure if an Afghan Hound is right for you? Not a problem, just take a look at our dog breeds page where we provide reviews on many different breeds.