Afghan Hounds are a truly unique breed of dogs. Once you’ve laid eyes on one, its unforgettable appearance will stay with you forever.
After all, let’s be honest; they are undeniably magnificent!
With their tall stature and long, silky coat, it’s hard to think of another breed that exudes such elegance. However, it’s important to note that their beauty alone doesn’t guarantee they fit everyone.
That’s precisely why we want to take a moment in this article to highlight the “pros” and potential “cons” of owning an Afghan Hound. By familiarizing yourself with these aspects, you can make an informed decision and avoid disappointment several months down the line when your Afghan Hound behaves precisely as expected.
First and foremost…
It’s crucial to understand that Afghan Hounds belong to a proud lineage of sighthounds specifically bred to hunt small game like mice, rabbits, and other small animals. Their strong bonding instincts and hunting heritage made them exceptional working dogs in the mountainous regions they originated from. However, it’s worth noting that their natural inclinations might make them less suited for apartment or condo living.
So, if you’re considering getting an Afghan Hound, we encourage you to explore options like purchasing from a reputable breeder or adopting one from an Afghan Hound rescue center. By doing so, you’ll welcome a companion deeply rooted in its heritage and possesses unique traits that might not be ideal for all living situations.
While the allure of their beauty may ignite a strong desire to own an Afghan Hound, it’s essential to realize that being the “right” owner, willing to provide everything necessary for their happiness and well-being, is crucial. Owning an Afghan Hound might not be the best choice for you without meeting their specific needs.
That’s why it’s essential to take several steps:
- Educate Yourself: Before deciding if the Afghan Hound is the right breed for you, invest time in learning as much as possible about them. Understand their characteristics, temperament, and requirements to ensure a good fit.
- Seek Expert Advice: Reach out to reputable Afghan Hound breeders for valuable insights and guidance. Also, check if a local Afghan Hound club is in your area. Spending time with Afghan Hounds and interacting with experienced owners can provide invaluable firsthand knowledge. Your local AKC (American Kennel Club) can also be a valuable resource for information.
- Be Prepared: When you’re ready to purchase an Afghan Hound, ensure you know where to find a reputable breeder who offers healthy puppies. Furthermore, establish connections with Afghan Hound enthusiasts who can provide guidance and support as you embark on this journey with your new family member.
It’s worth noting that acquiring an Afghan Hound puppy can be pretty expensive. Therefore, contacting your local Afghan Hound rescue center is a great idea. This approach helps you provide a loving home to a deserving Afghan Hound and can be a more cost-effective option.
So, what makes Afghan Hounds unique (if you didn’t already know)…
Well, we here at IndulgeYourPet.com believe their rich heritage makes Afghan Hounds so unique. As we stated before, Afghan Hounds belong to a group of “hound” dogs that function as sighthounds.
Now if you’re not familiar with 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 because you’ll often see these types of hounds scanning the horizon, looking for movement.
They’ve also earned…
The nickname is “Persian Greyhound” because while they aren’t quite as fast as a Greyhound, you’ll probably be surprised at how fast they are (particularly if you’re trying to catch them). Combining this characteristic with their impressive stamina levels and agility will be one of the first things you notice about them when they 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 bred to sit around and look pretty! They we produced to be working dogs. Working dogs that would help hunt small game a protect their owners.
It wasn’t until…
In the early 1900s, the Afghan Hound was 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 Afghans started 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 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 most prominent member of the “hound” family, as its origins suggest, Afghan Hounds will do best when given plenty of room to move around.
You want to consider this if you live in an apartment or don’t anticipate being someone willing to frequently take your dog on long walks or allow them 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 bred to hunt small game, which means that they’ll also love getting dirty in addition to being a rather energetic breed.
So, get ready to spend some time combing your Afghan’s long silky hair and giving them a good wash 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 have a yard and think you can leave them outside all day, think again…. Most Afghan Hounds will want to be where the action is, which means they will 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 essential 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 been accustomed to small children in the household may only sometimes adapt well to such an environment. However, it’s important to note that this is only sometimes the case. Each Afghan Hound has its unique personality, so it’s essential to know that this could be an issue.
Furthermore, it’s worth mentioning that Afghan Hounds are known for their extreme loyalty and lifelong bonds. Therefore, the commitment should be taken even more seriously when considering getting an Afghan Hound. Owning a dog is a commitment for their entire life, especially for Afghan Hounds. They may not fare well if you ever need to find a new owner for them.
While we don’t advise anyone to get a dog unless they are willing to keep them for life, we especially urge those who may not be ready to make this commitment right away to avoid adopting an Afghan Hound because they don’t handle “breakups” all that well. Additionally, if you are looking for a dog to stay loyal to you for life, an Afghan may be the breed for you.
Sensitive & Independent
One of the critical Afghan Hound traits is their independence. Unlike other dogs who seek human approval, these dogs frequently walk to the beat of their drum – which, as you can imagine, can be challenging to train!
Independence streak, Afghans are emotionally sensitive. This means that while they may not always listen to you, at their core, they want you to be happy with them. This is probably why they can also be a clown and respond well to positive enforcement and praise from their owner. Just don’t get too upset when you find your Afghan Hound will have their own mind.
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 the best fit for them.
Grooming an Afghan Hound
That beautiful, silky hair coat won’t maintain itself! When you decide to purchase or adopt an Afghan Hound, you also agree to dedicate significant time to caring for their magnificent long, silky hair. You could opt for a “bob cut” to minimize the brushing required. Who knows, after a few years of owning your Afghan Hound, this might become a viable option for you.
However, most Afghan Hound owners are drawn to the breed precisely because of their stunning coats. Let’s face it; most people wouldn’t want to consider a “bob cut” anytime soon. If you’re seeking that silky beauty, Afghan Hound grooming becomes essential.
Be prepared to brush your pup daily! Regular grooming also helps you stay on top of flea or tick issues that can arise with Afghan Hounds. By embracing everyday grooming practices, you’ll maintain the allure of their coat and ensure the overall health and well-being of your Afghan Hound. It’s an opportunity to bond with your pet while keeping them comfortable and protected from potential parasites.
Caring for Afghan Hounds
As we’ve noted, Afghan Hounds will do best when they have ample opportunities to exercise. They’ll also require frequent “brushing” every two or three days to ensure their coat remains clean and tangle-free. Afghan hounds are also prone to suffer from several medical conditions that can become expensive.
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 cost you if your 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, many other things 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 often recommend that anyone considering purchasing or adopting an Afghan Hound also consider buying a pet insurance policy for their new companion.
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; look at our dog breeds page, where we review many different breeds.