Afghan Hound
Photo: iStock

Afghan Hound

FCI Group

The Afghan Hound belongs to the Sighthounds in the FCI grouping.

AKC Group

The Afghan Hound is classified under the Hound group in the AKC grouping.

Is the Afghan Hound allowed as a pet in a Singapore HDB flat?

No

Origin

Afghanistan; has been depicted in 4,000-year-old drawings. The Afghan hound was kept pure for centuries, and its exportation was always prohibited. It only reached Europe as contraband in the early 1900s.

Original Purpose

Afghan Hounds are originally bred for hunting gazelle, deer, antelope, and hares. These hounds are also made to protect sheep flocks.

Behaviour and Temperament

Aloof, pleasant, independent, spirited, dignified, gentle if well socialised.

Breed Characteristics

Tall, elegant, refined, and aristocratic on the outside, but tough and agile on the inside. Despite an independent nature, Afghan hounds need human companionship (but they decide when). Can become destructive when bored. Given sufficient running time, these hounds are usually quite calm, especially as they mature. Afghan hounds will take-off after small animals (think your neighbour's cat) due to their hunting instincts. Can handle cold, wet, or windy weather without difficulty. Afghan hounds are great jumpers and can easily leap over boundary fences. Not recommended for first-time owners.

What are some Physical Features of the Afghan Hound?

63 to 74 cm; 22.5 to 29.5 kg. Afghans hounds are famed for their elegant movement. Any colour or mixture of colours from pale cream and fawn to deep black.

Coat Type and Recommended Grooming

Long, thick, silky; has accurately been described as a “mane.” Very high maintenance, most adult coats need brushing or combing every two to three days to prevent mats, which form easily and daily. Should not be clipped or trimmed. Older pets are sometimes shaved for their comfort. Professional grooming is highly desirable. Moderate shedding. The coat requires some commitment, especially when shedding the puppy coat (at 12 to 18 months). Estimated grooming charges in Singapore: Full, S$120 - $150, Basic, S$90 - $110.

Life Expectancy

10 to 14 years.

The Oldest Afghan Hound in the Community

No pups found

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Health Concerns

Eye problems such as cataracts, allergic dermatitis, cardiomyopathy, hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism. Afghan hounds are known to have a low tolerance for pain. Like other sight hounds, Afghans are sensitive to anaesthesia.

Exercise

High; the Afghan hound needs a huge amount of exercise in a fenced area, or daily long walks or jogs.

Housing

Relatively inactive indoors and do best with acreage. Although not recommended, the Afghan hound is adaptable to apartment life if given enough exercise.

Sociability

The Afghan hound may bond to one person or remain aloof even to family members. They do well with older, more considerate children in the family. Reserved with strangers, but not hostile. Good with other dogs, especially other Afghans. They have a strong prey drive, and need to be supervised around cats and other small animals.

Trainability

Low to average; can be obstinate; does not handle harsh corrections well, so only gentle training methods work with this dog. Early socialisation required, can be difficult to housebreak. Can also be timid and high-strung if it does not receive sufficient mental and physical exercise.

Recommended Activities

Lure-coursing (In lure coursing, the hounds give chase to artificial lures that mimic an escaping game. This competition tests the dog's ability to hunt by sight, and basic coursing instinct), obedience, agility, therapy.

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