Afghan Hound Dog Characteristics, Origin & Lifespan

The Afghan Hound dog is a very beautiful breed of dog. As the name suggests, it is a hound (a hound is a type of hunting dog used by hunters to track or chase prey). It is also known by some other names such as Taži Spay, Sag-e Tazi, Tazi, Balkh Hound, Baluchi Hound, Barakzai Hound, Shalgar Hound, Kabul Hound and Galanday Hound.

As the name suggests, the Afghan Hound was developed from Afghanistan, where the original name of the breed was Tazi. It is selectively bred for it’s unique features in the cold mountains of Afghanistan. These animals have the ability to run and turn very well.

The breed has long been thought to date back to the pre-Christian era. DNA researchers have recently discovered that the Afghan Hound is one of the most ancient dog breeds and dates back thousands of years.

Today’s modern purebred Afghan Hound dog descends from the dogs brought to Great Britain in the 1920s, which King Amanullah of the Afghan Royal Family gave away as gifts. Some had been kept as hunting dogs, others as guardians.[1]

The Afghan Hound was originally used for hunting large prey in both the deserts and in the mountains of Afghanistan, where his abundant, flowing coat was needed for warmth. The breed is highly valued for it’s ability to run fast and over great distances.

Today’s Afghan Hound is not used for hunting, but this sighthound does retain the independent nature of a coursing hound. An Afghan puppy will eagerly seek affection from family members, just like puppies of any other breed. However, read some more information about this breed below.

Afghan Hound Dog Characteristics

The Afghan Hound dogs are very beautiful in appearance. They are easily distinguished by their thick, fine, silky coat and their tail with a ring curl at the end. Their coat may be of any color, but white markings, particularly on the head are discouraged (many individuals havea black facial mask)

Some Afghan Hound dogs are almost white, but parti-color hounds(white with islands of red or black) are penalized in the AKC standard, but not by the FCi. As they have long, fine-textured coat, so they require considerable care and grooming.

The distinctive features of the Afghan Hound coat are the long topknot and the shorter-haired saddle on the back of the dog. The high hipbones and unique small ring on the end of the tail are also the notable characteristics of the breed.

The head crown, forequarters, chest, flanks, hindquarters and legs are thickly covered with long, fine and silky hair. The coat on the face and back is short and glossy. These dogs can have a wide range of hues as well, and the creams and red often, but not always.

The Afghan Hound dogs are large animals. They are tall, standing in height between 24 and 29 inches. And average live body weight of the mature dogs is between 20 and 27 kg.

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Temperament

The temperament of the typical Afghan Hound dog can be aloof and dignified. But they are happy and clownish when they are playing. Like many sighthounds, these dogs have a high prey drive and may not get along with small animals.

The Afghan Hound can be a successful competitor in dog agility trails as well as an intuitive therapy dog and companion. They can be gentle with children, but they may not always be playful and interactive enough with children.

Described by some as “catlike,” this breed is independent yet sensitive, and not overly demonstrative. They are reserved with strangers; some can be timid. They have a happy, clownish side.

Personality of the Afghan Hound dog ranges from loving to downright standoffish, and these dogs can be quite wary of strangers. The Afghan Hound is prone to developing a feral disposition, especially if not socialized properly.

Lifespan

Afghan Hound in UK surveys had an average lifespan of about 12 years, which is similar to other dog breeds of their size. Their average expected lifespan is between 12 and 14 years.

Feeding

How much a mature dog eats depends on it’s size, age, build, metabolism and activity level. Dogs are individuals, just like people, and they don’t all need the same amount of food. 2 to 2.5 cups of high quality dry food a day is recommended for a mature dog, divided into two meals.

Caring

The Afghan Hound dogs prefer being inside with family. They are naturally active dogs and need daily exercise (which ideally includes a leash walk or run, plus a free-run in a fenced area). They are generally laid back and calm in the house.

High, secure fencing is a must if you plan on keeping your dogs in a yard. The Afghan Hounds are good escape artists, and it’s truly hard to catch once loose. Consistent obedience training is necessary and positive reinforcement methods work best.

Regular grooming is also a must for Afghan Hound dogs, as they have long, glossy and silky hairs. So, try to take good care of your dogs to keep them healthy and look beautiful.

Health

The Afghan Hound dogs are generally healthy, but like other dog breeds, they are prone to certain health conditions. Not all the dogs will get any or all of these diseases, but it’s important to be aware of them if you are considering this breed to raise.

Sighthounds such as Afghans have naturally low stores of body fat, so they tend to be sensitive to anesthesia; breed experts recommend seeking out a sighthound-savvy veterinarian for surgical procedures. Like other deep-chested types of dogs, Afghan Hounds can experience bloat, a sudden and life-threatening swelling of the abdomen, and owners should educate themselves about its symptoms and what to do should bloat occur.[2]

Breed NameAfghan Hound
Other NamesTaži Spay, Sag-e Tazi, Tazi, Balkh Hound, Baluchi Hound, Barakzai Hound, Shalgar Hound, Kabul Hound and Galanday Hound
Breed SizeLarge
Height24 to 29 inches tall at the withers
Weight20 to 27 kg
Good as petsYes
Climate ToleranceAll climates
ColorMany
Lifespan12 to 14 years
Good for childrenYes
RarityCommon
Country of OriginAfghanistan

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