Country of Origin: The Afghan Hound (also known as a “Tazi' or “Baluchi Hound”, formerly “Persian Greyhound”) is an ancient breed which dates back to the age of the Pharaohs, but its modern development occurred mostly in Afghanistan. The Afghan Hound was bred by nomadic tribes to hunt gazelles, foxes, and rabbits in harsh mountain terrain, leading to a nimble body, notable jumping ability, and long coat for protection from the cold. For centuries, the Afghan Hound was isolated in the mountains of Afghanistan, with locals reluctant to sell the breed to foreigners. Only in the 20th century was the breed finally brought to England, and later America, where it became a popular show dog and developed a somewhat glamorous reputation. In 2005, an Afghan Hound named Snuppy became the first cloned dog in history. A fictional Afghan Hound named What-A-Mess is the star of a popular series of children’s books and cartoons.
Size: The Afghan Hound has a tall shoulder height of 61-73 cm (24-29 in) and weighs 20-27 kg (45-60 lbs). It has a long, narrow head, almond shaped eyes, large, drooping ears, and big feet. The Afghan Hound has a distinctive ring at the end of its tail and markedly high hipbones.
Coat: The Afghan Hound has a coat of very long, fine, silky hair. The long coat and shorter-haired saddle on the back are distinctive features of this breed. The coat may be of any color, with or without a black face mask, but white markings are discouraged, especially on the head. A white Afghan Hound with patches of red or black may indicate impure breeding.
Character: The Afghan Hound is calm indoors, but fast and active outdoors, eager to chase small game. It is very proud, noble and intelligent. Afghan Hounds are at home in the show ring. They are sometimes compared to cats in that they are affectionate yet standoffish, and may not come when called.
Temperament: The Afghan Hound is kind and loyal, but is sensitive and needs to be treated with care, particularly by the young. Afghan Hounds are normally tolerant of children, but older and well behaved children are preferable. Afghan Hounds get along very well with other pets with whom they are raised, but males are often dominant toward one another.
Care: The Afghan Hound must be groomed very carefully for one full hour, twice a week; special instruments may be required. The coat should never be trimmed. Afghan Hounds should also be bathed and have ear passages cleaned weekly. The Afghan Hound should be given a soft bed, and prefers to live indoors with access to the outside. The Afghan Hound has a low pain tolerance. Like other sighthounds, the Afghan Hound is sensitive to anesthesia. Afghan Hounds have litters of 6-8 and a life span of 11-13 years.
Training: The Afghan Hound is independent, making training somewhat of a challenge. It should be trained firmly but kindly. No Afghan Hound is ever completely obedient, but without proper training it can become destructive.
Activity: The Afghan Hound needs plenty of exercise. In order to burn off energy, it must be walked daily or given an enclosed area in which to run—preferably both. Apartment life is not recommended. Provide plenty of water when exercising to prevent overheating.
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