One of the most glamorous of breeds, the Afghan Hound takes its name from its place of early origin - the mountains of Afghanistan. Brought to the West by posted British Military Officers on their return, the Afghan Hound enjoyed considerable popularity as an exotic breed, only to drastically diminish in number with the onset of the First World War. Believed to descend from one of the oldest canine lineages, the breed was traditionally used in hunting and sight tracking, coursing fast-running game such as antelope, deer, wolves, hares and jackals. Other duties included flushing partridges and quail from their roosts for the falcon to kill or the hunter to shoot.
Distinctive in appearance, the breed possesses a long and luxurious coat which requires regular grooming. Further features include a tall and slender frame, dark, almond-shaped eyes, prominent hip bones and a narrow, curled tail. The coat is common in colour variations of sand, white, red or black, although all colour deviations are permissable within the breed. Primarily bred to hunt, the Afghan Hound boasts acute vision and speed, meaning it is essential the dog is not let off its leash in an urban setting. A common face in the show ring, the Afghan Hound is obedient, trainable and impressive in size and stature.
Typically confident and aloof, the breed requires early training and gradual introduction to other family pets before it can adapt to the home environment without desiring to chase them. Highly compatible with children, the Afghan Hound makes an affectionate and loyal family dog, socialising well with people and adjusting quickly to new situations. The weight of the average Afghan Hound is 22-34 kg with discrepancies across gender, with a long life expectancy of 13-15 years when cared for accordingly.
Generally healthy and long-lived, the Afghan Hound is not known to suffer from any genetic diseases. Documented cases of hip and elbow dysplasia, cataracts and thyroid problems have, however, been specifically associated with the breed.