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Afghan Hound
Country/Date of Origin: Afghanistan/17th Century

The Afghan originated in an area along the Afghan border with Iran known as Seistan. Obviously from the same stock as the other Middle East gazehounds, the Afghan changed to better do its job- coursing gazelle and leopard in the cold, mountainous terrain of Afghanistan. Its primary difference from the other coursing dogs is its long coat, which was developed to insulate the dog from the cold and protect it from scrapes as it hunted on rocky slopes. English soldiers returning home from the Afghan war brought these beautiful dogs home with them at the turn of the 20th Century. The first Afghans were registered in the American stud book in 1927.

Other Names Body Type Personality Coat Health Concerns

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AKC Group: Hound

Breed Club: Afghan Hound Club of America, Inc.

Rescue Club: Russ & Barb Hastings, Rescue Co-Chairpersons; Phone: 877-AFRESCU (877-237-3728); Email: [email protected]

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Body Type:

  • An exotic appearing coursing dog of great athletic ability
  • The slim, muscular body is wrapped in a long glamorous coat
  • Height: 25-29 inches (at shoulder)
  • Weight: 50-60 pounds
  • Hanging ears are not altered
  • Long tapering tail, curled at tip is not altered
  • Hipbones are very prominent
  • A "mandarin" beard is desired in both male and female Afghans


  • Alert and aloof
  • Ignores strangers as if they are beneath acknowledging
  • Reserved nature does not make them suitable for active children
  • Intelligent, but can be difficult to train
  • Unusual in hunting dogs, Afghans have a low tolerance to pain - and they will let you know it
  • Very high strung and will become hyperactive if not exercised regularly
  • One of the first Afghans imported to the US belonged to Zeppo Marx of Marx Brothers fame


  • Long and silky, the single coat tangles easily
  • The high-stepping gait is springy and the coat appears to flow out behind it
  • Very high grooming maintenance

Health Concerns:

  • Like most of the greyhound family the Afghan has a sensitivity to anesthetics, which can be life-threatening
  • Allergic to the chemicals on flea collars, and powders and sprays for fleas and ticks
  • Genetic cataracts are known in the breed
  • A progressive paralytic disease is unique to the breed
  • A tendency to give up fighting an illness; Afghans often just curl up and wait to die
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Tasty Tidbits:
  • The Afghan Hound's long silky coat is an adaptation to the extreme conditions found in the high elevations of its native region-cold nighttime temperatures and searing daytime heat

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