About the Afghan Hound
With special thanks to Denver Afghan Hound Rescue, Inc.
If you do not like cats, you might not enjoy the Afghan Hound since they have very similar personalities. If you love the hyper, goofy, happy go lucky chase after a Frisbee type dogs, you are interested in the wrong breed. If you want to go to the park and expect your Afghan Hound to jump in the water after a ball as a Golden Retriever or Black lab, you have picked the wrong breed. It is more likely that if you do any of the above, the Afghan Hound will look at you and expect you to entertain them by running after the Frisbee or jumping in the pond yourself to get the ball.
The Afghan Hound is a hunting sight hound. For many of them, if it moves, it belongs to them. While some can live in a household with cats and ferrets, many others cannot. No matter how well trained they are, they can still be very unpredictable and rely on instinct.
That is why they should never be trusted off leash unless the area is securely fenced. If they have an eye set on a target, they have a sudden auditory problem. They may come back but as they leave a trail of dust in your face you will hear them say, yeah, when I’m done…maybe. They are also not apartment dogs and require a yard and a six foot fence.
Even with that you will see many a front paws on the top of a six-foot fence as they jump to get a squirrel. In order to keep them from getting bored and destructive, they require exercise and walks and usually do better in pairs. Most can be very stand-offish with strangers. They also require a great deal of grooming and do not just look like “those dogs with all that beautiful hair” without a great deal of work. The favorite spot is either the bed or the sofa and they have extendable paws if you have left something on your kitchen counter you had planned on eating.
While they are a breed that can push many to a padded cell, they also have some of the most wonderful Hound Group aspects to their personality. They are very loyal to family members and very loving, affectionate and playful in the household. They love attention, enjoy being lapdogs and since they know they look good, enjoy strangers cooing over them as they look away in distain. They excel at training you and learn very quickly how to wrap you around a paw. Oddly, they usually win and most people once hooked on the breed find that there is no other breed they would live with.
Q: What kind of dogs are Afghan Hounds?
A: They are Sight hounds- dogs that hunt their prey by sight, chase it and kill it. They are swift in the field and independent. Afghans like to make their own decisions.
Q: What is the Afghan temperament and disposition?
A: Afghan Hounds have an aloof and elegant air and seem to know that they are kings and queens to be obeyed. With their good friends they can behave foolishly and have a good sense of humor. With strangers, they are usually rather reserved. Afghans become deeply attached to their people and may have difficulty adapting to new homes when mature. Males can behave like oriental potentates, and females, though queenly, often are very flirty and devious.
Q: What about grooming?
A: There are many books on grooming and usually there are people available to show you how to care for your Afghan. If you have only one Afghan, a few hours per week of brushing and regular bathing will suffice.
Q: Will I need a fenced area?
A: DEFINITELY YES. The Afghan Hound is so fast that he can be in the next county before you even begin to give chase. ALWAYS HAVE YOUR AFGHAN HOUND UNDER CONTROL. Never turn him loose unless he is within a fenced area. The fence must be of sufficient height, because Afghans seem to have springs in their legs and can jump very high, even from a standing position.
Q: How about the amount of exercise needed?
A: A good long walk on lead is always good. If you are lucky to live near a fenced playground or tennis court where you can turn him loose for awhile- GREAT!
Remember that in hot weather your dog should not be made to run so NO jogging with him for long distances in the heat of the day. Your dog will enjoy running along side of you on lead for shorter periods.
Q: Are Afghan Hounds good with children?
A: Some are and some are not. A lot depends upon the kind of relationship developed by the parents and the example set by them. Youngsters can be taught to be gentle with dogs and told that a dog’s only defense is biting. In any case, very small children should NEVER be left alone with any dog, no matter how good they are together.
Q: How can I have a happy and well-adjusted dog?
A: First of all, be consistent in all things so that your dog learns what he may or may NOT do. Be sure that your Afghan Hound has a crate or pen somewhere inside your house where he may sleep or to which he may retire when he wants to be alone. It is most important that your dog be trained to stay in this cage or pen when you are not around. Never put him in it for punishment, however. If he goes into his ‘Refuge’ when you are away, he will be safe from harm and your home and furnishings will be safe from destruction.
Q: Does an Afghan Hound make a good pet?
A: If you want a dog who will be your slave, don’t get an Afghan. If you admire the beauty of this breed and appreciate an independent spirit, the Afghan Hound may be for you.