Breed Group:
Hound Dogs

Middle Age: 5 years

Geriatric Age: 10 years

Life Span: 10 to 12 years

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Afghan Hound Breed History & Background

According to DNA analysis, the Afghan Hound is one of the oldest breeds in history. Originating from the Middle East, these athletic dogs were used in indigenous tribes for their excellent hunting skills. Their iconic long flowing coat wasn’t just used for looks. It protected them against the harsh climate and terrain of Afghanistan mountains and deserts. Then in the 1900’s, the Afghan hound was introduced to English citizens. Due to their unique characteristics, they quickly became a widely sought after breed during the 1970’s. Today this breed is known for their elegant and aristocratic appearance, making them a favorite among dog lovers alike.

Then in the 1900’s, the Afghan hound was introduced to English citizens. Due to their unique characteristics, they quickly became a widely sought after breed during the 1970’s. Today this breed is known for their elegant and aristocratic appearance, making them a favorite among dog lovers alike.

Afghan Hound Behavior & Personality

The Afghan hound can be characterized as silly, independent, aloof and loving. Normally these dogs are more reserved when it comes to meeting strangers, however, they interact very well with other dogs. Most dogs when they see a stranger will bark or at least acknowledge their presence, however that is not the case for this breed. They act indifferent towards people and are not known to be good watch dogs. Keep in mind that this breed’s personality differs drastically in their qualities depending on the individual animal. Some are loving and hyper while others are reserved and independent.

Is the Afghan Hound Easy to Train?

Due to their independent qualities, the Afghan Hound is a difficult breed to train. Training an Afghan Hound is going to require a lot of persistence and patience. In some cases, housebreaking and leash walking can even be challenging tasks to learn. These dogs are not disobedient by nature, but they will show signs of stubbornness if they are forced to do something that they do not want to do.

Exercise Requirements for the Afghan Hound

Because this is a hunting breed, they require lots of daily exercise. They do not have the obedience for a game of fetch, however, they do enjoy running in open spaces. 40 minutes to an hour of walking a day is suggested for the Afghan hound. If this requirement is not satisfied, the Afghan Hound has been known to become restless and may turn destructive if left alone for too long.

Lifespan and Longevity of the Afghan Hound

The average lifespan for an Afghan Hound is around 10-12 years. This is dependent on adequate nutrition and daily exercise. Larger dogs, like the Afghan Hound, are known to have a shorter lifespan compared to smaller dogs.

Feeding Requirements for the Afghan Hound

Catering to an Afghan Hounds digestive needs is very important. Depending on their stage of life, activity level, and overall size, a specific feeding regimen should be planned. On average, an Afghan Hound should be fed 2-2.5 cups of high-quality food every day. Consult with a veterinarian for ideal feeding schedules. Also, make sure to have fresh water available at all times.

Grooming an Afghan Hound

If there is one key characteristic that the Afghan Hound is defined by, it would be their long and luxurious coat. Unfortunately, this factor can be very time consuming to maintain. Grooming and bathing should be done frequently to keep their coat strong and shiny. To prevent their coat from matting, it should be brushed every couple of days with a pin brush, slicker brush, and comb. It’s also important to make sure their nails are trimmed often to prevent overgrowth or cracking.

Are Afghan Hounds Good With Children?

If the Afghan Hound is raised with kids, they normally will not have any issues. However, it is not recommended to bring in this breed if they’ve never been around small children. Loud and playful kids tend to startle an Afghan Hound. Older children that know how to interact with this breed works best in family interactions with this breed. An Afghan Hound’s level of energy and unpredictable nature needs owners that can commit plenty of time and attention.

Health Issues for the Afghan Hound

  • Afghan Hound myelopathy: Afghan Hound myelopathy is a genetic disease characterized by progressive symmetrical paraparesis. If gone untreated, this degenerative disease of the spinal cord can lead to paralysis.
  • Bloat/Torsion/GDV: Bloat is often seen in deep-chested dogs like the Afghan Hound. When bloat occurs, the animal’s stomach expands due to food, liquid, or gas. This expansion causes a restriction in blood circulation to the stomach or heart. In more severe cases, the stomach can expand and put pressure on other organs which may lead to difficulty breathing, shock, or even death.
  • Cancer: While there are several different cancers that are prevalent in Afghan Hounds, Osteosarcoma (bone cancer) is one of the most commonly seen. The best way to lower the risk of cancer in dogs is to get them spayed or neutered early on. This lowers the risk of certain cancers and can prevent future illnesses down the road.
  • Cataracts: Afghan Hounds have shown hereditary susceptibility for developing eye impairments while aging. Cataracts and Glaucoma are both prevalent in this dog breed and should be quickly diagnosed as soon as symptoms occur. Signs to look out for include watery eyes, reddening eyes, and bluing cornea.
  • Ear Infections/Deafness: Due to their abundance of hair, ear infections/issues are likely to occur in this specific breed. With that being said, regular check-ups with your veterinarian are critical when it comes to their overall auditory health.
  • Hypothyroidism: When a dog is diagnosed with Hypothyroidism, they cannot produce a sufficient amount of thyroid hormones needed for regular body functionality. While this may seem like a serious condition, treatment is simple once properly diagnosed. Mange: Mange occurs when there is an overabundance of Demodex mites on the dog’s skin. These mites will cause dry, patchy, or hairless lesions on their face or feet. If mange goes untreated for too long, it can cause secondary skin infections that lead to more severe irritation.

Other Resources:

National Breed Websites:: Afghan Hound Club of America

Rescues: Afghan Hound Rescue of Southern California



Health Issues Associated with this Breed: