The Afghan Hound, a magestic name for a magestic breed, charachterised by a thick long coat, which when touched, reminds one of nothing but fine exquisite silk, with a comapritively short tail that has a sharp curve on the end, which resembles an exact hemisphere.
The Afghan Hound has many other names to it, such as the Kabul Hound, Kuchi Hound, Baluchi Hound, Tazi and many more.
A little about the past of the breed…the Afghan Hound originated in the chilly mountains of Afghanistan. The history of the breed hints at the possibilities of it having some association with wolves. The Afghan Hound that we see today has purely descended from the dogs brought in by the british during the 1920s. These dogs that were brought into the Great Britain were the product of variations of long haired sighthounds from dogs of Afganistan and its neighbouring areas. Initially these dogs were bred for the soul purpose of hunting and some owners used their hounds as guardians. The breed is also linked with the ancient world , where in the Afghan Hounds were owned by particular Afghan families who were considerably powerful and the dogs proved as status symbols for them.
The Afghan Hound relates itself to a breed of dogs hailing from the Caspian Sea, the parts that include Russia and Turkmenistan. The area lies in a desert known as Sag-e-tazi, this name may very well have been a prominent reason behind calling the Afghan Hound Tazi. Surprisingly there are other breeds with similar appearances called the Taigen, they have a Chinese origin and have descended from the mountains of Tian Shan region on the Chinese border of Afghanistan and the Barakzay. The breed is also called the Kurram Valley hound. There are a majority of 13 different types of the these hounds that still exist in the regions in and around Afghanistan and some are still in the process of being developed through breeding.
Now let us discuss the appearance of an Afghan Hound, so when a proud owner looks at his Majestic Afghan Hound, his eyes are pleased to see a 24-29 inches tall dog, that weighs about 45-60 pounds. A silky, smooth coat which may range from brown to fawn to grey etc.Some rare specimens have facial hair that resembles a moustache and is known as ‘Mandarins’. The distinctive features of a good specimen include a top-knot and a shorter haired saddle on the dog’s back, the breed also has high hip bones and a small ring on the end of the tail. When investing in an Afghan Hound one needs to take extra care about the certain impurities that some specimens of the breed come with, such as, any kind of white markings, especially on the head and dogs with the colors red or black on them. These traits are usually discouraged and termed as impure, but if you are not very keen on showing your dog and buying it with the soul purpose of companionship then I suggest you overlook these minor signs of impurity.
Now let us discuss the temperament of the dog, he is a puppy at heart and a fabulous entertainer (with his quirky styles and amusing behavior) while at play. But when he is not playing, the Afghan hound is aloof by nature. The owners must watch out for their dog having any contact with smaller animals as these dogs are not very comfortable around them and may bite or nip. Agility runs in their genes and this was one of the reasons why these dogs were used for hunting. They are a little poor at learning tricks and so they need to be handled with a lot of patience while training. Apart from all this, like every other dog, your Afghan hound shall be a great companion to you. Treasure him!
Like every other breed this breed too is prone to a certain health disorders which may sometimes prove to be fatal. Some health concerns include, Hip Dysplasia (an abnormal formation of the hip socket that can cause crippling and lameness), certain allergies and also the life taking Cancer. But an Afghan Hound taken care of efficiently, can live up to 12 years of age.
As far as the food is concerned, I would, as always, suggest home cooked food that includes our good old chicken broth and wheat bread. I would also like to suggest to all the owners to give your puppy Afghan hound calcium as the breed is prone to hip disorders and not only that, big dogs need strong bones and calcium shall help a lot . Some extra tips, groom your dog twice every day, as it has a considerably long coat that can get matted if not looked after. Grooming also maintains the shine of the coat. A hand massage would do wonders to the blood circulation as well as provide softness to the coat. Make your dog wear a tick collar as soon as it turns 6 months old. Bathe your dog at least once in two weeks. Love your dog, cherish it and DO NOT RAISE YOUR HAND ON YOUR DOG.