Afghan Hound

| Updated: August 10, 2023
Afghan Hound

Origin History of the Afghan Hound:

The Afghan Hound is an ancient breed that has been around since pre-Christian times. The breed is believed to have originated in what is now modern-day Afghanistan, where they were known as Tazis. The first documented Western breeder was an English officer stationed near Kabul, and in 1925, Afghan Hounds from his Ghazni Kennel were transported to England before eventually making their way to America. The breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1926, and the Afghan Hound Club of America was admitted for membership with the AKC in 1940.

Thanks to the efforts of breeders like Zeppo Marx of the Marx Brothers, the popularity of the Afghan Hound began to rise in the late 1970s. This was further bolstered by the appearance of Barbie’s Afghan Hound, Beauty, in the homes and hearts of countless American girls. During this same decade, the development of lure coursing competitions added to the breed’s appeal. By the 1980s, the Afghan became a popular AKC show ring star and, in spite of its independent nature, had branched out into obedience competition.

Today, they are still a beloved and treasured breed. They are known for their intelligence, loyalty, and grace, and make wonderful companions for those with the patience and commitment to training them.

Afghan Hound Appearance:

The Afghan Hound is an incredibly unique and beautiful breed of dog. With its elegant, graceful posture, its flowing coat, and distinctive facial features, it is no surprise that the Afghan Hound is one of the most regal-looking breeds in the world.

Afghan Hound and Irish Setsky getting groomed
Credit: Sean Murphy/Gettyimages

The Afghan Hound’s coat is long and silky and comes in a variety of colors and patterns, including black, cream, red, and blue. The coat is often parted in the middle and has a distinctive long, silky topknot on the head. The Afghan Hound’s ears are also long and floppy, and the tail is usually carried over the back. The muzzle of the Afghan Hound is long and pointed, and the eyes are dark and almond-shaped.

The Afghan Hound stands between 24 to 28 inches tall and typically weighs between 40 to 60 pounds. The breed has a muscular and athletic build, with long legs and a deep chest. They are a very agile and athletic breed, which makes them well-suited for activities such as lure coursing.

The Afghan Hound is an amazing breed with a unique and beautiful physical appearance. With its long coat, distinctive facial features, and athletic build, they are truly a sight to behold.

Diet and Nutrition:

The Afghan Hound is an active and energetic breed that requires a nutrient-dense diet to help meet its nutritional needs. Providing a diet that is tailored to its size and activity level is the key to keeping it healthy and happy. That said, they are notoriously picky eaters, so finding the right food for them can be a challenge.

For starters, it’s important to feed a high-quality diet that contains a balanced ratio of protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Look for a diet that is specifically formulated for small breeds with medium energy levels, as this will help ensure that your Afghan Hound gets the right amount of nutrients. Additionally, consider supplementing the diet with some additional sources of protein, such as boiled eggs, lean meats, or fish.

It’s also important to provide your Afghan Hound with plenty of fresh water throughout the day. Water helps keep your pup’s body hydrated, and it also helps promote a healthy digestive system. You should also aim to feed two meals per day, divided into smaller portions. This will help keep your pup’s energy levels consistent throughout the day, as well as help prevent overeating.

Finally, it’s important to monitor your Afghan Hound’s diet and make adjustments as necessary. If your pup is gaining weight too quickly or is losing weight, it’s important to adjust the diet accordingly. Additionally, if your pup is displaying signs of digestive problems, such as vomiting or diarrhea, then you may need to switch to a different food.

Overall, a balanced diet is essential for the health and happiness of your Afghan Hound. Providing your pup with a diet that is tailored to its size and activity level is the key to keeping it healthy and happy. However, it’s best to consult your veterinarian to determine the best food to feed your pup, as all dogs are unique in their dietary needs.

Afghan Hound on hind legs next to woman
Credit: DiMaggio/Kalish/Gettyimages

Common Health Issues Affecting Afghan Hounds:

Unfortunately, like all breeds, Afghan Hounds can experience a variety of health issues. It’s important to stay informed and aware of potential health issues so that you can be prepared if your dog develops any of these conditions.

One of the most common issues with Afghan Hounds is hip dysplasia, a condition in which the hip joints don’t form properly. Hip dysplasia can cause a variety of symptoms, from mild discomfort to severe pain. It’s important to get regular checkups and X-rays for your pup to ensure that hip dysplasia isn’t developing.

Afghan Hounds can also suffer from elbow dysplasia, which is similar to hip dysplasia in that it causes joint pain and discomfort. Elbow dysplasia can be treated with medications or surgery, depending on the severity of the condition.

Hypothyroidism is another condition that affects Afghan Hounds. This is a condition in which the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormones, resulting in a variety of symptoms such as weight gain, lethargy, and depression. Treatment usually involves hormone supplements.

Afghan Hounds are also prone to Von Willebrand’s disease, a condition that affects the platelets in the blood and can cause excessive bleeding. It’s important to watch for signs of excessive bleeding, such as nosebleeds or bruises. Treatment typically involves regular blood transfusions and medications.

It’s important to stay informed and aware of any potential health issues that may affect your Afghan Hound. If you’re considering bringing one of these incredible dogs into your home, make sure to talk to a veterinarian and get regular checkups.

Interesting Facts About Afghan Hounds:

The Afghan Hound is a truly remarkable breed with a long and fascinating history. Here are some interesting facts about these beautiful, independent hounds:

• The Afghan Hound is one of the world’s oldest dog breeds, dating back thousands of years. The original name for the breed was Tazi, and DNA research has confirmed that the Afghan is one of the most ancient dog breeds.

• Afghan Hounds have a unique and striking appearance, with their long and silky coat, distinctive head shape, and large, expressive eyes. The breed also has a unique gait, moving in a flowing, smooth manner that is both graceful and powerful.

• The breed has a reputation for being independent and aloof, but this is due to their strong hunting instinct and their ability to think and act independently. In fact, with proper training and socialization, the Afghan Hound can be a loving and devoted family pet.

• The breed is known for its intelligence and athleticism and is natural for lure coursing competitions. This sport tests the dog’s ability to hunt by sight and its coursing instinct.

• Afghan Hounds have a very keen sense of sight and smell and can see far greater distances than humans. They also have the ability to quickly and easily clear obstacles, thanks to their pivotal hip joints.

• The breed was first introduced to the West by an English officer stationed near Kabul in the late 19th century and was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1926. The Afghan Hound Club of America was also admitted for membership with the AKC in 1940.

• The breed’s popularity skyrocketed in the late 1970s when Beauty, Barbie’s pet Afghan Hound, made her debut. The breed has since become a popular show dog and has also branched out into obedience competition.

Where to Adopt or Buy:

When looking to buy or adopt an Afghan Hound, there are a few things to consider. It is important to research the breed thoroughly to make sure you understand the needs and temperament of the breed before you bring one home. It is also important to ensure you are getting your Afghan Hound from a responsible and reputable breeder or adoption agency.

When looking for a breeder, it is best to find one that is a member of a reputable national or local Afghan Hound breeding club. These clubs will have a list of reputable breeders who have committed to ethical breeding practices and can offer advice when choosing the right dog for you. In addition to a reputable breeder, you can also look for a rescue organization that specializes in this specific breed.

When looking to adopt an Afghan Hound, there are a variety of rescue organizations dedicated to the breed that is a great option. These organizations often have dogs that have been surrendered by their former owners or have been rescued from a shelter. These organizations often have a thorough screening process that helps to ensure that the dog is a good match for their potential new home. Additionally, they often provide ongoing support and resources to ensure successful adoption.

No matter where you get your new puppy, it is important to do your research and make sure that you are getting your dog from a responsible and reputable source. Doing so will help ensure that you are providing a loving and supportive home for your new furry friend.

Afghan hound dog studio portrait
Credit: Alexandra Draghici/Gettyimages


The Afghan Hound is a unique breed with a long and interesting history. This ancient sighthound is renowned for its flowing, silky coat and independent spirit. A stunning presenter in the show ring and can excel at lure coursing and other activities that allow him to use his natural hunting and running abilities. However, this breed is not known to be a good watchdog and can be challenging to train due to its independent nature. Owners of an Afghan Hound should be prepared to provide gentle handling, kindness, and patience as well as an understanding that the dog may not always cooperate.


Q: Are Afghan Hounds good family dogs?

A: Afghan Hounds are best suited for one-person or one-family households. They are loyal and devoted to their family but can be indifferent to strangers. With consistency and positive reinforcement training, Afghan Hounds can be great family companions. They are an active breed and require daily exercise, so having an active family that can keep up with their energy level is recommended.

Q: What type of fencing do I need to keep an Afghan Hound in my yard?

A: Afghan Hounds are known for being adept escape artists, so high and secure fencing is a must. To prevent them from jumping over or digging under, it is recommended to have a fence that is at least 6 feet tall with a securely attached mesh.

Q: How long do Afghan Hounds live?

A: Afghan Hounds typically have a lifespan of 10-12 years. With proper care and nutrition, they can live a healthy life.

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