Afghan Retriever: Breed Profile

| Updated: August 10, 2023
Afghan Hound

Origin History of the Afghan Retriever:

The origin history of the Afghan Retriever is a bit of a mystery as the breed is relatively new. Fortunately, we can look at the history of both parent breeds to get an idea of how the Afghan Retriever was developed.

The Afghan Hound is a large sighthound that originated from Afghanistan and is thought to date back to the pre-Christian era. DNA researchers have recently discovered that the Afghan Hound is one of the most ancient dog breeds and dates back thousands of years. The first documentation of a Western Afghan breeder is that of an English officer stationed near Kabul. Afghan Hounds from his Ghazni Kennel were transported to England in 1925 and then made 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.

The Golden Retriever originated as a duck retrieving breed in the 1800s, though usage for hunting was not uncommon. The breed was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1925. Since then, due to their easygoing temperament and high trainability, Golden Retrievers have often been used as therapy dogs or seeing-eye dogs.

The Afghan Retriever is a cross between both of these breeds and is thought to have been bred in the early 2000s. It is uncertain who first bred the Afghan Retriever, but it is likely that the breed was developed to create a larger, more powerful sighthound that had the intelligence and trainability of the Golden Retriever. However, the exact origin of the breed is unknown.

Afghan Retriever Appearance:

The Afghan Retriever is a large breed that stands between 21-25 inches tall at the shoulder. They generally weigh between 70-90 pounds and have a slim, athletic build that is slightly longer than it is tall. Their head is wedge-like, with a long muzzle and a deep chest. Afghan Retrievers have almond-shaped eyes that come in a variety of colors, such as brown, blue, and hazel. Their ears are long and wide, and their tail is long and feathered.

The Afghan Retriever’s coat is thick, lush, and silky. It can come in a variety of colors, such as cream, gold, and yellow. The coat is usually short and close along the back, while the rest of the body is covered in abundant hair, even the ears, and feet. The coat should be brushed regularly to prevent tangling and maintain its softness.

The Afghan Retriever’s coat is also distinctively fine in texture, similar to human hair. On the head is a long, silky topknot that should be groomed regularly. In addition, all solid colors are accepted by the American Kennel Club breed standard. With proper grooming, the Afghan Retriever’s coat is truly spectacular.

Diet and Nutrition:

The Afghan Retriever is a large and active breed, making it important to ensure they are receiving the proper nutrition to fuel their energy levels. The diet of an Afghan Retriever should be tailored to their age, activity level, and any health conditions they may have.

For adult Afghan Retrievers, high-quality kibble is an excellent option. Look for a diet that is appropriate for large breeds and contains plenty of lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats. It’s also important to check the ingredient list for any potential allergens.

Puppies often require a diet with a higher fat content to help them grow, so look for kibble that is specially formulated for puppies. As puppies transition to adulthood, gradually adjust their diet to a more balanced adult formula. While commercial diets can meet the nutritional needs of most Afghan Retrievers, you may also want to supplement their diet with fresh fruits and vegetables.

For Afghan Retrievers with health conditions, such as allergies, obesity, or digestive issues, it’s best to consult your veterinarian to determine the best food to feed your pup. They may recommend specific diets or nutritional supplements to help manage their condition.

Common Health Issues Affecting Afghan Retrievers:

Unfortunately, like all breeds, Afghan Retrievers can be prone to certain health issues. These can range from minor to severe, so it is important to be aware of the potential issues and take the necessary steps to ensure your pup’s health and well-being.

One of the most common health issues in Afghan Retrievers is hip and elbow dysplasia. This is a condition caused by abnormal development of the joints, resulting in pain and mobility issues. While it is a genetic condition, it can be exacerbated by environmental factors, such as excessive exercise and poor nutrition. Regular vet check-ups, a healthy diet, and plenty of exercise are the best ways to prevent this condition.

The breed is also prone to eye conditions, such as cataracts, dry eye, and entropion. Many of these issues can be addressed with medication, but it is important to monitor your pup’s eyes for any signs of discomfort or changes in appearance.

Afghan Retrievers are also prone to ear infections. This is usually caused by bacteria or yeast buildup, but it can be exacerbated by excessive hair in the ear canal. Regular cleaning of your pup’s ears and trimming the hair can help prevent this issue.

Overall, the Afghan Retriever is a healthy breed, but it’s important to be aware of the potential health issues. With a bit of knowledge and care, you can ensure your pup stays happy and healthy for many years to come.

Interesting Facts about Afghan Retrievers:

The Afghan Retriever is a relatively new crossbreed, originating from the pairing of the Afghan Hound and the Golden Retriever. As such, there are some interesting facts about this breed that many people may not know.

For starters, the Afghan Retriever is considered a “designer breed” as it was intentionally bred for a specific purpose – to combine the best qualities of both parent breeds. This hybrid dog is known for being loyal, friendly, and devoted to their family. They also have a high energy level and need plenty of exercise and activity to stay happy and healthy.

Another interesting fact about Afghan Retrievers is that they are considered to be quite independent. This can make them quite difficult to train, and it’s important to remain patient and consistent when teaching them new things. Similarly, they can be stubborn and may not always listen to their owners’ commands, so it’s important to reward them with treats and praises when they do something correctly.

Lastly, Afghan Retrievers tend to have a strong bond with their owners and need plenty of love and attention in order to thrive. While they may not always be the most obedient dogs, they are incredibly loyal and make wonderful companions.

Where to Adopt or Buy:

If you’re looking to purchase or adopt an Afghan Retriever, you have a few options. You can find breeders that specialize in Afghan Retrievers and work with them to purchase a puppy from a litter, or you can search for rescues and shelters in your area.

Many breeders who specialize in Afghan Retrievers are committed to responsible breeding practices, so it’s important to do your research and find a reputable breeder. Be sure to ask the breeder about their health and temperament testing protocols, as well as for proof of health clearances for both the parents and the litter. Knowing the health history of the parents and litter can help ensure that you get a healthy puppy.

If you prefer to adopt, Afghan Retrievers are often available through rescue organizations and shelters. There are no breed-specific rescues for the Afghan Retriever, as they are a mixed breed. However, you can often find similar mixes up for adoption. Breed-specific rescues for the Afghan Hound or Golden Retriever often rehome mixed breeds, so one of these may be a great option. Consider rescuing a similar fit if you are unable to find an Afghan Retriever. DogTime’s adoption page is a helpful tool that allows you to search for adoptable dogs by breed and zip code.

No matter what option you choose, be sure to do your research and ask questions to ensure that you find the right match for your family. With the right amount of research and preparation, you can be sure to find an Afghan Retriever that is a perfect fit!


In conclusion, the Afghan Retriever is an intelligent and loyal breed that makes an excellent companion for those with active lifestyles. They are devoted to their families and can thrive with proper exercise and stimulation. Socialization and training should begin early and continue throughout the life of the dog. Additionally, the Afghan Retriever is a handsome breed with a variety of colorations and a coat that requires regular maintenance. While they may require more attention than other breeds, they are sure to bring joy and companionship to their homes.


Q: How big do Afghan Retrievers get?

A: Afghan Retrievers are considered large-sized dogs, with males reaching an average of 23-25 inches in height and females 21-23 inches. Males also tend to weigh between 70-90 pounds, while females generally weigh between 60-80 pounds.

Q: What is the Afghan Retriever’s temperament?

A: Afghan Retrievers are a generally friendly, loving, and loyal breed. They are highly intelligent, often making them easy to train. They enjoy being around their owners and may suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for too long. Afghan Retrievers are also known for being gentle and good-natured around children.

Q: How often do Afghan Retrievers need to be groomed?

A: Afghan Retrievers have a thick, double-layered coat that needs to be groomed regularly. To keep the coat in good condition, brushing should be done at least two to three times a week. Professional grooming is also recommended to ensure the coat stays healthy and free of knots or tangles. Additionally, regular baths are also recommended to keep the coat looking its best.

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