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What is an Afghan Hound?

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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 06 November 2016
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The Afghan hound is an old breed of dog that originates in Afghanistan. More specifically, the Afghan hound is native to ancient Sinai. Early Afghan hounds were used for hunting and herding dogs as well as watch dogs. Today, Afghans are mostly companionship dogs and show dogs.

Tall and slim with a long, flowing coat, the Afghan hound also has a long tail, muzzle, neck and ears. The overall appearance of this breed tends to be one of aloof elegance and many Afghans do not like to be handled too much. Afghan hounds usually have sand-colored coats with a darker-colored face, but other colors are common. Apricot-cream, silver-cream, and red and black color combinations are usually acceptable Afghan hound colors, but white patches are often not considered desirable for breeding. Some Afghan hounds have brindle coats that resemble tiger striping.

As the Afghan hound's long coat is also thick, the grooming required for this dog is high maintenance. The coat should not be brushed when dry as it may be easily damaged. The Afghan needs brushing only when the fur is wet to help detangle it. These dogs do shed, but usually not excessively.

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Although the Afghan breed is prone to juvenile cataracts, hypothyroidism, enzyme deficiencies and hip dysplasia, most Afghan hounds are quite healthy overall. When feeling stressed, an Afghan hound may sleep a lot and experience a runny nose. Afghans hounds are considered to have a low tolerance for pain. An Afghan hound that feels it is not getting enough attention may howl. Afghans have been also known to damage items in the home if not given enough exercise and/or attention.

These dogs are quite active and need daily walks as well as a safe space to run. Afghans may run for several hours at a time. They're not usually big eaters, but need good quality food to stay healthy. Afghan hounds are known to be difficult to train. An Afghan hound tends to do better with older children and adults rather than in a home with young children.

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