The afghan hound can be an great choice for you and your family, as long as you do not have very young children. Even older children need to learn to respect the hound and leave it alone when it has had enough. You need to have a place where this dog can run or gallop full out for as long as a half hour a day. You must be willing to spend serious time grooming his coat. Because of his aloofness, he may decide to ignore your commands so you must also be willing to spend a great deal of training time with him. Never leave very young children alone with any dog.
*The afghan hound is all about being an aristocrat. His appearance is one of aloofness and dignity. They are beautiful with a long silky topcoat and the tail has a signature ring curl at the end.
*Temperament. His general temperament is dignified but happy and even clownish. He is a bit independent and sometimes has a personalty somewhat like a cat. afghans need to be socialized and can be wary of strangers. They either like someone or they do not.
*Approximate Adult Size. Males can weigh in at 60 pounds and stand 27 inches at the withers (highest point of the shoulders) and females can weigh 50 pounds and stand 25 inches high at the withers.
*Ideal Environment. The ideal environment for this dog is a properly fenced, spacious yard or acreage. He loves to run. He does prefer to spend time with his master and would like to sleep indoors. The enclosed area should be kept trimmed and be free of shrubs and weeds that like to hitch a ride on fur. This hound is prone to getting his hair tangled.
*Special Health Considerations. The Afghan Hound is a healthy breed. Cancer and allergies are his main problem. They have low body fat levels and may be sensitive to anesthesia. Additional genetic problems may be dysplasia, juvenile cataracts, enzyme deficiencies and hypothyroidism.
*Grooming. The Hound should not be clipped or trimmed much, especially for showing. His coat is long and fine so he needs plenty of attention. Did I say plenty of attention? I roomed with an Afghan and his owner and the Afghan always liked me. I remember when my room mate spent several hours washing and grooming his pet, getting every single burr out because he wanted his dog to look great and make a good impression on an important date he had that evening. Well, somehow the afghan managed to get out and do his run and when he got back, his coat was so trashed, I though that my roommate was going to cry. It takes plenty of work to keep them looking like they do in the breed photos. They shed in the spring and fall.
*Life Span. The life span is fairly long, being approximately 14 years.
*History. The Afghan Hound comes from Afghanistan where it was bred to hunt gazelles, foxes and wolves. DNA testing reveals that this dog is from one of the most ancient dog breeds. The original name of this dog is a Tazi. There is a similar breed in Russia called Tasy and they are related.
*Special Good Points
The aristocrat of dogs.
Beautiful to watch and have.
Patient, calm, and has common dog sense.
*Special Bad Points
Can Tend to be shy.
Can tend to be aloof.
Low pain tolerance, a bit of a baby.
Can be hard to train, may ignore commands.
They are fast and can steal food and objects.
Difficult to keep off of the couch. They think that they own the furniture.
Can be difficult to housetrain.
Mitch Endick is a short article writer for the popular pet site: http://www.petpages.com/. He provides informative advice on all pets including dogs, puppies, cats, fish, reptiles, birds, ferrets, rabbits, mice and even pet bugs. Petpages.com also has an extensive pet classified ads section.
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