A complete breed guide for Afghan Hound Dogs
Despite their regal appearance and low shedding coat this stunning breed is not one you'll commonly see at your local dog park. Originally bred to protect livestock and hunt large and small game they are now more at home in the showing arena or in a home that is able to provide the time and care these high maintenance beauties require.
Afghan Hound Facts
Place of origin:
Tendency to bark:
63-68 cm at shoulder
Ease of training:
Overall grooming needs:
High. Their coat is in a constant state of growth, similar to that of human hair,
Black, Cream, Red,
How big do Afghan Hounds get?
The average adult weight of an Afghan Hound ranges from 23-30 kg. Their height ranges from 63-68cm at shoulder. Males tend to be a little taller and heavier than females. The best way to estimate your dog's expected adult weight is to have a look at their mother and father.
Do Afghan Hounds shed?
Afghan Hounds are low shedding but don't let that lull you into a false sense of security. Despite shedding less than most other dog breeds, that luscious coat is very high maintenance. Expect to brush daily, bathe weekly, and groom regularly.
How long do Afghan Hounds live?
The Afghan Hound lifespan is 12 -14 years on average. As with any breed, they will live much longer if you take good care of them, never let them become overweight, and keep their joints in good health.
How do I choose an Afghan Hound breeder?
It is important to choose a puppy from a reputable breeder who actively aims to improve the health of the breed by selectively breeding healthy traits and good temperaments. This dog is going to be in your life for the next decade at least so you want to put time into researching a reputable breeder. Never purchase a puppy without inspecting the breeder's premises, seeing their dogs, and asking the 10 Breeder Checklist Questions first. Good breeders socialise their animals, house them humanely and allow you to inspect their premises. Read our Guide to Finding a Good Breeder for more tips.
How much does a Afghan Hound cost?
Afghan Hound pups in Australia may cost anywhere from $2000-$5000. As with any breed, it is cheaper to adopt an adult dog from a rescue.
Are Afghan Hounds good pets?
Afghan Hounds are intelligent, goofy dogs that are loyal to their family unit. Although warm with their family their aloof and independent nature with strangers often sees them compared to cats.
Important to note that this breed is definitely not one for those that are time poor as they require regular grooming, exercise, and training.
Do Afghan Hounds bark much?
Afghan Hounds generally have a low tendency to bark especially if given adequate exercise and mental stimulation.To reduce your Afghan's barking, ensure you train with positive reinforcement from a young age and reduce problem behaviours before they begin!
How much exercise do Afghan Hounds need?
Afghan Hounds are a very active breed that requires lots of daily exercise. Daily runs along with mental stimulation through games and puzzles will help keep this sporty spice happy.
Afghan Hound History
The Afghan Hound is said to be one of the most ancient of dogs, with one legend even identifying the Afghan Hound as the dog of choice to board Noah's Ark.
Given their name it is no surprise that their roots lie in Afghanistan before they were brought to Great Britain in the early 1900s. Despite their luxurious coat and aristocratic appearance they were actually originally used to guard livestock and hunt both small and large game in Afghanistan. These extremely skilled hunters were known to take down deer, wolves and even leopards. Although the modern day Afghan Hounds aren't commonly seen taking down any prey it is important to note the breed has maintained their strong chase instinct and may not be suited to a home with small animals.
After venturing alongside British soldiers to England in the 1900s the Afghan Hound became recognised by the American Kennel Club and reached great popularity by the 1970s. Pablo Picasso even named the Afghan Hound as one of his favourite dog breeds and owned two of his own. His beloved dog âKabul' even features in some of his paintings.
Today the Afghan Hound is more commonly seen in the show ring or in the homes of devoted and time-rich owners. Hunting skills aside, these regal beauties do make devoted family pets that are sure to turn heads.
Afghan Hound Personality
Afghan Hounds are beautiful, dignified and intelligent dogs. The breed shows affection and loyalty to their family unit but tend to be aloof with people they are unfamiliar with. Be sure to socialise them from a young age to increase confidence and reduce timidness.
They are an intelligent breed but can be complete goofballs and entertain their family for hours on end. Don't let their intelligence fool you though; they are notoriously difficult to train.They think and problem solve independently and quite often don't feel the need to go along with their owner's commands, especially when it comes to recall. When faced with this stubbornness, patience and consistency is extremely important to ensure successful training and ongoing success.
Afghan Hounds are high energy dogs and will require daily exercise and stimulation to fulfil their needs. Daily walks and the ability to run is important to ward off destructive behaviours like chewing. Interactive toys can also help to keep their mind busy and away from nuisance behaviours. Take a look at our recommended dog training treats, and interactive dog toys to keep your Afghan Hound busy and mentally worn out. Food dispensing toys such as lickmats, Snuffle Mats or KONGs are great options to occupy your Hound when you're away. So long as they get sufficient exercise and stimulation they are more than happy to then spend the rest of the day splayed out on the couch recouping their energy like a true couch potato.
Given their predatory drive, it is important to supervise your hound at all times so they do not become a threat to neighbouring pets and wildlife. With a top speed of 64 km/hr, being in the top three fastest dog breeds in the world, you have no chance catching these speed demons so be sure your hound has excellent recall before letting them loose!
Best Toys for Afghan Hounds
As a highly energetic and intelligent breed, toys that tire them out both mentally and physically are a must have for your Afghan Hound arsenal.
A perfect toy to open lines of communication with your pooch! This product comes with four speech buttons and a starter guide so you can easily teach your dog to speak with you.
This durable,BPA-free, dishwasher-safe treat dispensing toy is the perfect puzzle to keep your hound entertained. The soft âteeth' inside help to hold the treat in place to prolong play time.
With varying levels of difficulty this Brick Puzzle helps to prevent boredom and behavioural problems. This puzzle feeder can be used with dry food, wet food and treats.
This interactive feeder is a great way to slow down fast eaters and provide some brain-stimulating exercise for smart pooches.
Can't decide? Why not let us choose for you with the Curious Box? Each Curious Box contains a selection of two to three engaging toys ( and treats!) Even better, the theme changes every 6 weeks, making it the perfect way to keep your dog's supply of toys and treats fresh, fun, and varied for mental stimulation!
Afghan Hound Diet and Nutrition
Afghan Hound PuppiesWhen bringing an Afghan Hound pup into your home, it is important to have a few things in order.
Food: Afghan Hound puppies should eat a premium quality food that is nutritionally formulated to meet AAFCO Guidelines until they are 12-18months of age.
Behaviour: Afghan Hound puppies have sweet personalities but some do like to chew and destroy things, just like any puppy! Puppy proofing your house is essential. Remove any easy-to-reach toxins or electrical cords, and provide plenty of toys! For more information on puppy behaviour, take a look at our Puppy Training Guide.
Worming: Afghan Hound puppies need to be wormed fortnightly from the age of 2-12 weeks, and then once per month after this. In Australia, Afghan Hound puppies also require heartworm protection. You may wish to get a heartworm injection yearly at your vet, or you can simply give a monthly treatment such as Nexgard Spectra, Simparica Trio, or Credelio Plus.
For more helpful information on worming, training, socialisation, and nutrition, consult our veterinary-written Complete New Puppy Guide.
What To Feed An Afghan Hound Puppy
Afghan Hound puppies should be fed a premium diet that is nutritionally formulated to meet AAFCO Guidelines until they are fully grown (12 months for those with an expected adult weight of 10-25 kg and 18 months for those with an expected adult weight of >25 kg). The best way to tell how big your puppy will grow is to take a look at their parents - in general, puppies will be approximately the average weight of their parents.
Raw diets for Afghan Hounds?Raw diets are not suitable or safe for Afghan Hound puppies due to the risk of bacterial contamination, which can lead to food poisoning and upset their sensitive tummies. Plus, an unbalanced diet can lead to nutritional deficiencies. Read more about Raw Diets: The Risks and Benefits.
Best Food For Afghan Hound Puppies
This specialised blend is tailored to improve your Afghan Hound puppy's health and wellbeing by promoting strong joints, a healthy heart and a strong skin barrier.
This premium wet food is tailored to the unique energy needs of your medium sized pup. Enhanced with antioxidants and vitamin E, it also promotes healthy gut bacteria and digestive health.
This high quality puppy food has optimal levels of calcium, phosphorus and energy and helps ensure optimal brain and eye development.
With real chicken as the number one ingredient, this puppy food contains all the essential nutrition your large breed puppy needs to grow and develop.
Top food recommendations for adult Afghan Hounds
Although there are no specific feeding requirements for an adult Afghan Hound, it is very important that you feed a suitable premium diet. Their diet needs to be age-appropriate and meet all of their daily nutritional and energy demands. Most premium brands including Hills Science Diet, Royal Canin, or Advance are suitable. These scientifically formulated diets also contain balanced levels of protein, fat and carbohydrate plus vitamins, minerals and antioxidants for health and wellbeing. It is important to remember to feed a diet formulated for your Afghan Hound's adult weight range.
Royal Canin Medium Adult is enriched with omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to support healthy skin and a shiny coat.With the addition of antioxidants and prebiotics, Royal Canin Medium Adult also helps to support your medium breed dog's natural immune defences.
This Australian made kibble is both hypoallergenic and gluten free. It contains highly palatable salmon and fish that even the fussiest dog will love.
Designed specifically for large and giant breed dogs, with added green lipped mussel powder for joint support, this Aussie made dog food is a great choice for your large breed dog.
This premium dry food helps to maintain your dog's ideal weight through the use of high quality lean proteins along with l-carnitine. It also has added glucosamine and chondroitin for healthy joints.
Afghan Hound Health Problems
The Afghan Hound breed as a whole is typically quite healthy however their large stature makes them prone to gastric torsion and mobility issues.
Gastric Torsion/Bloat is a life-threatening condition whereby the stomach expands many times its normal size and in many cases twists and rotates, cutting off its own blood supply. The spleen is usually an innocent bystander that gets pulled into the rotation, also compromising its blood supply. While this condition typically affects deep chested dogs such as the German Shepherd and Great Dane, it can affect any breed and size, even Chihuahuas and Dachshunds. How do you know if your dog has bloat? The main signs to look out for are sudden onset of abdominal distension, distress, anxiety, pain (such as panting, guarding the belly), drooling and multiple unproductive attempts to vomit. What should you do in this situation? Transport them to a veterinary hospital or emergency clinic immediately where urgent treatment and surgery is required. Do not attempt to give anything by mouth.
In breeds with a high risk of bloat, a preventative surgery called a prophylactic gastropexy can be performed at the same time as desexing. The surgery involves securing the stomach to the inside of the abdomen to prevent it rotating. For more information about bloat and preventative surgery, we recommend speaking with your regular veterinarian.
Hip dysplasia is the abnormal growth and development of the hips. A healthy hip joint operates as a smooth gliding 'ball and socket' joint. Hips that are dysplastic typically have a flattening of the 'socket', resulting in a shallow joint that the 'ball' cannot sit in securely. This leads to instability of the joint; causing pain, inflammation, and the development of osteoarthritis.
The condition is primarily genetic in origin with varying degrees of disease seen between dogs due to a combination of factors such as body weight, exercise, nutrition, and hormonal factors. Rapid growth due to incorrect diet can worsen the dysplasia of the hip joint in affected puppies making correct nutrition so vital at this important stage of growth and development.
To learn more, check out our article on Hip Dysplasia
Afghan Hounds are prone to a number of eye conditions including:
- - Glaucoma: increased pressure in the eyeball
- - Cataracts:clouding of the lens that leads to blindness
- - Corneal Dystrophy: the term used to describe a number of conditions that cause the corneas to become opaque
- - Cherry Eye: prolapse of the third eyelid gland
Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland is underactive and therefore doesn't make enough thyroid hormone. Thyroid hormones are important for the regulation of the body's metabolism and low levels disrupt many of the body's normal processes.
Signs of hypothyroidism include lethargy, weight gain, unkempt coat and chronic skin and ear infections. Fortunately diagnosis and treatment of this condition is relatively straightforward.
Von Willebrand's Disease
Von Willebrand's disease is the most commonly inherited bleeding disorder of dogs. It is characterised by a defect in the clotting factor called Von Willebrand's factor. This factor usually acts as the glue to hold platelets together to form a clot in order to stop bleeding. Dogs with this faulty clotting factor may appear quite normal until they experience prolonged or excessive bleeding after an injury or surgery. In more severe cases spontaneous bleeding can occur without any history of trauma. If you are considering getting a new puppy, read our vet article on how to find a good breeder to compile your full checklist of questions to ask, including those about genetic disease.
Best health products for Afghan Hounds
These products help to target the Afghan Hound's common health concerns by supporting their skin, joint and gastrointestinal health. Although Afghan Hounds are low shedding their long luscious coats are prone to knots and tangles which will require regular brushing to keep them looking their best.
A premium quality, vet recommended joint supplement containing green lipped mussel and epitalis to help support joint health and ease the symptoms of arthritis.
100% natural and plant based, this supplement powder has been clinically tested to reduce joint inflammation.
This tool gently removes dead and loose hair from the undercoat, whilst helping to tease out tangles.
Eating rapidly is a risk factor for the development of bloat. Anti gulping bowls help to slow down the rate of food intake and minimise excessive air intake during feeding.
The Afghan Hound unsurprisingly is classified in the Hound breed group. This is a type of hunting dog used to track or chase prey and hounds were actually the first hunting dogs.
Native to Turkey, the Anatolian Shepherd was bred firstly as a hunting dog and then as a shepherd's companion and livestock guardian. These fiercely loyal but stubborn dogs are not for the novice pet parent.
The sleek Pharaoh hound was traditionally used for hunting rabbits and other small game over rocky terrain in Malta. Their friendly and affectionate nature now sees them as happily settled into homes as beloved pets.
Commonly referred to as the 'barkless dog from Africa, the Basenji is one of the smallest of the hound breeds. Don't let their small stature fool you though; they are full of sass and attitude to make up for their size.
The Beagle was originally bred to hunt rabbits and small prey in 16th century England. With their friendly and playful nature it is no wonder they are now ranking number eleven on the list of most common dog breeds in Australia.
Unsurprisingly the English Foxhound was bred to hunt foxes in the English countryside. Although gentle and social, these dogs are very driven by their instincts and are rarely seen as house pets.