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The Afghan Hound is the epitome of elegance. This unique, ancient breed of dog is outwardly unlike any other: spectacular silky coat, exotic muzzle and a thin physique of a fashion model. Seen aside, Afghan enthusiasts describe this dog as aloof and comic.

The Afghan hound was originally used to hunt large prey in both the deserts and the mountains of Afghanistan, where its abundant flowing coat was essential for warmth. The Afghan was highly regarded for his ability to run - fast and long distances - bravely holding off dangerous animals such as leopards until he was caught up by his horse hunter. The Afghan was also prized for his ability to think and hunt independently, without human guidance.

Today's Afghan Hound does not prey on leopards, but this greyhound retains the independent character of a running dog. An Afghan puppy will willingly seek love from family members, just like puppies of any breed, but this behavior as a child can deceive unsuspecting owners. As the Afghan gets older, the cute antics of the puppies diminish. A mature Afghan hound pays no attention to anyone, and sometimes does not even want to be hugged or stroked. A free-thinking, independent Afghan will decide for himself when he needs affection, and it will be on his terms, not yours.

Independence and indifference aside, the Afghan Hound is affectionate when it wants to and can be very funny. The Afghan hound is often referred to by his loving family as a "clown," but she is known to be mischievous, and there are many stories of her ability to steal items from under her noses from family members, to the extent of opening dresser drawers and snatching clothes.

With the ability to see at much greater distances than humans and supporting hip joints that allow him to quickly traverse the ground and easily overcome obstacles, the Afghan is natural to the sport called coursing. When fishing with bait, hounds chase plastic bags, which are used to create the effect of escape from the game. This competition tests the dog's ability to hunt for sight and basic running instinct. The American Greyhound Association (ASFA) was formed in 1972 and continues to operate and oversee a program that is loved by both owners and dogs.

Whether you compete in lure coursing or enjoy playing with the family, the Afghan Hound is one of a kind breed.

Афганская борзая

Features of the

  • Grooming is very important. The Afghan Hound should only be considered by those who truly love grooming or are willing to pay a professional groomer to do so.
  • The Afghan's natural hunting instinct prompts him to pursue prey (neighbor's cat, your son's rabbit, third-class hamster, etc.).
  • The Afghan Hound is difficult to train due to its independent nature. Learning can be time consuming and requires patience. Home schooling can be difficult. In this breed, accidents in the home can last for up to about six months.
  • The Afghan Hound does not tolerate pain well. A small wound is more of a concern for this breed than for other breeds, and this dog can sometimes appear whiny or childish.
  • Afghan Hounds are sensitive and energetic and do not respond well to rough treatment - so be careful.
  • While this particular breed is usually good and even loves children, it is best if the puppy grows up with the children he will live with and the children are mature enough to understand the importance of being considerate of this dog's sensitive nature.
  • To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy factory or pet store. Find a reputable breeder who tests his breeding dogs to make sure they don't have genetic diseases that they can pass on to their puppies and that they have a healthy temperament.

History

The Afghan Hound comes from Afghanistan, where the original name of the breed was Tazi. The breed is believed to date back to the pre-Christian era. DNA researchers recently discovered that the Afghan Hound is one of the oldest dog breeds, dating back thousands of years.

The first evidence from a western Afghan breeder is that of an English officer stationed near Kabul. Afghan hounds from his kennel in Ghazni were transported to England in 1925 and then moved to America. The breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1926 and the American Afghan Hound Club was admitted to the AKC in 1940.

Zeppo Marx of the Marx Brothers was one of the first to bring Afghan hounds to America. In the late 1970s, the hound's popularity skyrocketed when Barbie, who accounts for over 80 percent of Mattel's profits, and Belle, her pet Afghan hound, found their way into the homes and hearts of countless American girls. During the same decade, the development of lure coursing competitions increased the breed's appeal. In the 1980s, the Afghan became a popular star in the AKC show ring and, despite his independence, grew into an obedience competition.

Афганская борзая

The size

Males are 68.6 centimeters and about 27 kilograms, and females are 63.5 centimeters and about 22 kilograms.

Personality

The Afghan Hound is usually a dog for one person or one family. Don't expect this dog to be eager to welcome your guests. Most likely, he will offend them with his indifference to their presence. While some dogs may bark once or twice when a stranger enters the house, this breed is not known to be a good guard dog.

Afghans' independent thinking makes learning difficult. This hound is generally uninterested in food and does not have as strong a desire for pleasure as many other breeds (such as the Golden Retriever). Although the Afghan makes a stunning presentation in the show ring, for example, more than one professional handler was embarrassed in the ring by the refusal to cooperate. Regardless, this breed is known to outperform other breeds when the decision to do so is his own.

Rough handling can make this dog withdrawn or slightly antagonistic. Gentle handling, kindness and patience work best with this breed, as well as the understanding that there will be times when the dog will simply refuse to cooperate.

Health

Afghans are generally healthy, but like all breeds, they are prone to certain diseases. Not all Afghans will contract any or all of these diseases, but it is important to be aware of them if you are considering this breed.

If you are buying a puppy, find a good breeder who will show you the health certifications of both of your puppy's parents. Health certificates prove that the dog has been examined and cleared of a specific disease. In Afghans, you should expect to obtain approval from the Animal Orthopedic Foundation (OFA) for hip dysplasia (satisfactory or higher), elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and von Willebrand disease; from Auburn University on Thrombopathy; and from the Canine Eye Registration Foundation (CERF) confirming that the eyes are normal. You can validate your medical records by visiting the OFA website (offa.org).

  • Allergy. The symptoms in Afghans are the same as in humans: sneezing, discharge from the eyes and nose, itching, hair loss and lethargy. Treatment depends on the cause and may include dietary restrictions, medication, and environmental changes.
  • Cancer: Symptoms that may indicate cancer in dogs include abnormal swelling of an ulcer or bump, sores that do not heal, bleeding from any opening in the body, and difficulty breathing or flowing. Cancer treatments include chemotherapy, surgery, and medications.
  • Juvenile Cataracts: The Canine Eye Registration Foundation (CERF) defines cataracts as "partial or complete opacification of the lens" and warns that this is the leading cause of vision loss in dogs. Depending on the severity, cataracts can sometimes be surgically removed.
  • Hypothyroidism: a disease of the thyroid gland. Symptoms include chronic ear infections, bacterial skin infections, hair loss, lethargy, and depression. This condition is usually treated with medication and diet.

Care

Afghan hounds prefer to be at home with their families. They are relaxed and calm in the house, but are naturally active dogs and need daily exercise, which ideally includes walking or running on a leash, and free jogging in a fenced-in area.

If you plan to keep your dog in the yard, a high, reliable fence is imperative. The Afghan is a skilled escape artist and one day it is really difficult to catch him. (Remember, he can overtake horses!) Continuous obedience training is required, and positive reinforcement methods work best.

Food

Recommended daily intake: 2 to 2.5 glasses of high quality dry food per day, divided into two meals.

NOTE. How much your adult dog eats depends on its size, age, build, metabolism, and activity level. Dogs are as individual as humans and not all need the same amount of food. It goes without saying that a very active dog will need more than a house dog. The quality of the dog food you buy also matters - the better the dog food, the further it will feed your dog and the less you will need to pour into the dog's bowl.

Keep your Afghani in good shape by measuring his food and feeding him twice a day, rather than leaving food all the time. If you are not sure if he is overweight, check his eyesight and practice. Look down at it first. You should be able to see your waist. Then place your hands on his back, thumbs along the spine, fingers spread down. You should be able to feel, but not see, his ribs without having to press hard. If you can't, he needs less food and more exercise.

To learn more about feeding an Afghan, check out our recommendations for buying the right food, feeding your puppy and adult dog.

Афганская борзая

Coat color and care

A properly groomed Afghan fur coat looks impressive. It is a very fine texture similar to human hair, thick and silky. There is a long silky bun on the head. Except for the back, the entire body is covered with hair, even the ears and feet. The coat is short, close to the back and smooth in adult dogs.

All solid colors are permitted by the American Kennel Club breed standard (breed standardized rules), with certain color combinations considered the most pleasing.

Hair care is a must for Afghans. Since the coat is fine, it tangle easily. Regular, even daily, brushing and brushing is necessary, as well as frequent bathing. Many owners choose to hire a professional groomer to keep the coat in good condition, because caring for an Afghan is time-consuming and demanding; this is certainly not a beginner's job, although owners can learn how to handle the coat if they are willing to work hard.

All breeds with hanging or drooping ears usually have problems with ear infections. Check the Afghan's ears weekly and wipe them with a cotton swab dipped in a cleanser recommended by your veterinarian. Never insert cotton swabs or other objects into the ear canal, otherwise you may damage it. Your Afghani may have an ear infection if the inside of his ear smells bad, looks red or tender, or he shakes his head frequently or scratches his ear.

Brush your Afghani's teeth at least two or three times a week to remove plaque and bacteria that builds up inside it. Brushing your teeth daily is even better if you want to prevent gum disease and bad breath.

Trim your nails once or twice a month unless your dog wears out naturally. If you hear them clicking on the floor, they are too long. Short, neatly trimmed nails keep your feet in good condition and prevent scratches when your Irish Setter enthusiastically jumps up to greet you.

Start teaching your Afghani to be cleaned and inspected while still a puppy. Grab his paws often - dogs are sensitive to their paws - and look inside his mouth and ears. Make self-care a positive experience filled with praise and rewards, and you'll lay the foundation for light veterinary checkups and other procedures as he grows up.

Check for sores, rashes, or signs of infection such as redness, soreness, or inflammation on the skin, ears, nose, mouth and eyes, and feet during grooming. The eyes should be clean, without redness or discharge. Your thorough weekly check-up will help you identify potential health problems earlier.

Children and other pets

The independent character and large size of the Afghan make him the best companion for adults. An Afghan is unlikely to want to go after children and play with them. In fact, a child's quick movements and noise levels can scare an Afghan. However, with proper socialization, an Afghan can adapt to living in a family with children and be loving with them.

Afghans most of all like the company of their own kind - other Afghan hounds. An Afghan will be tolerant of and even indifferent to other pets. Unsurprisingly, the Afghan's hunting instinct makes him chase small animals, especially if they run away.

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