The Afghan Hound is one of the most ancient of dogs, and legend states it was this breed that Noah took into the Ark. Whether or not this is true, the Afghan's pedigree is without a doubt pre-Christian. Northern African sight-hounds migrated into the mountains of Afghanistan and the hounds with the heaviest coats were used to breed from, thereby creating the Afghan.
The Afghan Hound is one of the most beautifully marked hounds, with rich chest and neck markings and some even have very long, thick tails. This breed is very fast, and can reach speeds up to forty-five miles per hour, with some weighing up to one hundred sixty pounds. They should be between twenty-one and twenty-five inches, and should have a deep, broad chest and a deep, narrow waist.
The Afghan Hound has a medium-sized head, with a long skull and intelligent eyes. Its triangular-shaped muzzle is wide and square-shaped. The Afghan Hound has a coat that is very fluffy and weather-resistant, and is one of the hardest breeds to keep clean and tidy. Coat colours include brindle, white, red and black, white, red, white and tan, but the red and black versions are the most common.
The Afghan Hound has a life expectancy of about 12 to 15 years. It is also a very ancient breed, as even early ancestry can be detected in drawings and paintings dating back to 4000BC. Even the bacteria from the place where this dog evolved can still be found, dating back to as long as 700 BC.
The dog is very closely related to the wolf and often behaves like one. It is also a dog that has only one name, unlike the wolf, which goes by a variety of names, which it is required to recognize each time they are rewarded for their efforts. For people who love the outdoors, the Afghan Hound is a dog that also likes the outdoors, and loves to play with the kids.
Afghan Hounds love to run and play, and can get bored if they have nothing to do, so it is advisable to frequently play with them. They do make good watch dogs, as they do tend to bark when they hear strange noises, but they also know when the doorbell rings, and will let the door open so they can let the humans know. Additionally, they like to be rewarded for their efforts, whether in the form of a treat, or a scratch behind the ears. Indoors they are a very clean dog by nature, as long as they have easy access to fresh water and a place to go outside, they are very simple to live with.
The Afghan Hound is also a very friendly dog, and will often go out of his way to be social with humans and other animals.
A very important part of the Afghan Hound's training is to show him that his human is the dominant and alpha member of the pack. This is not done through harsh and painful methods, but through having a firm, yet gentle voice, and by putting him through obedience classes. The rewards and reinforcement for his good behaviour is a treat of some kind, so that he doesn't see this as a method to strengthen his position, but as a way to recognise him as a member of the pack.
An Afghan Hound who is not treated properly will show signs of aggression towards other animals, and may also be snappy and brief tempered
. A lack of socialization can also lead to this kind of behaviour. This is important to let out, as the Afghan Hound who is not thoroughly socialized can become ill tempered, snappy and even hostile towards his own kind.
Afghans also get along with cats, and in fact, consider them to be family members. The Afghan Hound is a dog that attaches himself firmly to one person, and is extremely loyal and protective of that individual. Despite the shy, gentle, and docile appearance of the dog, they are actually very fearless, and will defend their owners if they feel their safety is in danger. This means that if they feel threatened, they will defend themselves to the death if necessary. While they might be extremely cute, shy, and gentle, this doesn't mean they are not susceptible to getting a bit territorial in the right circumstances. An Afghan puppy or dog will defend his or her owner fiercely, and without hesitation.
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However, owners of Afghan Hounds must make sure the dog knows his or her boundaries, and understands it is not under any circumstances under the life of the family, to act out aggression towards someone else living in the house. It is the way the dog feels that creating the special bond that brings the Afghan Hound the closest to his or her owner.