Characteristics and personality of the Afghan Hound dog breed


How to recognize an Afghan Greyhound dog? Although it is hard to believe, the Afghan greyhound, It is one of the dogs that needs more training in canine beauty contests, and this breed is a sex symbol! Far are the times of hunter, where he chased hares and gazelles. Now he shares his time between keeping company with his owner, and the catwalks!

But let's start at the beginning ... What basic data do you have to know?

  • Cross height 68-73 cm
  • Weight, around 27 kg
  • Fur color: fawn in all shades
  • Fur: Very long
  • Classified as a big dog

Afghan Greyhound History

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The history of the Afghan Greyhound is a bit confusing, and it is that although it is thought that the first of its breed arose from exports to Britain, at the beginning of the 20s there were Two type of Afghan Greyhounds:

  • Those who came from the mountainous regions of Afghanistan
  • Those who came from the border areas, completely desert between Afghanistan and India

What if! As you are thinking, both types finally mixed me up to create a standard.

Appearance of the Afghan Greyhound dog

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The Afghan greyhound, he is a tall and very stylized dog, however its most differentiating feature is that it has the very long, thin and silky coat that covers the entire body. Unlike its body, the tail has very few hairs, and ends in a ring.

Tips to take care of an Afghan Greyhound

We recognize it! The Afghan greyhound requires a lot of maintenance, and this breed needs three brushing sessions a week, and veterinarians also recommend a monthly bath.

Although this great companion, It adapts very well to live in flats, you need daily walks of at least one hour. It is also especially recommended that you play with other dogs! And otherwise it can become very reserved.

Now you can recognize an Afghan Greyhound, right?

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Frequent health problems in Afghan Greyhound dogs

The most frequent health problems in the Afghan Greyhound are:

  • Hip dysplasia (Sounds like Chinese, right? This simply means that you have a malformation of the elbow joint)
  • It's a race especially sensitive to anesthesia, tranquilizers and cortisone

Remember! If you have any questions at Wakyma, we recommend contacting your trusted veterinarian.


It is a dog that requires a lot of maintenance for different reasons. Although they are extremely intelligent, Afghans can be difficult to train because of their stubbornness. They are extremely sensitive to hard corrections, which often cause rejection to obey. They respond better to kind guidance and firm discipline. The usual grooming is essential to maintain your hair, need weekly baths and brushing to remove dead hair and avoid the tangles and knots to which they are so prone. Adult Afghans shed their hair in spring and autumn, as well as after an illness, non-sterile bitches shed their hair at each season change.

Although they can be good dogs for flats and can get to "flatten", so they need a lot of exercise to fight boredom and destructive behaviors like nibbling. At a minimum, Afghans should walk between one and a half kilometers and three kilometers a day, and it is essential that they have a fenced yard for running. This breed is famous for ignoring calls or pleas, and on the other hand it is a very prone race to be run over, so they should never wander without supervision, since their predatory instinct can make them a threat to neighborhood pets. With proper training and vigilance from their owner, Afghans can be compatible with both children and other pets.

Afghans are extremely thin under their thick fur, and eat much less than one would think for their size. A food for dogs of high quality, if possible supplemented with vegetable oil, can help maintain the health of your skin and hair. You can use a type of special tapes so that you do not stain your long ears when eating.

Nomadic peoples of Afghanistan, Pakistan and northern India were the first to raise the Afghan hound, a former member of the hound family, thousands of years ago. Much of the history of this breed has been lost with the invasion of the region by warlike factions led by leaders such as Genghis Khan and Alexander the Great. The breed was developed and adapted by the need to hunt prey on mountainous terrain.

The afano, an extremely skilled hunter, was used to knock down large and small prey, such as antelopes and perhaps even leopards. Although many experts of our time have doubts about the fact that leopards were the traditional prey of Afghans, there are accounts of eyewitnesses who speak that killed leopards by holding them by the neck and breaking the vertebral columns with their jaws.

The first pilgrimage of these dogs to leave the Middle East came from the hand of British soldiers who took them with them to England in the 19th century. The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized the Afghan in 1926. He became famous for its glamor and reached its peak of success in the 1970s. Nowadays Afghans are used as domestic pets and show dogs instead of hunters , although some adventurous owners take them to the persecutions of the hare with decoy to simulate a hunt. Their loose strands and noble attitude make Afghans eternal winners in the exhibitions.

Characteristics of the Afghan Greyhound

  • Height at the cross: from 68 to 73 cm
  • Weight: about 27 kg
  • Cap: lioness in all shades, even the Ivorians, with or without black mask, mantle, blue, black
  • Average life: twelve years
  • Character: dignified, independent, calm and distant with strangers
  • Relationship with children: good
  • Relationship with other dogs: Really good
  • Aptitudes: hunting dog, companion and exhibition, guard and racing dog
  • Space needs: It adapts well to indoor life if you can enjoy long walks and run regularly
  • Arrangement: regular brushing and a bath a month
  • Maintenance cost: high

During the 70s, when their beauty, elegance and fur adjusted to the fashions of that time, the Afghan Greyhounds They experienced huge numerical growth. In those years, the breed became excessively popular and was in the spotlight in a most inappropriate way. The result of this type of popularity (in the case of the breed in question) is that its specimens are acquired due to aspects that attract the public for fashion and the new owners are unaware of the characteristics of the dogs. The Afghan greyhound He earned a reputation that was often unfair and false. Over the years it has irritated me to hear that this breed was considered stupid and difficult, since the truth is that it is, in general, quite the opposite.

Physical characteristics

The Afghan Greyhounds They are big, beautiful and elegant dogs. Its body is harmonious and has a robust structure. The chest is relatively deep and well vaulted so that there is enough space for the heart and lungs. The Afghan greyhound It is a dog with good musculature, it is not heavy and its constitution allows it to run fast and show its power. This breed is capable of showing tremendous vigor and speed changes when running. The elegant and balanced movement is an important feature of this breed. For example, the Kennel Club of England breed standard describes the movement as "with great style" and this defines the extremely good progress of the Afghan greyhound. The typical specimen moves in a unique, light but vigorous and elastic way with well-marked steps. With its tail and head straight, this dog is captivating. As with any hunting breed, the firmness of the movement is essential to allow the dog to carry out the skills for which he was raised.

The head of Afghan greyhound It is a very interesting feature, since as the fur on his face is short, his expression is clearly visible. The bone structure is, or should be, very beautiful, giving the impression that the face had been chiselled. Together with this and due, to a large extent, to the bones surrounding the eyes, they should have an almost triangular shape, with the lower edge, from its inner to the outer part, somewhat inclined upwards to achieve this shape. The eyes usually have a relatively deep implantation, which increases their expression. The correct expression of Afghan greyhound, which shows a cold disdain and the impression described in their standard of "looking at and through" someone increases their uniqueness. The head also has another characteristic requirement: a prominent occipital. It is the bone of the back of the skull, which is not so noticeable in many other races.

A unique feature of the breed is the pattern of its coat. It is something of the most surprising for those who have not seen it before. The fur of the face, the lateral part of the neck and the "seat" (consisting of an elongated and saddle-shaped area on the back that includes the entire spine, from the neck to the birth of the tail ) is short and attached to the body. There may also be areas with short hair (which can be found under long and silky fur and cannot be seen unless we lift this long coat) in metacarps and metatarsals. As these areas of short hair are also accompanied by long and silky hair on the rest of the body, the appearance of the dog is quite remarkable. There are variations in the pattern of the layer. Some Afghan Greyhounds they will never have a "saddle", even when they are adults and some will only have it after the times of molting. Some will lose an excessive amount of long, silky hair, only a slight amount will remain and will have more areas of short fur (saddle type) than normal. This type of layer pattern, more common before the 60s and 70s, used to be described as the Bell-Murray pattern.

Possibly, one of the most characteristic features of this breed is its typical ring-shaped tail at the tip. It is most beautiful when its shape is correct. One of the aspects that determines the size of the tail is the special situation of the hip in the Afghan greyhound. The hip bones, which are prominent, are a requirement in terms of their body constitution. From this bone there is a fall of the rump until reaching the birth of the tail. This is then raised when the dog is excited or moving, or is low when it is at rest with its typical and complete ring at the tip. It is a most unusual feature for a dog and is another aspect of this breed. There is a variation in the degree of closure of the ring in the tail. Some only have a sickle shape. Frequently, the ring is not fully developed until the puppy has all his adult teeth and can sometimes be seen since he is very young.
I am sure that when the Europeans first saw them, these dogs aroused great interest, for their unique and unusual characteristics. It is a race with a huge personality. Currently, as it is well known, most people are accustomed to the appearance of these dogs, but consider the stir they had to cause when they were first exported from Afghanistan. Add to this the reputation of your character. Surely they had to cause a great following wherever they went.


It is necessary to understand the character of Afghan greyhound To appreciate it as a whole. For many, the idiosyncrasy of this race makes it virtually impossible for one to live without it and for others it is almost impossible to live with it. One of the aspects that determine this is your home and another is your garden or patio, although the main factor is the personality of you and the rest of your family.

The typical Afghan greyhound It is, to a large extent, a creature with an independent thought and a free spirit. The easiest way to live with him is simply accepting him. Anyway, the race is also affectionate. The Afghan Greyhounds They can offer as much affection and fidelity as one might ask, but this affection is not always demonstrated, they frequently offer it as at a distance.

I think that he Afghan greyhound It is one of the smartest races I have ever lived with, but this intelligence does not show up with learning tricks or with any form of training. The Afghan Greyhounds they are self-taught, which means that they do not usually copy the behavior of other dogs, but create their own. It would not be sensible to try to bend your dog's will so that it suits you. Instead it is necessary to follow parallel paths. I have often had to sit on the floor, since our Afghan They were occupying the sofa. I am clear that it is uncomfortable, but I have accepted that it is part of the breed and that (within the minds of dogs) we are the same. Sometimes I have endured the looks of indignation and reproach and I insisted that it was I who occupied the sofa.

It is not really sensible to acquire a Afghan greyhound if you want to have a dog to send on. Although you should not allow your dog to dominate you, you can expect to have an equal in your family once you have it at home. These dogs are not raised by anyone and will sometimes show a transient aggressiveness if they are forced to act in this way.

Although many Afghan Greyhounds They are excellent companions and trustworthy with children, it is not a recommended breed as a suitable dog for them. This is mainly due to the fact that they do not support, as a general rule, mischief. Obviously, no dog should be subjected to these mischief, but many breeds will ignore the innocent and irritating behavior of children that a Afghan greyhound I might find it quite difficult to tolerate. Annoying this breed, with its sensitive personality, could result in the dog becoming nervous and introverted when he is with children. In some cases this could even lead to aggressions, due to the anxiety and stress that are caused to the dog. This is not intended to say that all Afghan Greyhounds Be the same I have seen adult males lying while a small child climbed on top of them, without the dogs showing concern or dislike. In the case of any dog ​​it is necessary to monitor young children at all times.

One of the most unique and unique features is the expression that, as described in the breed standard of looking at "through and through one." I think this is saved by Afghan Greyhounds to study the horizon and monitor strangers and people they know. I think that the closest circle formed by the most beloved people for these dogs usually receives an affectionate and intimate look. There can be nothing more rewarding for an amateur Afghan That this look: it is full of confidence, it is personal and it comes directly from the heart. It is possible, when you really know your dog, speechless communication. In this sense I believe that this breed is able to understand more words than any other I have lived with. In any case, words like "come", "still" and "no" are first weighed before finally accepting them.

All this independence makes the Afghan greyhound Be a special breed and not a normal pet. This does not mean that they are not good companions for the owner who is not thinking of presenting them in beauty contests, the only thing that means is that they are not, necessarily, the type of dog that fits in all homes. In this discussion about the temperament of this race, I have described what has characterized the race for generations. It could be argued that, in recent years, the trend has been towards an easier temperament in some aspects due to selective breeding. Many Afghan Greyhounds Current are more extraverted with strangers, more active and less distant. It should be debated if this is a satisfactory trend. Those who know the temperament of this race in all its glory, will defend the original features as superior. Personally, I would rather not be greeted by a Afghan who does not know me, as if he were a friend whom he has not seen for a long time, but I recognize that it is easier to walk through public places with this type of dog than with a reserved, shy and sometimes nervous one.

To appreciate these dogs it is essential to understand them. It is necessary to think like a Afghan greyhound to see the world as they see it. The specimens I have lived with have created strong links with their historical origins, have had their own strong opinions about their worth and have hoped to have a high degree of comfort and respect at home. I do not think that this breed works well as a kennel animal, since they need to have people with a mentality similar to yours, so that they are non-demanding and relaxed companions. They are not lap dogs, they are friends with a strong commitment.

Aspects related to the health of the breed

The Afghan Greyhounds They are fortunate, as they have a reputation for being susceptible to few of the best known hereditary canine diseases. However, there are some conditions that the aspiring owner will want to know better.

  • Hip dysplasia

It is an annoying problem that affects the hip joint. The hip is a "ball and bowl" joint that can be affected mainly because the acetabulum does not have the proper depth or because it is not properly formed. When this occurs, there is a general laxity of the hip. Frequently the consequences occur in the form of arthritic changes in the joint. This problem is painful and the dog suffers from a limp and discomfort when he suffers from arthritis.

  • Eye problems

Waterfalls. There are two types of cataracts: One of them causes an opacity of the lens in one or both eyes and appears in the Afghan Greyhounds elderly. It is not considered hereditary and can affect any race.

During the 70s there was a great concern regarding young specimens and cataracts. It was seen that other types of cataracts were transmitted in certain lines (that is, they were hereditary). Great work was carried out to eliminate as breeding animals dogs that were carriers of this defect.

Entropion Entropion is a term that describes the inversion of the eyelid and eyelashes. This causes irritation to the eyes that can cause them to become infected and tear. It is generally considered that this problem is hereditary and some experts believe that it is caused by the continuous selection of dogs with small eyes (whatever the breed) as breeding animals. Entropion can be solved with a simple surgical operation. However, affected dogs should not be used for breeding, even if the problem has been corrected surgically.

  • Mouth problems

In the Afghan Greyhounds, the upper incisors should be just ahead and be in close contact with the lower ones in what is called a scissors closure. It is acceptable, although not ideal, that the upper and lower incisors remain at the same level (level closure). Although this closure is allowed, it tends to alter and become a delayed closure (the lower incisors protrude) with age. In addition, a level closure will frequently cause greater wear of the incisors.

In some dogs, one or some lower incisors can get out of the line and thus stay ahead of the corresponding upper incisor. This circumstance is called "crooked mouth." This mouth is not correct and a hunting dog may be less efficient. In any case, it is rare that it seriously affects specimens held as pets. Anyway, a Afghan greyhound with a crooked mouth it is not suitable for exhibitions. As defects in the mouth are usually transmitted to the offspring, it is not good to raise a specimen with this problem.

If you want to know more about the Afghan greyhound We recommend the publication of the publishing house Hispano Europea Galgo Afgano Excellence Series: