Canine Breed Menu



Breed Organization
Afghan Hound Club of America
Native Country
Other Names
Kabul Hound, Afghan, Afghan Hound, Barutzy Hound, Baluchi Hound, Balkh Hound
Life Expectancy
Approximately 14 years
Litter Size
Average 8 Puppies
Breed Group
AKC Hound
Breed Appearance
The Afghan Hound is an aristocrat, his whole appearance one of dignity and aloofness with no trace of plainness or coarseness. He has a straight front, proudly carried head, eyes gazing into the distance as if in memory of ages past. The striking characteristics of the breed-exotic, or "Eastern," expression, long silky topknot, peculiar coat pattern, very prominent hipbones, large feet, and the impression of a somewhat exaggerated bend in the stifle due to profuse trouserings-stand out clearly, giving the Afghan Hound the appearance of what he is, a king of dogs, that has held true to tradition throughout the ages.

Breed Description
Tough, hardy, and not as fast as the Greyhound, the Tazi was used in his native land as a watchdog and hunter of antelope, wolf, jackal, and other game. The British Army used the Tazi as a messenger dog in India.

Head: Long. Skull long, not too narrow. Prominent occipital peak. Slight stop. Long muzzle. Powerful jaws.
Ears: Set on low, carried very flat against the head, covered with long, silky hair.
Eyes: Nearly triangular, slightly slanted, preferably dark, but a golden shade is not a fault.
Body: Long. Long, strong neck. Deep chest. Well-sprung ribs. Prominent, fairly widely spaced hip bones. Flat, muscular back sloping slightly toward the hip. Straight, strong, fairly short loin.
Tail: Not too short, forming a ring at the tip, sparsely covered with hair, carried high in action.
Hair: Very long, silky, fine hair covering the forequarters, hindquarters, and entire body except the back from the withers to the base of the tail, where the hair is short and dense. Long, silky forelock starting on the forehead. Short and dense on the foreface. Ears and legs covered with long, abundant hair.

The Afghan Hound's origins are practically unknown. A cousin of the Saluki (Persian Greyhound), his ancestors are thought to have been brought from Persia (Iran) to Afghanistan, where they might have developed their long coat. A favorite of Afghan royalty, Afghan Hounds were brought to England by British soldiers around 1890, after the second Afghan War. The first specimens shown in London in 1907 were a big hit. An English breed club was founded in 1926, and the breed appeared in France around 1930. Tazis were a huge fad in the 1980s.

The temperament of the typical Afghan Hound can be aloof and dignified, but happy and clownish when playing. The breed has a reputation among dog trainers of having a relatively low obedience intelligence; as defined by author Stanley Coren. The Tazi has many cat-like tendencies and is not slavish in its obedience as are some other breeds. The Tazi has a leaning towards independence. Owners should not be surprised if their Tazis sometimes choose to ignore commands. Although seldom used today for hunting in Europe and America where they are popular, Tazis are frequent participants in lure coursing events and are also popular as show dogs.

Afghan Hounds in UK surveys had a median lifespan of about 12 years, which is similar to other breeds of their size. In a 2004 UK Kennel Club survey, the most common causes of death were cancer (31%), old age (20%), cardiac (10.5%), and urologic (5%). Major health issues are allergies, and cancer. Sensitivity to anesthesia is an issue the Afghan Hound shares with the rest of the sighthound group, as sighthounds have relatively low levels of body fat.

He can adapt to apartment life as long as he has space and lots of exercise. He requires daily brushing and combing, as well as a monthly bath and grooming two or three times a year.

Hunting dog. Companion dog.

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