The Afghan Greyhound is the most beautiful dog in the world, a product of natural selection and human effort. Elegant and graceful, it is not an ornamental animal, but belongs to the category of hunting dogs. The breed is the most ancient. There is an amazing legend that a place was found for the Afghan Greyhound on Noah’s Ark. This dog is liked not only by hunters, it is bought by artists and people who are especially active.
How the breed originated
Archaeologists found in Iran drawings depicting the dogs, which look like an Afghan greyhound, dated XI century B.C. Later, already in the lands of Afghanistan, pictures of this dog have been found but later – II century B.C.
These findings were the prerequisite for the name of the breed, although it is historically confirmed, that this country is not the homeland of the Afghan hound. However, it is the country where these dogs were highly valued and actively engaged in their breeding and maintaining the breed.
To this day, people of Afghanistan relate this breed to the symbols of the state. For a long time there was a ban on the export and sale of greyhounds. One could get such a pet only as a gift.
Hunters, already in the beginning of the breed formation, developed the most important hunting quality – speed. But, even taking into account that greyhounds have a natural tendency to hunting and sporting races, it took more than one century to improve this quality.
Afghan greyhounds have participated in hunting the most diverse game, from hares to wolves. Their endurance and untold strength were enough not only for pursuit but also for a long time to hold their prey. In addition, dogs perfectly coped with the role of guards, they guarded the house, livestock, and the local aristocracy were personal bodyguards.
The important difference between the breed is that only Afghan hound Muslims consider “pure”, while other dogs of this religious denomination are not valued.
The dogs got to European countries together with English officers returning home from Afghan and Indian borders.
The 1st amateur breed club was registered in England in 1926. A little later they were recognized by dog breeders in America. Perfection of external qualities, excellent gene pool and excellent adaptability allowed Afghans to have confirmed standards almost immediately.
Today, the Afghan Greyhound has gained worldwide fame, primarily because of its non-standard, attractive appearance, loyalty to the owner and refined manners. Perhaps this dog graces the covers of magazines more often than others.
Description of the Afghan Greyhound breed
Despite their apparent pampering, Afghans are sturdy, hardy dogs that move smoothly and gracefully. They are large and have long muzzles with strong jaws.
- Pedigree representatives have a head planted in such a way as to maximize visibility.
- Chest is wide enough, its depth provides trouble-free work of heart muscle and lungs during long and fast running.
- Greyhounds have long, floppy ears, almond-shaped eyes, often with dark irises, and their nose black or brown depending on color. The position of the tail is somewhat understated.
- The coat is the undoubted pride of Afghan greyhounds. It is notable for its length, density and unusual silkiness. There is no long hair only on the muzzle of the animal, the wool cover is very short here. It may surprise some people, but such hair absolutely does not prevent the dog from developing super-fast speed. If the greyhound accelerates, its speed can reach 50 km/h.
- According to the standard, any color of the greyhound is allowed. Only white spots are not allowed. Afghans maximum height at withers is 75 cm and weight up to 37 kg. There are individuals with smaller size – 67 cm tall and weighing only 25 kg.
Unique temperament of Afghan greyhounds
The appearance of this breed is 100% aristocratic, their manners are similar to them. However, their character is not easy. They are very difficult to educate, often it takes more than one year to fully socialize a pet. And the reason for this is their natural qualities – stubbornness and short temper.
But owners may have difficulties not only in training. Afghans differ in increased activity, and, given their size, they should not be left with a small child. No, they do not show aggression, but they can drop, push, hurt the baby inadvertently.
Greyhounds are difficult to get used to other pets, unless their growing up together. In addition, you should not forget about their strongly developed hunting instincts. Cats, rodents, ferrets and others will perceive the Greyhound only as prey.
Such an excessively active pet is not suitable for people who are often absent from home and do not lead an active rhythm of life.
See more greyhound breeds of dogs.
Peculiarities of Afghans training
Before the stubbornness of these dogs, sometimes even professionals retreat. Most often, it is not possible to achieve full obedience and obedience from the dog. But the fault in this is at the genetic level – hunters, developing the breed, demanded from them only one thing – to catch up with prey, completely ignoring the educational aspects. The animal did not need a sharp mind and developed thinking, so the result was achieved solely by speed.
In order for the animal to master complex commands and tasks, the help of dog handlers will definitely be required. Therefore, it is not worth wasting time and nerves on independent training.
But to instill the basics of behavior, so that coexistence with a person did not cause discomfort to both sides, you can with the help of the owner. But even the standard commands “Come to me”, “Sit!”, “Ew!” and others will require long and monotonous repetitions and further fixation. You should be ready to the fact that in certain situations the animal may even ignore its own name!
Care and keeping conditions
The main measures of care are the following:
- cleansing the ears and eyes with moistened cotton disks, special veterinary lotions can be used as a liquid;
- long daily walks;
- weekly bathing with detergents for long-haired breeds;
- Frequent combing of the hair coat with different devices.
The Afghan greyhound will look like an animal from the glossy magazines only if you give it a lot of time and spend a lot of money on hair care products. And after bathing it must be thoroughly dried with a hair dryer. To keep the coat fresher and cleaner, it is recommended to remove dirt and dust with a brush after each walk.
As for nutrition, everything is much simpler in this matter. Greyhounds need a balanced vitaminized diet. From the menu of the dog should be completely removed fried, fatty, spicy products. In addition, they should not be given sweets, smoked foods, as well as food containing artificial food additives.
Despite the animal’s need for intense exercise, the best accommodation for him is an apartment or house, where the greyhound will be constantly near the owner. In addition, its gorgeous coat will not look as attractive after living in an aviary environment.
Historically, Afghan Greyhounds have lived side by side with humans, so they need constant companionship. Without the comfort of a home and the attention of owners, the pet will feel uncomfortable.
An adult dog will definitely choose the owner’s furniture as a place to rest. And in most cases, owners, tired of a long struggle, give up, securing this right for the pet.
But despite this fact, the dog should also have its own corner. This is where they go when there is fatigue from too much attention, the need for a long, sound sleep. The place should be comfortable, away from drafts, heaters and prying eyes. The cot should be the right size and preferably with an orthopedic base.
To keep the greyhound from getting bored and entertained by grinding its teeth on furniture, shoes and furnishings, it needs a large number of toys.
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To the happiness of future owners, Afghans have excellent health. Among the propensities for diseases are cataracts, inadequate fermentation, hip dysplasia and insufficient thyroid hormones. To reduce the risks of such ailments it is necessary, when purchasing a pet, to learn about the diseases of its parents.
Greyhounds have a very low pain threshold, so even a minor wound can cause them a lot of pain. It is important to treat any skin injuries. Representatives of this breed are extremely difficult to tolerate anesthesia, so if possible, it is better to do without this extreme measure.
Photo of the Afghan Greyhound
Video about the Afghan greyhound
Cost of puppies
Afghan greyhound belongs to the breeds of the medium price category. One can buy a puppy from private sellers for $1000 – $1200, both with and without pedigree.
If you buy in special kennels, the price of puppies ranges from $2500 to $4000. By the way, in Russia, not very many kennels, engaged in breeding this breed.
At breeders with a well-known name, the puppy of Afghan Greyhound will cost not less than $4500-$5000. A superb representative of the breed, future champion and successor of the family can also cost above $5000.
But no matter what kind of dog it is, first of all, a family pet, which is accepted despite its flaws and appreciates its merits. Uncomplicated temperament is more than compensated by boundless devotion and love.