Afghan Hounds were bred in Afghanistan to hunt large prey. The long fur kept it warm in mountainous areas. The breed is very fleet and an independent, intelligent hunter that would hold leopards at bay till horse mounted hunters could catch up to the prey. This means they have great endurance and speed (they outrun most horses). Additionally, they think for themselves and are very independent. Because of the hunting instincts, as a pet, they will still chase small animals and are used for coursing trials and games. Afghan Hounds should be kept in a large fenced yard and on a lease, once they escape they can be very difficult to capture. They are also bright enough to find ways out of fenced yards and are quite good at being an escape artist.
Afghan Hounds are between 24 and 29 inches tall and weigh 44 to 60 pounds. This is a healthy breed, typically living for 12 to 14 years. Afghan Hounds are affectionate and loyal to family members. They can have a tendency to be a one-person dog and are frequently aloof to strangers. They are also affectionate on their terms, not yours! When the Afghan Hounds wants attention, they will let you know, otherwise just leave it alone. They do tolerate children; however, this is a large dog and can easily knock small children down. Also, do not expect it to run and play with children. Despite this size, they are content to lay around when indoors and do adapt to apartment living. That said, the Afghan Hound does require regular, daily exercise regardless of living arrangements. This is a high-energy dog.
The long flowing, fine texture coat is a hallmark of the breed. Afghan Hounds do shed and keeping the coat is excellent condition is not for the faint of heart! The coat tangles and matts easily, requiring daily brushing to keep it tangle free and blowing. Additionally, frequent baths are required to keep the coat clean and shiny. Owners either invest time to learn to deal with the coat or invest in a good groomer. Either way, plan on spending time and money to keep the Afghan Hound looking great. As with all dogs with ears that are not erect, they are prone to ear mites and ear infections. Carefully checking the ears on a regular basis is recommended.
Training your Afghan Hound can be a challenge! They are very independent and do not particularly care if they please you or not. They are not motivated by food and snacks, either, so this can make training a challenge. Therefore, it is not a good breed for a first-time dog owner. Due to the personality, sensitivity, and intelligence of the breed, consistent, patient, and positive training methods are required. Even when this approach is done with the Afghan Hound, it may still only train on its schedule not yours. The good news is that Afghans rarely bark, so apartment dwellers and neighbors are happy. This means that the breed is not a good watch dog. Despite these features, the dog can be affection and fun and like to play games, so there is an upside as a companion. Owners just need to go into the relationship, realizing what the dog will and will not do.