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History of the breed
The first images of the Afghan Hound were discovered in 1809 in India and published in England four years later. For a long time there have been disputes about the origin of the breed. There were plenty of versions – from a multi-thousand-year history dating back to Ancient Egypt to the original genetic material for all modern greyhounds. Not a single theory has been confirmed.
It is no longer possible to determine which dogs served as the basis for the Afghan hound, just like the date of appearance. A large, strong dog has distinctive features due to the climatic characteristics of the homeland. Very thin and long hair was formed from the indigenous representatives of the breed living in the highlands of Afghanistan. Climatic features also explain the short hair on the protruding muzzle, back and upper side of the tail.
At home, there are at least five types of Afghan hounds. The classification depends on the habitat and color. But while recognizing different subtypes, European breeders only recognize two types:
- Desert – dogs living in the south and west of Afghanistan, in desert areas. This species is characterized by lean, light shades and a rarer coat..
- Mountain – representatives of the highlands of the north of the country, more compact, dark colors and with thick wool.
The variety in size, addition, color and length of wool is due to the unique nature of Afghanistan – in a small area there are different climatic conditions, traditions and way of life – nature and people have adapted dogs for these features.
The breed was discovered in Afghanistan, but initially similar dogs lived in other Asian countries – Iran, India, Pakistan.
Afghan peasants use greyhounds as guard dogs and herding dogs, and the shaggy, graceful animals do this job perfectly. For its intended purpose – as a hunting dog – for many years the Afghan hound has been used by the rulers and high-ranking officials of this country, who have kept huge packs for hunting for centuries.
The Afghan hound chases the game, seeing it, and the hunters are already galloping after the dog. The speed of the dog is higher, therefore, at long distances, greyhounds broke away from people and drove the beast on their own, without prompting from a person. Largely due to this, a distinctive feature has developed in the Afghan hounds: independence and independence.
There were many ways of hunting with this breed of dogs – everything depended on the desires of the hunter, traditions, locality, type of game. Greyhounds participated in the paddock alone, in pairs, in packs, in tandem with hunting birds. There were no animals in Afghanistan that a greyhound could not hunt. Mountain deer, lowland antelopes, hares, jackals, snow leopards – the dog followed any animal with the same passion. They were even used for taking off partridges and quails – for gun hunting and for hunting birds, and in the extraction of marmots, appreciated by local residents, the greyhound can compete on equal terms with terriers.
The Afghan Hound has impressive speed on straight sections, but its main advantage is sharp maneuvers on rough terrain – the dog performs jumps and changes of direction easily and gracefully, without slowing down the pace of running. The breed has enough endurance to drive any game to the bitter end.
In Europe, namely England, “Afghans” arrived after a series of Indo-Afghan clashes at the end of the 19th century, in which the soldiers of “the empire over which the sun never sets” took an active part. The dogs were brought to the continent and islands by British officers and military personnel. The dog’s eye-catching eyes were immediately noted at various exhibitions. They were positioned precisely as “Afghan hounds”.
In 1907, when an elegant dog with the characteristic features of “Afghans”, long hair and a dark mask on the face was brought from Persia, British connoisseurs immediately decided: an Afghan hound should look just like that. But the development of the breed was prevented by the First World War. Afghan hounds have practically disappeared in Europe.
Modern representatives of the breed originate from the greyhounds introduced to Scotland in 1920 and are associated with the name of the British officer J. Bell Murray. It was he, together with his wife, who was engaged in breeding the breed while in Baluchistan (at the beginning of the 20th century – an independent state, now part of Pakistan). Returning to his homeland, he brought a whole group of Afghan hounds, most of which were representatives of the “desert” species – lungs, not having a very thick coat.
For a decade, English breeders have been forming the breed based on the Bell Murray line. In 1925, the gene pool was replenished – from her own nursery in Kabul, Mary Emps transported to Britain a group of “mountain” greyhounds – strong, short dogs with thick hair. From them came another line of the breed – “Ghazni”.
In the USA, in the Studbook, the first records of Afghan hounds appeared in 1926. These were the Bell Murray dogs taken to the New World. But a little later, in 1931, the Ghazni greyhound lines also came to America. From mixing these two lines, the American version of the Afghan Hound is obtained.
In 1948, the “Afghans” standard was finally adopted, which included the distinctive properties of dogs obtained from mixing the lines “Bell Murray” and “Ghazni”.
The spectacular appearance and graceful lynx of the Afghan Hound influenced the breed to become a “show” breed. The creative nature of these dogs does not allow them to perform tasks exactly, but the way the animals obey is beyond praise.
We have confidently occupied the niche of companion dogs. Thick coat and increased independence will not suit everyone, but if the owner and the pet find each other, a more devoted friend will not be found.
The export of the breed from the country is prohibited by the authorities of Afghanistan.
Description of the breed
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The aristocratic and proud greyhound is well built, without being too light or rude. The head is raised, the eastern slant of the eyes is inherent in dogs. Unique coat, large paws, prominent pelvis and thick “pants” endow the Afghan hound with recognizable, majestic features.
- Height at withers – males: about 68.5 centimeters, bitches: about 63.5 centimeters.
- Weight – males: about 27 kilograms, bitches: about 23 kilograms.
- Color – color can be any, but elegant, white markings are undesirable.
- Head – long, graceful, covered with long hair. The nose is crooked, the forehead is slightly convex. The transition to the muzzle from the forehead is poorly expressed or completely absent. Eyes are slanted. Long and powerful jaws with a straight bite. A scissor bite is also allowed by standards. Long, extended forward ears, covered with hair. Eyes and nose are dark.
- Neck – long and strong, with a smooth transition to the shoulder area.
- Housing. The back is straight. Strong, slightly arched loin. Convex and deep ribs.
- Chest – deep and wide enough.
- Tail – ring or half ring.
- Front limbs – well developed, straight. Long forearms, elbows tight. The paws with thick fur are directed forward, the pads are large. Fingers covered with wool.
- Hind limbs – well muscled, broad, powerful. Arched toes with thick hair. Long shank, low hock joints are pronounced.
- Wool – on the body and limbs – thin and thick, on the ears and legs – decorative, long, on the back – short, dense, forming a saddle. A distinctive characteristic of Afghan hounds is long, silky hair on the head.
In general, Afghan hounds are sociable, charming, loving, but they make any decisions on their own. This is where the general traits of the breed end. Buying an Afghan Hound puppy is a roulette wheel. A baby can grow up as a quiet, shy and modest dog, and a grumpy, capricious touchy one. Even puppies from the same litter have different personality traits.
Not suitable for families with small children: dogs can be frightened by loud sounds and sudden movements, react to them nervously. But they love children very much and can tolerate their increased attention for a long time.
With great pleasure the Afghan Hound will take part in family games and entertainment. Likes to bring abandoned items.
Well-bred dogs do not mind the presence of other animals – the main thing is to have time to introduce them to each other. Unknown little animals can be perceived as a victim.
On a walk, a greyhound can “break” on any game – a cat, rodents, a car. “Afghans” are good jumpers, so front gardens and low fences will not interfere with them.
Afghan hounds are touchy and react especially sharply to what they see as unfair punishment. Discontent can be frankly expressed, but a dog can harbor a grudge, in the best traditions of the East.
Smooth, sweeping, energetic movements inherent in Afghan hounds, do not allow doubting the aristocratic nature of the species. Usually moves at an easy gallop, holding his tail and head high, demonstrating elegance and high self-esteem in every way.
Once upon a time, Afghan hounds did not require special care, they were unpretentious hunting dogs. The breeders played a cruel joke, having brought out a powerful undercoat from the breed. Dogs do not have natural shedding, so the owner is responsible for removing dead hair and excess thickness of the undercoat. Long coat makes owners pay more attention to caring for it – regular and daily.
Show dogs are bathed every week, pets can be washed less often.
- Combing the matted coat is not an easy task. Use water and a few drops of long-haired dog conditioner for easy grooming.
- The process should start from the roots, and end with the ends of the wool. A hair dryer will help when combing thoroughly..
- A hairnet is often used to keep long hair out of the food.
- Starting an Afghan Hound, you need to be prepared to spend a lot of time on grooming.
- Show and domestic dogs are not clipped: the unique position of the coat is a sign of the breed.
As they grow, Afghan Hound puppies are clumsy, with a lack of coordination. Training and exercise should not tire the future embodiment of elegance too much, so that there are no problems with the development of the skeleton and muscles.
Afghan hounds cannot tolerate pain.
An Afghan hound can run a lot, even without company. If you let her go for an independent walk in the fenced yard of a private house, the dog will get great pleasure, “winding” circles around the house and performing acrobatic stunts. Regular walking and exercise are a must. Breeders advise the duration of the walks – at least an hour at a time.
In hot weather, it is better to limit the physical activity of the greyhound – the heat is dangerous for the dog’s health. Her ancestors lived mainly in the mountains, where the air temperature does not reach high values. The thick and long coat allows it to tolerate cold well, but does not provide protection from heat. In some regions, dogs live in conditions to which they cannot adapt.
Cynologists call this breed “stubborn”. Not quite the correct definition: the dog learns commands quickly, but when executed, it adds something of its own, turning the exercise into a creative process. She is incapable of clearly performing the task. The reasons are in the purpose of the breed. The task of the greyhound is to catch up with the beast, and not wait for the orders of the owner. Over the years of hunting practice, the breed has learned to think and react independently.
To participate in exhibitions, you have to learn additional commands and stands. Praise and encouragement is recommended during exercise. Greyhound should like the process – otherwise, she will just go about her business.
The rules for raising a puppy are the same as for other breeds – show a bed, a toilet, instill norms of behavior.
Disposition to disease
- Problems with heart.
- Spinal cord lesions.
- Impaired nose pigment.
- Eye diseases.
Club puppies from parents with diplomas of international champions will cost from 40,000 to 50,000 rubles. The price tag for a puppy from parents-champions of the country or without the right to breed will range from 20,000 to 30,000 rubles.
Afghan Hound puppies do not have the grace and grace of an adult, they do not show signs of the breed. Therefore, you need to buy a baby either in proven nurseries, or with the assistance of a third-party specialist.
The best choice would be the most curious puppy trying to make contact right away.
For home keeping, a puppy can be taken at the age of two to three months, and for visiting exhibitions it is better to take a teenager in which signs of the breed are already visible.
List of nurseries
- Eternity Moscow – www.afilana.ru/rus/care.php
- Salam Isfahan Moscow – www.alvas.ru/isfahan.htm
- Elkhor Afghani Moscow – www.alvas.ru/elxor.htm
Afghan Hound Photo