All About
Afghan Hound

Among the most eye-catching of all dog breeds, the Afghan Hound is an aloof and dignified aristocrat of sublime beauty. Despite his regal appearance, the Afghan can exhibit an endearing streak of silliness and a profound loyalty.

Quick Facts

  • Playfulness
  • Exercise
  • Grooming
  • Family Situation
  • Friendliness towards other pets
  • Friendliness towards strangers


Tall, lean and noble, the Afghan Hound is often called “The Aristocrat” of the dog world. Though Afghans appear aloof, they are actually quite playful and clownish. They love running (galloping, really) through yards and playing with their family, but also enjoy quietly lounging around the house, being catered to like a true Aristocrat.

Care - Nutrition

The Afghan Hound should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). As sight hounds, Afghan Hounds have naturally svelte physiques, and their protruding hipbones are a unique breed characteristic, not a sign of being underweight. That said, Afghan Hounds are athletic, active dogs, so be mindful that your dog is getting enough good nutrition to meet his needs. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.

Care - Grooming Needs

Afghan puppies have short, fuzzy coats (including adorable facial hair called “monkey whiskers”) that require little maintenance. They don’t stay that way for long, however. As is to be expected, the long, silky coat of an adolescent or adult Afghan requires regular grooming. Several hours per week of brushing are needed to keep the hair free of tangles and mats, as well as to remove any debris. Keeping the hair clean and mat-free is the key to keeping the Afghan’s glorious coat looking its best. Regular bathing, with shampoo and conditioner, is also required. Like all breeds, Afghans should have their nails trimmed and their teeth brushed regularly.

Care - Exercise

Afghan Hounds prefer being inside with family. They're laid back and calm in the house but are naturally active dogs and need daily exercise, which ideally includes a leash walk or run, plus a free-run in fenced area.High, secure fencing is a must if you plan on keeping your hound in a yard. The Afghan is an adept escape artist and once loose, is truly hard to catch. (Remember, he can outrun horses!) Consistent obedience training is necessary and positive reinforcement methods work best.

Health Concerns

Major concerns: none
Minor concerns: cataract
Occasionally seen: necrotic myelopathy, CHD
Suggested tests: (eye)
Life span: 12-14 years
Note: sensitive to anesthesia; prone to tail injuries

Breed Fun Facts/History

The Afghan Hound comes from Afghanistan, where the original name for the breed was Tazi. The breed has long been thought to date back to the pre-Christian era. DNA researchers have recently discovered that the Afghan Hound is one of the most ancient dog breeds and dates back thousands of years.The first documentation of a Western Afghan breeder is that of an English officer stationed near Kabul. Afghan Hounds from his Ghazni Kennel were transported to England in 1925, and then made their way to America. The breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1926 and the Afghan Hound Club of America was admitted for membership with the AKC in 1940.Zeppo Marx of the Marx Brothers was one of the first to bring Afghan Hounds to America. In the late 1970s, the hound's popularity soared when Barbie, who is responsible for more than 80 percent of Mattel's profits, and Beauty, her pet Afghan Hound, found their way into the homes and hearts of countless American girls. During this same decade, the development of lure coursing competitions added to the breed's appeal. In the 1980s, the Afghan became a popular AKC show ring star and, in spite of its independent nature, has branched out into obedience competition.