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Afghan Hound Dog Breed Information

The Afghan Hound, also known as “Tazi” or “Tazi Spay” is a breed boasting a rich history and unique characteristics that have made it a popular choice among dog owners worldwide.

Hailing from the mountainous regions of Afghanistan, these dogs were originally bred for hunting due to their speed, agility, and keen senses.

In this article, we’ll delve deeper into the origins and background of this fascinating breed.

Afghan Hound Dog Breed History

afghan hound lying on the green lawn

Afghan Hounds are one of the oldest dog breeds, with roots dating back thousands of years.

Their ancestry can be traced to the pre-Christian era in the regions now known as Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran. These sighthounds were bred by nomadic tribes and used for hunting, particularly in challenging mountainous terrain.

This Afghanistan dog breed’s early history is not well-documented, but it’s believed they were initially used for hunting large game such as deer, goats, and even leopards.

Their long, thick coats protected them from the harsh weather conditions they often faced in their native lands. It wasn’t until the 19th century that Afghan Hounds began to gain recognition in the Western world.

During this time, British soldiers stationed in India and Afghanistan took a keen interest in the breed, and some even brought them back to England as pets. This marked the beginning of the Afghan Hound’s journey into international fame.

Throughout the 20th century, Afghan Hounds grew in popularity among Afghans and the rest of the world as both show dogs and family pets.

Their unique appearance and regal bearing made them a favorite in dog shows, while their affectionate and loyal nature endeared them to families.

The AKC (American Kennel Club) recognized the Afghan Hound in 1926, further solidifying its status as a distinguished and cherished breed in the United States.

The Ghazni Kennel: A Legacy Rooted in the Afghan Hound’s Heritage

afghan hound lying on the dark background

In 1919, the world of dog breeding was introduced to a stunning and unique breed that would capture the hearts of many.

The Afghan Hound, a breed with a rich history and undeniable elegance, debuted internationally. This breed, known for its striking appearance, long silky coat, and athletic abilities, traces its roots back to Afghanistan.

A dog named Zardin served as the foundation sire for the Ghazni Kennel, which played a pivotal role in popularizing the Afghan Hound breed.

Established in Kabul by an Englishwoman named Mary Amps, the Ghazni Kennel sought to breed and promote the Afghan Hound, a breed virtually unknown to the Western world then.

Mary Amps was captivated by the breed’s unique beauty and dedicated her life to preserving and promoting its lineage.

Zardin, the foundation sire of the Ghazni Kennel, was an exemplary representation of the breed. Zardin was the perfect specimen to lay the groundwork for the future generations of Afghan Hounds, possessing the characteristic long and silky coat and distinctive head and facial features of the Afghan Hound.

Under the careful guidance of Mary Amps, the Ghazni Kennel bred Zardin with a select group of Afghan Hound bitches, creating a strong and healthy bloodline that would become the standard for the breed.

Over the years, the Ghazni Kennel grew in reputation, and its dogs became highly sought after by breeders and enthusiasts alike.

The Afghan Hound’s introduction to the Western world can be attributed mainly to the efforts of Mary Amps and the Ghazni Kennel.

The legacy of the Ghazni Kennel and its foundation sire, Zardin, lives on in the many Afghan Hounds that have since graced the world with their presence.

Afghan Hounds Breed Characteristics

afghan hound standing in the backyard

Afghan Hounds are known for their striking appearance and unique personalities, which set them apart from other breeds.

The breed standard for the Afghan Hound outlines the ideal characteristics, temperament, and appearance that the breed should possess to be considered a prime example of its kind.

Here are some of the key characteristics that define this elegant and enigmatic breed:


Afghan Hounds are large dogs with an average height of 25 to 27 inches and weight ranging from 50 to 60 pounds.

Their most striking feature is their long topknot, and silky coat, which can be found in various colors, including black, cream, red, and brindle. Their flowing mane, long, slender legs, and arched back give them an air of grace and elegance.


Afghan Hounds are known for their aloof, dignified, and independent nature but clownish during playtime.

They can be reserved around strangers but are deeply loyal and affectionate with their families. While they may not be as eager to please as other breeds, they form strong bonds with their owners and are sensitive to their emotions.

Intelligence and Trainability

Afghan Hounds are highly intelligent, but their independent spirit can make them a challenge to train.

Early socialization and consistent, positive reinforcement are essential to ensure they develop good manners and obedience. Patience and a gentle approach are key, as Afghan Hounds can be sensitive to harsh training methods.

Exercise Needs

As a breed originally bred for hunting, Afghan Hounds have high energy levels and require regular exercise to stay physically and mentally stimulated.

They enjoy running and playing in a secure, fenced area and enjoy leisurely walks with their owners.


One of the most time-consuming aspects of owning an Afghan Hound is the grooming required to maintain their luxurious coat.

Regular brushing is necessary to prevent matting and tangles; occasional professional grooming may also be needed. In addition, their ears and teeth should be checked and cleaned regularly to maintain their overall health.

By understanding these key characteristics, potential owners can better appreciate the unique qualities that make Afghan Hounds such a captivating and rewarding breed to welcome into their lives.

Afghan Hounds Health Conditions

afghan hound close up photo

Afghan Hounds can be prone to specific health issues like all dog breeds. Knowing these potential conditions can help owners take the necessary precautions and provide the best care for their beloved pets. Some common health conditions that may affect Afghan Hounds include:

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a genetic condition that affects the hip joint, leading to arthritis and mobility issues. Regular check-ups and maintaining a healthy weight can help minimize the risk of hip dysplasia in Afghan Hounds.


Afghan Hounds can be susceptible to food, environmental, and contact allergies. Symptoms can include itching, hair loss, and skin infections. Owners should consult with their veterinarian to identify and manage the cause of their dog’s allergies.

Heart Disease

Afghan Hounds can be prone to certain heart conditions, such as mitral valve disease and dilated cardiomyopathy. Regular veterinary check-ups and monitoring for signs of heart issues can help ensure early detection and treatment.


Bloat, or gastric torsion, is a life-threatening condition that can affect deep-chested breeds like the Afghan Hound.

It occurs when the stomach fills with gas and twists on itself, cutting off the blood supply. Preventative measures include feeding smaller, more frequent meals and avoiding vigorous exercise immediately before or after meals.


Some Afghan Hounds may develop cataracts, leading to vision impairment or blindness. Regular eye check-ups can help detect and treat cataracts before they become severe.

While these health conditions can be concerning, responsible breeding practices, regular veterinary care, and a healthy lifestyle can minimize the risk and help Afghan Hounds lead long happy lives.

Maintenance and Care of Afghan Hounds

afghan hound being groomed by a lady Proper care and maintenance are crucial to ensuring your Afghan Hound remains healthy, happy, and comfortable. Here are some essential aspects of Afghan Hound care that every owner should be aware of:

Grooming Needs

Afghan Hounds have a long, silky coat that requires regular grooming to prevent matting and keep them looking their best.

Brushing should be done at least a few times a week, and bathing should be done every four to six weeks, depending on the dog’s activity level and environment. Additionally, please pay attention to their nails, ears, and teeth, which should be cleaned and checked regularly.


A balanced and nutritious diet is essential for maintaining your Afghan Hound’s overall health.

High-quality dog food that meets their age, size, and activity level requirements is recommended. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the best dietary plan for your dog, as individual needs may vary.


Afghan Hounds are an active sighthound breed that requires regular exercise to stay physically and mentally stimulated. A combination of daily walks and off-leash play in a securely fenced area can help meet their exercise needs.

Providing opportunities for mental stimulation, such as puzzle toys, dog sports, and interactive games, can also help keep your Afghan Hound pup engaged and content.

Training and Socialization

Early socialization and training are crucial for Afghan Hounds, as their independent nature can sometimes make training challenging.

Begin socializing your dog with various people, animals, and environments as early as possible to help them develop into a well-mannered and confident adult. Consistent, positive reinforcement training methods are most effective for this breed.

Preventative Health Care

Regular veterinary check-ups, vaccinations, and parasite prevention are essential to keep your Afghan Hound healthy. Be aware of common health conditions that may affect your dog, and work with your veterinarian to monitor and address any issues that may arise.

By following these guidelines and providing a loving, supportive environment, you can ensure that your Afghan Hound thrives and enjoys a long, fulfilling life as a cherished member of your family.

Choosing the Right Dog Food for Your Afghan Hound

afghan hound with a bowl of food in front

The appropriate dog food for your Afghan Hound is essential to maintaining their overall health and well-being.

With so many options on the market, it can be challenging to determine the best choice for your dog.

Here are some factors to consider when choosing your Afghan’s right dog food:

Nutritional Requirements

Afghan Hounds, like all dogs, require a balanced diet that includes proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.

High-quality dog food should contain a good balance of these nutrients, focusing on high-quality animal proteins to support muscle development and maintenance.

Age and Life Stage

The nutritional needs of Afghan Hounds vary depending on their age and life stage. Puppies, adults, and senior dogs each have different dietary requirements.

Be sure to choose a food specifically formulated for your dog’s life stage to provide the appropriate nutrients and calorie levels.

Activity Level

Afghan Hounds are generally active, but individual dogs may have different energy levels.

Selecting a dog food that meets your dog’s specific activity level to ensure they receive the right balance of calories and nutrients to maintain a healthy weight and energy level.

Food Sensitivities and Allergies

Some Afghan Hounds may suffer from food sensitivities or allergies. If your dog experiences itching, skin irritation, or gastrointestinal issues, consult your veterinarian to determine if a food allergy may be the cause.

They may recommend a hypoallergenic or limited-ingredient diet to help identify and manage the issue.

Consult Your Veterinarian

Your veterinarian is invaluable for choosing the right dog food for your Afghan Hound. They can help assess your dog’s needs and recommend appropriate food options based on age, weight, activity level, and health concerns.

By considering these factors and working closely with your veterinarian, you can make an informed decision about the best dog food for your Afghan Hound, ensuring they receive the necessary nutrients to maintain optimal health and vitality.

The Afghan Hound Club of America: Community and Resources

afghan hound club of america logo

The Afghan Hound Club of America (AHCA) is a valuable resource for Afghan Hound owners, breeders, and enthusiasts alike.

Established in 1940, the AHCA is dedicated to promoting the welfare, responsible breeding, and appreciation of this captivating dog breed.

The organization offers a wealth of information, support, and community for those who share a love for Afghan Hounds. Here are some of the key aspects of the AHCA that can benefit owners and enthusiasts:

Education and Information

The AHCA provides extensive resources and educational materials on its website, including articles on Afghan Hound care, training, grooming, health, and history.

These resources can be invaluable for new and experienced owners looking to expand their knowledge and understanding of the breed.

Breeder Referrals and Puppy Information

For those considering adding an Afghan Hound to their family, the AHCA offers a breeder referral service and guidance on finding a responsible breeder.

Additionally, they provide information on what to expect when bringing home a new Afghan Hound puppy, ensuring a smooth transition for the dog and the owner.

Events and Activities

The AHCA organizes and supports a variety of events and activities centered around Afghan Hounds, including conformation shows, lure coursing, and agility trials.

These events allow owners and dogs to showcase their talents, socialize with fellow enthusiasts, and celebrate the breed.

Rescue and Adoption

The AHCA is committed to assisting Afghan Hounds in need through their rescue groups and adoption program.

They work to find loving homes for Afghan Hounds that have been surrendered, abandoned, or need a new family. Their rescue program also provides support and resources for those looking to adopt or foster an Afghan Hound in need.

Membership and Community

Becoming a member of the AHCA offers numerous benefits, such as access to their informative newsletter, opportunities to participate in club events, and the ability to connect with fellow Afghan Hound enthusiasts.

Members also have the opportunity to contribute to the club’s efforts in promoting and preserving the breed.

The Afghan Hound Club of America is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in learning more about this remarkable breed or looking to become part of a community that shares its passion.

By offering education, support, and a sense of camaraderie, the AHCA helps to ensure the continued appreciation and well-being of Afghan Hounds for generations to come.

Afghan Hound Interesting Facts:

afghan hound lying against a dark background

Did You Know?

  • Although the breed’s origin can’t be traced exactly, it’s possible it was brought to Afghanistan by Alexander the Great. The Saluki (a possible ancestor of the Afghan Hound) has been seen in carvings in Afghanistan from around this period.
  • Famous artist Pablo Picasso loved Afghan Hounds, and his dog, Kabul, featured many of his paintings.
  • Afghan Hounds can run up to 40mph!
  • The breed has scent glands in the cheeks that give a pleasant musky odor.
  • Their slender body structure makes them incredibly agile, and can get the upper hand in the most challenging races, even on rough terrain.
  • Afghan Hounds have a field of vision of around 270 degrees thanks to the shape of their head.


1. Afghan Hound. (2023, April 20). In Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afghan_Hound

2. Kominek, Eddie. “Afghan Hound Breed Standard.” Afghan Hound Club of America, Inc, afghanhoundclubofamerica.org/index.php/information/breed-standard.

3. Fossum TW, et al. “Chylothorax in 34 Dogs.” – PubMed – NCBI.” National Center for Biotechnology Information, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3721989

4. “Afghan Hound Breed Health Survey by Kennel Club,” UK’s largest dog organization: https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/media/16214/afghan%20hound.pdf

About the author: Driven by his lifelong passion for dogs and an insatiable curiosity about their diverse breeds, Pablo Pascua founded dogbreedsfaq.com. Through this website, he seeks to expand his knowledge and share his findings with fellow dog enthusiasts. Having owned several dogs throughout his life, Pablo’s experiences have fueled his interest in learning more about these beloved animals. His mission is to provide accurate and comprehensive information to help pet owners make informed decisions about their furry companion.