With the looks of a glamor model, and the physique of an athlete, the Afghan is an instantly recognizable dog breed.
These impressive dogs can be as tall as 29 inches at the shoulder and commonly weigh up to 58 pounds. They have an impressive coat that is long, sleek and lustrous. Any color is permitted within the breed standard, although white markings are not allowed.
Another common, characteristic is a black facemask, while some dogs also have a long Manchu-like moustache, called a ‘mandarin’. As the name suggests, the breed originated in Afghanistan where they were used for hunting small game. They were originally introduced to the west in the 19th century, but by the end of the First World War had all but disappeared.
Then in the 1920’s several dogs were brought to Scotland as breeding stock. These dogs caused quite a stir on the dog show circuit and were soon recognized by the major international kennel clubs. Virtually all of the Afghans we see today, descend directly from this group.
Afghans are an ancient breed, and have genetic markers in common with wolves, making them close descendants of the original domesticated dogs.The Afghan temperament is a perfect match for its stylish looks. They are known to be aloof, stand-offish, and have even been described as ‘snobbish’. They are intelligent dogs, but with a stubbornness that makes them a challenge to train.
Some even describe their temperament as cat-like, in their ability to totally disregard you. Put it this way, an Afghan will obey if he sees a good reason to, otherwise he just won’t.
That aside, the Afghan is still an excellent pet that forms close bonds with its immediate human ‘pack’. They just take a while to accept strangers, and will usually ignore someone who hasn’t earned their trust.
Like most other sight hound breeds, the Afghan can be quite lazy. They enjoy nothing more than curling up on the couch for a good nap, and normally see no reason to exert themselves.
Outdoors though, it’s an entirely different story. The hunting instinct kicks in and they will chase anything that moves, small animals in particular.The Afghan may look glamorous, but it is no softie. These are strong healthy dogs who have very few serious health problems. The major health issues relate to the eyes, with cataracts a particular problem.
If you were thinking that the luxuriant coat requires a lot of work, you’d be right. The Afghan is a high maintenance dog that must be brushed daily. In addition you’ll need to to have the hair trimmed regularly in order for it to keep its shape.
Afghans were bred for hunting, but despite this are not really suited to outdoor living. Their impressive coat provides very little protection in a cold climate, and besides that they simply prefer to be sleeping on the couch than under the stars.
Good names for a Afghan Hound can be hard to find. The best advice is to search one of the online dog names, sites, and my personal favorite is Puppy Names HQ. This site has thousands of excellent dog names, including a mega-database of male dog names to pick from.