Afghan Hounds are an ancient and powerful breed of sighthound that typically stands more than two feet tall at the shoulder. Once bred and trained to take down wild animals ranging from hares to snow leopards, these canines are also known for their elegance and regal bearing. Like other sighthounds, this breed loves to run, clocking in with an average running speed of forty miles per hour, has an extremely high prey drive, and a curious and independent nature. These dogs can be distinguished from other large sighthounds by their long, silky coats which tend to require a great deal of grooming.
Like other sighthounds, Afghan Hounds were bred to hunt and take down game. They are independent thinkers with an extremely high prey drive, bred to chase and bring down prey such as hare and mountain antelope as well as to provide protection from local predators such as jackals and snow leopards. Lure coursing is an emerging dog sport in which a dogs with high prey drives can satisfy their urges to chase in a safe and controlled manner by chasing a lure, usually a white plastic bag, which is attached to a series of pulleys that moves the bag quickly around the field in a zig-zag pattern to mimic the speed and quick direction changes of fleeing game.
The activity of canicross is the sport of running with either one or two dogs connected to you by way of a bungee line, which allows both you and the canine or canines you are exercising with more freedom when you are out adventuring together. This set up allows the human to run faster and with more stability by freeing up their hands and also allows the dog to extend themselves further by allowing the human participant to run faster. While any breed at all can participate in canicross activities, it is an activity particularly well-suited to sighthounds like the Afghan Hound.
A flirt pole consists of a pole, a line, and a lure, like a tug toy or rope. It looks very similar to many cat toys and is used in much the same way, to entice your animal to show their more athletic or acrobatic side by running and jumping in an attempt to catch the lure on the end of the line. Canine flirt poles are quite a bit larger than the average cat toy, usually with a pole that is between four and six feet long. This particular activity is enjoyed most by dogs with a high prey drive, and it can help your dog improve their agility, stamina, and in some cases, their ability to follow commands when in a state of excitement.
Afghan Hounds typically require a great deal of attention when being groomed. Try making the experience a little more pleasant and relaxing for both of you by the addition of calming elements to the atmosphere like soothing music, soft lighting, and gentle, pet-safe aromatherapy oil defusers.
This breed is well-known for being both fast and agile. Training an Afghan Hound can sometimes be a challenge due to their independent nature, but watching an elegant and well-trained Afghan Hound perform agility work is a treat that is certainly worth the effort.
Afghan Hounds can become destructively curious when they are not given enough mental stimulation as well as the opportunity to run on a regular basis but are typically aloof but mild-mannered, although they can occasionally show a more affectionate and clownish demeanor towards their human and canine friends and family. The activities we have described are perfect for this clever canine and engaging in them will give you a happy and healthy companion.