The Afghan Hound came from the cold mountains in the Middle East and expanded from there to Persia and Afghanistan. They have long, thick flowing hair to protect them from the sub-zero temperatures. They come in many different colors such as gold, brown, white, and black. According to the American Kennel Club, the Afghan Hound is the 113th most popular dog breed in the United States. They have a high energy level and they are big dogs so they need a large fenced-in yard to play in. Apartment life would not be recommended. They were originally bred to flush out rabbits and gazelle for hunting with nomadic tribes but now they are mostly kept as companion pets.
The Afghan Hound is thought to be one of the oldest of the domestic dog breeds, dating all the way back to 4,000 BC when they stayed hidden in the mountains of Afghanistan in the Middle East. That is where it got its name. However, the breed was brought to Britain by the British soldiers in the 1920s and then to the United States in 1926, when the breed was officially recognized by the AKC. There are 13 different types of Afghan Hounds recorded in Afghanistan and they won Best in Show at the competition in Westminster in 1957 and 1983. Because they are naturally excellent hunters, they were used thousands of years ago by the nomads in India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan to hunt large game. According to the AKC, the Afghan Hound was able to take down both small and large animals such as antelopes and leopards by grabbing them by the neck. It is said that this breed was commonly owned by leaders of war such as Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan. Interestingly, Zeppo Marx of the Marx Brothers was one of the first owners of Afghan Hounds in the United States. Another interesting fact is that the Afghan Hound became extremely popular in 1981 after Mattel introduced Barbie’s pet Afghan Hound named Beauty. In addition, the first dog to be cloned was an Afghan Hound named Snuppy. This was done in 2005 in South Korea by using skin cells of a three-year-old Afghan Hound and 123 surrogate mothers. There were three successful pregnancies. However, one was a miscarriage and the other died of pneumonia right after birth. Snuppy was healthy and lived to be 10 years old.
The Afghan Hound is a good family dog and tolerates children (with supervision) and other pets well although they are not overly playful. They prefer to remain aloof and tend to watch the antics of children and other family pets rather than join in. Although, they do seem to like to chase cats a lot when outdoors so keep them on a leash. They are also usually very wary and standoffish with strangers. It is good to let them get used to a new person before trying to introduce them. This is an independent and sensitive dog that is not overly demonstrative and they have been known to tear up some property if left alone too long. Your house should be childproof for your Afghan Hound due to their intelligence. The Afghan Hound is easy to train and very smart, learning things quickly. In fact, they may teach you a little something.