Group: Hound Group. A gaze or "sight" hound-uses sight to track, hunt and kill prey.
Purpose of Breed: Originally bred for hunting gazelles and wolves, guarding and protecting villages and flocks, and herding livestock.
Country of Origin: Afghanistan (1600s); also native to Pakistan and India
Average Size: 50-60 lbs and 25 to 27 inches tall (at shoulder)
Color(s): All colors, including several combinations.
Coat Type: Long and silky along the body except the back saddle area and forward from the brow on the head.
Grooming: Afghan Hounds are renowned for their long silky coats that require dedicated grooming to maintain. The hair has to stay on the dog for a long time in order to grow to its full length; they are not seasonal shedders. They have very little oil in their coats so do not have doggy odor. This breed requires standard care for eyes, ears, pads and nails.
Exercise Needs: These dogs are high-strung, athletic and extremely fast. They require lots of daily exercise. Because of their speed and ability to jump, they should not be allowed to run loose except in areas enclosed with sufficiently high fences.
Temperament: Afghan Hounds were bred with the ability to make decisions on their own, a characteristic they have maintained over centuries. This can make them aloof and prone to ignoring requests. They are lively and affectionate companions around their family and best suited to homes that appreciate their spirit and are committed to maintaining their appearance.
Health Issues: Juvenile cataracts, some allergies, bloat, sensitivity to anesthesia and a progressive paralysis unique to the breed.
Life Expectancy: Averages 10-12 years
Trivia: The Afghan's long silky coat is an adaptation to the extreme conditions found in the high elevations of its native region-cold nighttime temperatures and searing daytime heat.
More Information: Afghan Club of America, Inc.
About The Author: Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at http://www.sustainable-media.com
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