VCA Chicago North Animal Hospital

Afghan Hound

Afghan Hound

Basic Afghan Hound Information

  • Lifespan: 11 - 13 years
  • Height: 24 - 28 inches
  • Weight: 50 - 60 pounds

Medical Conditions Seen in Afghan Hounds

Afghan Hound Traits

  • Joggin Partner
  • Lap Dog
  • Good with Children
  • Warm Weather
  • Cold Weather
  • Grooming Requirements
  • Shedding
  • Barking
  • Ease of Training

Afghan Hound History

  • DNA studies have shown that the Afghan hound is one of the oldest breeds still in existence.
  • Afghan hounds originated in Afghanistan, where they were used by nomadic tribes to chase down hare and gazelle over rocky mountainous terrain. They are extremely agile and excellent jumpers, as well as being extremely fleet.
  • The first Afghan hounds came to England in the early 1900s. At the time they were called Barukhzy hounds.
  • A particularly striking dog named Zardin was used as the model for the standard of perfection.
  • The breed became known as one of the most glamorous of dogs, and was often seen with celebrities.
  • In the 1970s, the Afghan became very popular as a status dog.
  • The breed's popularity has since fallen so that it is now unusual to see one outside of the show ring.

Afghan Hound Behavior Concerns

  • Makes a loyal, gentle, but independent companion.
  • Can be clownish and playful, but its independent nature may make play frustrating for children. It is not a retriever at heart, but does like to chase and run.
  • It is inclined to run off and is not very good at coming when called.
  • It loves to hunt and chase small animals outdoors. It is good with indoor pets, including cats, however.
  • A one family dog, tending to be aloof toward strangers.
  • Adequate watchdog but poor protection dog.
  • Learns quickly, but is easily bored.
  • Does best with reward-based training involving food or games.

Afghan Hound Suggested Exercises

  • Makes a quiet housedog as long as its exercise needs are met.
  • Requires a long walk or jog, or a run in an enclosed area, every day.
  • Most Afghans should not be let off leash unless the area is securely fenced.
  • A few games and tricks provide needed mental exercise.
  • Its long coat provides good protection against cold weather.

Afghan Hound Grooming

  • Coat is long and soft. Some coats (called "cotton coats") tend to mat more than others.
  • The coat needs brushing and combing every two to three days---daily when the puppy coat is being shed.
  • Weekly bathing will reduce tangling.
  • Neutered and spayed dogs tend to lose the breed's characteristic saddle, the area of short hair along the backline.
  • Shedding is below average.

Suggested Afghan Hound Nutritional Needs

  • Afghans are naturally very thin. Their conformation is such that even in good weight their hip bones are prominent. Feel under the coat to make sure they are not too thin. You should be able to feel the ribs, but they should not be too noticeable.
  • Adult dogs should be fed a balanced diet, with restricted calories if the dog starts to gain too much weight.

Did you know?

  • Grapes and raisins are harmful to dogs.
  • Some dog parasites are transferable to humans.
  • Many common pet ailments may be detected early and prevented by visiting your veterinarian twice yearly - saving both time, money, and most importantly, ensuring the best quality of life for your dog.

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Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

As part of the VCA family, we have over 83 specialty hospitals across the US and Canada which provide referral specialty care, so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: behavior, cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, integrative medicine, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology, rehabilitation, reproduction, and surgery.

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