The Afghan Hound is a sighthound ““ a dog that hunts by sight, as opposed to a scenthound). It is one of the most ancient dog breeds, dating back thousands of years. It is a tall dog, standing 24 to 29 inches and weighing 45 to 60 pounds. It is distinguished by its size as well as its thick, silky coat and its ring-curled tail. Other names for the Afghan Hound include the Balkh Hound, Baluchi Hound, Barutzy Hound and Kabul Hound.
The coat of the Afghan Hound may be any color, and many have a black facial mask. The long coat requires frequent grooming. The breed has exceptionally high hipbones and a unique small ring on the end of the tail.
Despite the age of the breed, the American Kennel Club did not recognize the Afghan Hound until the 1930s. An Afghan Hound has taken the top honor at only two Kennel Club dog shows, one in 1957 and the other in 1983, which was also the last time a Hound was awarded Best in Show.
The lifespan of the Afghan Hound is typically around 12 years which is common for breeds its size. The health issues associated with the Afghan Hound are allergies and cancer. Because of its low level of body fat, the Afghan Hound also has sensitivity to anesthesia. Many die of cancer or heart problems.
In 2005, an Afghan Hound was cloned. Snuppy, the result, was the first genuine dog clone in history.
The Afghan Hound can be dignified, yet clownish in temperament. It often exhibits a lack of obedience, because of its independence and stubbornness. Afghan Hounds often tend to ignore commands. They are seldom used today for hunting, and more often used for coursing events and as show dogs.