Afghan Hound

AKC Hound Group


Photo Copyright © Cook PhoDOGraphy. All rights reserved.

Photo Copyright © Cook PhoDOGraphy. All rights reserved.

The Afghan Hound is one of the most ancient breeds according to both DNA evidence and ancient art. This elegant sighthound was used as a hunter of many types of game, including hare, gazelle, and snow leopards, over the rough terrain of Afghanistan. He was also used by shepherds as a herder and watchdog. An extremely fast and agile runner, the Afghan Hound pursues game by sight. His thick coat protects against temperature extremes. In Europe and America, he has become a luxurious pet because of his aristocratic beauty.


The Afghan Hound is a sighthound with an aristocratic bearing. It is tall and slender with a long, narrow, refined head; silky topknot; and powerful jaws. The occiput is quite prominent. There is little or no stop. The muzzle is slightly convex (“Roman nose”) with a black nose. The teeth should meet in a level or scissors bite. The dark eyes are almond shaped. The ears lie flat to the head. The neck is long and strong. The height at the withers should be about the same as the distance from chest to rump. Squarely built, the Afghan moves with head and tail held high. The back should be almost level and the abdomen well tucked up. The hipbones are quite prominent. The front legs are strong and straight and the feet are large and covered with long hair. The tail has a curl or ring at the tip. The coat is long and silky on most of the body and legs, but short on the face and saddle, and sometimes, wrists. Colors are cream, black, black and tan, blue, brindle, and domino, all with or without a dark mask. Basically, all colors are seen except for spotted or merle. White markings are discouraged.

Key Facts

  • Height: 26 to 28 in. (male); 24 to 26 in. (female)
  • Size: Large
  • Weight: 58 to 64 lbs. (male); 45 to 55 (female)
  • Availability: Might take some effort to find
  • Talents: Hunting by sight, watchdog, tricks, racing, and lure coursing


A special air-cushioned brush or pin brush is useful for grooming. The breed is very sensitive and shouldn’t be bullied or treated harshly. The Afghan Hound needs a minimum of a half an hour free galloping per day in an enclosed area, as many do not return when called. Afghans can be difficult to housebreak. Some are timid and high strung.


Aristocratic, dignified, somewhat aloof, but very sweet, loyal, affectionate, and sensitive. Has been described as “a king of dogs.” Majestic, elegant, noble, and courageous. Suspicious of strangers, but not hostile to them.


  • Children: Best with older, considerate children
  • Friendliness: Reserved with strangers
  • Trainability: Slightly difficult to train
  • Independence: Very independent
  • Dominance: Low
  • Other Pets: Generally good with other dogs; do not trust with non-canine pets
  • Combativeness: Not very dog-aggressive
  • Noise: Average barker
  • Indoors: Relatively inactive indoors
  • Owner: Not recommended for novice owners


  • Grooming: Daily grooming required
  • Trimming and Stripping: Little to no trimming or stripping needed
  • Coat: Long coat
  • Shedding: Average shedder
  • Exercise: Needs lots of exercise
  • Jogging: An excellent jogging companion.
  • Apartments: Not recommended for apartments unless regularly exercised
  • Outdoor Space: Best with large yard or acreage
  • Climate: Does well in most climates
  • Longevity: Average 10 to 12 years

Useful Links

AKC® Afghan Hound Breed Standard

Afghan Hound Breed Club

Search for a Breeder

Rescue Organizations

Books about the Afghan Hound

Afghan Hound Gifts