Afghan Hound

Afghan Hound

Group: Hounds

Origin: Afghanistan


    – Males: 27 inches, ± one inch
    – Females: 25 inches, ± one inch


    – Males: approx. 60 lbs
    – Females: approx. 50 lbs
Afghan Hound - Zara
Can Ch. Sha Zahn Zanzara of Obiwan

Photo ©Zanzara Afghans

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Breed Profile

The Afghan Hound, a member of the Sighthound family, is an aristocrat with a proud and dignified look. The breed was first discovered on the border country between Afghanistan and India. Orginally bred to course game across mountainous terrain, the Afghan is very agile and moves with grace and ease — he can trot at speeds of up to 12 mph for hours on end. This is a breed that needs room to run and requires regular exercise.

The Afghan has an aloof and elegant manner, very devoted and loyal to his family, and rather reserved with strangers. Early socialization is very important for the breed as they can be overly brave or extremely shy. Known to be independent, free thinkers, the Afghan can be challenging when it comes to training.

Today, the Afghan is mostly seen as a companion, competing in the show ring, at lure coursing events, as well as in agility and obedience trials.

One of the Afghan’s most distinguishing features is his elegant, long and silky coat.

Health Issues

In general, the Afghan Hound is known to be a very healthy breed; however, like all breeds certain genetic disorders have been known to occur, including: Cataracts, Hip Dysplasia, and Hypothyroidism.

Two additional health concerns should be noted:

  1. Anesthetics — Like all members of the Sighthound family, the Afghan Hound is sensitive to a number of anesthetics. It is very important to discuss this with your Veterinarian in advance of any required surgery.
  2. Bloat — As with any deep-chested dog, the occurrence of Bloat or Gastric Torsion is a real possibility in the Afghan Hound. If you are not familiar with this condition, it is absolutely necessary to learn about it and know the symptoms — This is a real emergency and a life threatening condition that requires immediate Veterinary attention. See Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV) – Bloat in the Health and Nutrition section of Canada’s Guide to Dogs for more information and First Aid for Bloat for an article describing some of the things you can do if you are faced with this situation.

If you are considering the adoption of a Afghan Hound puppy, or any breed, it is very important to be selective in choosing a responsible and reputable breeder. Ensure that the prospective puppy’s parents have all health clearances. Breeding of any dog should not be done until after they have been proven to be free of evidence of significant hereditary diseases. (For more information on selecting a breeder, see the articles on the General Information page.)

Recommended Health Screening:

For the Afghan Hound breed, the CHICNote 1 database includes health screenings for the following:

  • Hip Dysplasia;
  • Eye Examination by a board Ophthalmologist; and
  • Testing for Autoimmune Thyroiditis.

Additional Health Resources:


Grooming Information


Training Resources

  • Afghan Hound Care and Training
  • Training — For training information, see this growing section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website for tips, articles, as well as listings of training centres across Canada.


Additional Information


*NOTE 1: CHIC – The Canine Health Information Center “is a database of consolidated health screening results from multiple sources. Co-sponsored by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and the American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Health Foundation, CHIC works with parent clubs to identify health screening protocols appropriate for individual breeds. Dogs tested in accordance with the parent club established requirements, that have their results registered and made available in the public domain are issued CHIC numbers.” To learn more, visit:

*NOTE 2: The Fédération Cynologique International (FCI) is the World Canine Organization, which includes 91 members and contract partners (one member per country) that each issue their own pedigrees and train their own judges. The FCI recognizes 344 breeds, with each being the “property” of a specific country. The “owner” countries write the standards of these breeds in co-operation with the Standards and Scientific Commissions of the FCI, and the translation and updating are carried out by the FCI. The FCI is not a breed registry nor does it issue pedigrees.

Breed Listing

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