Meet the breed: Afghan Hound

Apr 12, 2014 at 9:00 a.m. ET
Image: Markus Guh/Photodisc/Getty Images

Choosing to add a furry friend to your growing household is a long-term commitment, and picking a breed that fits your lifestyle presents the key to a happy home. With over 160 American Kennel Club-recognized breeds, that decision can seem overwhelming. We're here to help you meet the breed that's right for you. If you're looking for an athletic, cat-like, larger pup to add to the fam, we've got everything there is to know about the Afghan Hound.


  • checkHigh-maintenance grooming
  • checkOne-family dog
  • checkPlayful
  • checkAloof
  • checkNatural hunter


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Bred as a hunting dog, the Afghan Hound is a long-limbed pup who loves to stretch his legs by chasing small prey. Typically an aloof pet, these hounds will be suspicious of those they don't know and tend to have a cat-like personality. Sometimes difficult to train, this goofy-natured breed is considered a noble, elegant and kind pet. In need of a strong and consistent training regimen, these pups can learn if the time to teach is devoted to them.

Breed standards

  • AKC group: Hound
  • UKC group: Sighthound and Pariah
  • Average lifespan: 12 - 14 years
  • Average size: 50 - 64 pounds
  • Coat appearance: Thick, fine, silky
  • Coloration: Red, off-white, black
  • Hypoallergenic: Yes
  • Other identifiers: Tall and slender with long, thin heads and defined skull bone; powerful jawline with black nose and long, outward muzzle; black, almond-shaped eyes; strong neck and flat ears; scooped abdomen, elongated tail, thick, furry and slick coat; lengthy front and hind legs
  • Possible alterations: May have white markings; coat is kept long with face exposed

Is this breed right for you?

The Afghan Hound is a playful pup who needs and loves a lot of exercise. Great companions with a love of the outdoors, Afghan Hounds need a home that will give them plenty of space to stretch their legs. Best as one person's pet or as the only pet of the family with older children, Afghan Hounds will need an owner that can devote plenty of time to grooming their long, beautiful, thick coat.

breed characteristics

A dream day in the life of an Afghan Hound

Waking up early in the morning with a bowl of chow, the Afghan Hound is ready and waiting for his morning grooming session. After a good brushing, he's yearning to get out and explore the outside world. He'll chase squirrels right off the property while his owner applauds, and after a few laps around the backyard, he'll engage in a wonderful game of play with his master. Going inside for a nice nap, he'll sleep at his owner's feet as he's lovingly brushed down for the second time that day. Another few runs in the yard and the Afghan Hound will happily snuggle down in his dog bed.

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