The Afghan Breed Standard :
Gives the impression of strength and dignity, combining speed and power. Head held proudly.
Eastern or Oriental expression is typical of breed. The Afghan looks at and through one.
Dignified and aloof, with a certain keen fierceness.
Head and Skull
Skull long, not too narrow, with prominent occiput. Foreface long with punishing jaws and slight stop. Skull well balanced and mounted by a long ‘top-knot’. Nose preferably black, liver permissible in light-coloured dogs.
Dark for preference, but golden colour not debarred. Nearly triangular in appearance, slanting slightly upwards from inner corner to outer corner.
Set low and well back, carried close to head. Covered with long silky hair.
Jaws strong, with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws. Level bite tolerated.
Long, strong, with proud carriage of head.
Shoulders long and sloping, set well back, well muscled and strong without being loaded. Upper arm long and sloping. In profile this brings the elbow vertically below the wither. Forelegs straight and well boned, elbows close to ribcage, turning neither in nor out.
Back level, moderate length, well muscled, back falling slightly away to stern. Loin straight, broad and rather short. Hipbones rather prominent and wide apart.A fair spring of ribs and good depth of chest.
Powerful, well bent and well turned stifles. Great length between hip and hock, with comparatively short distance between hock and foot.
Forefeet strong and very large both in length and breadth, and covered with long, thick hair; toes arched. Pasterns long and springy, pads well down on ground. Hindfeet long, but not quite as broad as forefeet; covered with long thick hair.
Not too short. Set on low with ring at end. Raised when in action. Sparsely feathered.
Smooth and springy with a style of high order.
Long and very fine texture on the ribs, fore and hindquarters and flanks. In mature dogs, from the shoulder backwards and along the saddle, hair short and close. Hair long from the forehead backwards, with a distinct silky ‘topknot’. On the foreface hair short, ears and legs well coated. Pasterns can be bare. Coat must develop naturally. Any evidence of clipping or scissoring should be penalised.
All colours acceptable.
Ideal height: dogs: 68-74 cms (27-29 ins); bitches: 63-69 cms (25-27 ins).
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.
Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
QUESTIONS OFTEN ASKED ABOUT THE AFGHAN HOUND:
Q. WHAT KIND OF DOGS ARE AFGHAN HOUNDS?
A. Afghan Hounds are Sighthounds - dogs that hunt their prey by sight, chase it and kill it. They are swift in the field and independent. Afghan Hounds like to make their own decisions.
Q. WHAT IS THE AFGHAN HOUND TEMPERAMENT AND DISPOSITION?
A. Afghan Hounds have an aloof and elegant air and seem to know that they are kings and queens to be obeyed. With their good friends they can behave foolishly and have a good sense of humour, I once heard them described as the ‘Peter Pans’ of all breeds, I liked that as they never seem to grow old. With strangers they are rather reserved. Afghan hounds become deeply attached to their people.
Q. WHAT ABOUT GROOMING?
This adorable puppy grew to be a beautiful adult.
She is beautiful because her owner has good grooming habits!
A. There are many books on grooming and usually there are people available to show you how to care for your Afghan Hound. If you have only one Afghan Hound, a few hours per week of regular bathing, brushing and blowdrying will suffice.
Q. WILL I NEED A FENCED AREA?
A fenced or walled garden is a must!
A. DEFINITELY YES. The Afghan Hound is so fast that he can be in the next county before you even begin to give chase. ALWAYS HAVE YOUR AFGHAN HOUND UNDER CONTROL and never turn him loose unless he is within a fenced area. The fence must be of sufficient height because Afghan Hounds seem to have springs in their legs and can jump very high even from a standing position, some can clear 6 foot with a blink of an eye!
Q. HOW ABOUT THE AMOUNT OF EXERCISE NEEDED?
A. A good long walk on lead is always good. If you are lucky to live near a fenced playground or field where you can turn him loose for a while - great! Remember in hot weather your dog should not be made to run, so no jogging with him for long distances in the heat of the day. Your dog will enjoy running along side of you, on lead, for short periods.
Q. ARE AFGHAN HOUNDS GOOD WITH CHILDREN?
A. Some are and some are not. A lot depends upon the kind of relationship developed by the parents and the example set by them. Youngsters can be taught to be gentle with dogs and told that a dog's only defense is biting. In any case, very small children should NEVER be left alone with any dog, no matter how good they are together.
Q. HOW CAN I HAVE A HAPPY, WELL ADJUSTED PUPPY?
A. First of all, be consistent in all things so that your dog learns what he may or may not do. Be sure that your Afghan Hound has a crate or pen somewhere inside your house where he may sleep, or to where he may retire when he wants to be alone. Never put him in it for punishment, however. If he goes into his 'refuge' when you are away, he will be safe from harm and your home and furnishing will be safe from destruction. Afghan puppies can become destructive when bored as can any dog.
Q. DOES AN AFGHAN HOUND MAKE A GOOD PET?
A. If you want a dog who will be your slave, don't get an Afghan Hound. If you admire the beauty of this breed and appreciate an independent spirit, the Afghan Hound may be for you.
Q. HOW CAN I FIND A GOOD AFGHAN HOUND?
A. Go to a dog show in your area and talk to the people showing their Afghan Hounds. Contact the current corresponding secretary of the Afghan Hound Association of Southern Africa or the Kennel Union of South Africa who can refer you to Afghan Hound breeders in your area. If at all possible, select a dog from a breeder who will show you how to care properly for an Afghan Hound. If you are interested in finding an older dog contact the Afghan Hound Association of Southern Africa.
Q. WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT OF A BREEDER WHO SELLS ME A PUPPY?
A. The breeder should be willing to help you in all phases of the care and feeding of your Afghan Hound puppy. He should furnish KUSA registration. The Breeder should be eager to show you the sire and dam and the other puppies of the litter. In short, the breeder's knowledge comes with the dog.
Q. HOW DO I PICK A PUPPY?
A. Look at as many puppies as you can before making up your mind. Read all about the Afghan Hound. A lot depends on what you are looking for - a show dog or a family pet. Don't buy on impulse! Remember all puppies are cute. You are selecting a companion for a lot of years so be judicious. Be sure to visit responsible breeders who will show you some of their other dogs as well as the puppies.
Q. ARE YOU PLANNING TO SHOW OR BREED YOUR AFGHAN HOUND?
If so, it is essential that you obtain more detailed information on the breed by attending dog shows and visiting as many breeders as possible. Showing or breeding requires a serious commitment to the breed, as well as a substantial investment in both time and money. When purchasing an Afghan Hound of show, or breeding caliber, take the time to learn about the various types and bloodlines, as well as the basic attributes and faults of each. This is a breed in which competition is fierce in the show ring; because of the breed's special requirements, the demand is minimal for puppies. Expecting show championship , or financial return, on a litter of pups is a risk, therefore, responsible breeders are involved in breeding for one reason: The love of their Afghan Hounds.