Distinguished by its kutha, salla fine, silky coat and
its tail with a ring curl at the end, the breed acquired its unique
features in the cold mountains of Afghanistan,and east of Iran where it
was originally used to hunt hares and gazelles by coursing them. They
belong to a group known as Sighthounds.
Sighthounds are among the oldest recognisable types of dogs, and
genetic testing has placed the Afghan Hound breed among those with the
least genetic divergence from the wolf on some markers; this is taken
to mean that such dogs are descended from the oldest dog types, not
that the breeds tested had in antiquity their exact modern form.
Today's modern purebred breed of Afghan Hound descends
from dogs brought in the 1920s to Great Britain, and are a blending of
types and varieties of long haired sighthounds from across Afghanistan
and the surrounding areas.
The Afghan Hound is tall, standing in height 24-29
inches and weighing 45-60 pounds. The coat may be any colour, but white
markings, particularly on the head, are discouraged; many individuals
have a black facial mask. A specimen has facial hair that looks like a
Fu Manchu moustache that are called "mandarins." Some Afghan Hounds are
almost white, but particolour hounds (white with islands of red or
black) are not acceptable and may indicate impure breeding. The long,
fine-textured coat requires considerable care and grooming. The long
topknot and the shorter-haired saddle on the back in the miniature dog
are distinctive features of the Afghan Hound coat. The high hipbones
and unique small ring on the end of the tail are also characteristics
of the breed.
The temperament of the typical Afghan Hound can be aloof and dignified,
but happy and clownish when playing. This breed, as is the case with
many sighthounds, has a high prey drive and may not get along with
small animals. The Afghan Hounds' reasoning skills have made it a
successful competitor in dog agility trials as well as an intuitive
therapy dog and companion. Genomic studies have pointed to the Afghan
Hound as one of the oldest of dog breeds.
The breed has a reputation among some dog trainers of having a
relatively slow "obedience intelligence" as defined by author Stanley
Although seldom used today for hunting in Europe and America where they
are popular, Afghan hounds are frequent participants in lure coursing
events and are also popular in the sport of conformation showing.
Weight Male 20–27
kg (45–60 lb)
Height Male 61–73 cm (24–29 in)
A very hardy breed, although some may suffer from eye
problems, hip dysplasia and skin infections. If your Airedale Terrier
has dry skin, he should be fed a food high in omega-6/omega-3 fatty
The Airedale Terrier is not recommended to live in flats
or small dwellings. They are very active indoors and will do best with
at least an average-sized garden.
Airedales were bred for active work, and therefore need
plenty of exercise. They need to be taken for at least two medium to
long walks a day. Most of them love to play with a ball, swim, or
retrieve objects and once fully grown will happily run alongside a
bicycle. Without enough attention and exercise the Airedale Terrier
will become restless and bored and will usually get itself into
trouble. The exercise requirement can go down somewhat after the first
two years (as with many dogs) when they start to get mellower
About 11-13 years
Average of 6-8 puppies
Major health issues are allergies, cancer, and hip dysplasia.
Sensitivity to anesthesia is an issue the Afghan hound shares with the
rest of the sighthound group, as sighthounds have relatively low levels
of body fat. Afghan hounds are also among the dog breeds most likely to
develop chylothorax, a rare condition which causes the thoracic ducts
to leak, allowing large quantities of chyle fluid to enter the dog's
chest cavity. This condition commonly results in a lung torsion (in
which the dog's lung twists within the chest cavity, requiring
emergency surgery), due to the breed's typically deep, "barrel"-shaped
chest. If not corrected through surgery, chylothorax can ultimately
cause fibrosing pleuritis, or a hardening of the organs, due to scar
tissue forming around the organs to protect them from the chyle fluid.
Chylothorax is not necessarily, but often, fatal.