Few stories mix reality with fiction as much as that of the Afghan hound, a gallant exotic breed of great beauty. Safeguarded by the Afghans as a great treasure, this greyhound it was not discovered by Europeans until the late 19th century. Despite the appearance of the World Wars and the extinction of the European line, the passion that had awakened achieved its reappearance and survival in the West.
If there is a king of dogs, that is the Afghan hound, a mysterious dog that captivates you at the first glance. Look with which the Afghan hound Kabul captivated none other than Pablo Picasso and made him earn a place in art from that blue armchair in his famous painting "Femme au Chien" from 1962.
ORIGIN AND HISTORY OF THE AFGHAN LEBREL
Unlike other races, the origin of the Afghan hound is full of mysteries and legends. From considering it as one of the oldest races in our world to pointing out that they were chosen by Noe to be saved from the Universal Flood. And it is that tracing its history is a difficult path full of myths and few reliable data.
This lack of data has its explanation nomadic spirit of the peoples who inhabited these territories, as well as by the arrival and expansion of Islam that prohibited the representation of living beings.
Nonetheless, the most accepted theory points out its origin in Persia, from where it would reach the territory of present-day Afghanistan through trade routes. The exact date on which the arrival would have occurred is unknown, but the saluki as the race of origin of the current Afghan hound. The saluki had to adapt to the climatic and geographic diversity of Afghanistan, giving rise to different types of greyhound depending on the region in which they lived and their work, either as a hunting, defense or herding dog.
In Afghanistan there was a great protection of the breed, preventing its export abroad due to its consideration of National Treasure. It was not until late 19th and early 20th centuries when some specimens were exported to Great Britain from India. The popularity of the breed was achieved with the victory of «Zardino» on the England Dog Show in 1907 in the category of foreign dogs, establishing the first breed standard in the West. Although it would not last long, due to the outbreak of the First World War it paralyzed dog activity and its export, getting to lose the race in Europe.
After the end of the war, exports were resumed Sighthound specimens from Afghanistan, but none of them met the standard set by Zardino. At the time existed two different types according to their origin: the sighthounds of the desert regions from the south-west, with a slim and stylized complexion, with little light-colored fur; and the sighthounds of the mountainous regions of the north, with a more compact structure and a denser coat of darker tones. Both types were mixing until reaching the current breed standard.
Currently, Afghan Hounds have relegated to the background their facet of hunting, shepherd or defense dogs and are admired for their great exotic beauty. Beauty that makes them habitual of dog beauty shows, as well as cinema and advertising.
PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE AFGHAN LEBREL
The official standard for the Afghan hound was established by the International Cynological Federation in 2010. Classified in group 10 section 1 as sighthounds with long or wavy hair, their physical characteristics are:
- Hope of lifetime: between 12 and 14 years old.
- Size: big.
- Height: between 63 and 74 cm.
- Weight: between 25 and 30 kg.
- Complexion: slim.
- Extremities: long and strong.
- Eyes: almond shaped and slightly oblique towards the outside, which gives them an almost triangular appearance. Preferably dark, but golden tones are not excluded.
- Ears: long, set low, well behind the head and covered with long hair.
- Snout: long with black nose, although liver color is allowed in specimens with light fur.
- Jaws: long and powerful with scissor bite, although pincer bite is also accepted.
- Neck: long and strong to support a proud bearing of the head.
- Line: long, low and forming a ring at the tip. It is covered with a very fine hair in the shape of a feather.
- Hair: long and silky that covers your entire body. The hair in the facial region is short and lengthens from the forehead, growing a well-defined lock at the beginning.
- Coat colors: all colors are allowed.
- The mantle: black, black with gray, black with gold, blue, blue with cream, cream, red, gray and white.
- The face mask: black, white, brindle, black brindle and white brindle.
Although Afghan hounds are famous for their graceful beauty, they are very strong and agile dogs, genetically selected to withstand a whole day of hunting in high mountain. Its long and smooth fur is your best protection against low temperatures typical of mountainous climates and their large pads absorb shock produced by jogging on stony ground.
CHARACTER OF THE AFGHAN LEBREL
The Afghan Hound it is an exotic dog with an intense gaze. It is considered the most elegant of dogs, not only because of their hair, but also because of their aristocratic bearing. Despite its singularities, the Afghan hound maintains many character similarities to their sister races, like his fear of strangers.
It is a breed of contradictions. It is a free spirit, a dog with personality, brave, independent and very sensitive to its surroundings. But at the same time they are very sweet and tremendously loyal to their owner.
Although in certain circles it is considered a disobedient dog and difficult to educate, it is not so much because of its lack of intelligence, but because of the inadequate teaching methods that are used. The Afghan Hound It's a very smart dog, but also very sensible, like the other breeds of greyhound. To have a good bond, you must opt for a polite or positive education, in which active punishments are dispensed with, avoiding serious problems such as learned helplessness in the future.
The Afghan Hound it is a breed of dog bred for hunting, herding and guarding. Has a natural predisposition towards hunting prey on the move and although it does not become as fast in the race as the greyhound, it is very robust and resistant, being able to run smoothly on all types of terrain. For this reason, special attention must be paid before releasing it in unbounded spaces.
Despite what you might think, they are very calm dogs. Your ideal exercise routine would be to take a long walk with just a few minutes of running, to maintain your muscle tone.
AFGHAN LEBREL DISEASES
The Afghan hound can be affected by a series of pathologies more frequent in their racial group:
- Hip dysplasia.
- Malformation of the elbow joint.
- Gastric dilation.
- Gastric torsion.
- Chemical sensitivity to certain compounds and medical treatments, such as anesthesia.
AFGHAN LEBREL CARE
The Afghan hound is a dog that requires a lot of care. To keep your famous hair healthy and clean, needs daily brushing to avoid knots, as well as monthly baths and visits to the hairdresser to preserve its characteristic cut. Having such long and abundant hair, it is recommended check it well during brushing for possible parasites.
Thanks to the protection of his mantle, it is a breed that is friendly to cold climates. This does not mean that you should cut or shave your hair during the summer because it serves as a thermal insulator and protects you from the sun.
You have to pay special attention to his long, hairy ears, to remove excess wax or dirt that may accumulate in your ears. It is also important to keep them dry after bathing or rains to prevent infection.
As with other dogs, it must visit the vet regularly for your vaccination, deworming and health checks. You should also maintain a stable routine of daily walks and feeding.
YOU AND YOUR AFGHAN LEBREL
Are you one of the lucky ones who shares your couch with an Afghan hound? Well, don't wait any longer to share your experience with us. Go ahead and leave us a comment telling us your story. We can't wait to meet her!