Written by Doris Donnerman (last updated April 3, 2009)
The Afghan Hound is one of the oldest breeds in the world, sometimes being referred to as "the dog of Noah's Ark." It is also a fact that the type has not changed in centuries. The Afghan Hound derives its name from Afghanistan. Still the origin is not confined to that country as it can be found all along the Borderland and Northern India.
In its native land the Afghan Hound has many uses. It is valuable as a guard of flocks and herds. He is a good hunter of deer and other small animals. The Afghan Hound usually hunts as couples. They have been known to give a good fight with leopards and animals of like ferociousness and can hold their own.
Sinai, the small peninsula between the Gulf of Suez and the Gulf of Akaba is said to be the spot where the breed originated. This area was a part of ancient Egypt in the period 3,000 to 4,000 B.C. A papyrus of that section and era mentions the dog many times. It has been referred as "cynocephalus," which, freely translated means "monkey-faced hound."
The Afghan Hound is, indeed, a product of the wide expanses. He would probably never have prospered in urban surroundings. He is peculiarly equipped to negotiate rough and waste country with comparative ease. The shape of his feet allow him to travel over desert sands at good speed. The Afghan Hound's hip bones are set higher and much wider apart than in the ordinary dog. These allow him to move over hill country and uneven ground easily, and to turn at great speed. They also give him a peculiar gait.
The disposition of the Afghan Hound is naturally bold and courageous. He is very much a one man dog. He is reluctant to take up with strangers which give the impression that he is shy when in reality the appearance of shyness is an expression of his desire to be left alone by those with whom he does not know.
In 1907 Afghan Hound was introduced to the British public and soon the breed became popular in England. It wasn't until the late 1930's that the Afghan Hound made it first appearance in America. When the Afghan Hound was first introduced it attracted immediate attention, still it did not gain much popularity. The popularity in America has had a gradual, but steady increase.
The Afghan Hound has the appearance of great style and beauty. He is an aristocrat and his whole appearance is one of dignity and aloofness with no trace of plainness. When the Afghan Hound is running free he will move as at a gallop with a powerful stride.
The male dog stands between twenty-six to twenty-eight inches and weighs about sixty pounds. While the females stand between twenty-four to twenty-six inches and weighs about fifty pounds.
Additional information on the Afghan Hound can be found at the website for the American Kennel Club.
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