So you think you want an Afghan Hound? Some thing you should know before you make the committment to an Afghan Hound is that they are NOT normal dogs. They are more cat-like than dog-like. Some characteristics of the Afghan Hound are listed below.
- Independent thinkers – Afghans are instinctively and genetically ‘self-thinkers’. This can sometimes make training challenging. This does not mean they can’t be trained you may have to adapt creative methods for training. When asking for a ‘come’, the Afghan will think ‘what’s in it for me?’
- Off-Leash is not possible with Afghans – As much as they love you, they are sight hounds and can have a high prey drive. They can spot a bunny out 300 yards away and take off at 30 mph and be gone on the chase. Their intensity and focus of the chase can lead them miles away before they realize that you aren’t around and they are lost. Off-Leash in contained areas such as an empty ball field is great exercise.
- They can clear a 6 foot fence from a standing position – If they want on the other side they can get there.
- Their coat requires routine maintenance – Anywhere from a weekly bath to a monthly bath (depending on length of hair, texture of hair, activity). The long hair will mat and you will either have to learn to be a groomer, or have to pay a groomer to groom them. I have been told the average cost of taking an Afghan to the groomer is $100. Letting them get extremely matted is painful for the dog and very uncomfortable.
- Exercise is required – This exercise can be in the form of yard time, walking, and hiking. They are not high energetic dogs are perfectly comfortable curling up on your couch inside the house. They are not demanding for their exercise but it should be routinely provided.