Afghan Hounds are a sight to behold, some would say majestic.
With long, flowing coats and a calm, somewhat aloof demeanour, they truly are in a class of their own. And thankfully, they don't shed copious amounts of hair!
Here's a quick overview of the Afghan Hound:
- Type: Single coat
- Length: Long hair
- Shedding: Low
- Grooming: Intensive
Read on to learn more.
About Afghan Hounds
As the name suggests, this breed originates from Afghanistan. They are also among some of the oldest breeds known to man.
They aren't just 'glamour dogs' either, as many people believe. These guys are part of the sighthound breed which means they are actually full blown hunters!
They've been crowned with taking down some serious game across the mountainous regions of Afghanistan, Northern India and Pakistan back in the day, primarily due to their keen eyesight and speed.
Fast forward the present day though, and not many folks know them as skilled hunters. After making their way out of the middle east with British soldiers back in the 19th century, they've slowly become known as a domesticated dog with an amazing coat.
They are characterised by long, flowing, silky hair and hold themselves in an almost 'kingly' manner. The hair on the face is short, while the rest of the body is covered in long, fine, silky hair. Often longer around the ears. The most common colors you’ll find in this breed are black, white and tan, but they come in just about every variation other than spotted.
Afghan hounds are a low shedding breed.
They've only got one coat, as oppose to other breeds which have both a topcoat and an undercoat. As a result, they don't shed as heavily as other breeds.
Their coat is more like human hair because it's in a constant state of growth and needs regular trimming much like we do. This means the coat doesn't reach the "shedding phase" as often as the majority of breeds and thus sheds less.
When you are gauging how much a particular dog sheds, it also pays to know how they transition from pup to adult. In this case, the Afghan pups look almost nothing like they do when they become adults.
Pups are characterised by short, fluffy fur which starts to fall out at between 9-12 months of age, at which time the new (much longer) coat begins to grow through. It is during the transition between pup and adulthood, when things tend to get a bit messy!
The one year mark represents a lot of extra shedding as the old coat falls out and the new coat begins to grow. This also means extra grooming to deal with knots, matts and all kinds of crazy tangles. But it's only short term, so don't stress!
Afghan Hounds are more difficult to groom than most dogs.
They may not shed a lot of hair, but they are a very high maintenance breed in terms of grooming. In fact, they are among the highest maintenance of all breeds when it comes to grooming. Although not the worst either. It's more a case of consistency than difficulty.
Either way, they do require weekly baths and regular brushing to remove and reduce the occurrence of matts and tangles. It’s really the length of the hair that causes this because sticks, mud, and all kinds of things become intertwined in the dogs coat.
Given the volume of bathing, it is also very important to look for a moisture rich shampoo (oatmeal) that won't dry out your dog's skin. Over bathing can cause dry, irritated skin, which can lead to excess shedding. It may even be worth bathing in plain old water every other week to avoid irritation. Consult your local grooming professional though if you have concerns.
Afghan Hounds are a very interesting breed.
On one hand, they are incredible hunters and can tear shreds off much larger prey. On the other hand, they win awards for having particularly glamorous coats!
These guys really do have the best of both worlds, so it's no wonder they have such a calm, dominating spirit and many refer to them as "kingly" dogs.
More importantly, they are definitely considered to be among the low shedding breeds so you won't have to deal with crazy amounts of hair throughout your home. Just keep in mind, they are quite high maintenance in the grooming department. So it's a bit of a tradeoff.