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Afghan Hound Dog Picture

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The Afghan Hound is thought to be over 4000 years old, making it one of the most ancient breeds on the planet. Hounds, particularly sighthounds, have been kept for centuries living and working with people. Afghan Hounds are skilled hunters and they are large and brave enough to tackle all sorts of prey which includes deer, goats, wild mountain cats and even wolves. They are part of a group of sight hounds which are known as “Eastern Greyhounds”.

The ancestors of the Afghan Hounds we see today were brought over to the UK from Afghanistan. Many sight dogs had been bought to Britain in the 1800’s by officers returning from areas of the British Empire and they went by many names including ‘Persian Greyhounds’ and Barukzy Hounds. However, when it comes to the long-haired Afghan Hound, two strains are thought to be the foundation dogs for the modern Afghan we see today.

In Afghan’s Islamic culture, depicting animals in art is forbidden which means pictorial records of the Afghan Hound do not exist. The earliest hand drawn etching of a hound dates back to 1813 and it was done by a native soldier. The hound looks very much like a young Afghan Hound. They have always been highly prized for their legendary hunting skills. Few Afghan Hounds remain in Afghanistan although some can still be found in their native lands.

The breed is thought to be closely related to the Saluki and the pedigree Afghans we see today are descendants of dogs that arrived in the UK in the twenties when King Amanullah offered them as gifts. However, the true origins of the Afghan Hound remains a bit of a mystery with a lot of speculation as to how the breed first came about. What is known about these elegant dogs is that once they arrived on British soil, they were an instant hit with dog fanciers all over the country with the first Afghan Hound being exhibited in 1907.

The first group of Afghan Hounds were introduced to Scotland by Major and Mrs. G Bell-Murray in 1920 and were named the “Bell-Murray” strain. Another group of dogs were bought over to England by Mrs. Mary Amps in 1925 and these dogs boasted heavier coats than the dogs in Scotland. A breed standard was eventually established in 1948 which is the one that is still valid today.

Interesting facts about the breed
Is the Afghan Hound a vulnerable breed? No, although not as popular as they once were, these elegant dogs have a large fanbase both in the UK and elsewhere in the world more especially in the showring
Afghan Hounds are known for their “independent” spirits which means they are just as happy working on their own as they are working as a pack
The breed was always highly prized for their hunting skills which are legendary throughout the world and their native lands

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