Myths and Realities - the Truth about Afghan Hounds!
Watch for separate pages on health issues, grooming and training.
Many of you will find this page searching for information about Afghan Hounds and may have been confused by a lot of conflicting information. You may also have met people along the way that have tried to discourage you from considering the breed, so this page has been created to answer the most frequently asked questions and to dispel some of the myths that you may have read or been told.
INTELLIGENCE .... the first myth is that Afghan Hounds are lacking in intelligence - NOT true! They are highly intelligent but not the same kind of intelligence as a "working" breed whose ancestors were selected for their ability to follow orders. The Afghan Hound had to think for himself without human direction or he would not have been successful as a working sighthound. They learn very quickly and will copy dogs or humans if it works for them!
HOUSE TRAINING .... Another widely spread myth is that Afghan Hounds are hard to house train, again NOT true! Any problems that might occur are due to human error on the part of the breeder and/or the owner. Young puppies cannot be left alone all day while people are at work - this is a recipe for disaster in ANY breed. Crate training is a reliable method that speeds up the process, but puppies cannot be crated for more than a few hours at a time. If this would be a problem for you, do consider an older puppy or an adult dog. Careful breeders often keep puppies until they are older, and may have adult dogs that need to rehomed due to their owners suffering from some trauma or disaster.
COMING BACK WHEN THEY ARE CALLED .... yes, they will - if they have been brought up to do so! Training to come on recall has to start young - preferably by the breeder in infancy. However, they ARE sighthounds and will take off after a rabbit or squirrel, and will finish the chase first, stop, turn and say "You called?" Safety concerns dictate that off leash activity should be limited to securely fenced areas.
GROOMING AND COAT CARE .... Afghan Hounds are a high maintenance breed and they require regular grooming and bathing in order to keep their coat in proper condition - but it should not be the nightmare that it is sometimes presented to be. Having to bath a dog every few days should be an owner's CHOICE, it should not be necessary. The amount of time spent brushing them between baths will depend on the environment they live in and the texture of their coat. Dogs not being shown should be bathed at least every 2 weeks. If you have never owned a coated breed before, the breeder needs to give you proper instruction in the tools required and the proper ways to use them. If the puppy seller seems unwilling or unable to do this, go elsewhere.
HEALTH AND LONGEVITY .... Afghan Hounds are one of the healthy breeds and careful breeders want to keep it this way. Yes, there are inherited problems but they are few and the incidence is low. Life expectancy for this breed should average 13-15 years. Some Afghan Hounds live well into their teens.
CAN PEOPLE WITH ALLERGIES OWN ONE? It may surprise a lot of people but the answer is yes! Since they are a long coated breed they DO need regular grooming and bathing so will be less likely to carry a variety of allergens around with them like dogs that may only have a bath once every 6 months. In addition they do not have an oily skin and coat and do not smell like "dogs" if properly cared for. However, there are two ways to be sure, one is to visit a breeder and see how you or the family member react, but the other is to ask your allergist to run breed specific allergy tests for all breeds that interest you.