AFGHAN HOUNDS - from past history to the future!

AFGHAN HOUNDS - Memories of Ages Past - with eyes on the future.

Anyone who is active in the breed, owner, breeder, or fancier who is active on social media, knows that breed numbers in the historically dominant countries - the UK, USA and Australia - have dropped precipitously. In fact the annual registrations in the UK and USA have fallen to the level that they were at the end of WWII. Puppy buyers looking for well bred puppies from known (not necessarily "famous") breeders with reputations to uphold, are met with "seeker shock"! Puppies are very hard to find. Concerned breeders are disturbed and do not know where this is leading, with possible greater loss of the gene pool in the future. Outside pundits are already posting warnings based on computer projecctions of possible loss, and with their own recommendations.

The question to be answered is - what is the truth in all of this and what do we need to do to preserve the breed for the future and understand the needs of the present.  In which countries of the world is the breed in a healthy situation and where is at risk?  Have we really "lost" as much genetic material as computer generated reports  suggest?

This newsletter will trace the rise and fall of breed popularity in countries around the world and look for answers. We will start at the beginning and trace where genes from the original import can be seen to live - yes, seen. One of the unique features of this breed is the wide variety of colors and patterns and varieties in depth of pigmentation that came to the west 100 years ago - not one single color gene has been "lost" to the world in 100 years! How do we know whch other genes have also been retained - and which have been lost or selected away from? At this point in time we do not know, cannot know, and we cannot wait for future developements in molecular genetics.  but we can start now by studying history and following the paths of inheritance of all our glorious colors from white to black and everything in between.

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Stephanie Hunt-Crowley (Editor)
December 2018