How to Identify an Afghan Hound

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How to Identify an Afghan Hound

The Afghan Hound is often described as the King of Dogs. Its long, silky fur, narrow head, almond eyes, level mouth, and lanky frame give it a regal look. Several features, particularly its fur, should make the Afghan Hound easy to recognize. But, if you are not sure, there are a number of traits you can look to verify that your dog is an Afghan Hound.

Recognizing an Afghan Hound by its Appearance

Tips to Identify an Afghan Hound

1. Look for long, silky fur.

The most characteristic quality of an Afghan Hound is its long, silky coat, which drapes down its body. It also has a top-knot: a growth of long hair that flows down from its head. The dog can be any color and still meet breed standards.

  • The fur is often described as having a texture similar to that of human hair.
  • The Afghan's hair is short from the ribs up to the back. Thus, the fur will be much closer to the dog's body along its back than other areas.

2. Look for a lanky frame.

The Afghan Hound has long legs, a long neck, and a standard length for a large dog. Afghans should stand approximately two feet tall and weigh fifty to sixty pounds.

3. Look for a long, narrow head.

The head is long and thin, like a skinny prism. The nose protrudes and it should point slightly downwards when the Afghan Hound is looking straight ahead. The ears are big and floppy.

4. Look for a level mouth.

One feature of Afghan Hounds that is rare among other breeds, is the way the teeth of their upper and lower jaw match evenly, instead of meeting in either an underbite or an overbite. Though, some Afghans have a scissors bite, in which the lower teeth rest against the back of the top teeth.

5. Look for almond eyes.

The eyes of an Afghan Hound should never be big. Instead they should be almond-shaped: thin with clearly defined points on both ends. The eyes should be a dark color.

6. Look for a short, narrow tail.

Unlike most of the Afghan's body, its tail should have short hair. The tail is relatively short and curves upward at the end, creating a semi-circle.

Considering the Afghan's Temperament

Tips to Identify an Afghan Hound

1. Look for the loner.

As puppies, Afghan Hounds are oftentimes social and affectionate. This, however, will change as they get older. A mature Afghan Hound will want little attention, even from family, and will generally be entirely indifferent to new people.

2. Watch for the slow learner.

The Afghan Hound can be hard to train. Because they are independent, they can be stubborn and resistant to taking commands. With perseverance you can train them. However, expect them to be slow to adapt to even basic rules, like house training.

3. Look out for a hunter.

The Afghan Hound has strong hunter instincts. In practice, that means that it likes to chase smaller animals. If you can't get your dog to stop chasing the neighbor's cat, it might be an Afghan Hound.

Verifying Your Dog's Breed

Tips to Identify an Afghan Hound

1. Get a pedigree from a reputable breeder.

Reputable breeders selling purebred dogs should be able to show you a pedigree, a document that records four or more generations in the dog's family line, possibly including physical features and awards. A good breeder should know the pedigree of the dog by heart and be willing to show it to you upon demand.

  • Pedigree certificates are official documents endorsed by the AKC. Check the certificate to make sure it is authentic. You can ask a vet familiar with pedigrees to look over the document.
  • To find a reputable breeder, ask a veterinarian that you trust for recommendations.
  • A reputable breeder should allow you to visit to see where their dogs are raised. The dogs should have adequate space and the area should be clean.
  • Reputable breeders should specialize in one or two breeds and might be involved in clubs dedicated to the breeds or have won awards associated with them. They will probably not be able to provide dogs on demand; you will need to sign up for a wait list.

2. Get a DNA test.

There are several companies now that perform DNA tests to verify dog breeds. The tests might not be perfectly precise, but they should be able to prove if your dog is predominantly an Afghan Hound.

  • These tests are administered at home. You can order them online, perform the test, and then send it back through the mail.

3. Talk to your veterinarian.

Veterinarians are generally good at determining the breed of a dog. If you are unsure if your dog is an Afghan Hound, ask your veterinarian's opinion.