Your First Afghan

In an effort to help you locate an Afghan Hound puppy, or adult, the Afghan Hound Club of America recommends you carefully look through the entire web site to discover the versatility of the Afghan Hound. Please pay special attention to the sections on Grooming, Suggested Media and Common Questions found in this site. Next, read the following for an even greater insight into this beautiful breed.

This is what Afghan Hound puppies look like at birth! Short nose, four short legs and short hair.

It took many hours of care, grooming and socialization for the puppy to become the beautiful Champion Afghan Hound and family member we see here.

The Afghan Hound is a dog that is different from any other in its attitudes. If you want a dog that will follow you everywhere and lie adoringly at your feet – the Afghan Hound is not for you. He values his own comfort too much and will more than likely find the place in which he wants to stay and expect you to come to HIM. There are exceptions, of course, and bitches tend to be a little more anxious to please than the regal males.

The newborn puppy with his mom.

As the puppy matures he will need plenty of rest in order to learn the proper social skills you will need to teach him.

You will need to teach the new puppy to get along with other animals who may already be living in his new home.

As an owner you must be prepared to spend plenty of time with the new puppy to teach him how to interact with people and become a valuable and trusted member of the new household.

Be sure when you are ready to purchase your Afghan Hound that you find one who suits you in temperament. Some people want friendly dogs and others are more impressed with one who loves no one but the family.

However undemonstrative your Afghan Hound may appear to be, he has his own ways of showing his love and you will learn them. He may rub his head against you like a cat or he may cover his head with his paws when you speak lovingly. These are only two of the ways in which he shows affection. There are many others and you will learn them as your dog grows into you life.

If you acquire an older dog – one that is definitely beyond puppy hood, you will have to give him time to get used to you. Afghan Hounds do not give affection lightly and you will have to prove yourself by continuing to make overtures, although your dog seems not to respond. Eventually he will and then he is all yours!

In general the Afghan Hound is not an obedient dog – this is not his "thing." He will come when he wants to and he can be very stubborn. Usually he knows what you are asking him to do, but just doesn't choose to do it at that time. However, enough Afghan Hounds achieve Obedience, Agility and Lure Coursing titles to show the breeds adaptability and intelligence.

Despite any seeming aloofness, your Afghan Hound will amply reward your love in his lifetime devotion. He will always remember you no matter how long you have been separated.

Let the Buyer Beware

Before you buy your first Afghan Hound, learn all you can about the breed. Go to a few dog shows; read books on the breed (See Suggested Media in this web site) and make sure you understand how much grooming is involved when owning an Afghan Hound (See Grooming); and ask yourself if the aloof, mind-of-its-own, highly intelligent but non obedient Afghan Hound temperament is for you.

Afghan Hound puppies take up little space but as they grow they will require larger and larger space for adequate housing and exercise.

As Afghan puppies grow they will eat more requiring constant supervision and cleanup. It is very expensive to breed an Afghan Hound litter. Serious breeders are dedicated to producing only the best Afghan Hounds. A good breeder will ask you many questions to insure he finds the best possible home for his puppy!

Buy from a reputable breeder, an individual who is devoted to breeding only healthy and beautiful Afghan Hounds and selling them carefully to good homes. We recommend that you buy your puppy outright and not enter into any long-term or "puppies back" agreements. But, any agreements you do make should be put into writing and signed by all parties.

Do not buy your puppy on time payments. It always works out to be bad for the puppy. If you do not have the price (Afghan Hound puppies from reputable breeders are not cheap), go home and save it up. If you cannot afford to pay in one lump sum, then you cannot afford that puppy. If you are making time payments, you will find that you cannot afford the hairdryer, or the crate, or the grooming table and grooming tools that you need and you will put off that visit to the vet, too. You may skimp on vitamins, or meat, or a good shampoo. The puppy will not be a pleasure, but a burden and will be shortchanged as you "economize" to meet the monthly payments.

We are describing a tragedy – a tragedy that does not have to take place. Be realistic about what you can afford. Pay for your puppy or adult Afghan Hound when you take him home. The same day you take him home be sure you also take his American Kennel Club registration papers OR a written statement fully identifying the dog as to breed, sex, color, date of birth, parent's names and AKC numbers and specifying that you will receive the papers within 4 weeks. Do your very best to help your Afghan Hound become the proud and beautiful creature he is meant to be. Do not shortchange yourself or him. It can be a joy to raise and own an Afghan Hound, but it costs money and the purchase price is only the beginning!

If someone tries to sell you a dog you cannot afford on co-ownership, because that will reduce the price, don't do that either. You still cannot afford it and you may wind up breeding a physically or mentally unsound Afghan Hound because the co-owner says you must.

If you keep looking you will find a good breeder who will sell you outright an Afghan Hound to love, to care for, to enjoy – An Afghan Hound who belongs to you!

Selecting Your Afghan Hound

Talk to and visit with as many Afghan Hound breeders as possible, even if it means a long drive. This will allow you to meet the breeder and see the conditions in his kennel. Although elaborate equipment is not a necessity, the facilities need to be clean. Healthy puppies should be clean and in a warm, dry area. Ask to see both the mother and the father of the puppies. Many times the father will not be available, but the breeder will have information about him and will often have photographs of him.

Be prepared to wait for your new Afghan Hound. Puppies should be at least eight weeks old before they go to a new home. By 8-12 weeks, the puppy has been given initial vaccinations and worming and is ready to go to his new home.

Read and discuss sales contracts with the breeder to be sure you understand them. Some contracts may require neutering and specify that the dog not be used for breeding. These are perfectly acceptable conditions.

It may be time consuming to find the right breeder with the right puppy for you, but once you have done so you will become friends with the breeder for life.

The new owner and the new puppy.

This new Afghan Hound is very sweet and adjusting well in a new home where he is now the center of attention!

Points To Remember

  1. Buy only Afghan Hounds with "papers." – by papers we do not mean a pedigree. We mean the American Kennel Club (AKC) individual registration papers or the AKC blue form which allows you to individually register the dog.
  2. Get a receipt for payment which clearly states the AKC individual registration number of your puppy or the names of the sire (father) and dam (mother) of your puppy, the date the puppy was born and the AKC litter registration number. If the AKC papers are not available, do not buy.
  3. You should see proof in writing that both the sire and dam of your puppy have been certified clear of juvenile cataracts (JC) by a veterinary ophthalmologist and that both sire and dam have been x-rayed and found free of hip dysplasia (HD), preferably with a number issued by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, Inc. (OFA). Form more information, see Health Care.
  4. See the puppy before you buy it. See the puppy's dam and if possible, see the sire. See where the puppy and its litter mates (brothers and sisters) are being raised. A good breeder will be delighted, and proud, to show you where the puppies live.
  5. When you are ready to take the new puppy home the seller should give you:
    1. A contract/Bill of sale. This will include a "return policy"
    2. Tips on grooming and training techniques
    3. Diet and health information
  6. You should receive a health certificate for your puppy, a list of the initial vaccinations your puppy has already received and you should have the option of taking the puppy to a veterinarian of your choice within 48 hours of purchasing the pup. At that time, discuss with the veterinarian what program of shots he wants to use to immunize your puppy against distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parainfluenza and parvovirus. Ideally, your vet should have experience with your breed.

"You sure don't look like an Afghan Hound to me!
Wair is your hair? Silly dog!"

Exhibiting your Afghan Hound

  1. Dog shows should be enjoyable, but their purpose is a serious one. Dog shows are fundamentally a comparison of breeding stock. Breeders show their dogs in order to ascertain breeding quality.
  2. Most dog shows offer classes for all breeds recognized by the AKC. Specialty Shows, for Afghan Hounds only, are held independently or sometimes in conjunction with an all breed event.
  3. Attend a few shows before you enter your dog, so you can better understand the process. The breeder from whom you purchased your Afghan Hound puppy can help you locate a convenient show.

Most breeders are able to tell by the age of three months if a dog will be a "show: or "pet" quality. By definition a "show" quality dog is one that may be able to become a champion. There can be no guarantee of this because as the dog grows he may change and no breeder can be sure that the "show" puppy will grow up to be a show quality dog. No matter how good a puppy is conformation wise, proper care and training on your part, will determine to a large extent whether the puppy fulfills his promise.

If you want a good show dog, it is best to buy a puppy 9-12 months of age and over. At this age, it is easier to assess the quality and you will have a better chance of getting what you want.

Aside from conformation competition, there are many events and sports owners can enjoy with their afghan hounds. Visit the Competition area for more information on racing, coursing, agility and many of the other activities afghan hound owners participate in.

Pedigrees

A pedigree is the family tree of your new puppy

  1. If you did not receive at least a four generation pedigree from your breeder, you should acquire one from the AKC.
  2. Study your dog's pedigree, noting dogs who appear more than once. Find out all you can about all the dogs and their families. Ask your breeder about these dogs and look them up in breed specific books.

A Word About The Afghan Hound Standard

(See Afghan Hound Standard)
In order to interpret the Standard for the Afghan Hound you must know the history of the breed and its intended work. The phrase "form follows function," borrowed from livestock tradition, refers to the fact that particular conformation is necessary for the Afghan Hound in order to perform a specific task.

The current Afghan Hound Standard was drafted by the Afghan Hound Club of America and adopted by the American Kennel Club on September 14, 1948. The written Standard for the Afghan Hound should be studied by anyone seriously interested in the breed. It has served the breed well for many years and conscientious breeders have been breeding better Afghan Hounds using the Standard as their Bible.

Dog Clubs

  1. Local Specialty Club. If there is a local Afghan Hound Specialty club in your area, join it. Local activities will advance your knowledge of the Afghan Hound and give you a chance to exchange ideas with people whose interest in the Afghan Hound is the same as yours. (See Regional Clubs in this site to discover the Afghan Hound Clubs nearest to you.)
  2. Local All Breed Club. Go to meetings of one or two all breed clubs in your area. Volunteer your services at their shows. Membership in an all breed club will expand your knowledge of purebred dogs and introduce you to the local purebred dog community. Such membership will also offer an opportunity for you to "give back" to the sport.
  3. Afghan Hound Club of America. The AHCA has particular membership requirements. Someday you too will become a member. (See AHCA Membership in this site.)
  4. Performance Events Clubs. There are several active clubs in your area for you and your Afghan Hound to join. Obedience, Agility and Lure Coursing clubs will help you and your Afghan Hound enjoy each other to the fullest.

If you are still determined to acquire an Afghan Hound after all this you will be starting on an experience that can immeasurably enrich your life. From the moment when you take the cute, cuddly puppy into your home and your heart, he will be ready to share your life – and he will share as much of it as you permit him to do. The time you spend teaching the young puppy to be the kind of companion you want him to be will determine the rest of your lives together. He can be a delightful traveling companion, a faithful and understanding friend and a welcome and charming guest. Afghan Hounds have a infinite capacity for communication – two way communication – and an unbounded capacity for growth. They are one breed where it is not true that "you can't teach an old dog new tricks." Seven and eight year old Afghan Hounds have been known to enter into deep and meaningful relationships with new people who come into their lives. The Afghan Hound can have exquisite manners, he can be the soul of tact, he can be good humored, entertaining, exasperating, infuriating. In a relationship where you accord him his dignity and his rights, he will meet you half-way…but be prepared to settle for half-way…. He'll insist on winning some of the time! Now, go and begin your love affair with the Afghan Hound and know that we welcome you to the ranks of the fortunate!

Here are two Afghan Hound owners who love their dogs very much.
This is what owning an Afghan Hound is about!

For information on how to find a breeder in your area check the list of Afghan Hound Club of America members below or contact:

The AHCA Breeder Referral
10457 W. Liberty Court
Beach Park, IL 60099
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

or go to the Regional Club section in this web site to locate the Afghan Hound Club nearest to you for information on breeders in your area.

The Afghan Hound Club of America does not supervise nor guarantee the ethical practices of breeders' whose names are given through our breeder referral.

If you have a written complaint regarding any breeder you purchased your Afghan Hound from, these complaints should be sent to:

Afghan Hound Club of America, Inc.
Corresponding Secretary
10457 W. Liberty Court
Beach Park, IL 60099