Fédération Cynologique Internationale

The Kennel Club

United Kennel Club

Afghan Hound

Afghan Hound

Afghan Hound


ORIGIN

:
FCI
Afghanistan.

PATRONAGE

:
FCI
Great Britain.

PUBLISHED

:
FCI
13.10.2010.
KC
October 2009

UTILISATION

:
FCI
Sighthound.

CLASSIFICATION

:
FCI
Group 10Sighthounds
Section 1Long-haired or fringed Sighthounds
Without working trial

KC
Hound
UKC
Sighthound/Pariah

BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY

:
FCI
The first Afghans arrived in Britain in the early 1900s and one, called Zardin, won in spectacular style at the 1907 Crystal Palace show in London. The breed is also known as the Tazi, supporting its resemblance to a Russian breed of that name. One of the typical sighthounds of the world, the Afghan - who, as his name implies, comes from the mountains of Afghanistan - is a hunter and will chase if given opportunity. Nowadays also a glamorous show dog which must combine strength and dignity with a long, silky coat as well as having an Oriental expression.
UKC
The origin of the Afghan Hound is uncertain. Prior to European penetration into Afghanistan, the Afghan Hound was kept by tribal chieftains. The tribes were isolated in the various valleys of Afghanistan, which kept the Afghan Hound clear of crosses with other breeds. The use of the Afghan Hound for hunting in the mountainous terrain of Afghanistan required a dog that was highly intelligent and could survive by hunting on its own. The particular characteristics that distinguish the Afghan Hound from his desert-dwelling relatives enabled this breed to survive in the wide range of temperatures and the mountainous terrain of Afghanistan. The first Afghan Hounds arrived in Great Britain with soldiers returning home from military service in the eastern Empire during the early 1900’s. After the first Afghan Hound created a sensation at the Crystal Palace show in 1907, the breed virtually disappeared in England, largely due to the hardships imposed by World War I. The breed was revived in Great Britain after World War I and developed through two influential lines, the Bell-Murray dogs and the Ghazi hounds. A number of British-bred Afghan Hounds were exported to the United States in the 1920’s and became the foundation of the breed here. The Afghan Hound was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1948.

GENERAL APPEARANCE

:
FCI
Gives the impression of strength and dignity, combining speed and power. Head held proudly.
KC
Gives the impression of strength and dignity, combining speed and power. Head held proudly.
UKC
The Afghan Hound is a medium-sized sighthound whose appearance gives the impression of strength and activity, combining speed with power and agility - in short, an efficient hunting dog, albeit a glamorous one. The Afghan Hound is a unique blend of substance, elegance, and function. The head and neck are long, ears are long and pendant, and the tail is long with a ring or curve at the end. The head is held proudly. The correct relationship of length of body (measured from prosternum to point of buttocks) to height (measured from withers to the ground) is 1:1. The coat is long and silky on the ribs, fore- and hindquarters, the flanks, and the top of the head, while the foreface and the back are covered with short hair. The upper tips of the pelvic bones are prominent. In evaluating this breed, it is important to remember that the Afghan Hound hunted its quarry over rough and mountainous ground full of crags and ravines. For this purpose, a compact and well-coupled dog is required, rather than a long-loined racing dog whose first quality is speed.

IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS

:
KC
Eastern or Oriental expression is typical of breed. The Afghan looks at and through one.

BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT

:
FCI
Eastern or Oriental expression is typical of breed. The Afghan looks at and through one. Dignified and aloof, with a certain keen fierceness.
KC
Dignified and aloof, with a certain keen fierceness.
UKC
The characteristics that distinguish the Afghan Hound from all other dogs are the long, silky topknot; the sloping croup and low tail set; the prominent pelvic bones; the sparsely coated tail with the ring or upward curve at the end; the unique coat pattern; and the “oriental” expression - inscrutable, piercing, and wise. The Afghan Hound is a strong-willed, independent thinker who is dignified and aloof with strangers. With family, however, this breed can be exuberant and playful. The Afghan Hound does not respond well to harsh training methods and prefers to do things his way. This breed has a very well-developed chase instinct. Regular grooming is required to maintain the glamorous Afghan coat.

HEAD

:
KC
Skull long, not too narrow, with prominent occiput. Foreface long with punishing jaws and slight stop. Skull well balanced and mounted by a long ‘top-knot’. Nose preferably black, liver permissible in light-coloured dogs.
UKC
The head is long and refined but not too narrow, with a prominent occiput and a barely perceptible stop. The distance from occiput to stop is equal to the distance from the stop to the end of the nose. There is a slight median furrow running from mid-muzzle to between the eyes. The head is finely molded and well chiseled with tight, fine skin.

CRANIAL REGION

:

Skull

:
FCI
Long, not too narrow with prominent occiput. Well balanced and mounted by a long “top-knot”.
UKC
The skull is longer than wide, and viewed from above, tapers slightly toward the stop. The occipital bone is very prominent. The hair on the skull is long and silky, forming the characteristic topknot.

Stop

:
FCI
Slight.

FACIAL REGION

:

Nose

:
FCI
Preferably black, liver permissible in light-coloured dogs.
UKC
The nose is black and of good size. Nostrils are large. The nose projects somewhat over the mouth so that a line drawn from the tip of the nose to the end of the lower jaw slopes downward and backward.

Muzzle

:
FCI
Long, with punishing jaws.
KC
Jaws strong, with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws. Level bite tolerated.
UKC
The muzzle is long and, viewed from above, tapers evenly from the stop to the nose. Viewed in profile, there is a slight prominence of the nasal bone structure causing a slightly aquiline appearance. There is a slight falling-away under the eyes ensuring clear, unimpaired vision. The jaws are long, powerful, and deep. The bones and surface blood vessels are clearly visible through the skin of the well-chiseled muzzle. Lips are tight with no hint of flews. The hair on the muzzle and foreface of a mature Afghan Hound is short but puppies carry heavy facial hair known as “monkey whiskers” until about one year of age. Some Afghan Hounds have a refined beard, called a “mandarin,” on the lower jaw, which adds to the oriental expression.

Jaws/Teeth

:
FCI
Jaws strong, with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. the upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square to the jaws. Level bite (pincer bite, edge to edge) tolerated.
UKC
The Afghan Hound has a complete set of large, evenly spaced, white teeth meeting in a scissors or level bite.

Eyes

:
FCI
Dark for preference, but golden colour not debarred. Nearly triangular in appearance, slanting slightly upwards from inner corner to outer corner.
KC
Dark for preference, but golden colour not debarred. Nearly triangular in appearance, slanting slightly upwards from inner corner to outer corner.
UKC
Shape of the eyes is very important to establish correct Afghan Hound expression. The eyes are triangular and set obliquely. Dark brown is the preferred color but lighter shades of brown are acceptable in light-colored dogs. Eye rims are black.

Ears

:
FCI
Set low and well back, carried close to head. Covered with long silky hair.
KC
Set low and well back, carried close to head. Covered with long silky hair.
UKC
Ears are pendant and set on a level with the outside corners of the eyes. The ears are long enough to reach to the corner of the mouth. Ears are heavily feathered.

NECK

:
FCI
Long, strong with proud carriage of head.
KC
Long, strong, with proud carriage of head.
UKC
The neck is long, strong, and arched, blending smoothly into well-laid-back shoulders. The neck is carried high whether the dog is moving or standing.

BODY

:
KC
Back level, moderate length, well muscled, back falling slightly away to stern. Loin straight, broad and rather short. Hipbones rather prominent and wide apart.A fair spring of ribs and good depth of chest.
UKC
A properly proportioned Afghan Hound is square, with the length of body (measured from prosternum to point of buttocks) equal to the height (measured from the withers to the ground). The withers are clearly defined but not prominent. The back is level, well muscled, and of moderate length. The loin is muscular and broad, supple, and slightly arched. The croup is long and sloping. The tips of the pelvic bones are prominent and set wide apart. A line drawn from the top of the withers to the top of the pelvic bones would be level. The ribs extend well back and are moderately sprung out from the spine, then curving down and inward to form a deep body. The chest is deep, extending nearly to the elbows, and moderately wide, in balance with the width of the hindquarters. The underline starts to rise after the sternum bone, in the area of the floating ribs to a well tucked-up belly. Prominence of the pelvic bones is not to be achieved by keeping the dog too thin. A properly constructed Afghan Hound will have prominent pelvic bones and a well-muscled back. Judges should penalize Afghan Hounds with more than three prominent dorsal vertebrae.

Back

:
FCI
Level, moderate length, well muscled.

Loin

:
FCI
Straight, broad and rather short.

Croup

:
FCI
Falling slightly away to stern. Hipbones rather prominent and wide apart.

Chest

:
FCI
A fair spring of ribs and good depth.

TAIL

:
FCI
Not too short. Set on low with ring at end. Raised when in action. Sparsely feathered.
KC
Not too short. Set on low with ring at end. Raised when in action. Sparsely feathered.
UKC
The tail is long, and set low, about two-thirds of the way between the top of the pelvic bone and the point of buttock. The tail is curved upward and forms a ring or curve at the end. When the dog is moving, the tail is carried high but not curled over the back. The hair on the topside of the tail is short; the hair on the underside of the tail is long, silky, and sparse. A correct tail is an essential breed characteristic.

LIMBS

:

FOREQUARTERS

:
KC
Shoulders long and sloping, set well back, well muscled and strong without being loaded. Upper arm long and sloping. In profile this brings the elbow vertically below the wither. Forelegs straight and well boned, elbows close to ribcage, turning neither in nor out.
UKC
The particular structure of the fore- and hindquarters are designed for hunting in rough terrain, which requires both power and agility. This must always be considered when evaluating the structure of this breed. The shoulder blade and upper arm are extremely long and of apparent equal length. The shoulder blade is laid back at an angle of 55 to 65 degrees and forms an angle of about 110 to 130 degrees with the upper arm. When properly angulated, the elbow will be in a direct vertical line below the uppermost tip of the shoulder blade.

Shoulder

:
FCI
Long and sloping, set well back, well muscled and strong without being loaded.

Upper Arm

:
FCI
Long and sloping.

Elbow

:
FCI
In profile vertically below the withers. Close to rib cage, turning neither in nor out.

FORELEGS

:
UKC
The forelegs are long, straight, and strong. The pasterns are long, slightly sloping, strong, and flexible. The elbows are close to the body.

Forearm

:
FCI
Forelegs straight and well boned.

Pastern

:
FCI
Long and springy.

FEET

:
KC
Forefeet strong and very large both in length and breadth, and covered with long, thick hair; toes arched. Pasterns long and springy, pads well down on ground. Hindfeet long, but not quite as broad as forefeet; covered with long thick hair.
UKC
Afghan Hound feet are perfectly designed for agility in rocky terrain so correct feet are essential to this breed. The forefeet are very large with arched toes and the pads are thick and well down on the ground. The rear feet are as long but not quite as broad as the front feet. All four feet point straight forward. The feet are covered with long, fine-textured hair.

Forefeet

:
FCI
Strong and very large both in length and breadth, and covered with long, thick hair; toes arched. Pads well down on ground.

Hind feet

:
FCI
Long, but not quite as broad as forefeet; covered with long thick hair; toes arched. Pads well down on ground.

HINDQUARTERS

:
FCI
Powerful. Great length between hip and hock, with comparatively short distance between hock and foot.
KC
Powerful, well bent and well turned stifles. Great length between hip and hock, with comparatively short distance between hock and foot.
UKC
The hindquarters are powerful and well muscled. The angulation of the hindquarters is in balance with the angulation of the forequarters.

Stifle

:
FCI
Well bent and well turned.

HIND LEGS

:
UKC
The upper and lower thighs are long and of approximately equal length. The hocks are well let down. The angulation of the stifle appears to be exaggerated because of the profuse leg hair hanging from the upper and lower thigh. Viewed from the rear, correctly muscled hindquarters appear to be slightly curved from the crotch to the hock but there is no curvature of the bone. The hocks are straight and parallel to one another. Viewed from the side, the rear legs are set so that a line dropped from the point of the buttocks will just touch the front of the rear toes and the hocks are perpendicular to the ground when viewed from either the side or the rear.

GAIT / MOVEMENT

:
FCI
Smooth and springy with a style of high order.
KC
Smooth and springy with a style of high order.
UKC
Although the Afghan Hound is evaluated at the trot, it must be remembered that the natural gait of the Afghan Hound is the double suspension gallop. When trotting, the Afghan Hound moves with a smooth, elastic, springy stride that differs in two respects from the “natural” trot of herding dogs. First, the Afghan Hound carries its head proudly when trotting, rather than bringing the head down almost level with the back. This proudly carried head is slightly out in front of the body when the dog is moving. Dogs who carry their heads so high they appear to be looking upward will have excessive lift in front and are to be penalized. Second, the feet are lifted somewhat higher off the ground than a herding dog. A hackney gait is a serious fault. Afghan Hound movement is smooth, effortless, and powerful with great freedom of action. An Afghan Hound in motion gives the impression of controlled power ready to spring forward into a double suspension gallop.

COAT

:

HAIR

:
FCI
Long and very fine texture on ribs, fore and hindquarters and flanks. In mature dogs from shoulder backwards and along the saddle, hair short and close. Hair long from forehead backwards, with a distinct silky “top-knot “. On the foreface hair short. Ears and legs well coated. Pasterns can be bare. Coat must develop naturally. Any evidence of clipping or scissoring should be penalized.
KC
Long and very fine texture on the ribs, fore and hindquarters and flanks. In mature dogs, from the shoulder backwards and along the saddle, hair short and close. Hair long from the forehead backwards, with a distinct silky ‘topknot’. On the foreface hair short, ears and legs well coated. Pasterns can be bare. Coat must develop naturally. Any evidence of clipping or scissoring should be penalised.
UKC
The Afghan Hound coat pattern evolved in a land where the temperature can fluctuate widely in a single day. The coat on the fore- and hindquarters, legs, ribs, and flanks is dense, long and silky. There are patches of short hair on each side of the neck forward of the shoulders that are generally covered by the profuse neck coat. From the shoulder backward across the top of the back, the coat is short and close. The hair on the head is long from the forehead backward forming the characteristic topknot. The hair on the foreface is short. Some Afghan Hounds have a refined beard, called a mandarin, on the lower jaw, which adds to the oriental expression. The ears and the feet are heavily feathered. The front of the pasterns and/or hocks may be covered with short hair forming "cuffs.” The hair on the top side of the tail is short; the hair on the underside of the tail is long, silky, and sparse. The Afghan Hound is presented in a natural condition and trimming to artificially create the characteristic coat pattern is to be strongly discouraged.

COLOUR

:
FCI
All colours acceptable.
KC
All colours acceptable.
UKC
All colors are acceptable but white markings, such as a blaze on the head or white on the feet or tail tip, are undesirable. Blue Afghan Hound puppies should not be penalized for a white spot on the top of their heads since this normally fades away at maturity.

SIZE

:
KC
Ideal height: dogs: 68-74 cms (27-29 ins); bitches: 63-69 cms (25-27 ins).
UKC
Desirable height at maturity is 27 inches for males and 25 inches for females, plus or minus one inch either way. A 27-inch male in good condition weighs about 60 pounds, while a 25-inch female in good condition weighs about 50 pounds.

Height at withers

:
FCI

Males 68 – 74 cms.
Females 63 – 69 cms.

FAULTS

:
FCI
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.
KC
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.
UKC

Characteristics: Sharpness or shyness.
Skull: Skull too coarse or too narrow; extreme falling away of backskull; absence of prominent occiput; absence of topknot or receding topknot.
Muzzle: Weak or receding underjaw; snipy muzzle; exaggerated Roman nose.
Teeth: Undershot or overshot; missing teeth; incisors crowded as a result of a too-narrow jaw; wry bite.
Nose: Nose any color other than black.
Eyes: Round eyes, giving a pleading expression; yellow eyes; visible haws; eyerims any color other than black.
Neck: Neck carried too high, forming a 90-degree angle with the topline; neck too short or too thick; ewe neck; goose neck; neck lacking in substance.
Forelegs: Short legs; short, weak, or knuckled-over pasterns; upright shoulder blades; short or upright upper arm.
Body: Sloping topline; swayback; narrow or shallow chest; slab sides; poorly defined tuck-up; narrow or roached loin; lack of prominent pelvic bones; more than three prominent dorsal vertebrae.
Hind Legs: Over-angulated stifles; too long a second thigh; narrow rear; straight stifles; long hocks.
Feet: Small feet; absence of hair on feet; feet turned inward or outward; thin pads.
Tail: High-set tail; straight tail; tail curled too far over the back.
Coat: Absence of short-haired saddle in a mature dog; absence of topknot.
Gait: Head carried too high or too low when moving.

SERIOUS FAULTS

:
UKC
Gait: Hackney gait.

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS

:
FCI

  • Aggressive or overly shy dogs.
  • Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
UKC
Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid. Viciousness or extreme shyness. Albinism.


Anatomical Features of the dog

N.B.:

Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.