Afghan Hounds

Are Afghan Hounds Affectionate? Cuddly?

By Abigail Bodeley on Jan 4, 2024 Reviewed by Mick Ford

Are Afghan Hounds affectionate? Do Afghan Hounds like to cuddle?

Are Afghan Hounds Affectionate

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Are Afghan Hounds Affectionate? Cuddly?

Yes. Afghan Hounds are glamorous, aloof, and high-maintenance but affectionate. They are capable of plenty of love and devotion but this is not always demonstrated, rather, it is often given from a distance. Afghans are creatures of independence thought and free spirit, making them more of a specialist breed than a typical “pet” breed. These are not lap dogs. Neither are they dogs universally suitable for children because they will not overlook innocent irritating childish behaviour. They are not necessarily the type of dog that will fit all households.

The Afghan Hound is without a doubt the most spectacular sighthound.

The breed is thought to have originated from the mountainous wilds of Afghanistan where is was originally developed for chasing mammalian prey. It is probably a descendant of the Saluki, brought along trade routes to Afghanistan from neighbouring Persia.

In any case, people in Afghanistan used it to hunt hare, deer, and wild goat, as well as wolves and probably snow leopards. Afghans are perfectly suited for such hunts because of their intelligence, agility and stamina.

These dogs are extremely adept at running fast over rough terrain, taking sharp turns, and leaping up mountain slopes.

The Greyhound might be the archetype of a sighthound, but the Afghan Hound is the star. Its long swishing coat, thick “trousers”, and its lively prancing gait make it a dramatic show-stopper at any dog contest.

Before the late 19th, the Afghan hound was largely unknown outside of Afghanistan. In the 1930s, Herbert Manfred “Zeppo” Marx (an American actor) brought it to the United States where it has since been popular with celebrities.

The long silky coat is said to have developed as protection from the harsh environment of the mountains, and as a protection from cold, while it’s large feet are said to grip well and are resistant to injury.

European-owned Afghans have been tried out on greyhound races with mixed results.

Do Afghan Hounds like to cuddle?

No. Afghan Hounds require close proximity of humans and can be deeply committed friends but they are undemanding and relaxed companions. These are not lap dogs but they will also not do well as kennel dogs.

That said, Afghans appreciate comfort and will thoroughly enjoy a snuggle on the sofa, especially after exercise. If you decide on an Afghan, be ready to spend time sitting on the floor when they occupy the sofa.

In the way of affection, perhaps nothing is more rewarding to an Afghan Hound owner than their loving and intimate gaze. Described in the British standard as looking “at and through” you, this the truest unique characteristic of the breed.

When the gaze is not being used to study the horizon, or to survey strangers and minor acquaintances, it seems possible to communicate with an Afghan Hound in pin-drop silence—personally, confidentially, and straight from the heart.

What is the temperament of an Afghan Hound? Are Afghan Hounds friendly?

Afghans are known to have an extremely strong independent streak, strong personality, and aloofness with strangers.

Afghan Hounds are not really recommended if you want to acquire a trainable dog. They will insist on being treated as equals in your family and will not typically be subservient to anyone. They might even show passing aggression if they are pushed.

Afghan Hounds are independent-minded and free-spirited. It is nearly impossible to bend the will of a true Afghan to your path. For some people, they are virtually impossible to live without, for others virtually impossible to live with.

And don’t be mistaken, Afghans are not dumb. Far from it—

These are extremely intelligent dogs with remarkably long memories.

But their intelligence is not shown in learning tricks or in any form of training. They do not even copy the behaviour of other dogs. They are completely self-taught.

They often seem to recognize people despite long absences and even their grown puppies when they meet them.

Another thing to keep in mind is that although Afghan Hounds are excellent and trustworthy with children, this is not a breed recommended as universally suitable with children, perhaps because they are too sensitive.

Whereas many dog breeds will overlook innocent, childish, irritating behaviour, Afghans find it really difficult to bear. Due to their sensitive personalities, they can become withdrawn and anxious around children. In some cases, this can lead to anxiety and stress related aggression.

Are Afghan Hounds good for first time owners?

It is necessary to understand the Afghan Hound’s character and appreciate it fully.

Really understand it.

Strong independence streak makes it more of a specialist breed than a typical “pet” breed. They have strong opinions of their self-worth and will expect a high degree of comfort and respect around their home.

This does not mean that Afghan Hounds are not good for first time owners, or that they are not good companions, just that they are not necessarily the sort of dog to fit in all households.

New owners should have as many questions as they have doubts. An established breeder a strong commitment to the breed should be able to answer your questions and make you comfortable with your choice.

Remember that when choosing a breeder reputation is more important than the location.