The Afghan Hound is a large sight hound with a very long, silky coat. His original function was to hunt and he may well give chase to any small animal if given the chance. Basic training in obedience and recall is essential with this dog. The Afghan is a glamorous and rather aloof dog who will become very attached to his owner. He needs to live in a large house with a large garden and be given at least two hours exercise every day. His excessive coat will require careful grooming every day to keep it clean and avoid tangles.
Inbreeding Coefficient - COI
(Should be as low as possible)
The UK Kennel Club breed average COI is 7.7% - see 'A Beginners Guide to COI'
Effective Population Size - EPS245
EPS is a measure of how many individuals are contributing genetically to a breed population. It is a measure of the size of the gene pool in a breed. Lower than 100 is considered critical by conservationists and below 50 brings a breed close to extinction. For more information see the Kennel Club article.
Health and Welfare Problems due to Conformation
(Body shape and physical characteristics)
- The very long and silky coat will cause welfare problems if it isn’t given the grooming time and care it needs. Hair will obscure the dogs’ vision and collect dirt and debris which in turn could cause skin problems.
- Medial canthal pocket syndrome (due to head shape – where upper and lower lids on the inside corner of the eye roll inwards creating pockets in which dirt and dust can collect)
Hip dysplasia: (abnormality of the hip joints causing pain and disability) breed mean score 11 (ideally parents should be lower)
Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) are now available for Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia:
DNA Tests Available
- Factor V11 deficiency
- Degenerative myleopathy (DM)
- Haemophilia B (Factor 1X deficiency)
Unofficial (Breed Club) Schemes
Ask the breeder to show you the certificates for the above tests/screening for both parents. If any of the above tests have not been considered necessary by the breeder (and there may be good reasons), ask her to explain why.
Other Diseases Reported
(For which there are currently no genetic or screening tests for sire or dam)
- Gastric dilatation volvulus syndrome (GDV) – also called Bloat or Gastric torsion – stomach dilates then rotates – can cause death if not treated immediately
- Generalised demodicosis (skin disease – Mange – caused by demodectic mite)
- Hypothyroidism (insufficient production of thyroid hormones)
- Mucopolysaccharidosis 1 (MPS 1) ( a form of lysosomal storage disease for which there is no cure. Young dogs show stunted growth and degenerative joint disease. Affected dogs are not expected to live beyond 3 years)
- Panosteitis (painful inflammatory bone disease)
- Cancer: Perianal gland tumour, mammary tumour, skin tumour
- Afghan Hound myelopathy (degenerative disease of the spinal cord leading to paralysis)
- Laryngeal paralysis (a progressive paralysis of the larynx, can cause aspiration pneumonia)
- Lung disease
- Elbow deformity
Ask the breeder about the medical history of the parents, grandparents and great grandparents. Consider carefully whether to purchase a puppy if some of these or other diseases are in the family line.
Ask about the breeder’s policy in cases of serious genetic diseases occurring to your puppy in later life. Good breeders will request to be informed of such events in order to improve future breeding decisions. Some breeders will also agree to contribute towards medical costs or refund purchase price.
You are strongly advised to buy from a breeder who uses (or is prepared to use) the RSPCA / BVA AWF Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack (PIP): www.puppycontract.org.uk
You are also advised to buy from a breeder who follows the Dog Breeding Reform Group’s (DBRG) Standard for Dog Breeding: