The Afghan Hound is thought to be one of the oldest of all domestic Dog breeds, with the first records of the Afghan Hound dating back to 4,000 BC. The breed was kept pure for centuries, and its exportation was always prohibited. It therefore only reached Europe as contraband early in the 1920s and it’s entry to the USA followed in 1926.
An extremely fast and agile runner, the Afghan is a sighthound, which means it hunts by sight.The fast and agile nature of this Dog meant that they made excellent hunters of small game in their native Afghanistan, most commonly hunting Deer, Goats, Gazelle and Wild Boar along with seeing off larger predators such as Wolves and Snow Leopards. They were also used by shepherds as herders and watchdogs. Their thick coat protects against temperature extremes.
In Europe and America they have become a luxurious pet and show dog because of their aristocratic beauty.
Zeppo Marx of the Marx Brothers was one of the first to bring Afghan Hounds to America. In the late 1970s, the hound’s popularity soared when Barbie, who is responsible for more than 80 percent of Mattel’s profits, and Beauty, her pet Afghan Hound, found their way into the homes and hearts of countless American girls. During this same decade, the development of lure coursing competitions added to the breed’s appeal.
The Afghan Hound is typically a one-person or one-family dog. Do not look for this hound to eagerly greet your guests. More likely, he will offend them by being indifferent to their presence. While some hounds may bark once or twice when a stranger enters the home, this breed is not known to be a good watchdog.