Not only are Afghan Hounds gorgeous and regal, they also are also extremely interesting animals as well. Here are some fun and unusual facts about the Afghan hound that you might not know. In their native home of Afghanistan these dogs were used to hunt food including hare, gazelles, wolves and even snow leopards. They are very agile, fast and powerful making them perfect for chasing prey. This is why domesticated Afghan Hounds have such a strong instinct to chase animals today.
The long beautiful coat of the Afghan hound is standard of animals normally living at very high altitudes. The coat protects the dogs from the extreme winter weather that is typical in the mountains of Afghanistan.
British soldiers introduced these dogs to England sometime around 1890 after the second Afghan war. The Afghan people originally refused to sell the dogs to outsiders so the first Afghan hound wasn't brought to the United States until 1926.
The Afghan hound wasn't extremely popular when first introduced in the United States and didn't become a recognized breed until the 1930's. On August 3, 2005 a Korean scientist named Hwang Woo-Suk claimed that his team of researchers had cloned the first dog, an Afghan hound named Snuppy. Afghan hounds are often considered the "super models" of the dog world because of their elegant appearance and aloof attitude.
When Afghan hounds find themselves in an overly stressful situation they often refuse to move and sometimes they even go to sleep until the incident or source of stress has passed. They also occasionally develop a "drippy" nose when they become upset.
White markings, especially on the face, are considered a fault in show dogs and are believed to indicate impure breeding. An afghan hound can give birth to up to 15 puppies in a one litter. The average, however, is only eight.
The true start of this breed in the United States began in 1931 when Zeppo Marx of the Marx Brothers and his wife brought two dogs, Asra of Ghanzi and Westmill Omar, back to the States for breeding. Afghans can gallop at speeds of up to 40 miles (64 kilometers) per hour and can leap seven feet (2 meters) from a standing position.
Afghan hounds are also known as Baluchi Hound, Balkh Hound, Barutzy Hound and Kabul Hound. These dogs are members of the greyhound family. The Afghan hound has very large feet that, despite their graceful appearance, make them perfectly suited for climbing over the rocky terrain that is found in their native homeland.
The oldest known illustration of an Afghan hound was copied in a set of letters written in India and printed in England in 1813. Some people believe that the Afghan hound lived in Egypt thousands of years ago due to drawings of a dog that resembled the Afghan but no physical evidence of the dogs has been discovered inside the tombs.