Despite the breed's elegant appearance, Afghan Hounds were developed to be sighthounds, meaning that they hunt primarily by sight and speed rather than scent and endurance. The breed originated in Afghanistan and was developed to hunt wolves, foxes, and gazelles, however, they also saw work as a herder and guardian of livestock. Considered to be one of the oldest dog breeds, the Afghan Hound has a long, rich history and has been depicted in Afghan caves that are thought to date back to the pre-Christian era over 4,000 years ago. Their original native name was Tazi, thanks to their connection to the very similar Tasy breed of Russia. The Afghan's popularity in the show ring grew quickly, becoming one of the most competitive breeds during the 1970s. Snuppy, the first dog to be cloned by scientist Hwan Woo-Suk, was an Afghan Hound.
Majestic and graceful, the Afghan Hound has a tall and slender body with wide hips, which attests to their agility, stamina, and a top speed of over 40 miles per hour. They have thick, silky, fine-textured hair that falls down in waves almost as if it were actual silk over the whole body except the head, chest, stomach, and feet. The ears of the breed look less like typical dog ears, but more like flowing locks of hair. Regardless of their appearance, the Afghan is able to work in extreme conditions due to their coat, giving them an outdoor versatility that most would not expect. The dark eyes of the Afghan Hound are almond-shaped and they have a dark-colored narrow muzzle with a dark nose to match. Their tail sits not too high on the body with a "ring-shaped" or curved end.
The Afghan Hound is commonly described as being independent and dignified, yet sweet and extremely loyal. Despite their independence, these aristocratic dogs bond deeply with their families. Afghans have a personality that tends to seem serious to humans, even distant, but they do know how to have a good time and are considered to be gentle with children, however, they are not really a "playmate" kind of dog. Known to be charming and sweet-natured, the breed is also fairly intelligent and tends to tolerate cats and small animals indoors, especially if socialized or raised with them from puppyhood. The Afghan Hound is seen as one of the more difficult breeds to obedience train due to their independence and high prey drive, but with a consistent, firm owner who understands pack leadership and can give positive reinforcement, these intelligent hounds can excel in just about anything they do. With a well-suited family who can give this naturally active breed at least an hour of daily exercise, Afghans can be laid back and calm in the home. Mischievous and clownish, this gorgeous breed is best suited for an active individual or family who is looking for a less assertive companion with a great demeanor.