Thursday, August 24, 2017
The Standard as "we" see it.....
Listed here is the "Afghan Hound" breed standard, the inserted photos of dogs are examples that we feel best represent the Red highlighted portions of the Afghan Hound Standard. This is only our own interpretation and is listed here purely for educational purposes. The comments listed in Yellow highlight points to be noted in the photo.
GENERAL APPEARANCE - The gait of the Afghan Hound should be smooth and springy with a style of high order. The whole appearance of the dog should give the impression of strength and dignity combining speed and power. The head must be held proudly.

Note the proud head carriage, the topline remains level and the reach and drive (rear kick).
CHARACTERISTICS - The Afghan Hound should be dignified and aloof with a certain keen fierceness.  The eastern or oriental expression is typical of the breed.  The Afghan looks at and through one. 

Note how important the eyes are to the oriental expression, incl. shape, colour & placement.
TEMPERAMENT - The Afghan Hound should be dignified and aloof with a certain keen fierceness

Once again the eyes are very important but in displaying keen fierceness, so too is the detail in the head (chiselling & veining) and the overall intense bearing (attitude) of the dog.
HEAD AND SKULL Skull long, not too narrow with prominent occiput.  Foreface long with punishing jaws and slight stop. The skull well balanced and surmounted by a long "top knot".  Nose preferably black, but liver is no fault in light coloured dogs. 

The head planes should appear relatively "clean through" whether looking at the head in profile or straight on. The foreface and skull should balance with one another in length. The underjaw should be strong and not be lacking length so to be shark like.
EYES - Should be dark for preference, but golden colour is not debarred.  Nearly triangular, slanting slightly upwards from the inner corner to the outer. 

Note the eyes should not be set too far forward & should never be round.  A small eye enhances the look of keen fierceness & generally, the smaller the eye, the better. Unpigmented haws ( pink third eyelids) tend also to detract from the eastern oriental expression.
 
EARS - Set low and well back, carried close to the head.  Covered with long silky hair

The length of the ear leather usually determines the length of the ear fringing. The longer the leather, the better.
MOUTH - Level.  (This refers to the actual mouth. As for the actual bite - a scissor or level bite is accepted)
NECK - Long, strong with proud carriage of the head

Note this carriage is important to the bearing of the Afghan when standing or moving. The neck is long but at no time should look weak or "snap off" like.


FOREQUARTERS - Shoulders long and sloping, well set back, well muscled and strong without being loaded.  Forelegs straight and well boned, straight with shoulder, elbows held in. 

The forequarters should not be too overdone. The Afghan is a Sighthound - not a Gundog. However, the forequarter & hindquarter angulation should balance with each other.  Regardless of the angle in front, the Afghan must be able to stand over its front and should never "A" frame or look "rocking horse".


BODY - Back level, moderate length, well muscled, the back falling slightly away to the stern.  Loin straight, broad and rather short. Hip-bones rather prominent and wide apart.  A fair spring of ribs and good depth of chest. 

Note the Afghan consists of a series of clean, angular lines, not a series of curves as in a Whippet or a Greyhound. A crucial breed hallmark is the short hard level topline culminating in prominent hipbones, then falling away at the croup & highlighted by good bum-bones with a tail set towards the lower half of the croup. The level topline should also be evident on the move, not falling away (like a motor boat) , nor soft and sinking in the middle or rising in the rump.


HINDQUARTERS - Powerful, well bent and well turned stifles. Great length between hip and hock with a comparatively short distance between hock and foot.  The dewclaws may be removed or remain at the discretion of the breeder. 

The great length between hip & hock is very important. Although an Afghan can appear to have a well turned stifle, without the great length between hip & hock, it gives more the appearance of drooping hindquarters as in say a Deerhound. The other important thing to look out for are sickle hocks. An Afghan MUST be able to fully flex their hocks on the move.
FEET - Forefeet strong and very large, both in length and breadth, and covered with long, thick hair; toes arched.  Pasterns long and springy, especially in front, and pads well down on the ground.  Hindfeet long, but not quite so broad as forefeet, covered with long, thick hair. 

Note also that pasterns should be angled and not too upright to ensure correct movement. Strong large feet are very important both front and rear. Although the feet are covered in long thick hair, bare pasterns should never be penalised.


TAIL - Not too short.  Set on low with ring at the endRaised when in action.  Sparsely feathered. 

Also note that it is incorrect for a tail to bounce on the back when moving. This is usually a sign of too short a tail that is too high set or set -on at a forward angle to the croup.
GAIT/MOVEMENT - The gait of the Afghan Hound should be smooth and springy with a style of high order.  The head must be held proudly.  The tail is raised when in action. 

Once again note the level topline and natural head carriage. The Afghan spring is the "most" beautiful breed characteristic (NO other breed moves like an Afghan). It is not bounce (just a wasted up and down motion). It is a light lifting, forward propelling fluid action that works with the cadence and synchronicity of Afghan movement. It is complimented by a high kick in the rear combined with a beautiful working pastern in the front. The head carriage is extremely important. An Afghan should never appear to get lower to the ground the more they open out in side gait. Nor should they get lower to the ground the longer they move, they may slow a little but should maintain their outline and carriage on the move at all times. They should appear tall and erect, floating above the ground, giving an effortless impression.
COAT - Long and very fine texture on ribs, fore- and hindquarters and flanks.  From the shoulder backwards and along the saddle, the hair should be short and close in mature dogs.  Hair long from the forehead backward, with a distinct silky "top knot".  On the foreface the hair is short, as on the back.  Ears and legs well coated.  Pasterns can be bare.  Coat must be allowed to develop naturally. 
Although a fully coated Afghan is a site to behold, so too is a naturally patterned one - dropped saddle line, naked spurs at the bum bones, bare pasterns front and rear (feet must still be caoted) and although the coat is still considered long, it is much more sparse with perhaps just a fringe along the body line. Although All Breeds judges tend to award the former, the latter is just as correct and is more likely to be appreciated at Specialties or under breeder judges.


COLOUR - All colours are acceptable. 

SIZE - Ideal height: Dogs 68 - 74 cm (27 - 29 ins),  Bitches 5 - 8 cm (2 - 3 ins) smaller. 

FAULTS -  Any appearance of coarseness.  Skull too wide and foreface too short. Weak underjaw.  Large, round or full eyes.  Neck should never be too short or thick.  Back too long or too short.