A brief history
The Afghan Hound was discovered by the Western World in Afghanistan and surrounding regions during the 19th century, with the first specimens brought to England in the latter part of that century. Of the breed's origin and its history prior to then, little is known for certain. It was once believed that the Afghan Hound existed in Egypt thousands of years ago, with a second theory that the breed evolved on the steppes of Asia representing the original sight hound. A great deal of research has not provided proof for either of these speculations.
As the breed developed in Afghanistan, two distinct types evolved. Hounds from the southern and western desert regions had a rangy build, were light in colour and sparse in outer coat. The dogs from the northern regions were more compact in structure, darker in colour and more heavily coated. These and other variations represented logical adaptations to the wide diversity of climate and terrain of the country.
The breed is primarily a coursing hound, pursuing its quarry by sight. The Afghan Hound hunted singly, in dog and bitch pairs, in packs and combined with specially trained falcons. A tremendously versatile breed, its quarry included hare, jackals, gazelle and snow leopards. Because of the variety of game hunted and the diversity of the geography, the Afghan Hound's most desirable traits were being sure-footed and agile to work the rugged terrain, strength and speed to bring down prey, plus the stamina to maintain a strenuous chase for a sustained length of time.