Belonging to the sight hound family – greyhound-like dogs- the Afghans are a unique dog breed which requires special training. If you own an Afghan hound or you are thinking of purchasing one, please note that Afghan hound training is difficult and quite time consuming. The Afghan dog stands from 24 to 28 inches tall with males weighing approximately 60 pounds and females weighing around 50 pounds. When choosing an Afghan makes sure the coat is silky and long on the body and fine on the neck area. When creating your Afghan hound training program you have to take into consideration the characteristics of the breed: agility, endurance, tenacity and cunningness. Afghan hounds can reach speeds of around 40 mph and can jump up to 20 feet and leap 7 feet straight up from a standing still.
A difficult training is in store for Afghan hound owners
Being liberal and independent, the Afghans do not care much for taking orders and obeying commands. The reasons for their behavior stands in the way their genetic pool was forced to develop – originally, Afghans were hunting dogs that were often left on their own to deal with the catch. An Afghan is very intelligent and cunning and trainers often find that the dog ends up training them, instead of the whole process going the other way around. Afghan hound training is based on a unique approach – make the Afghan follow your commands by having him think it is his own idea to do so instead of your orders. A smart dog requires smart handling and this should be reflected in your program. Afghan hound training is greatly based on the praise system, where the dog receives compensation for working with you (not for you) in order to achieve a certain goal.
Other Afghan hound training considerations
Here are a few other things you should try to apply when performing the basic dog training methods on your Afghan hound:
- Use a kind approach. Harsh training methods will fail 80% of the time with the cunning Afghan dog.
- Focus on the essential training commands, such as come or stay – Afghan hound training programs should only deal with these commands in an initial phase, ensuring that the basics are covered before moving on to more difficult commands.
- Social dog training is a must for the Afghan dogs. They require social dog training in order to diminish their feral spirit.
The reserved attitude of this dog breed makes the Afghan an excellent guard dog, but proper training and socialization must also be present, otherwise the dog may become dangerous to those around him.