A Breed Standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament and appearance of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function. Absolute soundness is essential. Breeders and judges should at all times be careful to avoid obvious conditions or exaggerations which would be detrimental in any way to the health, welfare or soundness of this breed. From time to time certain conditions or exaggerations may be considered to have the potential to affect dogs in some breeds adversely, and judges and breeders are requested to refer to the Breed Watch section of the Kennel Club website for details of any such current issues. If a feature or quality is desirable it should only be present in the right measure. However if a dog possesses a feature, characteristic or colour described as undesirable or highly undesirable it is strongly recommended that it should not be rewarded in the show ring.

Afghan Hound Breed Standard (UK)

General Appearance

Gives the impression of strength and dignity, combining speed and power. Head held proudly.

Characteristics

Eastern or Oriental expression is typical of breed. The Afghan looks at and through one.

Temperament

Dignified and aloof, with a certain keen fierceness.

Head and Skull

Skull long, not too narrow, with prominent occiput. Foreface long with punishing jaws and slight stop. Skull well balanced and mounted by a long "top-knot". Nose preferably black, liver permissible in light-coloured dogs.

Eyes

Dark for preference, but golden colour not debarred. Nearly triangular in appearance, slanting slightly upwards from inner corner to outer corner.

Ears

Set low and well back, carried close to head. Covered with long silky hair.

Mouth

Jaws strong, with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws. Level bite tolerated.

Neck

Long, strong, with proud carriage of head.

Forequarters

Shoulders long and sloping, set well back, well muscled and strong without being loaded. Upper arm long and sloping. In profile this brings the elbow vertically below the wither. Forelegs straight and well boned, elbows close to ribcage, turning neither in nor out.

Body

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

Hindquarters

Powerful, well bent and well turned stifles. Great length between hip and hock, with comparatively short distance between hock and foot.

Feet

Forefeet strong and very large both in length and breadth, and covered with long, thick hair; toes arched. Pasterns long and springy, pads well down on ground. Hindfeet long, but not quite as broad as forefeet; covered with long thick hair.

Tail

Not too short. Set on low with ring at end. Raised when in action. Sparsely feathered.

Gait/Movement

Smooth and springy with a style of high order.

Coat

Long and very fine texture on the ribs, fore and hindquarters and flanks. In mature dogs, from the shoulder backwards and along the saddle, hair short and close. Hair long from the forehead backwards, with a distinct silky "topknot". On the foreface hair short, ears and legs well coated. Pasterns can be bare. Coat must develop naturally. Any evidence of clipping or scissoring should be penalised.

Colour

All colours acceptable.

Size

Ideal height: dogs: 68-74 cms (27-29 ins); bitches: 63-69 cms (25-27 ins).

Faults

Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog&s ability to perform its traditional work.

Note

Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

Last updated October 2009

The original 1906 standard from the Indian Kennel gazette (based on Zardin)

Head

Resembles that of a deerhound. Skull oval and prominent occiput: little or no stop. A very long punishing jaw of peculiar power

Eyes

Keen and dark

Ears

Fairly large, well feathered and hanging to the side of the skull rather than carried to the front

Skull

Surmounted by a top knot

Neck

Long strong and clean, fairly well arched running in a nice curve to the shoulder

Shoulders

Long and sloping well laid back

Back

Strong, loin powerful and slightly arched. Falls away towards the stern. Well ribbed, tucked up under the loin. Not too narrow in brisket, which is deep, with good girth to chest

Forelegs

Great length between elbow (which is straight) and ankle. Forelegs straight and strong and covered with hair

Hindquarters

Very powerful, furnished with plenty of muscle. Great length between hip and hock, which is low and strong, a fair bend of stifle

Forefeet

Long, fairly broad, well protected with hair

Dew Claws

Hindfeet

Hindfeet not so long as forefeet, fairly wide and well protected with hair

Tail

Set on low, almost destitute of hair, usually carried low

Coat

Thick and fine in texture, showing some undercoat. Well clothed with protective hair on hindquarters, flanks, ribs and forequarters. The coat is shorter on the back

Colour

Zardin, light coloured, almost white, with black muzzle

Height

at least 26 inches to shoulder

Head

Skull oval with prominent occiput; jaw long and punishing

Eyes

dark

Ears

Long, well feathered

Skull

Surmounted by a top knot of long silky hair

Neck

Long, arched, running in a curve to the shoulder

Shoulders

Long and sloping well laid back

Back

Strong, loin powerful and slightly arched, falling away towards the stern

Forelegs

Straight and strong, great length between elbow, (which is straight) and ankle

Hindquarters

Powerful, well muscled, great length between hip and hock, which is low and strong. Fair bend of stifle

Forefeet

Very large, both in length and breadth, toes well arched and feet covered with long thick hair, fine in texture

Coat

Hindquarters, flanks, ribs and forequarters well covered with long thick hair, very fine in texture. Ears and all four feet well feathered

Height

Dogs about 28" bitches 25-26"

Gait

Strong and active looking, a combination of speed and power with a graceful outline

First AHA standard 1927-46

Head

skull long and not too narrow, with prominent occiput. Foreface long with punishing jaws and little stop, nose usually black, liver no disqualification in lighter dogs

Eyes

dark preferred, golden colour no disqualification

Ears

long, heavily feathered and carried close to the head

Skull

surmounted by a long top knot

Neck

Long, strong with proud carriage of head

Shoulders

Long and sloping, well set back, well muscled and strong

Back

Well muscled the whole length, falling slightly away to the stern. Loin straight broad and rather short, Hip joints rather prominent and wide. A fair spring of ribs and good depth of chest

Forelegs

straight, well boned, elbows rather straight

Hindquarters

Powerful and strong with plenty of bend to hock and stifle and well under dog

Forefeet

Large, toes very long, well arched and heavily feathered

Dew Claws

Hind Feet

Tail

set on low and carried gaily with a ring at the end, sparsely feathered

Coat

Long, of very fine texture on the ribs, fore and hindquarters and flanks. From the shoulder backwards along the top of the back the hair is short and close. Hair long from eyes backwards, with distinct silky topknot, on foreface hair is short as on the back. Ears and legs well feathered

Colour

any colour

Height

Dogs 27=29" Bitches 2-3 inches smaller

Expression

dignified aloof and intelligent. In motion his head and tail are carried high: springing gait

Gait

The whole appearance of the dog should give the impression of strength and activity, combining speed with power. The object of the dog is to hunt its quarry over very rough and mountainous ground in a country of crags and ravines. For this a compact and well coupled dog is necessary rather than a long loined racing dog whose first quality is speed.

AHA standard 1946 (adopted by KC 1950)

Head

skull long and not too narrow with prominent occiput. Foreface long with punishing jaws and slight stop. Mouth level. Nose usually black, liver no disqualification in lighter dogs

Eyes

Dark preferred, golden colour no disqualification. Nearly triangular slanting slightly upwards from the inner corner to the outer

Ears

set low and well back, carried close to the head, covered with long silky hair

Skull

well balanced and surmounted with a long top knot. Faults - any appearance of coarseness, skull too wide and foreface too short, weak under jaw, large round or full eyes

Neck

Long, strong with proud carriage of head. Fault - neck should never be too short or thick

Shoulders

long and sloping, well set back, well muscled and strong without being loaded

Back

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

Forelegs

straight and well boned, straight with shoulder, elbows held in

Hindquarters

Powerful, well turned stifles with plenty of bend. Great length between hip and hock with comparatively short distance between hock and foot

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 ground

Dew claws

these may be removed or remain at the discretion of the breeder

Hindfeet

long but not quite so broad as forefeet: covered with long thick hair

Tail

not too short, set on low with a ring at the end. raised when in action. Sparsely feathered

Coat

Long and very fine textured on ribs, fore and hind quarters and flanks. From the shoulder backwards along the saddle the hair is short and close in mature dogs. Hair long from the forehead backwards with a distinct silky top knot. On the foreface hair is short as on the back. Ears and legs well coated. Ankles can be bare. Coat must be allowed to develop naturally.

Colour

no colour disqualification. All colours acceptable

Height

dogs 27-29" Bitches 2-3 " smaller

Expression

The head must be proudly held. Eastern of oriental expression typical of the breed. Should be dignified, aloof with a certain keen fierceness. The afghan look at and through one

Gait

smooth and springy, style of high order, great speed, fleet footed, great turning power. The whole appearance of the dog should give the impression of strength and dignity combining speed and power

Note

male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum

Afghan Hound Breed Standard (USA)

General Appearance

The Afghan Hound is an aristocrat, his whole appearance one of dignity and aloofness with no trace of plainness or coarseness. He has a straight front, proudly carried head, eyes gazing into the distance as if in memory of ages past. The striking characteristics of the breed-exotic, or "eastern"expression, long silky topknot, peculiar coat pattern, very prominent hipbones, large feet and the impression of a somewhat exaggerated bend in the stifle due to profuse trouserings-stand out clearly, giving the Afghan Hound the appearance of what he is, a king of dogs, that has held true to tradition throughout the ages.

Head

The head is of good length, showing much refinement, the skull evenly balanced with the foreface. There is a slight prominence of the nasal bone structure causing a slightly Roman appearance, the center line running up over the foreface with little or no stop, falling away in front of the eyes there is an absolutely clear outlook with no interference; the underjaw showing great strength, the jaws long and punishing; the mouth level, meaning that the teeth from the upper jaw and lower jaw match evenly, neither overshot nor undershot. This is a difficult. mouth to breed. A scissors bite is even more punishing and can be more easily bred into a dog than a level mouth, and a dog having a scissors bite, where the lower teeth slip inside and rest against the teeth of the upper jaw, should not be penalized. The occipital bone is very prominent. The head is surmounted by a topknot of long silky hair.

Ears

The ears are long, set approximately on level with outer corners of the eyes, the leather of the ear reaching nearly to the end of the dog's nose, and covered with long silky hair.
EYES. The eyes are almond-shaped dmost triangular, never full or bulgy, and are dark in color.

Nose

Nose is of good size, black in color. Faults: Coarseness; snipiness; overshot or undershot; eyes round or bulgy or light in color; exaggerated Roman nose; head not surrnounted with topknot.

Neck

The neck is of good length, strong and arched, running in a curve to the shoulder which are long and sloping and well laid back. Faults: Neck too short or too thick; a ewe neck; a goose neck; neck lacking in substance.

Body

The back line appearing practically level from the shoulders to the loin. Strong and powerful loin and slightly arched, falling away toward the stern, with the hipbones very pronounced; well ribbed and tucked up in flanks. The height at the shoulders equals the distance from the chest to the buttocks; the brisket well let down, and of medium width. Faults: Roach back, sway-back, goose rump, slack loin; lack of prominence of hipbones, too much width of brisket causing interference with elbows.

Tail

Tail set not too high on the body, having a ring, or a curve on the end; should never be curled over, or rest on the back, or be carried sideways; and should never be bushy.

Legs

Forelegs are straight and strong with great length between elbow and pastern, elbows well held in; forefeet large in both length and width; toes well arched; feet covered with long thick hair; fine in texture, pasterns long and straight; pads of feet usually large and well down on the ground. Shoulders have plenty of angulation so that the legs are well set underneath the dog. Too much straightness of shoulder causes the dog to break down in the pasterns, and this is a serious fault. All four feet of the Afghan Hound are in line with the body, turning neither in nor out. The hind feet are broad and of good length; the toes arched, and covered with long thick hair; hindquarters powerful and well muscled with great length between hip and hock; hocks are well let down; good angulation of both stifle and hock; slightly bowed from hock to crotch. Faults: Front or back feet thrown outward or inward; pads of feet not thick enough; or feet too small; or any other evidence of weakness in feet; weak or broken down pasterns; too straight in stifle; too long in hock.

Coat

Hindquarters, flanks, ribs, forequarters, and legs well covered with thick, silky hair, very fine in texture; ears and all four feet well feathered; from in front of the shoulders, and also backwards from the shoulders along the saddle from the flanks and the ribs upwards, the hair is short and close, forming a smooth back in mature dogs-this is a traditional characteristic of the Afghan Hound. The Afghan Hound should be shown in its natural state; the coat is not clipped or trimmed; the head is surmounted (in the full sense of the word) with a topknot of long, silky hair-that is also an outstanding characteristic of the Afghan Hound. Showing of short hair on cuffs on either front or back legs is permissible. Faults: Lack of shorthaired saddle in mature dogs.

Height

Dogs, 27 inches, plus or minus one inch; bitches, 25 inches, plus or minus one inch.

Weight

Dogs, about 60 pounds, bitches, about 50 pounds.

Color

All colors are permissible, but color or color combinations are pleasing; white markings, especially on the head, are undesirable.

Gait

When running free, the Afghan Hound moves at a gallop, showing great elasticity and spring in this smooth, powerful stride. When on a loose lead the Afghan can trot at a fast pace; stepping along, he has the appearance of placing the hind feet directly in the foot prints of the front feet, both thrown straight ahead. Moving with head and tail high, the whole appearance of the Afghan Hound is one of great style and beauty.

Temperament

Aloof and dignified, yet gay. Faults: Sharpness or shyness.

Standard approved September 14 1948

Afghan Hound Breed Standard (FCI)

FCI-Standard No 228 / 22. 11. 2004 / GB
Origin : Afghanistan.
Patronage : Great Britain.
Date of Publication of the Original Valid Standard: 09.11.2004.
Utilization : Sighthound.
Classification F.C.I. : Group 10 Sighthounds. Section 1 Long-haired or fringed Sighthounds. Without working trial.

General Appearance

Gives the impression of strength and dignity, combining speed and power. Head held proudly.

Behaviour / Temperament

Eastern or Oriental expression is typical of breed. The Afghan looks at and through one. Dignified and aloof, with a certain keen fierceness.

Head
Cranial Region

Skull : Long, not too narrow with prominent occiput. Well balanced and mounted by a long "top-knot".
Stop : Slight.

Facial Region

Nose : Preferably black, liver permissible in light-coloured dogs.
Muzzle : Long, with punishing jaws.
Jaws/Teeth : Jaws strong, with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. the upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square to the jaws. Level bite tolerated.
Eyes : Dark for preference, but golden colour not debarred. Nearly triangular, slanting slightly upwards from inner corner to outer.
Ears : Set low and well back, carried close to head. Covered with long silky hair.

Neck

Long, strong with proud carriage of head.

Body

Back : Level, moderate length, well muscled.
Loin : Straight, broad and rather short.
Croup : Falling slightly away to stern. Hipbones rather prominent and wide apart.
Chest : A fair spring of ribs and good depth.

Tail

Not too short. Set on low with ring at end. Raised when in action. Sparsely feathered.

Limbs
Forequarters

Forelegs straight and well boned, straight with shoulder viewed from front.
Shoulders : Long and sloping, set well back, well muscled and strong without being loaded.
Upper arm : Long and sloping.
Elbows : In profile vertically below the withers. Close to rib cage, turning neither in nor out.
Pasterns : Long and springy.

Hindquarters

Powerful. Great length between hip and hock with comparatively short distance between hock and foot.
Stifles : Well bent and well turned.
Dewclaws : May be removed.

Feet

Forefeet strong and very large both in length and breadth, and covered with long, thick hair; toes arched. Pads well down on ground. Hindfeet long, but not quite as broad as forefeet; covered with long thick hair.

Gait / Movement

Smooth and springy with a style of high order.

Coat
Hair

Long and very fine texture on ribs, fore and hindquarters and flanks. In mature dogs from shoulder backwards and along the saddle, hair short and close. Hair long from forehead backwards, with a distinct silky "top-knot". On foreface hair short. Ears and legs well coated. Pasterns can be bare. Coat must develop naturally.

Colour

All colours acceptable.

Size

Ideal height : dogs 68-74 cm (27-29 ins); bitches 63-69 cm (25-27 ins).

Faults

Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.
Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.

Note

Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum

Afghan Hound Breed Standard (Australia)

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.

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.

Temperament

The Afghan Hound should be dignified and aloof with a certain keen fierceness.

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.

Eyes

Should be dark for preference, but golden colour is not debarred. Nearly triangular, slanting slightly upwards from the inner corner to the outer.

Ears

Set low and well back, carried close to the head. Covered with long silky hair.

Mouth

Level.

Neck

Long, strong with proud carriage of the head.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Tail

Not too short. Set on low with ring at the end. Raised when in action. Sparsely feathered.

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.

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.

Colour

All colours are acceptable.

Sizes

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

Faults

Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.

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.

Notes

Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

Last updated: 05 Aug 2009