Distinctive, independent and noble, the Afghan Hound is one breed that needs no introduction. Popular the world over, Afghan Hounds are eye-catching to say the least. Standing nearly thirty inches tall at the shoulder and flaunting one of the most beautiful coats of any breed, Afghan Hounds appear dignified, aristocrat and supremely elegant.
Beneath the Afghan Hounds stunning coat is a powerful, agile hound with the grace, speed, and a keen instinct. Bred to course hare and gazelle in the rugged mountains of Afghanistan, these regal athletes have a strong instinct to run and chase. They should never be off leash when not enclosed within a fence that is at least six feet tall.
The Afghan Hounds coat requires a fair amount of grooming. They also need frequent exercise and activity to ward off destructive behavior. Long walks fetch and frequent trips to the park are great ways to keep them fit, happy and healthy. If you’re looking for an aristocratic companion with the heart of a sprinter, then the Afghan Hound is the puppy for you.
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This small, ancient dog breed originates in Italy, where it was historically used to hunt rabbits, especially in adverse conditions. The Cirneco dell’Etna is a robust, compact dog that has impressive endurance and a friendly, laid-back personality. It has an elegant, slender build and a red or chestnut colored coat, as well as erect, upright ears. This breed is most commonly raised as a companion dog, as it does very well with children and enjoys being around people.
The Irish Wolfhound is massive, muscular, and dignified. Originally bred to hunt wolves and other large game, the Irish Wolfhound has a slender, graceful build with rough, wiry hair that comes in several different colors. The tallest of all AKC-recognized breeds, the Irish Wolfhound stands nearly three feet tall at the shoulder and weighs over 100 lbs. when fully grown. These dogs are wonderful with children, easy to train, and have a calm, affectionate nature. In spite of its size, the pleasant, loving temperament of the Irish Wolfhound makes it unsuitable as a guard dog, but perfect as a companion animal in a large living space.
Also known as the “African Lion Dog,” the Rhodesian Ridgeback was bred in southern Africa to hunt lions. These courageous, athletic dogs are easily identified by their “ridge”, which is a strip of hair growing in the opposite direction along their spine. They have incredible endurance and durability, and are very friendly and affectionate towards children and other pets. Rhodesian Ridgebacks are intelligent and easy to train, and are well suited for active families.
This Egyptian breed has been traced back to millennia ago, where it was considered a noble breed, owned only by royalty and often mummified alongside Egyptian pharaohs. After spreading to England in the 1800s, the Saluki was nicknamed “Persian Greyhound.” The Saluki has two varieties (smooth and feathered) and has incredible running ability and endurance. These tall, slender dogs are reserved and sensitive in nature, but can do well with families and children. Salukis excel with plenty of room to run.