The Independent Voice of the Afghan Hound Breed
45th Year Of Publication
The Eta Pauptit Letters
The Afghan Hound Standard In Detail Page2
As Published In "Our Afghans" Magazine August 2002.
(Compiled by Steve Tillotson)
The Afghan Hound Standard In Detail Page2
(Eta Pauptit, "Our Afghans", August 2002
The head must be a larger part of the dog than that of the desert Afghan whose head is smaller in proportion to its body. The nose tends to be a little Roman, then a little stop and from nose tip to stop has to be as long as from stop to occipult. The nose itself is broad with good nostrils and the back of the nose has plenty of bone without being coarse. The underjaw is in balance must be seen as in the desert type. It more or less disappears in the upper jaw. Here the chin line goes more up in the direction of the eyes as in the mountain type, while the underjaw line (in profile) tends to go down and flows into the beard. The skull in the mountain type is broader around the eyes than between the ears. Here we have the fact with the fascinating human look (eyes set more like in humans). There is room for the eyes in this position, so the dog can look at you and if it has the carriage, he looks down at you, whereas the desert type looks up at you. They stay with head and tail mostly in a horizontal line.
The desert type head is broadest between the ears and mostly has a longer nose part. The crossbreds tend to have both, so the head is coarser, broad at the eyes and ears, looking more commonly like some Setters or Alsatian expression as they are set high and are smaller. Since the mountain type has more bone and is in general of heavier build, the nose looks a bit heavier in the mountain type, which is also due to better muscles in the neck which allow the head to be carried higher. The head is held farther backwards and also served as a counterweight in the home country, allowing a dog to come to a sudden stop. This accounts for the need for well laid-back shoulders, with a dip behind the shoulders. This is not so much on the spine, but rather large shoulder blades, laid well back against the brisket. That brisket is so important for the mountain type as it has to have room for those neck and shoulder muscles, with quarters well hocked and under the body.
In the desert type, the quarters stay more before the body so the shoulders are more against the neck, leaving the spine more open to feel all the way. Because of this, the dessert type is more of a sprinter and a better, trotter, with a longer, not so springy stride, setting it rather apart from any other breed of dog. Being a sprinter, the desert type has not as much front breast, with the deepest point in profile about the elbows and right up to the back, with an all over spring of ribs.
In the mountain type, the front of the breast goes down to its deepest point between the front legs, then it continues straight to a short cut to the tuck up and the spring of ribs goes far more back along all the ribs in a fine specimen.
This brings me to the loin. The back from shoulders to tail in the desert type is flatter than in the mountain type, going in a straight line, with only the hip bones sticking out. In a true mountain dog, the loin goes up in the hipbone although it is flat in itself and always broad, but must not have the rounding over the loins like in a greyhound. Because of its heavier muscles, the hip bones of the mountain types are not as prominent as in the desert type, but they are farther apart as the hindquarters have to be able to let the dog move in any direction at any moment. The croup must be long and fall away more in the mountain type and the hip bones and the tail set on in the middle. Seeing this, it is clear that the set on in the desert type is higher. With this head and tail set, the mountain type has more power and extension in this part of the body and by using this in movement, (trot) he seems to "hang in the air". This is a must for that springy gait.
As soon as Afghan Hound lovers want to see greyhound traits in an Afghan and bred for this, the Afghan Hound loses that most typical gait, a movement which has set him apart from the very beginning from any other breed. The best build Afghan Hound, in my opinion, is one where the distance between occipult and dip, and dip and tail set are the same.
So now we are up to that tail. It must be broad at the base in the mountain type, while the desert type tail is small at the base and does not curl at the end like that of the mountain type. It is a bit shorter, and we all know that the tail is up in a trot, halfway down in canter and racing, or even down, as it is when standing. It is ridiculous to hold up a tail in the ring. The standard in the early days told us that most tails ended in a ring.
Today it says that it has to be a ring. Well, I saw that tight ringtail mostly in all Bell-Murray hounds and in half the Ghazni imports, but in the first generations of this type, I also saw so many so-called setter tails. All were broad on the base and in old descriptions of the cross-breedings among the early types, the ring tail was more prominent in the desert type hounds. Many had more a full bow and I admire that that more than the completely straight tail, but it must not touch the dogs back when moving. Obviously, we have quite an assortment of tails in Afghan Hounds, some seemingly due to some Tibetan Mastiff bloodlines (curled over the back, heavily fringed) and all the Mediterranean breeds coming to Asia had several different types of tail.
Reigh Abram (Dureigh Afghan Hounds)
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