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Breed Priorities – The Afghan Hound

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258 – May 2019


This article is not intended to promote fault or part judging. Nor is it to imply that any characteristic called for in the standard is unimportant. Judging, and breeding, is about prioritizing and about what the judge or breeder will forgive. Discussing priorities can help in learning how to better evaluate a breed. Questions, Comments, or Concerns? Contact AKC Judge Ms. Nikki Riggsbee at this email address:

The Afghan Hound is a sighthound breed developed in remote areas of what are now the countries of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and parts of India. They were not discovered by the west until some English army officers brought them home to England in the late 1800s. In the FCI world of dog shows, the country of origin controls the breed standard used to judge the dogs at their shows. For the Afghan Hound in FCI, England is listed as the patron and in charge of the standard instead of Afghanistan. AKC recognized the parent club for the breed in 1940.

Afghan Hounds were quite popular at dog shows from the late sixties to the late eighties, with very big entries–much bigger than seen at more recent shows (as is true with many breeds). Perhaps because of this popularly, there are over 100 breeder-judges for Afghans. Most were contacted and invited to take a survey on their breed’s priorities. Some emails bounced, some didn’t respond, a few declined. Fifty-nine agreed to participate. Thirty-nine surveys were received by the deadline.

Those who did the survey have been in the breed for more than 44 years on average and have judged them for nearly 19 years on average. More than 60% have judged their national, and almost all have judged other Afghan specialties. Some are breed specialists judging just Afghans; others are multiple group judges.

Afghan Hound Virtues

The survey included a list of virtues taken from the Afghan breed standard for the experts to prioritize. The standard specifies several features that are unique to this breed, including the coat and coat pattern, pronounced hipbones, croup/tail set/tail ring, and more. It was interesting to learn how important these distinct features were as compared to more general ones such as proportion, topline, and other components that other breeds value.

Click here to read the complete article
258 – May 2019

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Posted by on Jun 4 2019. Filed under Current Articles, Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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  • September 2019