Afghan Spaniel Breed Card
Afghan Spaniel Breed Overview
19-24 inches tall
Country of Origin
Affectionate, Adaptable, and Friendly
12 to 15 years
Afghan Spaniel History
The Afghan Spaniel is a relatively new crossbreed of the elegant Afghan Hound and the playful Cocker Spaniel.
This a new designer breed that was bred in the United States sometime in the 2000s, There is little known about the Afghan Spaniel because it is so new but the histories of the parent breeds can give insight into its characteristics.
The Afghan Hound is a hound breed that historically originated in ancient Egypt, The Afghan Hound has been an integral part of Eastern culture since the dawn of civilization and they belong to the subcategory of hounds known as Sighthounds.
Extremely proficient hunters, sighthounds are known for their hunting acumen, high speeds, and panoramic vision to spot and pursue their prey, such as gazelle, rabbits, and other small animals in Afghanistan.
The Afghan Hound first came to England in the 1900s and was also known by the names the Persian Greyhound, Barukhzy Hound, Tāzī, Balkh Hound, Baluchi Hound, Shalgar Hound, Kabul Hound, Galanday Hound.
The Afghan Hound very quickly gained popularity and became the favorite breed of the British gentry.
The breed was registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1927, and by early 1930 the breed became popular even with U.S breeders and pet owners. The official AKC Parent Club for the breed is the Afghan Hound Club of America.
The Spaniel breed is thought to have originated in Spain during the 1300s and 1400s, and over time Spaniels began to descend into England. They were primarily water dogs engaged in sport hunting. Thereafter the Cocker Spaniel emerged as a smaller toy breed from among the other Spaniels by the 19th century, the concept of pure breeds started to get popular in England with defined breed standards.The Cocker Spaniel has two types, the English Cocker Spaniel and American Cocker Spaniel, which are similar in size, appearance, and also in their temperament. Both breed dogs were considered to be the same until 1936. The Americans modified the Cocker Spaniel breed in ways that were not agreeable to the English Cocker Spaniel Club and so the two breeds were separated.
The Cocker Spaniel is currently one of the most loved dogs in the United States. It has been a member of the American Kennel Club (AKC) since 1878.
Dog Registry of America Inc recognizes the Afghan Spaniel as a dog breed.
Low End: $900
High End: $1200
Afghan Spaniel Physical Traits
The Afghan Spaniel is a rare crossbreed that has yet to be widely known. It is, a medium-sized dog, with the characteristic flowing coat and serene, dark brown eyes of the Afghan Spaniel. The Afghan Spaniel has a two-layered coat: a thin, long, and silky outer coat with a more dense under-layer. Though not as graceful as the Afghan Hound, these dogs have their coats in shades of tan or brown, though cream and brown seem to be the most popular at the moment.
However, as these dogs are crossbreeds and have no breed standard, they can come in various color combinations.
The Afghan Spaniel has a well-structured body with strong legs, a large head, and long floppy, hanging ears. They have long, straight, and elegant backs like the Afghan Hound. Being a mixed breed, they may look more like either of their parents depending on the exact combination of genes they inherited.
Their coat is long and fine, much like the Afghan Hound and they have a tail that is long, slim, and usually dense. They have an undercoat, and their coat may come in many color combinations depending on the parents’ coloring. Some of the most commonly seen colors include cream, white, golden, black, light brown, brown, and combinations of these. A characteristic feature of the Afghan Spaniel is its expressive, dark, and oval eyes.
Size & Weight ❤️
Height: 20-24 inches
Weight: 30-45 pounds
Height: 19-23 inches
Weight: 30-45 pounds
Coat & Color
Black, Grey, Brown, Red, Cream, Fawn, and Silver
Afghan Spaniel Temperament and Personality
The Afghan Spaniel is a highly adaptable dog that does well with first-time owners and also with life in apartments. Due to this nature, they make good pets for senior citizens and can adjust to lifestyle changes and different environments easily. They make cuddly companions and are ideal for owners who like to snuggle with their dogs.
This is a relatively new breed and therefore there is a limited amount of information available on its temperament. However like all designer crossbreeds, the best way to determine the temperament of a hybrid dog is to look at the parent breeds. While purchasing your Afghan Spaniel puppy from a breeder, make sure to look at the parent dogs to judge how your puppy might turn out. What characters your puppy inherits can be predicted only to an extent, it is more a matter of genetics and of chance. Afghan Spaniels will have personalities that will contain aspects of both parent breeds.
The Afghan Spaniel’s parent breed, the Cocker spaniel, is one of the world’s best-loved breeds due to its merry and frolicsome personality. The Cocker Spaniel is an affectionate and loyal, family dog that is active and has strong hunting instincts. Due to their friendly nature, they do not really make good guard dogs, however, they do well with children and other pets which is a great quality in a family dog. They require plenty of training and socialization from a young age.
The Afghan Hound on the other hand is an aloof and independent breed that has a protective nature. This makes them great watchdogs, however, considering the fact that the Afghan Hound originated as a hunting dog, there may be a stronger prey drive in some Afghan Spaniels. However, their easy trainability can make this problem manageable. They can become destructive if they do not get enough of your time to keep them from being bored so think twice about this breed if you are away from home often. They can be very sensitive and do not have a lot of tolerance for young children.
Both dog breeds have high exercise requirements and can develop behavioral issues if under-stimulated, so you can be sure your Afghan Spaniel will be high energy and need lots of physical activity and mental stimulation on a daily basis.
GOOD WITH KIDS
Yes, the Afghan Spaniel is a kid-friendly breed. It’s very social and likes to spend a lot of time with family members, including children. Their playful natures make them great companions for most kids.
This is especially so if they are well-trained and adequately socialized right from the start. However, there are some factors to consider before adding the Afghan Spaniel to your family as they can be hyper, meaning that kids under the age of five, run the risk of being bowled over or jumped on. While usually friendly with children, it would be wise to make sure children are made aware of the Affenpoos personality to avoid accidents from rough handling.
Good with Other Pets?
GOOD WITH PETS
Yes, the Afghan Spaniel is good with other pets. If you have the choice to select companion dog breeds for the Afghan Spaniel, you must look for some specific traits in the other dog such as similar energy levels. This will allow the dogs to engage at a similar level when it comes to physical activity.
Considering the fact that the Afghan Hound and the Cocker Spaniel both have histories as hunting dogs, there may be a stronger prey drive in some Afghan Spaniels. While their easy trainability can make this problem manageable, it’s a serious consideration, deserving some thought and planning on the owner’s part. This breed mix may not be a good fit for homes with small animals, due to their history with parental hunting breeds.
Barks a Lot?
Yes, the Afghan Spaniel may have a tendency to bark a lot. These dogs tend to vocalize in unwanted situations, due to their watchdog and hunting dog lineage. The Afghan Spaniel has working parents on both sides of its lineage so it is quite expected that the Afghan Spaniel would need intense physical activity daily to feel happy, in the absence of which they can get bored and frustrated.
As this breed does like being alone, loneliness may trigger them to become frustrated and anxious, which may cause them to bark and whine excessively. Negative behaviors are the result of frustration or stress, which your dog may feel when he does not get an opportunity to utilize his energy or when he is bored. Ensuring your dogs receives adequate physical exercise & training, companionship and socialization will address the barking to a great extent.
Can Be Left Alone?
Likes Being Alone
No, Afghan Spaniels are a social breed and do not like to be left alone for long. They enjoy being around people or other animals and can develop separation anxiety.
Ensuring they are provided an environment with a steady company is important. If training is provided to your dog from the time he is a puppy, then he may be able to handle separation for limited periods, more effectively. However, If you intend to be away from home for extended periods of time, due to various commitments, then this breed is definitely not the best suited for you.
Afghan Spaniel Training
The Afghan Spaniel requires intense and consistent training from an early age to ensure they settle well within the home environment. They do best when given structure and routine and dislike any type of disorganization or disruption. They are known to be smart but are not necessarily easy to train, as they can take longer than average to master basic commands and are not the best students.
Adequate and gradual socialization, starting from the first few weeks and months of life, is important. Without this, many Afghan Spaniels will be distrustful of people and it can be very hard to earn their trust when they are older. Socialization and training should be a part of your dog’s daily activity plan.
As they master the basic obedience training, these commands must be practiced daily and in different situations and environments to help strengthen their training.
You may engage them in more advanced training which includes some degree of physical and mental engagement. They perform very well at search and rescue tasks. The use of positive reinforcement is a tried and tested effective method of training. As your dog completes a particular task, use a lot of praise words, affection, and treats to encourage them.
A properly exercised and mentally active Afghan Spaniel is more likely to be well-behaved as compared to a dog that is understimulated mentally and physically. When you have hunting dog parents, there will be some challenges such as their strong prey instinct. However, this is where the importance of socializing your dog right from puppyhood comes to light. In addition, the Afghan Spaniel is a highly adaptable dog and with the right training, positive reinforcements, socializing, and attitude (on the owner’s part), you are bound to succeed.
Afghan Spaniel Needs
The Afghan Sheepdog is by no means a low-maintenance dog. This breed requires a lot of maintenance to keep its coat and skin healthy. They need a lot of exercise due to their high energy levels and need for mental stimulation. This breed craves interaction and can develop separation anxiety when left alone. Engage them in focused activities, like scent work, to channel their energy.
They also often enjoy the company of other dogs when properly acquainted. Do make sure that you never skip your dog walks, as your dog can get destructive and display unwanted behaviors with a lack of exercise. Involvement in agility training will keep your Afghan Sheepdog happy and well-mannered. In order to maintain a healthy coat and skin, as well as your dog’s overall well-being, good nutrition through a well-balanced diet and vitamins is key.
The Afghan Spaniel should be given a healthy diet consistent with that of a medium-sized breed with high energy levels. Afghan Spaniels are prone to bloating and stomach problems; smaller, more frequent meals can help minimize this risk. 2 to 2.5 cups of high-quality dry dog food ( divided into two meals) or homemade balanced meals would be ideal. Consider supplementing your dog’s diet with items that double as enrichment, like food puzzle toys, and snuffle mats to keep your Afghan Spaniel mentally engaged.
It’s also advisable to consult your veterinarian to suggest the best food plan for your pup considering the breed’s predisposition to stomach problems. The vet may also prescribe probiotics and nutritional supplements for their coat and general health. The Afghan Spaniel has a moderate risk for obesity. Measure the Afghan Spaniel’s weight regularly and consult your veterinarian in case you feel there is a need for your dog’s weight management.
Exercise & Activity Levels
The Afghan Spaniel has high physical exercise requirements. Taking him on long walks through the neighborhood or nearby parks is a great way for him to exercise and meet new people along the way. Be ready to spend at least 45 to 60 minutes a day with him playing games and going for walks to keep him happy and active.
The Afghan Spaniel has working parents on both sides of its lineage so it is quite expected that the Afghan Spaniel would need intense physical activity, daily. Afghan Hounds are hunting dogs and have the stamina and speed to capture prey such as gazelle and rabbits. Cocker Spaniels on the other hand are retrievers and get bored and frustrated if understimulated and under-exercised.
Your Afghan Spaniels may display nervous energy, compulsive barking, anxiousness, hyperactivity, and even destructive behavior if these needs are unmet. Negative behaviors are the result of frustration or stress, which your dog may feel when he does not get an opportunity to utilize his energy or when he is bored.
Taking all of this into account, the Afghan Spaniel should be exercised every day. If owners have the opportunity to bring their Afghan Spaniels to scent trials as the Afghan Spaniel would love the opportunity.
The Affen Spaniel is a medium to a high-maintenance dog, when it comes to regular grooming, keeping its coat in good condition and free of tangles. Your dog is most likely to have medium to long length straight long hair with a double coat.
Owners should be prepared for daily (or at least a few times a week) grooming and you may also invest in professional help on a regular basis to keep your Afghan Spaniel in its best condition and minimize shedding. Do not bathe your dog too regularly, to avoid stripping the natural oils from their glossy coat. This can leave it looking dry and lackluster.
As your dog’s ears will almost certainly be long and floppy, regularly check them for wax buildup, dirt, or any bad odors. Ensure you do gentle ear cleanings at least weekly. Be sure to keep his eyes free of crust and nails trimmed.
Afghan Spaniel Average Lifespan
The Afghan Spaniel, being a hybrid, has an average lifespan of 12 to 15 years and is at a lower risk of common canine diseases, as compared to purebred dogs.
The Afghan Spaniel is susceptible to the health problems that commonly affect its parent breeds, but there is no surety that an individual Afollie will suffer any of those conditions. One key way to recognize and treat problems early on is by being aware of what potential ailments can afflict your dog. However, your dog’s lifestyle, genes, and overall health determine its life expectancy.
Commom Health Problems
- Entropion. This is a condition that causes the eyelid to roll inwards, this causes the dog’s sensitive cornea to be constantly rubbed against the eyelashes and surrounding hair. One or both eyes may be affected by both the upper and lower lids. This condition causes a lot of eye irritation, and if not treated in time, can lead to corneal ulceration. A genetic or secondary issue may cause this condition.
- Ectropion. This is a condition of the eyelids in which the lower eyelid ‘rolls’ outward causing it to appear droopy. Ectropion causes the delicate conjunctival tissues to be exposed, causing drying of the tissues, and resulting in conjunctivitis. This may also dry out the cornea and the eye’s surface, resulting in painful inflammation. The damage can also lead to corneal scarring, which can impair or obstruct vision. This condition is usually seen in dogs younger than one year of age.
- Retinal Dysplasia. In this condition, there is partial or complete wasting of a body part. Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), is a group of degenerative diseases in dogs that affect photoreceptor cells, causing the cells to deteriorate over time, and eventually even causing blindness.
- Seborrhea. Also known as seborrheic dermatitis, this is a skin disorder in which an excessive amount of sebum is produced by the sebaceous glands of the skin. This causes scaly, itchy, and red skin. Affecting typically the back, face, and flanks this condition is usually worse in the folds of the skin. Most dogs experience a combination of dry and oily seborrhea.
- Gastric Dilation Volvulus (GDV) or Bloat. This condition can occur when your dog’s stomach rapidly fills with gas as it twists on itself. As the stomach twists, it also cuts off the blood supply to the spleen and the stomach. Time is of the essence in this case and it is critical that you act fast. If left untreated, the disease can prove fatal. Preventative surgery is an option to help prevent the problem.
Recommended Health Tests
- Allergy Tests
- Blood Analysis
- Skin Biopsy
- Eye and Ear Examination
- Abdominal Ultrasound
Tips for New Afghan Spaniel Owners
This section lists some of the best tips for new Afghan Sheepdog pet owners.Go through the list below for more details:
Find a Reputable Breeder. Selecting a responsible breeder, who conducts health testing for their dogs and screens prospective buyers to make sure they are a good fit for their dogs, is crucial. Responsible breeders screen for health issues and both parents are also to be tested. Being aware of the best practices used by good breeders makes it worth the wait and should compel you to make the right decision.
Get Puppy/Dog Products in Advance. To make sure the Afghan Spaniel puppy feels comfortable in his new environment, the following list of items will be needed in advance: Food and water bowls, puppy food for toy breeds, bedding, a crate, toys, and pee pads.
Get Backup Support. As a first-time dog owner with a possibly busy lifestyle, you will need a support system, especially for a breed such as the Afghan Spaniel. These dogs do not like to be left alone. If you’re regularly away from home for hours on end, you must have a good doggy daycare— or have a dog walker or friend visiting to ensure your dog has company in your absence.
Provide Space and enrichment. An active dog, the Afghan Spaniel appreciates space – both indoors and outdoors. Most important however is to have large enough yet secure areas for your dog to exercise without the fear of any threats. As these dogs can jump very high, make sure they are appropriately fenced.
Afghan Spaniel Similar Breeds
– Bohemian Shepherd
– Golden Cocoker Retriever
– Border Heeler
Afghan Spaniel Supplies You Need
Afghan Spaniels are dogs that need a lot of maintenance for their coats and a clean healthy coat will certainly enhance your enjoyment and delight in owning this beautiful breed of dog. Keeping the Afghan Spaniel clean, conditioned, and mat free is the key to a beautiful coat.
Investing in good-quality supplies for your pup is a must. Afghan Spaniels have a coat that is more vulnerable to matting. Regular trimming and brushing will ensure you keep this problem at bay. You will need to bathe and groom your Afghan Spaniel using the following: A good shampoo, cream rinse, a large-good oval pin brush, and a slicker for bad mats. Nail clippers for dogs can be purchased at any pet supply store. When clipping, be sure to be careful to not clip too deep else your dog can start bleeding.
The Afghan Spaniels have thick, constantly growing coats. Consider supplementing the diet with foods that can help coat health, such as salmon oil.
Breeds with floppy ears require regular ear cleaning due to a higher risk of dirt getting trapped in the ears. In addition, use eye wipes and an ear-cleaning solution to remove any excess wax or dirt from your dog’s ear canal.
Best Dog Beds for Afghan Spaniels
Best Dog Food for Afghan Spaniels
Best Dog Supplements for Afghan Spaniels
Afghan Spaniel Fun Facts
The Afghan Spaniel has an impressive lineage. Here are some fun facts about both parent breeds of the Afghan Spaniel :
Fun Fact 1
An Afghan hound named Snuppy was the first dog clone. A cell was taken from the ear of an adult Afghan hound, thereafter 123 surrogate mothers were involved, of which only two produced pups, one of which was Snuppy.
Fun Fact 2
A yearly festival is celebrated by the Afghan nomads in honor of their prized Afghan dogs. The dogs are dressed up with traditional necklaces and flowers as part of the ceremonies.
Fun Fact 3
Legend has it that the Afghan Hound was one of the animals rescued on Noah’s Ark and is one of the oldest dog breeds.
Fun Fact 4
In the years 1940 and 1941, a black Cocker spaniel named Brucie twice won Westminster’s Best in Show, helping popularize the breed by twice winning Westminster’s Best in Show. In the 1950s, the Cocker reigned as the AKC’s most popular breed of the decade.
Fun Fact 5
Vice President Richard Nixon’s had a Cocker Spaniel, named Checkers, who figures in U.S. political history.
Fun Fact 6
Since before the time of the development of the rifle, Spaniels have been bird hunters’ helpers, when hunting dogs were used along with nets
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