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THE AFGHAN HOUND IS AN ANCIENT BREED
Author Evelyn Denyer
Published in "The Dog Fancier" 1925


Editors Note:
This article, and another early article by Jean Mansonr published in in 1929 have been referenced by our Breed Book Authors who have, quite reasonably, extracted segments of the original article for inclusion for reference and discussion in their books. So in one some send "some" of what you read below you may have read before in a breed authors book. However, herebelow we publish the FULL article, and CONTEXT in which is was written. With the Denyer article mentioned above, I followed up with a "critique", (see the Origins section) attempting to point out the context of the article, and that its purpose was not to give us a history of the breed per se, rather, it was a marketing statement, intended to promote the Afghan Hound in its founding days in the west and help the new breed gain acceptance.



THE AFGHAN HOUND IS AN ANCIENT BREED
Author Evelyn Denyer
Published in "The Dog Fancier" 1925


In December, 1925 the American publication "The Dog Fancier" published an atricle by Evelyn Denyer entitled "The Afghan an Ancient Breed" which is reproduced below.

"An ancient breed which is today fast gaining the popularity it long has deserved is the Afghan Hound. Once the fascinating and endearing characterization of this breed are more widely known, no doubt the Afghans will be seen in significant numbers in the United States, as well as in England. Importations of excellent specimens are being continuously made by fanciers in the States, one of which was Khan of Kaj Buch, purchased by Mr. Charles Dillon. A bitch puppy will also go to Mr Dillon from the kennels owned by Miss Manson in England

It is a great pity that the idea is prevalent in parts of England and America that the breed is similar, in fact, practically identical with the Saluki or Gazelle Hound. There are vast differences, and these are appreciated immediately when specimens of the two breeds are compared side by side. In England, the Afghan is making great strides, almost too great for the breeders stock, but the fact that breeding is now in full swing will ease the situation. The winning Hound Taj Mahip is shown herewith (Ed: a reference to photographs within the article. Photo's not available; I only have the text of the article). and will give an idea of what English judges consider an exceedingly fine specimen. In the second picture the writer and owner of the team is shown with Taj Mahip, center and two lovely bitches, Tulsi and Sonie on either side. The puppies are Tulsi and Taj Mahip at eight and a half months of age.

In a thorough search through the library of the British Museum, it was impossible to determine just exactly how ancient this breed really is, but in the course of the search several very interesting facts came to light. The native home of the breed is Northeastern Afghanistan, and in this distant land it is the common belief that these dogs entered the ark with Noah. None of us are in a position to state the literal truth about Noah and his zoological crew, but we may accept as tangible facts such positive proof as the rock carvings in the caves of Balhk which are inscriptions of a much later date. The carvings are the work of the invaders of Asia under Alexander the Great and depict dogs of a perfect similarity to the Hounds of today

According to an authority on Greyhounds, that breed was known in Egypt long before the pyramids were built, and Solomon in Palestine referred to the Greyhound as being one of four things which "go well and are comely in going". Another author states that the Greyhound can be traced back for more than thirty thousand years. If the Natural History Museum, London, presents the true facts of the case, the Afghan Hound is the primitive ancestor of the Greyhound, and likewise of the Borzoi and Deerhound. The Afghan became very popular in ancient Egypt and there is little doubt that the breed was imported and served later as the foundation of the Greyhound. Arabia and Persia had their Greyhounds as well as Egypt, and it is claimed by some historians, but emphatically denied by others, that the Persian Sloughi is related to the Afghan. The resemblances are there and the breeds belong to one class. But this can be said of a great many other breeds between which there can be no possible relationship. Take, for instance, the Chow-Chow, the Samoyed, and the Elkhound, breeds, which show similarities but which certainly are not alike and do not come from the same native countries.

The ancestry of the Afghan Hound cannot be traced: Indeed one might say that this hound had no ancestors. He is claimed to be the first dog.. He possesses no kinship to the first wild dogs, for they were nothing more or less than wolves. The type has remained true through all the centuries, thanks to the sporting Sirdars of Afghanistan, who have so jealously guarded the breed. To this day the Sirdars continue their self-imposed task and make it a difficult and delicate matter to obtain specimens. The bitches are kept in close seclusion by the women of the country and are as choicely guarded as the mares of Arabia, so that the importation of foreign blood is practically impossible. The female hounds are released for hunting, however, for the Hounds invariably hunt in couples, male and female. The dog is trained to tackle the throat of the quarry and the bitch to tackle the hindquarters. Both are possessed of great courage. The Hounds have been known to bring down leopards "single handed," but hunting singly is most unusual,

In consequence of their secluded life, the bitches are very shy. The characteristic of shyness and timidity seems to adhere to the females bred in all countries, and, moreover, they retain their inherited preference for women owners, It is a rare thing to find any trace of savagery in an Afghan and I do not think such traits have ever been known in their contact with human beings or other members of the canine race, Their dignified indifference to people other than their owners and immediate family is an outstanding tendency which is inborn, This, together with their beauty, grace of movement and elegance are the outward signs of their ancient and aristocratic lineage."

Evelyn Denyer 1925

Related content:
12/15/11 Article "Mysterious Bell-Murray/Cove photo" Steve Tillotson December 2011
The Dog Of The Mystic East - Author Miss Jean C. Manson (Cove Afghan Hounds)
Published in American Kennel Gazette, June 1, 1929

Early Afghan Hounds
Hyland Afghan Painting

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