"The Afghan Hound appears strange in its untidy coat, more especially
when the silky hair on the top of its head is well developed. It is a member
of the familv of Greyhounds, a close relation to the Saluki or Gazelle Hound,
and, indeed, a heavier variety of the same breed.
It has been suggested to me by Mr. Croxton Smith, whose opinion on
dogs is second to none, that probably the Syrians took the Saluki to
Afghanistan, and that the colder conditions of the winters on the moumtams
brought about the heavier type, with the heavy coat.
In Afghanistan the dog is kept in considerable numbers, and used
for the hunting of the small mountain deer, aided in this hunting by a
tramed hawk. The natives have no knowledge of the breed's origin, being
entirely of the opinion that it has been in Afghanistan for ever, claiming
that at the great flood, in which the Ark played a part, the Afghan Hound
was taken into the Ark by Noah !
The dogs are greatly valued by the natives. The women take charge
of the bitches when they are bred, keeping them in seclusion. Indeed, it
is claimed that this treatment accounts for the marked shyness so character-
istic of the breed. It is, however, more probable that this shyness may be
due to the dog not understanding the civilisation in which we live.
As far as we are concerned, their history is a very short one. As far
as I have been able to discover, they were first mentioned in I8I5 by the
Hon. Mountstuart Elphinstone, who describes excellent Greyhounds that
were bred in great numbers amongst the pastoral people, much interested
in hunting. I think that the first Afghan Hound was seen at Cruft's Show
a year or two before I9IO, the exact date I do not know."