Afghan Hound Times
(Afghan Hound Database and Breed Information Exchange)
User Login Home Register Community Forum Members Pages
Forgot User Name | Forgot Password | Update Your Registration | Create A Members Page |

Anne Mathers. Metewand Afghan Hounds
Northern Ireland 1994
Page 2

The biggest discrepancy is in fact between speed and stamina. Look at human athletes The sprint boys are really chunky whereas the long distance runners are stringy. We want the middle line. Long flat muscle is the most efficient, and long muscles require long bones for their attachment. All running dogs have long bones and Afghans are no exception. In fact the only places in the standard which require shortness are in the loin and hock. (In general a long hock gives a sprint dog and a short, a long distance runner.) The analogy with human anatomy doesn't quite work here, as the dog's feet are our fingers and toes, front pastern our hand, and back pastern, from dog's foot to point of hock, our foot. Thus making the point of hock equivalent to our heel. However, I digress. Coupled with the long bones and long flat muscles we must have flexibility, both for speed and agility. An Afghan is much more loosely put together than most other dogs - a shaved Afghan does not look like a Greyhound. The Afghan is the only sight hound that doesn't ask for a slight rise over the loin so the spine must be flexible (not to be confused with a slack back) to allow the bending and straightening required during the gallop, especially. A dead flat table-top back that remains that way when the dog is moving is not flexible. It MAY be because the dog is tense and it's O.K at home, but unfortunately they are not assessed at home, but in the ring.

Next to the two extremities, the neck and the tail. Both can be used as rudders and to complete the balance of the dog. With a long legged dog the neck and tail must be long enough to complement the rest of the body. (Tail raised in action.) It cannot act as a rudder while clamped between the legs, and like this does nothing for style. At a show there is no need for the tail to thrash around (if it does I would look for an imbalance somewhere). Gentle movement especially on the corners is all that is needed here. The tail really comes into its own when the dog is moving at speed and has great part to play in the agility of the animal. The neck too plays a most important part in movement. Not only is a good length needed in a hunting dog so that it can reach down easily to pick up its prey once having caught up with it, but it serves as the anchor for many of the muscles which wrap around and down to the forelimb. Balance of neck and head carriage 'must be held proudly' play a great part in the 'style' of our hounds

Now to the actual limbs. These are the power house of the dog. It should never look as if the dog is pulling itself around by its front legs. They are there to support the weight of the dog and form the pivot, if you will, while the rear gets ready for the next push. A powerful hind end starts at the loin. 'Straight, broad and rather short' leading to a wide strong pelvis. It must be wide or we couldn't have 'hip bones wide apart', and they are prominent because the pelvis slopes much more in Afghans than most breeds and because Afghans are less well covered than most. Croup, fallaway or pelvis, which ever you wish to call it, should also be long. This arrangement give a good base for the legs. The sloping pelvis helps in agility too, because it enables the legs to be brought well forward under the dog. Don't forget when looking at the slope of the croup to look at the line from the hipbones to seat bone. Muscular 'fill-in' and a thick tail set can make a croup look flatter than it really is. A good tail set means the under side of the tail is only just above the seat bones.

Go To Next Page
Go To Previous Page
Library Of Articles/Main Menu Toolbar

 Copyright(c) AHA 1994