Where my dogs come from
Before I can talk about my own dogs I thought it would be appropriate to let people know where my dogs come from first. One of the coolest things about Afghan Hounds is that they are one of the oldest breeds known to man. Some books report that Afghans were on Noah’s Ark and that there are ancient drawings of Afghans with Moses at Mt. Sinai. Others state that Afghans come from China and Egypt because of similar documentation in ancient text and drawings. It's a bit humbling if you ask me to live with an "Ancient Breed" that was owned by Kings and Pharaohs. It makes plenty of sense to me why these types of people owned Afghans. Afghans are a Glorious breed! They are the true ugly ducklings of the dog world.
When they are born they look nothing like how they will turn out by the time they turn 5. These dogs constantly evolve in front of your eyes into a true KING OF DOGS!
Somehow Afghans made it into modern day Afghanistan and that is where they were first discovered and stolen by the British. Thus, the name of the breed Afghan Hound. However, in Afghanistan the breed is known as Tazi. The long coat, as we know it doesn't exist very much in Afghanistan. The dogs there are bred to perform certain jobs on a daily basis. Many small villages rely on their pack of Tazi's to assist in hunting for food to this day!
At first glance an Afghan appears to be a large fluffy version of a Maltese and you instantly think "Lap Dog". However, these dogs are far from being Lap Dogs. They were bred to hunt things like wild hare, gazelle and snow leopards! Don't be too impressed with snow leopards. A snow leopard is about the size of an American Bobcat.
The coat on the dogs in Afghanistan is allowed to mat up on the dogs’ body to act as armor when they are out hunting. It makes sense because the dogs don't have a lot of body fat and their winters are very cold and most of the country is either mountainous or dessert. The matted hair would also protect the dogs from claws and bites when out on the hunt.
Afghans are also used on the farms there to complete herding tasks and act as protection from wild animals sneaking onto the farms and killing livestock!
This is pretty interesting stuff. Afghans draw you in initially with their beauty and their breed history is astonishing. A book called, "The Afghan Hound, A Definitive Study", by Margaret Niblock goes into detail about Afghans in Afghanistan. If you have read all of this I would strongly suggest you obtain a copy of that book. You can buy them at Amazon.com fairly inexpensive.
Afghans living in America don't have to earn their food or work to assist in the survival of a village. We pamper them here and put them up on pedestals. Their fabulous coats are nurtured until they are just dripping in long silky hair with topknots damn near to the ground on some dogs.
A very unique quality about Afghans is that they were bred to be independent thinkers and to figure things out. When on the hunt due to their tremendous speed (I have clocked one of my bitches going faster than 46 miles per hour, I was in the car chasing her down because she jumped my six foot privacy fence chasing after a squirrel) the dogs needed to be able to think on their feet in order to capture their prey. It must have been an amazing site to see these dogs working together to kill their prey.
The one thing that we have retained in America in order to cultivate their prey instinct are Lure Coursing Trials. Basically, the dogs are taken out to a huge field and they chase a lure! It is very exciting to watch because unlike in Afghanistan when their dogs are on a hunt they are not draped in a glorious coats that is blowing in the wind. You'll find yourself watching this event and thinking that you are the luckiest person in the world to behold such a beautiful chase!
Another interesting fact about Afghans is that they come in every color known to man (the only AKC breed that is allowed in any color combination) and many different body types. In the United States these body types can be broken down into two categories: 1. Mountain and 2. Desert. The mountain type dog is larger boned with a courser head and thicker coarser coat. The desert dog is much more refined, it's coat is patterned and not as thick.
My dogs would be considered desert hounds. They have very chiseled heads, lean bodies and patterned coats. The desert hound is very rare and they stand out amongst the more common mountain dogs.
My bloodline goes back to one of the most famous show kennels known worldwide called Coastwind. Coastwind heyday was in the 60's, 70's and 80's. Coastwind did a breeding combination that produced some of the most beautiful desert hounds ever to hit a show ring and they reigned for many, many decades as the kennel to beat! Coastwind did not do much outside breeding and made their pedigree one of a kind. Currently the kennel is now retired and the pedigree is close to non-existent. Dogs whose pedigrees are based on the Coastwind bloodline are highly valuable as individuals and for the betterment of the breed as a whole.
I purchased my dogs from a kennel called Aries. Aries Afghans has been in existence for the past 35 years and the owner; Christine Anderson has worked diligently at preserving this wonderful pedigree. My goal is to continue with the work Christine has started with this pedigree in keeping the Coastwind Hounds alive in modern day show rings.
To read more about the legacy of Coastwind Kennels please click this
To read more about the legacy of Coastwind Kennels please click this link. Coastwind
Xzotika, Always your Coastwind Connection