If you are the owner of an Afghan hound you already know what beautiful and aristocratic animals that they are. It's no surprise that many of those who adopt these dogs choose to enter them in dog shows. Before you decide to take that step, however, there are a few things that you should be aware of.
As much as you love your pet not all Afghan hounds are show dog material. Every breed of dog has something referred to as a "breed standard". This is the means by which all dogs of a particular breed are judged at show. For Afghan hounds the standards focus on the dignity, speed and power of the breed. The specifics will vary depending on the country in which you plan to show, but there are a few basic standards which will help you determine if your dog may be show material.
Head and Skull - The skull should be long but not extremely narrow. The head should be well balanced and with a long top-knot on the rise.
Eyes - Dark color is preferred with an almost triangular shape.
Ears - The ears should be set low back on the head and covered with the long, silky hair that is typical of this breed.
Mouth - The upper teeth should closely overlap the lower teeth resulting in a perfect and regular bite.
Neck - The neck should be long, giving the exceptionally dignified look that is typical of this breed.
Shoulders - The shoulders should be strong and muscled but not to an excessive degree. The front legs should be straight and even with the shoulder.
Back - The back should be even and muscular. The bones of the hip need to be level and of median length while the hipbones are prominent and set a good distance apart.
Hindquarters - Ideally they should be strong with plenty of length between bottom joint and foot.
Feet - The forefeet of the Afghan hound should be very long and wide, covered with thick, silky hair and toes arched. The hind feet should boast the same characteristics only not as broad as those on the front.
Tail - The tail should be neither too long nor too short and held in a raised position when the dog is in action.
Coat - The coat should be long with a fine texture on the ribs, flanks and quarters. The hair from the forehead back should be long with the distinct top-knot on the head. All coat colors are generally accepted; however white markings on the face are considered a fault.
Size - The preferred heights are around 27-29 inches (68-74 centimeters) for males and 25-27 inches (63-69 centimeters) for females.
If showing your Afghan hound is something that you are truly interested in you might consider getting in contact with others who share your passion for these dogs. Try joining a group in your area or if that is not an option become a member of an online group devoted to this breed. You will be sure to find someone who is more than happy to take a look at your pet to determine if he is show dog material and point you in the right direction if that is the case.