Afghan hound [key], breed of tall, swift hound originating about 5,000 years ago in ancient Egypt. Its modern ancestors were perfected in the northern part of Afghanistan and introduced into England after World War I. The Afghan hound stands between 24 and 28 in. (61–71.1 cm) high at the shoulder and weighs between 50 and 60 lb (22.7–27.2 kg). The long, silky coat is very fine in texture and may be any color. Its unique appearance is partly the result of the position of its hipbones, which are set wider apart and higher than in most other breeds. This hip conformation enables the Afghan to cover uneven country swiftly and contributes to its effectiveness as a sight hunter in the mountainous terrain of its native Afghanistan. Today it is rapidly gaining popularity as a house pet. See dog.
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