When asked during a Purebred of Interest feature as to what the grooming requirements are for a pet or show Afghan Hound, (one and the same), Afghan Hound owners gave us great answers.
“Julie” shared the photo below of the basic tools she uses for companion and show dogs: Grooming spray, clips, pumice stone, nail grinder, nail clippers, wooden pin brush, magnetic stripper, comb, and slicker brush:
Julie added: “Start regular grooming as soon as you get your puppy!!!! It is important they get used to this young as it will be a big part of their life if you are going to keep them in coat. Handle their feet, ears and head when snuggling to get them used to it. A gentle brush each day when young will get them used to being on the table, being handled and groomed. As their coat grows, you will want to start bathing and drying them. To promote healthy coat, when drying, brush the coat against the growth pattern. (Never do this to adult coat) Afghans go through a coat change between nine months of age to a year. This is when they drop puppy coat to grow their long luscious adult coat. Daily brushing may be required at this time to prevent the dead puppy coat forming mats.
“Maintaining an adult afghan in full coat. Regular brush-outs maintain the coat preventing matting and knots. NEVER brush a dry coat as you can damage the hair. Use a grooming spray. Gently mist area you are working on and work from the end to the skin. Be sure to get to the skin!!!! I like to start on the feet and work my way up. When you get a section done, pull a comb through to make sure their are no missed tangled knots or mats.( Do not just pull a brush over the top of the coat or you will have a felted mess in no time that needs to be shaved! ) Adults have ” saddles” that is the short hair across their backs. I gently use a grooming pumice to snag any dizzies as I call them. You can also pluch the fuzzies with your fingers. For bathing use a good shampoo and a seperate conditioner. Two in ones I find don’t work well on afghans. Thoroughly wet coat. Add shampoo working into the coat in the direction of growth. Don’t scrunch it in willy nilly or you will be creating masterpiece mats. Lol. Work he shampoo in the direction of coat from skin to tips. Rinse well. I only condition the long hair leaving the saddle because I personally find conditioning the saddle creates scurf ( aka dandruff) again work it in from root to tip in direction of coat growth. Leave for a couple minutes then rinse thoroughly. Use a towel to rid of excess water again going from root to tip in direction of coat growth. Then spray coat well with grooming spray and gently brush through with pin brush. Dry your afghan with a dog dryer a section at a time working from root to tip. It is extremely important to get the hair dry by the skin or the hair will mat.”
Gaynia added: “That coat can make a grown up cry at times.
But with regular brushing, you can avoid the tears. A puppy growing coat – you look at it – and it knots. But when they’re at a young age, you get them use to standing either on the floor or table and your life and theirs is much easier. Regular brushing for a puppy is a must. Some people acquire Afghans just for the dog and never plan on having a coat so they clip the coat and keep it short. If you cut a coat it takes 2 years for that coat to grow back to that long flowing coat afghans are know for. As dogs get older and they cant stand for long periods to be groomed some times it’s easier for them to have a short coat. And some dogs hate to be groomed so a short coat it is. If you have an afghan in coat just for a pet it might take you approximately 2 hours to groom. A show coat is more work. They have to have their ears wrapped or snood in place to prevent them from biting on them. Males side wrap. My boy pees all over himself so his legs and side are wrapped. A show groom can take me anywhere from 3-5 hours with breaks in between. They do not drop their coats twice a year so shedding is minimal. Mine are bathed evey 7-10 days with brushing in between. You never brush a dry coat . Always mist it with any combination of conditioner and water or what ever you like to use on your dogs coat. All the tools mentioned above are used and of course lots of praise and hugs for being so good for the groom.”
Bless her heart for sharing an image of the breed (below) that most of us will never see, but Juli went on to add: “However, clipped afghans are just as great. This is my ten year old girl who said, “Enough with the hair, mom, I have better things to do with my time!”
“Sheila” was another one who shared a picture (see below) of a “nekkid” Afghan Hound. She wrote, “I love my retired guys clipped down. They love it too!! This is handsome Dean with a new haircut…..I’ve since taken the feet clean too!! Too many wild roses here where we live and he enjoys his free running without the ‘untangling of debris after’!!!”
NPDD LOVES its readers because they “get” what we’re trying to do: In part, it’s to demystify breeds whose owners love them for reasons that reasons that have little to do with coat, it’s to point out that by and large, our breeds can still do what they weren’t created to do, and to admire breeds for the predictability they offer. Afghan Hounds come with an amazing coat. Take it from there.
Image: “Art Deco Lady – Greta And Alphonse” by Di Kaye. This print is available for purchase here