Training Afghan Hounds
Afghan Hound Training and Puppy Training, by Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2018
Are Afghan Hounds easy to train?
No, training an Afghan Hound is quite a challenge! They are a member of the sighthound family of dogs. All of the sighthound breeds have a complex, independent personality, something like that of a cat. They have their own ideas about what they want to do and how they want to use their time, and when you try to get them to do what YOU want them to do, you may be in for a struggle.
And because sighthounds are both physically and emotionally sensitive, training them requires a light hand on the leash. Encouragement and praise works for some Afghan Hounds; however, many individuals have little desire to please and so don't care a whit about praise. Food works for some Afghan Hounds, but it's not a good idea to depend on food for training important commands, which must be based on respect if you hope to have your dog obey you when he's not hungry.
Training an Afghan Hound requires gentleness, patience, coaxing....and tough love in the form of persistence. This isn't always easy, which is why Afghan Hounds can be so challenging to train.
Yet some Afghan Hounds are more willing than others, especially if you approach obedience training sessions as a sort of playful game. Some Afghan Hounds, in fact, are quite the clowns, once they feel secure enough to relax and let their hair down (so to speak!).
So when you ask, "How easy is it – training an Afghan Hound?" my answer is, "Usually it's a challenge, but it depends on the temperament and personality of the individual dog, plus your own dog training skills."
That's where I come in. My dog training articles will help you train your Afghan Hound to be well-mannered and well-behaved. I've been working with dogs for 35+ years, as a dog trainer, canine psychologist, breed advisor, and author of 15 books about dogs.
Dog Training – What Works, and What Doesn't
Some dog training methods are based on what makes the owner feel good, rather than what on actually makes sense to the dog. For example, "positive-only" dog training is a big fad right now. Now, treats can be great motivators for training Afghan Hounds, but if your dog will only obey for a treat, then he is in charge of his obedience, not you. [read more]
These Dog Training Videos Turned Buddy Into a Good Dog
Sometimes it's easier to train your puppy (or adult dog) when you can see the correct training techniques in action. I recommend these dog training videos, which are based on respect and leadership. [read more]
Teach Your Afghan Hound To Respect You
"Respect Training" is the dog training method I use and recommend for training Afghan Hounds. A dog who respects you will do what you say and will stop what he's doing when you tell him "No." Teaching your dog to respect you means interacting with him in specific ways that encourage respect. [read more]
You Need Dog Training Help.... But From Where? Private Lessons? Public Classes? Dog Training Books? Dog Training Videos?
So your puppy needs training.... or your adult dog needs training.... and you're looking for some help. Should you hire a professional trainer to come to your house? send your dog away to be trained? sign up for a group obedience class? read a book? watch a few videos? Here's my advice on where to get dog training help when you really need it. [read more]
Teach The Right Words In The Right Ways To Your Afghan Hound
My method of training Afghan Hounds includes teaching specific words in specific ways so that your dog not only learns the words but also develops the respectful attitude that makes him happy to obey you. Teach your dog words and he will understand what you say. Teach those words in the right ways and he will actually DO what you say. [read more]
Solving Afghan Hound Behavior Problems
One of the most common questions dog owners ask me is: "How can I stop my dog from doing (a specific bad behavior)?" My answer is almost always the same, no matter what the misbehavior is.... [read more]
Training Afghan Hound Puppies
Just got a new puppy? Afghan Hound puppy training starts the moment you bring your puppy home. If you use the wrong teaching method, your puppy will begin making decisions about how he wants you to fit into his life, and that's a recipe for conflict and behavior problems. Whatever your puppy does, you must react properly or he will learn the wrong things. Here's my recommended schedule (what to teach, when to teach it) for training your Afghan Hound puppy. [read more]
Housebreaking Your Afghan Hound
There are two keys to housebreaking. Just two, but you have to get them both right. And I mean 100% right, not 50% right. Otherwise you're going to end up with a dog who is 50% potty trained, and who wants that? So here they are – your two keys to housebreaking.... [read more]
Here are my dog training tips for training Afghan Hound puppies and adult dogs:
Keep your Afghan Hound on-leash. Afghan Hounds are hunting dogs who will chase anything that runs. Of course you want to teach your Afghan Hound to "Come" when called – and you must work hard on this. But for safety, you should count on this command being most useful when you're calling your Afghan Hound inside a fenced area.
An unleashed and unfenced Afghan Hound who is in pursuit of a squirrel will ignore your Come command and could be hit by a car. Afghan Hounds are not an off-leash breed.
Provide the right exercise. Your Afghan Hound needs a large, safe, enclosed area where he can gallop once a day for 5 or 10 minutes. Then he will be ready to curl up on the couch. Long on-leash walks won't do it. Forced jogging or biking won't do it. Sighthounds need to be able to stretch out and gallop for just a few minutes in a large safe fenced enclosure.
Teach your Afghan Hound that he cannot chase your cat or small dog. Sighthounds have powerful chasing (and grabbing) instincts. These instincts should be quashed right from the beginning if you want to keep smaller pets safe. In fact, when you have small pets, I recommend not allowing your Afghan Hound to chase ANY living creature (squirrels, rabbits, birds).
"No" is the very first word in my book, Teach Your Dog 100 English Words and it is essential to teach this word correctly when training Afghan Hounds to live peacefully with smaller pets.
Teach your Afghan Hound to respect you. Respect Training is the key to training your Afghan Hound to be well-behaved.
Teach the right words to your Afghan Hound. My method of training Afghan Hounds includes teaching specific words in specific ways so that your dog not only learns the words but also develops the respectful attitude that makes him happy to obey you. You will need to work especially hard on "Come."
Stop searching for dog training tips for each behavior problem. There are no little tricks that stop individual behavior problems. You stop most behavior problems by providing your dog with more exercise and interesting activities, providing more hours of companionship, and establishing the right relationship of respect between you and your dog.
Start training your Afghan Hound puppy the moment you bring him home. But you need to teach the right things in the right ways. Read more about training Afghan Hound puppies.
Socialize your Afghan Hound puppy strangers and other pets. Afghan Hounds can be standoffish, and if you don't teach them early on to be friendly and trusting toward people they don't know, their natural caution can become skittishness or suspiciousness.
With other dogs, Afghan Hounds are usually very good. But they were bred to hunt other animals, so most Afghan Hounds have instincts to chase and seize small fleeing creatures. This can make for conflict if you own a cat, although most Afghan Hounds who are properly raised with cats do live peacefully with their own family cat. Read more about why your dog acts the way he does toward strangers and other animals.
To help you train and care for your dog
To learn more about training your dog to be calm and well-behaved, my dog training book is Teach Your Dog 100 English Words. It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your dog to listen to you and do whatever you ask.
My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a good-tempered, healthy dog.
My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to help your dog live a longer life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.