How To Walk An Afghan Hound. Best Tips To Make It Easy

Do you have an Afghan Hound that loves to run and explore but can be a handful to walk on leash? These elegant yet strong-willed dogs need proper training and handling to become pleasant walking companions. In this article, we provide Afghan Hound owners with expert tips to teach your dog not to pull, handle their high energy, and walk nicely by your side. Our advice will help transform even the most rambunctious Afghan into a model walking partner.

Leash Training An Afghan Hound Puppy

Afghan Hound puppies are highly intelligent, energetic dogs that can be a challenge to leash train. Their natural instinct is to run freely and explore their surroundings. However, with time, patience and consistency, you can teach your Afghan Hound puppy to walk politely on a leash without pulling.

When starting leash training:

  • Use a fixed-length leash, not a retractable one. This gives you more control. Start with a 4-6 foot leash.
  • Use a front-clip harness designed to deter pulling by turning the dog when they pull. This is more effective for Afghans than a collar.
  • Start training in a quiet, low-distraction area like your backyard. Have treats ready to reward good behavior.
  • Teach them to associate the leash with rewards and praise through luring and treats. Let them sniff and explore while maintaining slight leash pressure.
  • Stop immediately if they start to pull. Wait until the leash relaxes, then reward and resume walking.
  • Practice this start-stop method in short, frequent sessions to reinforce good leash habits.

With regular repetition and positive reinforcement, your Afghan Hound will learn to walk attentively by your side instead of pulling on the leash. Be patient – it may take many sessions before they can reliably walk without pulling. The time invested will pay off with a well-trained adult dog.

Equipment For Walking Your Afghan Hound

Having the right equipment will make walking your Afghan Hound much easier and more enjoyable for both of you. Afghans are large, strong dogs that need specialized gear to walk politely and safely.

Essential equipment includes:

  • A 6 foot leash. Choose leather or nylon. Retractable leashes do not provide enough control.
  • A front attachment no-pull dog harness. This gives you control without straining their neck. Make sure it fits properly.
  • A collar or slip lead just for identification. Only attach the leash to the harness.
  • Dog treats and a treat pouch. Positive reinforcement is key during training.
  • Bags to pick up waste. Be a responsible dog owner.
  • A dog water bottle and collapsible bowl. Bring water especially in warm weather.

Optional items:

  • A hands-free leash for jogging. This allows your arms freedom of movement.
  • Booties to protect paws from hot pavement or cold snow. Measure their feet for proper fit.
  • A dog backpack to provide added exercise. Gradually increase weight carried.

Investing in quality gear suited for your Afghan Hound will give you better control, prevent pulling, and make walks more pleasant. Proper equipment allows you to manage your Afghan’s size and energy while walking.

Two Afghan Hounds on a walk.

How Far Should Your Afghan Hound Walk

Afghan Hound puppies under 1 year old should take short 15-30 minute walks. Their bones and joints are still developing, so don’t overdo it. Give plenty of rest breaks during the walk. Adult Afghans ages 1-7 need 30-60 minutes of exercise split into 2-3 daily walks. Use a hands-free leash to jog alongside your Afghan. Add in play time as well. An adult in good health can walk up to 2 miles per session.

Monitor your adult Afghan Hound on walks for signs of fatigue. Factors like heat and terrain will impact their endurance. Adjust the pace and distance as needed. Senior Afghans over age 7 should walk 20-40 minutes daily at a slower pace with more frequent rest breaks. Keep walks short and low impact to avoid strain on their joints and muscles. Pay close attention to the temperature when walking an older dog.

The duration spent walking is more important than the distance covered when it comes to Afghan Hounds. Know your dog’s limits at different life stages. With proper conditioning over time, an adult Afghan can build up to walking two miles or more per walk. Just don’t overdo it too soon with this athletic breed.

How Often Should You Walk Your Afghan Hound?

For Afghan Hound Puppies:

Afghan Hound puppies need multiple short walks per day. Take your puppy out every 2-3 hours at first. This gives them ample bathroom breaks while reinforcing leash training. Start with 10-15 minute mini-walks and increase duration as they gain bladder control and focus.

By 6 months, puppies should be capable of 30 minutes total of walking per day. Split this into 3 sessions to prevent overexertion of growing bones and joints. More frequency with less distance is best. Mix in training, play time, and free running in a safe area. Keep walks short but active to meet an Afghan puppy’s exercise needs.

For Adult Afghan Hounds:

Aim for 60-120 minutes of total exercise time per day for an adult Afghan Hound in two or three sessions. This athletic breed thrives on long brisk walks and free running. Divide the walks into morning, midday, and evening for variety. Use a hands-free leash when jogging alongside your Afghan.

Mental stimulation through training and interactive toys is also important. Adjust distance, pace, and frequency based on age, health, and weather conditions. Every Afghan is different, so pay close attention to their needs. Just be sure to provide adequate activity daily to prevent problem behaviors.

How Long Should You Walk Your Afghan Hound?

For Afghan Hound Puppies:

Keep walks short for Afghan Hound puppies under 1 year old. Their bones and joints are still developing, so limit the duration. Start with 10-15 minutes per mini-walk. Gradually build up to 20-30 minutes as they mature, but don’t overdo it. If they seem tired, cut the walk short. Better to take your puppy on 3-4 brief walks per day than one long one.

Split walk time into frequent sessions and allow for plenty of rest in between. Off leash play in a fenced area also counts as exercise. The goal is meeting their energy needs without overtaxing growing muscles and bones. Be sure to bring water and take breaks in the shade when walking an Afghan puppy.

For Adult Afghan Hounds:

Aim for 30-60 minutes of walking per session for an adult Afghan in good health. They thrive on long brisk walks and require vigorous exercise daily. How long you walk depends on age, fitness level, and weather conditions. Jogging alongside your Afghan on a hands-free leash adds distance.

Listen to your dog’s needs on any given day. Briskly walking 2-3 miles is a great target for an adult Afghan. Split the time into morning and evening walks for variety. Keep them hydrated and watch for signs of fatigue. With proper conditioning, an adult Afghan can handle longer walks to satisfy their high energy. Just build up duration gradually over time.

Afghan Hound.

How To Stop An Afghan Hound From Pulling

Afghan Hounds are known to pull on leash, especially when excited. This can make walking them very challenging. Using a front-clip harness and proper training techniques can help curb this behavior.

When your Afghan Hound starts to pull, immediately stop walking. Stand still and wait for them to return to your side. Reward with praise and a treat when the leash relaxes. Repeat this start-stop method consistently during walks. Only move forward when there is slack in the leash. Be patient and persistent – it may take many sessions before they stop pulling. Quickly change directions or cross the street when they forge ahead. This forces them to refocus on you. Stay calm and consistent – don’t allow yourself to be dragged. With time and positive reinforcement, your Afghan Hound will learn to walk politely on a loose leash.

Should You Let Your Afghan Hound Off The Leash?

Afghan Hounds have a strong prey drive and love to run. But allowing them off leash is risky unless they are in a securely fenced area. Their speed and independence can make them oblivious to your calls if they spot a small animal or anything that triggers their chase instinct.

Even Afghan Hounds who normally have good recall should only be off leash in enclosed spaces where they can’t escape. A long training lead can allow some freedom while maintaining control. If you are unsure how your Afghan will react, keep them leashed in unfenced areas. Work on a reliable recall command using high-value treats and praise as motivation. But be cautious allowing off leash privileges until their training is extremely consistent. An Afghan Hound’s safety and that of others depends on your management of their instincts when outdoors. Their exercise needs can be met through on-leash walks, jogs, and fenced playtime.

Emergencies And Safety During Afghan Hound Walks

While most walks with your Afghan Hound will be enjoyable, you need to be prepared to handle emergencies or unsafe situations should they arise. Having a plan and supplies can prevent minor issues from becoming major ones.

Be prepared with:

  • Dog first aid kit – disinfectant, gauze, tape, tick remover, instant cold pack.
  • Emergency contact info and pet insurance documents.
  • Cell phone to call your vet or summon help if needed.
  • Muzzle and sturdy leash to control them if injured.
  • Water and collapsible bowl to prevent dehydration.
  • Treats to redirect attention or reward obedience.
  • Sheets to muzzle/protect an injured Afghan from shock.

Know your route and potential hazards like porcupines, snakes, aggressive dogs. Always carry waste bags and be aware of people or animals that may startle your Afghan. Have a plan if you become lost or disoriented on a trail. Monitor conditions like heat, storms, and terrain that could endanger your dog.

No amount of preparation can stop all emergencies, but using common sense and caution can prevent many situations. Your responsibility during any walk is your Afghan Hound’s health and safety above all else. Stay alert, be armed with supplies, and you’ll be ready to handle unexpected issues.

Final Thoughts

Afghan Hounds are elegant, energetic dogs that require plentiful exercise and mental stimulation. While their athleticism allows them to run long distances, they still need proper conditioning to develop endurance and leash manners. Adjust the frequency, duration and pace of walks based on your dog’s age and health.

Invest time into training, especially in the puppy stage, to reinforce good leash habits for the years ahead. With patience and the right approach, your Afghan can become a wonderful walking companion. Getting their daily activity needs met will keep them fit and focused. Walks are an opportunity to bond with your Afghan Hound while satisfying their instincts to run. Pay attention to their signals during outings and make safety the number one priority.

About The Author

Marc Magny is a seasoned dog owner and breeder, lending his expertise to captivating and informative articles. His deep understanding of dogs and their behavior, health, and breeding practices enriches his writing, offering invaluable insights to readers.

With his practical experience and passion for dogs, Marc’s articles serve as a comprehensive guide for dog lovers. His work resonates with the joy of dog ownership, positioning him as a trusted voice and resource in the pet parenting journey.