Afghan Hound Standing with Fully Groomed Coat

Afghan Hound vs. Borzoi

Afghan Hounds and Borzois are very similar breeds. They both belong to the sighthound family, meaning they hunt with their sense of sight. They are sensitive, active, and sometimes aloof. These breeds are sometimes compared to cats due to their laid-back attitudes and difficulty to train.

In this article, we’ll discuss everything there is to know about the Afghan Hound dog and how they compare to Borzois!

Afghan Hound Lying on Grass in Park
Afghan Hound lying on Grass

Borzoi vs Afghan Hound

The Borzoi and Afghan dog breeds are intelligent, independent, and sometimes aloof. They are sighthounds, a category of breeds that hunt using their lithe bodies and sharp sense of sight.

This makes them prone to chase, and very unreliable with recall. They should never be taken off leash in an unenclosed space, as they might sprint away after any distraction.

These dogs may be difficult to train, but it will be worth the extra patience and effort for their sweet, relaxed, family-loving dispositions.

Here is a quick rundown of each breed’s key features:

 BorzoiAfghan Hound
Lifespan9-14 years12-18 years
EnergyHighHigh
GroomingHighHigh
TrainabilityIntermediateIntermediate
SizeGiantLarge
Borzoi Vs Afghan Hound Body Comparison.
Afghan Hound (bottom) versus Borzoi. (top) Notice skinny legs of borzoi compared to hairy legs of Afghan hound. Observe the short neck of Borzoi compared to long neck of Afghan hound. Take note of the straight bushy tail of Borzoi compared to narrow curled tail of Afghan Hound.

Borzoi vs Afghan Hound Appearance

Borzois and Afghan Hounds are both long-coated sighthounds. They have the typical build for these breeds: slim, with deep chests and triangular faces.

What does an Afghan Dog Look Like?

Afghan Hounds, also known as Afghan dogs, are 25-27 inches tall and weigh 50-60 pounds. These large dogs are elegant, with slim sprinter’s bodies and long, flowing coats.

Trotting Afghan dog with long flowing coat.  The Afghan dog breed is a tall dog.
The Afghan Dog Breed is a tall dog with a long flowing coat.

Their fur is straight and silky. A stand-out feature of the Afghan Hound is the hair that flows down from their ears.

What does and Afghan Dog Look Like?  It has long hair that flows from and over its ears.
Notice the hair that falls from the Afghan Hound Dog’s ears
What does an Afghan Dog Look Like?  Its tail is long and narrow and curly.
What does an Afghan Hound Dog Look Like? It has a narrow tail with a noticeable curl.

What does a Borzoi Look Like?

Borzois are 26+ inches tall and weigh anywhere from 60-105 pounds. They have long, curly hair—though not as long as the Afghan Hound’s flowy coat.

Afghan Hound vs Borzoi head.  Note nose width, eyes, and Ears
Afghan Hound (right) versus Borzoi (left). Note borzoi narrow long nose compared to the wider nose of Afghan hound. Borzoi has short ears vs long ears of Afghan Hound. Also observe that the Afghan hounds eyes are spaced more widely.

Their ears are small and triangular, their eyes intelligent. Their tails are bushy and their legs are long and slim.

Borzoi vs Afghan Hound Cost

The cost for a puppy or dog varies depending on where you adopt from. If you want a puppy from a breeder, expect to spend around $2,000-$5,000 for a Borzoi puppy and $600-$2,500 for an Afghan Hound puppy.

Shelters and rescues charge significantly less, and you can typically expect to pay under $500 for any rescued breed.

Afghan dog Resting in Grass
An Afghan dog from a breeder can be fairly expensive

Adopting from a Rescue or Shelter

I encourage always checking your local rescues and shelters first when adopting a dog. You never know who’s out there searching for a home!

Some benefits of adopting from a rescue or shelter include:

  • Saving a life, rather than paying to bring a new puppy into a world full of dogs
  • No risk of shopping with a puppy mill or backyard breeder
  • Adult dogs are usually already trained, housebroken, and have experience living in a home
  • Rescues and shelters charge less to adopt than breeders—often, they put more into the dogs than they get back in adoption fees!
  • If foster homes are utilized by the organization, they can tell you how to expect the dog to react in a home environment—adult dogs have already grown into their personalities, unlike puppies who may change as they age

Your best chance of finding a Borzoi or Afghan Hound is to search breed-specific rescues in your area. Also try sighthound rescues and call around to your local shelters.

Ungroomed Afghan hound peering through wire fence
A sighthound rescue is a good place to find a dog to adopt

Finding a Breeder

If you purchase a puppy from a breeder, it’s crucial to do your research. Be willing to walk away if you see any red flags, including:

  • Refusal to answer basic questions
  • Lying to you about the breed, puppies, or parent dogs
  • Breeders who don’t vet their dogs or refuse to show veterinary paperwork for all dogs, including the parents
  • Poor living conditions or refusal to let you see where the parents and puppies are kept

Ask the breeder questions about the breed and their dogs, such as whether they screen for common health conditions, health and behavioral problems common to the breed, and which puppy they think would be best suited to your lifestyle.

Never meet outside of the home environment where the dogs are kept—you want to see proof that they have good living conditions. This should include plenty of space, access to water, a clean environment, and toys for the dogs to play with.

The parent dogs and puppies should all look healthy and clean as well.

Afghan Hound puppy in field of yellow flowers
Afghan Hound Puppy

If your breeder cannot answer questions about their breed accurately, this is a sign that they’re a backyard breeder.

Backyard breeders simply don’t know enough to be breeding dogs. They do so for profit, usually, and are much more likely to breed unethically—even if only out of ignorance, because they aren’t knowledgeable.

The other thing to watch for are puppy mills. Puppy mills are the top reason that you should only purchase dogs from a home setting—not from a secondary location, online, or in a pet store.

Puppy mills mass breed dogs for profit. They keep many parent dogs in poor conditions. These dogs are often locked in crates for most of their lives, and are neglected. The breeders only care about profits, not the health of the parents or puppies.

Puppy mill puppies have more health problems and live shorter lives than other dogs. Adopting from a puppy mill also gives them more money to spend on breeding more puppies—it’s crucial to walk away if you suspect you’re dealing with one so that you don’t fund them!

Lifetime Expenses

The adoption fee is a small cost compared to what you will spend throughout your dog’s life. Consider the cost of food, veterinary care, and grooming before adoption.

Food for these breeds will be costly, as they are large to giant dogs and eat much more than small breeds.

Afghan Hound size comparison to typical terrier type dog
Afghan Hounds are large dogs and will so the cost of food will be more than if you get a small breed

Every dog should see a veterinarian at least once a year for a check-up, renewal of their parasite preventative, and a teeth cleaning.

Young puppies and seniors will need to see a veterinarian more often than adult dogs, because puppies are still getting their vaccines and seniors experience more health problems as they age.

Grooming is also expensive for both of these breeds, though you do have the option of grooming them yourself at home to avoid this cost.

Lastly, consider smaller expenses like food and water bowls, collars, harnesses, leashes, toys, dog beds, and whatever else you buy for your pampered pooch!

These costs do add up over time, especially because many dogs need multiples of these items throughout their lives.

Borzoi vs Afghan Hound Temperament

Borzois and Afghan Hound dogs both have an independent streak and strong hunting instincts. It’s important to use positive training methods and keep your expectations realistic.

These sensitive pups will react poorly to dominance training methods or punishment, but this isn’t a problem since these methods have been disproven anyway.

Stick with positive reinforcement, and discipline your dog by redirecting or ignoring unwanted behaviors. For instance, redirect teething puppies biting on your hand to a toy or stop playing and ignore them for a few minutes if they begin to nip.

Afghan hound jumping off orange tire in park
Afghan hound playing in park. These dogs are trainable, but you need to use positive reinforcement.

Keep training sessions short, fun, and consistent. Try to end on a high note, rather than waiting until you or your dog gets frustrated. This will help you both associate training with good memories!

Some things to train your Borzoi or Afghan Hound include:

  • Leash training
  • Potty training
  • Basic commands such as sit, stay, and lie down

Socializing your pup is also crucial. This means introducing them to plenty of new experiences, including a variety of people, dogs, and environments. Your goal is an adult dog who is confident in various situations, including when they’re alone at home, with other dogs, or in a crowd of people.

Three Afghan Hounds in Park
It is important to socialize your dog.

Take socialization slowly, at your dog’s pace, so as not to overwhelm them with too many new things.

These breeds are sweet and love to be around family. They’re often described as very emotionally sensitive, picking up on your feelings and the atmosphere of the home. They dislike tense or negative environments.

They aren’t hyper dogs. Though they do require a lot of exercise, they’re fine chilling on the couch in the meantime.

Lastly, both of these dogs can do very well with kids or pets if they’re introduced to them while young. If adopting a grown dog, be sure to ask about their experience with kids of a similar age or pets of a similar type or size.

Dogs who didn’t grow up around cats, for instance, may decide the cats are their prey or that it’s fun to chase them around the house.

Borzoi vs Afghan Hound Exercise

Both of these breeds need a lot of activity to stay healthy.

Afghan hound in full galloping run on beach
Afghan Hound Running at Full Speed. These dogs are born runners and need plenty of exercise.

They will love lounging around the house in cozy places, such as your bed or the couch pillows. You may have to give them a nudge to get them to go for their daily walk.

At least one long daily walk or run is required in addition to a large, enclosed yard for them to run and play in. Fencing should be tall so that they cannot jump over, as these dogs are runners—no amount of training can overcome their prey drive or desire to sprint.

Afghan hound lying on ground.  When your dog is not exercising it will lie around.
When your Afghan Hound is not exercising, it will be content to lie around the house.

Borzoi vs Afghan Hound Grooming

These long-haired dogs need to be combed fully at least once every other day. During shedding season, daily grooming may be required.

Expect to spend hours each week grooming these dogs, as otherwise their coats will mat painfully.

Closeup of Afghan dog long coat
The long coat of the Afghan hound is what makes it beautiful and also what makes this breed a lot of work. You will have to regularly brush your dog to keeps its coat looking nice

Brush their teeth once a day, trim their nails once a month, and clean their ears weekly. Bathe them regularly to keep their coats clean and silky.

Afghan Hound Shaved?

Afghan Hounds have one long, singular coat. This means that they can be shaved if you’d like! Shaving your Afghan Hound will make grooming much easier to keep up with.

Afghan Hound Shaved?  Yes.  Just not too short.  This dog is regrowing its coat.
Afghan Hound re-growing its coat after it has been shaved

Make sure your groomer doesn’t shave too close to the skin. One inch of fur will help to protect your dog from the elements, reducing their chances of dangers such as sunburn.

Borzois are double-coated and for this reason, they should never be shaved!

Borzoi vs Afghan Hound Environmental Needs

These aren’t apartment dogs. They’re large breeds that need a large space to stay happy and healthy.

A home with a large, well-enclosed yard is a must. Fencing should be too tall for them to jump, or else they might race off into traffic while chasing a squirrel, cat, or other temptation.

Afghan Hounds running at full speed on a course
These dogs are more than just looks. They are built for extreme speed, and you will need to have a place for them to run. You might want to consider lure coursing.

These dogs seldom bark, so they won’t be an annoyance to neighbors nearby. They may be stand-offish toward strangers, especially if they weren’t well-socialized at a young age.

Encourage them to interact with a variety of people, but never force them. It’s better to have a shy dog than one who acts in fearful aggression due to forced interactions!

Borzoi vs Afghan Hound Health

As sighthounds, these breeds have very similar health issues. Watch for bloat, sensitivity to anesthesia, elbow and hip dysplasia, and heart and eye problems.

Bloat is a deadly where a dog’s stomach fills with air and flips over in their body. It has a 30% mortality rate, even for dogs who get treatment immediately.

Bloat is an emergency condition, so it’s important to know the signs when you adopt a deep-chested dog (as they are more likely to experience bloat).

Symptoms of bloat include:

  • Enlarged abdomen
  • Retching
  • Drooling
  • Restlessness
  • Pain in the stomach area, especially when touched

Avoid bloat by feeding a proper diet, using food bowls with grooves to encourage slow eating, avoiding exercise too close to meal time, and keeping their stress levels low.

Sighthounds are also very sensitive to anesthesia. If your dog undergoes surgery, make sure to choose a veterinarian who is experienced with sighthounds.

Borzoi vs Afghan Hound History

Borzois were bred to hunt wolves in 1600s Russia. These dogs needed to be tough and thick-coated to brave the cold winters in Russia, fast and strong-jawed to catch wolves, and elegant to put on a show.

The aristocracy made a huge deal of wolf hunts at the time, owning hundreds of dogs to participate in the grand events.

Afghan Hound Posed with Middle Eastern Backround.  You can see tea set, fruit. flowing fabrics
Afghan hounds are the oldest known breed of dog. They have been valued for both their skills and their beauty.

Afghan Hounds are thought by some to be the oldest dog breed in the world!

Not much is known about their history, but we do know that they are an ancient breed that originated around the area that is Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan today.

Afghan Kuchi Dog

Afghan Kuchi dogs – also known as the Afghan Shepherd dog and the Afghan Mountain dog – were originally bred by Afghan nomads and are a large, stocky guarding breed. There are three varieties of this breed, each with different coat types and lengths.

Unlike Afghan Hounds, Afghan Kuchi dogs are bred solely for work—not for appearances. They have thick necks, large heads, and their tails are often cropped.

Afghan Shepherd Dog aka Afghan Mountain aka Afghan Kuchi
Afghan Shepherd Dog aka Afghan Mountain Dog aka Afghan Kuchi Dog

Though they’re easily confused, these dogs are not Afghan Hounds.

Kangal Shepherd Dog

Just like Afghan Kuchi dogs, Kangal Shepherd dogs are sometimes confused with Afghan Hounds—but are in fact a very different breed!

Kangal Shepherd dogs have a few nicknames, including:

  • Afghan Kangal dog
  • Turkish Kangal
  • Kurdish Kangal

Their variety of names are due to this breed being found in so many places around the world! Known as an excellent livestock guardian, they’ve spread throughout Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, and more.

Kangal Shepherd dog aka Afghan Kangal aka Turkish Kangal aka Kurdish Kangal
Kangal Shepherd Dog

Sometimes these dogs are referred to as sheep dogs, but their job isn’t to herd sheep. Instead, they protect livestock from predators.

Kangal Shepherds are the strongest dogs in the world. A Kangal Shepherd dog bite force is an amazing 743 pounds per square inch (PSI)!  

Pictures of Afghan Hounds

Few dogs in the world inspire awe the way that Afghan Hounds do. We love to look at photos of Afghan hounds, with their flowing hair and majestic bearing. Here are a selection of photos that showcase these marvelous animals.