Afghan Sheep Dog Breed: Characteristic, Health & Fun Facts!

I’ve been a dog lover ever since childhood. Thus whenever I come across a new breed, I jump into getting to know it. 

The Afghan Sheepdog although has gained popularity as a house pet recently has a long history of working as a guardian or herding dog in Afghanistan.

Through my recent research on this breed, I learned that this breed developed adaptability to harsh and rugged terrains as a result of its historical circumstances. 

Now let us get a detailed idea of the breed before you consider adopting one for your home.

Afghan Sheep Dog Breed

About the breed

The Afghan Sheepdog is a result of mating the Afghan Hound and the Belgian Sheepdog. Like its large-sized parents, the Afghan Sheepdog is also a big dog breed.

With their long, thick, and straight manes, these dogs come in red, brown, and white colors. 

The Belgian Sheepdog is a herding breed, and the Afghan Hound is a sporting dog; the Afghan Sheepdog taking after its parent breed, is also an athletic breed perfect for sporting and hunting.

They are highly energetic dogs. Since they have an Afghanistan ancestry, these breeds love the cold. They are not like the usual big breeds, but they have a beauty and elegance of their own.

Afghan Sheepdog Breed History

A relatively new breed, the Afghan Sheepdog has no history of its own to brag about.

But their parent breeds – Afghan Hound and Belgian Sheepdog, both purebred dogs have very long and rich historical importance. 

The Afghan Hound has been around since the 1500s and has their origin in Afghanistan and Egypt.

They were sporting dogs used by nomads to hunt gazelles and rabbits. Having originated in the mountains of Afghanistan, they have thick coats and high energy.

First known as the Persian Greyhound or the Barukhzy Hound, these breeds were introduced in Europe around the 19th century.

The Belgian Sheepdogs were previously known as Groenendael. They were historically used for guarding and herding. 

The Belgian Sheepdog can be traced back to the 1800s, and they were used during WWI as draft dogs, messengers, and sentries. Now they are more often used as police dogs. 

The Afghan Sheepdogs were bred in the 21st century bringing together the best features of the Afghan Hound and the Belgian Sheepdog.

Afghan Sheepdog Breed Job Card / Overview⤵️

Name of breed  Afghan Sheepdog
Other Name of AfadorAfghan Sheepdog
Type of Dog BreedMixed/Crossbreed/Hybrid
Origin of breedAfghanistan; Belgium 
Parent breedsAfghan Hound and Belgian Sheepdog
Height of breed20 – 24 inches
Weight of breed45 – 60 lbs
Life Expectancy of breed10 – 14 years 
Persona of breedIndependent; Intelligent; and Loving
Apartment Living suitabilityIdeal for Apartment living
Friendly to other petsYes
Prone to Diseases Dermatitis; Anesthesia Sensitivity or Allergy; Exposure Keratopathy Syndrome
Health expectancyHealthy
Ability to reason and understand  Intelligent
What to Know
A very loyal dog breed with a slightly overprotective streak, the Afghan Sheepdog is a large-sized dog breed. 

• They have beautiful coats with long and straight fur. 

• This makes the breed slightly challenging to maintain because they may need regular grooming sessions. 

 • They are moderate shedders. Shedding levels become high, especially in the summer months. 

• They are very active dogs and the perfect family dog. 

• They are not ideal for apartment living because they love to romp around the yard. 

• They will be the happiest in a large fenced yard where they are given lots of opportunities to be active.



The Afghan sheepdog shows a moderate level of adaptability.  However, the adaptability of your pup depends on a lot of factors including early socialization, training, and the owner’s commitment and dedication to meet their pet’s requirements.

Since they have a thick fur coating on their body, they are adaptable in extremely cold weather; hot weather may turn out unfavorable for them.

They have an independent nature which might affect their responsiveness to training. 

They are usually adaptable to all kinds of living setups. Most importantly, they are very adaptive to family life which makes them the ideal pets. ✅


Prefers Being Unescorted

Ideal for First-Time Dog Owners

Affinity Towards Cold Weather

Affinity Towards Hot Weather

Scope of Living in An Apartment


They are good with children but can not be left unsupervised with smaller kids, especially if they haven’t grown up with them.

A bit stubborn and standoffish at times, the Afghan Sheepdogs are generally friendly most of the time. 

They need time to adapt and get used to people and the environment. They are not, therefore, the most stranger-friendly breed.

They often tend to bark and growl at strangers or people whom they consider a threat to their family or themselves. ✅


Loves Other Dogs

Loves Being Around Family

Amicable to Strangers

Loves Being Around Kids


A charming and independent dog breed, the Afghan Sheepdog can be silly and a little aloof at times. A very smart dog breed, they are easy to teach and are fast learners.

Being a highly independent breed, these dogs won’t do anything they don’t feel like doing. This makes training them difficult.

But with a firm hand and timely training, they can be tamed. They should be socialized when just a puppy so that they get used to other pets and people. 

They fall on the shy side and often become aggressive when they are forced.


Friendly with kids

The Afghan sheepdog is usually gentle-natured which makes them good companions for children.

They are naturally tolerant and patient, which makes them ideal for children. Supervision and training are a must both for your dog and your children.

Both your children and dog must be trained on how to behave respectfully and compassionately with each other.

This would help them to coexist and bond well. These dogs have quite high energy levels which lets them enjoy excellent playtime with children. 

However previous experiences and socialization crucially affect the nature and friendliness of your dog.

Amicable to other pets

The amicability of your Afghan sheepdog depends on various factors. Considering its history of playing the role of sight dogs or herding dogs most Afghan sheepdogs have a high prey drive. Thus, due to this tendency, they might view other small pets as their prey.

However, this can be fixed through early socialization and training. Individual temperament also determines a dog’s amicability with other pets.

Consistent and positive reinforcement training might help to alter your pet’s amicability levels.

Barking tendencies

The barking tendencies of a particular breed cannot be generalized. It usually varies from dog to dog.

However, Afghan sheepdogs are instinctively alert which gives rise to their barking tendencies. This trait makes them ideal watchdogs. 

Although they have this tendency, on the one hand, they have a reserved nature on the other, for which they try to avoid unnecessary barking.

Certain triggers might also cause excessive barking among these dogs. ⚡️

Loneliness and boredom might also be a cause. However, these barking tendencies can be regulated by proper socialization and training.

Possibilities of staying alone

The Afghan sheepdog is prone to separation anxiety which gets depressed and anxious when left alone for long periods.

These dogs are social animals thus they cannot survive long without companionship.

Extended periods of isolation may lead to boredom and loneliness which might lead to behavioral issues in your pet.

Training and a gradual introduction to being alone might get your baby accustomed to the experience. 

Eventually starting off with shorter periods and then gradually extending the time can help them build tolerance towards being alone for longer.

The living environment also plays a crucial role in the possibility of staying alone.

Providing your dog with a comfortable, safe space with proper food, water, and toys might make the experience less stressful for your dog.

Male vs. Female Attitude

Ranging between a height of 20 to 24 inches, the Afghan Shepherd is a regal dog that retains the elegance of its Afghan Hound parent and the intelligence and alertness of the Belgian Shepherd. 

The male Afghan Hound can be a little flighty and clownish, while the female tends to be of a more timid disposition with a dignified stance. Both dogs are confident and fiercely brave when the occasion arises.

There might be a slight difference in terms of weight when it comes to physical differences between the two genders of this breed. The female might sometimes be of a lighter weight than the male.

Pros and Cons

Now, let us look into a brief overview of the pros and cons of Afghan sheepdogs before you take the next step of adopting one.⤵️


  • They are usually gentle and affectionate.
  • They have an elegant appearance with a beautiful, thick fur coating.
  • They have an instinctive sense of awareness which makes them excellent watchdogs.
  • They are known for their low-shedding coat.
  • They have moderate energy levels that make them ideal for various living environments.


  • Their luxurious coat needs high grooming.
  • Their independent nature might lead to trouble in training them.
  • They are prone to separation anxiety and thus cannot be left alone for long.
  • They have an instinctive prey drive for which they might not always be amicable to other smaller pets naturally.
  • They need regular exercise and mental stimulation otherwise boredom and idleness may lead to destructive behavior.


Coat TypeMedium to long length
Coat ColorsBlack; red; brown; gray; fawn; silver and cream
Level of GroomingLots of grooming
Level of SheddingModerate shedding

General Appearance

Afghan sheepdog is quite a large-sized dog with a strong and muscular build.

The males are usually slightly greater in size and mass in comparison to the females. They have a luxurious and flowing coat that is quite dense.

This thick fur coating is a result of an adaptive response to their historical origin in Afghanistan, where they had to get accustomed to living in rough and cold weather.

They have a pair of pendulous ears that hangs closely to their face, and their tail is fluffy and plumed, which they carry gracefully in a slightly upward curve. 

Their almond-shade dark eyes are the most appealing feature to most. They have an effortless gait that exhibits sheer grace and confidence.✅

Coat color

The Afghan Sheepdog breed generally has black, brown, red, or cream coats of medium to long length. Their coats can be very dense and wiry.

To maintain their silky and thick coats, you must brush through the tangles regularly.

Occasional sessions with professional groomers are also necessary for timely trimming. If you are situated in a warmer area, bathing your Afghan Shepherd often is important.  


The Afghan Hound is mostly a non-shedder, and the Belgian Shepherd sheds moderately only in summer; the shedding rate of the Afghan Shepherd is also moderate. 

Proper maintenance, however, will do them well because their dense hair tends to get tangled a lot and might accumulate dirt and debris.


With their black snouts and thick tails, the Afghan Sheepdogs come in several colors, like various shades of red, brown, black, and white. 

These dogs have thick coats with hair that falls on the longer side. Like their Afghan hound parents, these dogs are thin and incredibly fast.

They take after their Belgian Sheepdog parent when it comes to their thickly padded feet; intelligent expressions, and sturdy, muscled bodies.

They are light on their legs and are very graceful, carrying with them an elegance associated with the Afghan Hound dogs.

Their heights might vary between 20 to 24 inches. These thin, light-footed breeds weigh around 45 to 60 lbs.

Height27-29 inches25-27 inches
Weight60-75 pounds50-65 pounds


Some of the health problems the Afghan Sheepdog breeds face are: ⤵️

Health Problems
Gastric Dilation Volvulus (GDV)
Progressive Retinal Atrophy
Muscular Dystrophy
Corneal Dystrophy
Health Test
Physical examinationSkin and coat evaluation
Parasite controlJoint and mobility assessment
Heartworm testingEar examination
Blood workDental examination
Regular vaccinationEye examination

Health And Grooming

Shedding Level

Drool Capacity

Grooming capability

Chances of weight gain

Overall health

Breed Size

Maintenance and Care

The Afghan Shepherd being a crossbreed, will need the care and maintenance required by its parent breeds. 

The Afghan Hounds are not high on the shedding scale, but when it comes to the Belgian Shepherd, these dog breeds are seasonal sheds that tend to shed mostly during the summer season.

The Afghan Shepherd can take after any of their parents. To maintain their characteristic silky mane, your Afghan Shepherd would require lots of maintenance, from brushing several times a week to regular grooming sessions; it will take a lot to maintain the health and beauty of these furry dogs. 

If ignored, you will find hair probably everywhere in the house and a matted mane that is very difficult to untangle.


If you are raising your Afghan Shepherd in a colder area, regular bathing is not a necessity.

But if you are in a warmer place, you will need to make appointments with professional groomers to maintain, shampoo, and trim the Afghan.

Nail clipping and brushing should be made an important part of their schedule. Since the Afghan has a low-falling ear, make sure to check from time to time for wax build-ups or any signs of infections.

Food and Nutrition

The Afghan Sheepdogs taking after their parent breeds are large dogs, which means they would require to be fed keeping their size and active personality in mind. Feed your Afghan a protein-high diet.

Almost three cups of dog food will suffice. Make sure to add carbohydrates and a healthy amount of fat to their diet.

Food Cost

The food cost of a particular breed usually cannot be specified as the food intake varies from dog to dog depending on their appetite and metabolism. 

However, I can give you an approximate overview of the food cost for keeping an Afghan sheepdog as your pet. 2.8 cups of dog food is the general amount of food intake required by a regular-sized Afghan sheepdog.

Thus, calculatively, their daily food cost may range from $1.20- $1.40, which rolls down to $34.00 to $45.00 monthly. ⚡️

Exercise and Activity Level

If you are set to raise an Afghan Sheepdog, be aware of its stubborn nature. These dogs will need to be trained at a very young age to forgo this peculiar hard-headedness. 

Socialize them more by taking them on walks around the neighborhood or during playtime with other dogs in the dog park. They are sure to come out victorious in dog sports. 

Let your Afghan Hound out into the yard and have some fun running about chasing squirrels or butterflies. And spare 45 minutes from your day, every day, to take them on a walk.⤵️

Ease of trainingEasy to train 
Level of VitalityHigh
Level of Exercise Ideally RequiredMedium; 45 minutes of daily activity
Puppies3 – 12 puppies

Physical Requirements

Level of vitality


Physical Movements

Loves to Play


The Afghan sheepdog is an intelligent breed that is capable of learning quite easily and swiftly. However, having a history of being independent working dogs, they might turn out to be tough to train.

Positive reinforcement, early socialization, and a proper environment might help to make the training process easier.

Patience and consistency is the key to their training. Regular mental stimulation is also a must for providing proper training to your Afghan sheepdog puppy. 


Training Potential

Capability to Reason

Popping Everything Into the Mouth

Hunting Capabilities

Love for Traveling

Barking Potentiality


Do you know Afghan Sheepdogs were used during WWI as messenger dogs and sentry dogs and are now used as police dogs?

Well, now that you have all the information required, why not go ahead and adopt a cutie We will wait for you to tell your experience with your puppy in the comments below!

Explore More Dog Breeds…

FAQs on the Afghan Sheep Dog breed ⤵️

What is an Afghan Sheep Dog?

An Afghan Sheep Dog, also known as the Kuchi Dog or Afghan Shepherd, is a breed of working dog originally developed in Afghanistan. These dogs were traditionally used by Afghan nomads (Kuchis) to protect their livestock, primarily sheep, from predators and thieves. They are known for their agility, loyalty, and protective nature.

What does an Afghan Sheep Dog look like?

Afghan Sheep Dogs are large and powerful dogs with a distinctive appearance. They have a thick double coat that comes in various colors, including white, cream, tan, and black. Their fur is long and flowing, particularly around their neck and tail. They have a well-proportioned body and a proud, regal posture.

Are they rare or difficult to find?

Afghan Sheep Dogs are not as common as some other breeds, and finding a reputable breeder can require some research. If you’re interested in getting one, consider reaching out to breed-specific rescue organizations or networking with experienced dog enthusiasts who might know of available dogs or litters.

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