I haven’t been blogging the past several months because I’ve been busy doing other things, but I thought this information might be helpful to anyone who owns or is considering owning an Afghan Hound or any drape coated or double coated dog.
I am not a neat freak by any means…but I am not a total slob, either. I don’t like sticky surfaces, and I don’t like dust. I had Afghans for over 30 years, and although I love the breed, I know my limitations,and now own Whippets. You know the types of questions people usually ask: Are they easy to train ? Do they shed much? Afghans and Whippets are at different ends of the spectrum.
I’ll get the Whippets out of the way, first. Whippets tend to be cuddly, very oriented to their humans, very eager to please, and hardly shed at all. Many are bald underneath (so are Greyhounds), often due to a vitamin deficiency. They are great dogs & I love living with them.
Afghan Hounds tend to be aloof…much like most cats. A veterinarian likened having one like living with a roommate who never cleans up after himself. They will steal your food. They usually don’t care if you come or go. If you keep them brushed, they hardly shed at all….but what does happen is that their hair will break off….especially if you have carpets. If they lay on carpets, the carpet will act sort of as a brush. Due to static, the carpet will pull out loose hairs and break off old hairs.
When I lived with Afghans, and lived in homes with carpeting, I used to take a slicker brush and brush the carpets before vacuuming, or the vacuum cleaner bags would be filled with dog hair—as would the beater bars on the vacuum cleaner. I relived this just this week—as I took care of an Afghan last week. I vacuumed…. and the beater bars were filled with her hair. She has only been in the house 4 days!
I had clients who desperately wanted to grow coat on their dogs, so I told them to take up their rugs. They did it, and refinished their oak floors, which looked incredible, and their dogs stopped losing coat. I currently work for a Coton de Tulear breeder who did the same thing. I also admit to doing this: taking up wall-to-wall carpeting, sanding, staining, and refinishing floors…so my dogs’ coats would not break off.
The biggest problem with long haired dogs is carpets, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have hair collecting along the floorboards. while a Swiffer will work….you will be changing that pad several times if you don’t do your floors at least once a day.
So, what can you do? #1: keep the dog clean. if the dog is clean and brushed out, there will be less hair breaking off & less hair getting stuck to surfaces.; #2—take up your rugs. Unless you’re the type who can stick your rungs in a washing machine once a week, you will never keep the rugs clean…or the dog clean; #3: cut the hair off the dog’s feet. This can be done so it looks natural, but still….less hair equals more clean; #4 Get a rug brush: a fine gauge slicker, like a Vista slicker, to top the rungs before you vacuum.