The Afghan’s long coat was essential for protection from the windy, harsh climate in the area where the breed was developed. The single coat is silky and fine, similar to human hair and sheds only lightly—but it does require frequent brushing to keep it tangle-free. Puppies are born with a fluffy coat that will fall out just before one year of age, and is replaced with the flowing locks for which the Afghan Hound is known. Though no dog comes with zero risk of stimulating an allergic reaction in sensitive individuals, the Afghan Hound is considered a hypoallergenic breed.
Afghan Hounds are rumored to have their own scent—like a musky jasmine. Breeders claim the jasmine scent is noticeable when a new litter is born, and many Affie owners can smell the pleasant musk on their own dogs, especially when they've come indoors after getting caught in the rain. While there may be a genetic component—scented Affies may be more likely in lines of likewise-fragrant parents—there is no proof that the perfumed quality is anything other than myth. This is fitting, as there is a legend that surrounds this particular quality:
A princess in a distant land loved her treasured Afghan Hounds. Fragrant sprigs of jasmine were attached to the collars of her dogs, and the scent of jasmine was always present wherever the princess went—for wherever she wandered, so too did her dogs. The princess suddenly fell ill, and on her deathbed she promised her father, betrothed, and faithful servants that she would always be with them. She died, and the palace became a melancholy place. Every sprig of jasmine was removed from the palace as it was too painful a reminder of their loss. The princess had a favorite Afghan Hound who was pregnant. When this dog gave birth, the scent of jasmine filled the kennels. Each puppy in the litter carried the beautiful scent of jasmine on its head. The kingdom rejoiced as the princess had indeed followed through—she was with them, as she had promised.
Though the Afghan Hound is often ranked as one of the least intelligent dog breeds, the ranking doesn’t necessarily reflect dog intelligence in the most accurate way. While the Affie can learn a command, she’s less inclined to comply than an eager-to-please breed like the Lab—which is what dog intelligence ranking is usually based on. Though smart, their independent nature and high level of sensitivity can make training an Afghan Hound a difficult task that requires consistency and plenty of patience.