Afghan Hound World Congress Italy 2014

April 30th & May 3rd 2014

Afghan Hound World Congress – Italy 2014

The goal of the 8th AHWC is to investigate the condition of the breed after 100 years of breeding selection.
L’8° Congresso Mondiale sul Levriero Afgano vuole fare un’analisi della razza dopo 100 anni di selezione morfologica.

The 8th Afghan Hound World Congress is over and I would take the opportunity to thank the people who attended the event once again.

The audience was interactive with our panellists who did a great job jumping from the technical to the “heart and artistic” areas of the breed… very suggestive and improving.

Some people travelled from great distances to be with us to share their love for the future of the breed.
We all love our breed but attending the World Congress means to love the future of the breed as well. We are all concerned and feel the responsibility of what we carry on to the next generation of breeders.

We were glad to welcome many Italian Judges of the breed that joined us and shared this experience.

You are probably wondering if The Congress answered the big question… Is our Afghan Hound a “HUNTING MACHINE OR A BEST IN SHOW MACHINE”? Well I can say that unfortunately few “élite” of fanciers are still convinced that our Afghan is a hunting machine, or at least have this concept in mind when considering the breed. However, from my observations, the majority of the world fanciers think of the Afghan Hound as a Best in Show machine. I noticed it by looking outside the congress meeting room and watching the large number of people focused on grooming, bathing and making their potential BIS winner ready for the Specialty of the day. Then comparing them to the much smaller group of people who were discussing how functional the breed characteristics are to have a hunting machine…

For the very first time an International Afghan Hound Committee has been elected! The 3 official members and 2 “reserve” members have a lot of hard work and planning ahead of them.

The three members are Mr Ulf Jorgensen from Denmark, Mr Michael Canalizo from the USA and Mr. Willem Buitenkamp from The Netherlands. The two “reserve” members are Mrs Cinzia Aymaretti Camia from Italy and Ms Iren Naarits from Estonia.
We send the best wishes to them.

The Congress accepted the nomination of Holland for the 9th World Afghan Hound Congress that will be held in 2018.

In closing I would again like to thank the Panellists for studying and developing the Congress speeches. Ulf Jorgensen who trusted us in promoting the event in Italy. Our sponsors, Purina Proplan, Laser Lites Australia, Taku Boutique, Acqua Fonte S. Antonio, Azienda Agricola Bottarelli del Garda and the Italian Kennel Club (ENCI), who believed in our effort and supported our work to build a spectacular event.
The AIALA’s Board of Directors: Luigi Durando, Cristina Leonardi, Agnese della Rocca, Simonetta Ghioni and Elena Bergamini for planning and preparing the event with me. Stefano Marelli for his great job as moderator, Lara Rigato for helping in translations and Jessica Sola for working on the beautiful web-site.

Looking forward to seeing everyone in 2018!

Roberto Bongiovanni


“The Afghan Hound… hunting machine or Best in Show machine?”
The goal of the 8th AHWC is to investigate the condition of the breed after 100 years of breeding selection.

1) The different stocks that developed in the early decades are now globalizing into a sole model.
Is it important to keep a morphological diversification?

2) Fro……m Ghengis Khan’s dog to Barbie’s pet.
The different models evolve, and breed features inevitably become extreme: is the “hyper-type” drifting us away from the Standard?

3) Afghans bred for Lure coursing and Racing purposes drift away from the “globalized” type bred for show purposes.
Comparison between models.


4) Which model is nearer to the so far unchanged Standard?
Morphological structure
 – is it better judged in the show ring or on the field?
 – development of the temperament within the coursing field would it be appropriate to consider the license of coursing compulsory to the confirmation of a champion title?
Coat pattern
 – Is the coat of today’s Afghans typical?
 – Despite what the Standard says, stripping is widespread and tolerated.
 – Can we breed without using scissors?

5) The conformation judge today.
Are judges still able to influence breeding choices? What’s their role today? Are the new generations of breeders aware that Afghans are supposed to hunt in Afghanistan or are they solely aiming to get to the Best in Show ring?


6) Proud or aloof?
How the meaning of two simple terms has influenced the interpretation of the Standard – “proud” (UK/FCI), “aloof attitude” (USA), by its breeders and fanciers.
As well eventually the evolution and the future of the Afghan Hound.


Afghans bred for Lure coursing and Racing purposes drift away from the “globalized” type bred forshow purposes. Comparison between models.

Which model is nearer to the so far unchanged Standard? Morphological structure, Temperament, Coat pattern.

The conformation judge today.


1 & 2 – Is the quality of Afghan hounds declining at home and abroad?
Home 65% =yes, abroad 75% = yes

3 – Is the number of hounds increasing? NO 75%

4 – What do you think can influence quality of the breed?
-Good breeding
-Good judging
Over 90% felt these were the main influences on quality

5 – What carthes your attenion first when evauating an Afghan hound?
– Balance and proportions
– Head and expression
– Correct structure
93% of respondents felt these were the most important points

6 – In your opinion which is the worst fault?
– Bad front
– Bad topline
– Movement with no power and extension
Three of the 21 points referenced temperaent (Agressive temperament, shy temperament and temperament lacking proudness and aloofness) and these items amounted to just over 13% so as a category, Temperament was deemed to be the worst

7 – What is most important? 
The top two answsers, gaining 20.8% and 10.5% were
– Correct balance and proportions
– Powerful movement with long extension
Temperament gained just over 6% which left it in about 7th place of most important items. Again we had various types of temerament – 1 primitive independent temperament. 2 friendly but stubborn temperament. 3 happy and showy temperament. So between questions 6 and 7 we have six different types of temperament. Oddly, in question 6 Temperament(s) (in aggregate) amount to the worst fault, but by contrast in question. 7 temperament(s) only achieved 7th place. So the supposed worst Afghan fault is not the most important?

8 – Do you think the breed of today has changed compared to the original stock?
84% of respondents said YES

9 – If you think the breed has improved, point out 2 possible reasons among the six listed. Top items were:
– Good health and nutrition care 39.6%
– Good breeding work 38.6%

10 – If you think the breed has worsened point out 2 possible reasons among the five listed. Top items were:
– Poor judging job 30.8%
– Poor breeding job 26.8%
In question 9 Poor Judging was one of the lowest improvement points (scored only 4.9%), so poor judging being one of the breed’s worsening points is at least consistent between questions 9 and 10. Good Breeding was second highest improvement point in question 9 with a score of 38.6%, whereas in question 10 Poor Breeding is rated second worsening point in the breed.

11 – Do you think that working on a sole Breed Standard could help preserving and improving our breed? 
YES (probably) 50.8%
Maybe NOT 21.93%
YES (definitely) 14.91%
NOT at all 12.28%
Close to 73% were in the YES direction, 27% were in the NO direction. So overall a majority think a single breed standard would improve the breed.

12 –  Contributors to questionnaire
66 owner/exhibitors 52.38%
46 breeders 36.51%
11 owners 8.75%
3 professional handler 2.38%

Specialty Show May 3

Judge: Colleen Khoury (Quom knl AUS)





Specialty Show May 2

Judge: Carol Reisman (Kai knl USA)






Afghan Hound World Congress 2014
Italy 2014