Can anyone tell me the thought and incentive that went behind this breeding? I have been thinking about these puppies, and the breeder was obviously aiming for a dual purpose animal, one that hunted by both sight and scent, but if they were meant to be coyote dogs, I wonder why he/she didn’t breed a Catahoula to a more sturdy coursing breed, like a greyhound from a tougher line, or a Deerhound. Coyotes are tough animals, and can be vicious fighters, especially the coyote – wolf hybrid version we have here in Vermont, and with the coats and floppy ears these dogs have, they’re going to be vulnerable to getting ripped up by the teeth of any coyote they catch. Compared to my Irish wolfhounds and wolfhound – malamute crosses, every Afghan I’ve seen has been a soft coated weakling more fit to sleep on a soft bed than run down a coyote. I have a friend who raises Afghans, supposedly from some of the best bloodlines in the country, but they are all quivering couch potatoes, fit only to trot around a show ring. Under the best temperature conditions they might be able to take down a rabbit or impala, but they have no real jaw power to speak of, their muzzle being plenty long, but far too thin and lacking substance. And as far as toughness goes, even my pure Irish wolfhounds, themselves AKC shadows of the fierce breed they once were, are far more rugged dogs than any Afghan I’ve ever seen. And as far as enduring cold weather goes, my pure Irish wolfhound, Branigan was breaking ice on our pond two days ago to swim, the near freezing water didn’t bother him at all, yet my friend can barely get her Afghans to go outside to go to the bathroom in the winter. The Catahoula is a good, tough, all-around dog, but I don’t see how crossing it with a breed that has become little more than a showpiece could help create a better hunting dog. I may be wrong, but I would think crossing a Catahoula with some sort of Staghound derived from Greyhound/Deerhound/Wolfhound crossings like they have out west would produce an animal more likely to be a dual purpose coyote dog than this cross. Look at my avatar, that is Grizzly, he is 1/2 Irish wolfhound, 1/2 Alaskan malamute, he weighs 120 lbs. and has a thick, harsh coat any coyote would have trouble biting through, a tough hide under that coat should the coyote succeed, small ears and a large (long and powerful) jaw. He routinely kills large raccoons that come around my chicken coops and pigeon lofts at night looking for a meal, and friends who hunt coyotes with their scent hounds and have seen him run while just playing chase with my other dogs (and thus having no incentive to really open up) tell me they believe he could catch a coyote. He is a rugged, powerful and fast dog capable of taking on a coyote, this Catahoula – Afghan cross seems more of a “Let’s see what we get.” breeding than a serious attempt at producing a better coyote dog.
I am not much for looking back more than the grandparents to figure out what a dog can do. If a dog pulls a sled, then it is a sled dog. If a dog outruns rabbits, it is (occupationally) a sighthound of some type.
So one can not have a sheepdog unless they have sheep. One can not have a bird dog unless they hunt birds, deerhound can only be real if the state has places where dogs can be hunted on deer.
A dog is what it does well. Just the same as with people. If your parents are both medical doctors, but you are a first grade teacher, then you are a first grade teacher – what your parents do has nothing to do wth it. Medical degrees are NOT inherited – each person has to earn their degree themselves. Same with dogs.
A coyotes dog is a dog which hunts coyotes. A wolfhound is a dog which huntes wolves. A dog which ‘hunts’ plastic trash bags is a lure courser. A dog that hunts raccoons is a good raccoon dog. Most all dogs are pets.
Pets are good. No slur on that. I believe being a good pet is the modern job of most dogs. I am fine with that. One sholdn’t be made to feel that their cocker must hunt birds, their foxhound must hunt fox, or that their otterhound has to hunt otters.
There are two distinct interpretations in deciding what a dog is. First, what it was bred for historically, and second, what it actually does. True, most dogs are pets, and that is the most important job of the domestic dog today in America. And I, too believe there is nothing wrong with a dog being “just a pet”, that’s a very important function. But there are a number of people, including hunters of various types, who still use dogs as a tool. These dogs may also be pets, or they may be kept solely for the job they do (I’ve read and been told that it is best not to make pets out of most livestock guard dogs, but to let them live with and bond with the flocks they guard). These Catahoula – Afghan crosses may make excellent pets (the Catahoula I’ve known the best was simply that, a family pet, though I’ve also known a few hunters who used them on coon, too. And all the Afghans I’ve known have been pets only), but the title of this particular blog is ‘Afghan hound/Catahoula cross lurchers. Bred to be coyote hounds!’ This leads me to believe they were purposely bred to hunt coyotes, which causes me to question why for the reasons pointed out in my previous post.
True, Dachshunds can pull a sled and be “called” sled dogs, but anyone purposely breeding dachshunds for that purpose must be a little out of their minds. There are thousands of Golden retrievers that have never seen a duck, but they are still “retrievers”. So a dog is not just what it does, but also what it was bred for. If it learns to do something it wasn’t bred for, and does it well, it can then be called that too. I had a friend who had the best coon dog I have ever seen, yet she was a Norwegian Elkhound by breed. Did she stop being an Elkhound because she was now hunting coon, a job normally done by flop-eared hounds? No, she was still an Elkhound genetically and historically. Was she now a coon hound, because she hunted coon? Yes, she was a coon hound, just like the many collie/shepherd crosses Vermont farm boys used to hunt coon in the past, because she was good at it.
If I chose to train a French bulldog to hunt coon would it stop being a French bulldog? Of course not, but would it be a coon hound (or coon dog if you don’t want to get into the argument of what is a hound) just because I wanted it to be, whether it actually was good at hunting coon or not? I don’t think so, any more than it would be a retriever if I tried to teach it to retrieve ducks and it drowned trying.
My wolfhounds were once used to hunt wolves, or at least their distant ancestors were, but do I believe Branigan, my male Irish wolfhound could now run down and kill a large northern wolf by himself? No, he’s a wolfhound because of his ancestors, not because he kills wolves today. Today he kills rats around my bird yards and lofts, does that now make him a rat terrier? No, he is a wolfhound that kills rats.These Afghan/Catahoula crosses are supposed to be coyote dogs. They come from hunting lines, one that still hunts successfully, and another that hunts blue ribbons in the show ring, and are advertised as coyote hounds on this blog. I just question whether or not they’ll be worthy of the name..
So a dog is not just what it now does successfully, it is also what its ancestors once did. So no matter how many dachshunds are hooked up to a sled, i will never call them sled dogs, and I believe there are better coyote dogs than these Afghan – Catahoula crosses, so why was this cross made?
As an after thought, I notice this comment section hasn’t been flooded with posts from Afghan owners bragging about what powerful and determined coyote killers their dogs are, or Catahoula owners claiming an admixture of Afghan hound would improve the hunting abilities of their breed. Catahoualas are great at being all around hunting dogs (and crossing them with American bulldogs produce some excellent hog and catch dogs), and Afghans are good at what they now do; sleeping on the couch, looking exotic in their long flowing locks in the show ring, and being good pets. Are Afghans now no longer coursing dogs? No, they are, just like my Irish wolfhounds are still wolfhounds, they’re just not good coursing dogs, especially against something that is going to fight back.
There is an Afghan here is Texas that killed a coyote single handed. He was bred to a staghound bitch and produced very good coursing dogs. I have pictures somewhere, the pups looked like staghounds.
My own Afghans have pushed down a sturdy fence to get to a coyote. If I wanted to run coyotes, I would have no problem finding Afghans game enough to do it and hard enough to commit to a kill.
I don’t hunt coyotes. If I wanted to, I wouldn’t be using any of my current Salukis to do it. I have a trio of Afghan bitches that would be thrilled to run a coyote.
I also don’t know all the Afghans in the world, but I have extensive experience with my own Afghans that has proved that there is still plenty of prey drive there, so I don’t make a fool of myself talking shit about stuff I have no clue about. I know people who run Jacks and coyotes that have used Afghans and didn’t get shitty dogs. (Cross an Afghan with a smooth coated dog and you will get smooth dogs, negating the coat problem.) There are many, many Afghans that routinely kill small animals. Mix them with something that is better conformed to run and you may have a good running dog.
Dutch Salmon has a section on Afghans in his book, Gazehounds and Coursing. He doesn’t put them down the way you do. Maybe you should read it.
It’s good to know there are still some afghans out there that can work. If you’ve got afghans good enough to run coyotes that’s great, even if you don’t actually hunt them. If you speculate they could do it, I’m sure they can. I only know what I see, and I’m not impressed with any of the afghans I’ve seen here in Vermont. But they’re all show dogs here, not from (recent) hunting stock as your dogs probably are. And I’m comparing them to my wolfhounds, of course, while you’re no doubt comparing them to your salukis.
How big are your coyotes in Texas? Here in Vermont a dog would have to be tough enough to take on 75 lb. coyote – wolf hybrids. Our “coyotes” are deer eaters, and have the jaws for it. Since I don’t hunt my dogs either, outside of the predators that come around in the night after my chickens and pigeons, I can only speculate that my 150 lb. wolfhound-malamute crosses could hunt them, but I don’t know for sure. Friends who actually hunt coyotes with scent hounds have told me Grizzly, my wolfhound – malamute cross could easily catch a coyote, but I can’t prove it. I do know that in a controversy, my wolfhound crosses would eat any afghan I’ve ever seen. My question about the afghan – catahoula cross pups was this, why was that cross made? I can understand why a dual purpose hunting dog was wanted, but why use an afghan instead of one of the more rugged breeds out there?
I’m sure there’s an afghan in Texas that ran down and killed a coyote, Texas is a big state. I’m sure if I looked hard enough, I could find a farm collie here in Vermont that has done the same, but as a rule are afghans the best choice for coyotes? Even your little coyotes? My wolfhound, Bran is an excellent water dog, retrieves sticks all day long, and can out-swim any lab around (and we’re in the middle of the Champlain Flyway here, with some great retrievers raised by friends in this area), but would I advocate using wolfhounds as the base for producing a line of retrievers? No, I don’t think so. I once had a wolfhound – bloodhound cross pup (both parents AKC), that I raised and tried to train to run with my coon hound pack (Plotts and Blueticks), but he was silent, and just not into scent trailing or sticking tree. Also, whenever a coon was caught on the ground he’d claim it and kick the hell out of the rest of the pack. I then ‘accidentally’ discovered he was far faster than I thought, and could sight run foxes and catch and kill them. So I turned him into a coursing dog that would ride in the back of my truck, spot a fox a quarter mile away, leap out of the truck and head out after the fox at my command, leave a thirty foot gap between where his feet left the snow and touched down again with each bound, and clear five foot tall page-wire fences by leaving the ground eight feet before them and landing eight feet beyond. A red fox should be able to elude a 160. lb dog like he was, but he’d come on them so fast they’d barely have time to get running before he had them. He’d quickly kill them, and then carry them back to the truck, jump into the back and drop them onto the bed floor. But would I advocate a wolfhound – bloodhound cross as a fox coursing dog? Probably not, it worked in that one case, but I’m sure it was an anomaly.
I respect all dog people, and try no to “talk shit and make a fool of myself”, but it seems so many people get stuck on a breed and then claim that breed is the answer to everything, and I’m not going to tip-toe around a subject just so some self-declared expert doesn’t get pissed at me. When I said dachshunds wouldn’t make good sled dogs I wasn’t putting down dachshunds, and when I say afghans aren’t the best coyote hounds I’m not putting down afghans (though I knew my remarks were going to upset the hell out of some afghan lovers out there). I just think that if you’re trying to produce a coyote dog, why not start with a wolfhound type and breed down, rather than a gazelle hound and breed up.
I realize there are people out there like yourself who are much more knowledgeable about dogs than I am, after all, I’ve only been ignoring the AKC and crossbreeding dogs for my own purposes for 47 years. But who knows, maybe one of these days I’ll know what I’m talking about and stop making a fool of myself.
By the way, if your afghans have pushed down a sturdy fence to get to a coyote… you need better fences.
Enjoyed reading these posts as an interested cross breeder. I would have to disagree with some of the comments made about afghan hounds, especially in comparison to wolfhounds, malamutes, and deerhounds (Scottish). Afghan hounds are faster than wolfhounds, 40 mph to 36 mph, and they can turn much sharper. Further, they can handle more difficult terrain than greyhounds as their paws are bigger and they are better leapers. Coyote are quick, nimble, sneaky, and yes nasty. Afghan hounds turn from lazy, Fabio look alikes, into fierce killers when chasing at speed….as does your wolfhound. I think the breeder knows what they are doing in crossing a Cata with an Afghan and may be on to a nice mix, especially to hunt in 3-4 dog groups. I would have to say that a malamute cannot keep up speed wise with a coyote, is not nimble enough to cut and turn with it, and if bred with a cat is only going to get slower. A wolfhound is fast enough, just not agile enough. Just my assessment in seeing them run in tight spaces. The deerhound is similar to the wolfhound, a little more nimble. Again, the afghan is faster. I trail a fake coyote on a rope behind my Polaris 850 and I cannot shake the afghans at close to 45 mph. It’s a shame in America we have turned afghans into these prissy whimpy looking show dogs, as they were intended to hunt large cats, deer/ gazelle and managed the mountainous cold conditions of afghanistan.