The temperament of the typical Afghan Hound can be aloof and dignified, but happy and clownish when playing. The Afghan Hounds’ intelligence and reasoning skills have made it a successful competitor in dog agility trials as well as an intuitive therapy dog and companion.
The breed has a reputation among some dog trainers of having a relatively slow “obedience intelligence” as defined by author Stanley Coren or a recent survey of dog obedience judges. However, these tests are reliant on obedience tasks, for which Afghans are not naturally inclined. The Afghan Hound has many cat-like tendencies and is not slavish in its obedience as are some other breeds. It is an independent dog, with strong pack allegiance and prey drive, which has helped it survive as a breed for several thousand years. Afghans are likely to refuse or ignore commands from humans or trainers with which they have not developed a close working relationship, but even owners should not be surprised if their Afghan hounds sometimes choose to ignore commands. Although seldom used today for hunting in Europe and America where they are popular, Afghan hounds are frequent participants in lure coursing events and are also popular in the sport of conformation showing.