The Afghan Hound Muse

Pablo Picasso had a very special Afghan Hound in his life that brought great pleasure to the artist’s life. The antics of his hound brought inspiration to Picasso’s art.

Who knew a dog could be a muse? I have a close friend who has an afghan hound like Picasso’s hound, and she is beautiful. He paints a lot too like Pablo and paints her often. Paul has a lot of parallels to Picasso with the exception that Picasso wasn’t a plumber.

Picasso – Dog Lover

 

Pablo Picasso was a lover of dogs. He has had many different breeds, but his Afghan Hound was what he might have viewed as a living canvas of elegance and beauty. He named this beauty after the city of Kabul.

 

Picasso had dogs of all kinds; Terriers, Dachshund, Box, Poodle, German Shepherd, Afghan Hound and a few mixed breeds. It was rumored that he acquired these dogs from borrowing them from friends.

 

The Man Behind the Dogs

 

Pablo Picasso, a native of Spain, had a specific order of things he loved. He loved his art, his ego, his image, his women and his dogs.

 

Where Picasso went, so did his dogs. His passion for dogs was so immense that he gifted dogs to many friends so if he visited them, there would always be a dog around.

 

He had a somewhat nomadic lifestyle. When he met women, he would move in with them and when the relationship ended he left all of his belongings behind, but took the dogs. This pattern repeated itself throughout his lifetime.

Picasso’s Friend “Lump”

 

Picasso befriended David Duncan who was a photographer for Life Magazine. Their friendship lasted nine months. During that time Picasso opened his villa near Cannes to Duncan giving him carte blanche to take photographs of anything and everything.

Accompanying Duncan was a little Dachshund named Lump. Picasso and Lump bonded immediately. Picasso spent each day playing and cuddling this little dog. When the time arrived for Duncan to leave, Picasso asked if he would leave the dog. Duncan found it impossible to say no.

 

Dogs Finding Their Way into Picasso’s Art

 

Picasso’s paintings reflected his dogs throughout some of them. Lump was the star of a painting Picasso did. He initially had painted a hound but painted Lumpy’s image over it.

 

Kabul, the Afghan Hound, has also been included in several paintings with one of Picasso wives, Jacqueline. The beauty of his beloved dog along with his beautiful wife, made a combination for a painting that was very dear to Picasso.

“Can I ask you a question about your dogs?”

 

During an art show, someone approached Picasso and asked, “I know this occasion has to do with your art, but might I ask you a question about your dogs?” Picasso reply, “Certainly.

 

The young man asked Picasso what was his favorite breed of all the dogs he has had. Smiling big, Picasso responded, “I have so many. Some were gifts, some I found. I do not usually get the same breed of dog again. I want each to be an individual, and I do not want to live with the ghosts of other dogs.

 

Picasso continued to go on about his dogs, “I suppose I am fickle in my affections, but after a dog has left my life, I try to quickly fill its place with another. I have an Afghan Hound named Kabul. He is elegant and graceful, and I love the way he moves. I put a representation of his head on a statue I created…I do think of him when in my studio.

 

Yes I have a favorite,” replied Picasso, “It is my Afghan Hound, Kabul.

 

Interesting Details in the Paintings

 

When looking at Picasso’s paintings, there are ever so slight details of his beloved Afghan Hound, Kabul, painted within his paintings.

 

Picasso was passionate about dogs and especially loved Kabul, the Afghan Hound!

 

Why Ban Dogs? – Trying to Understand the Reasoning

There are a few countries that have banned the Afghan Hound. Although there is no direct cause or reasoning behind the ban, it leaves one with various assumptions or conclusions.

The Afghan Hound is a breed that has a sweet personality and no inherent or genetic factors that pinpoints an aggressive nature.

Countries Banning Afghan Hounds

 

There are only two countries that ban this breed. Qatar is the first one with Beijing, the capital of China being the other. China does not ban this dog anywhere else except in Beijing.

 

Are you scratching your head yet trying to make sense of this?

 

President Trump doesn’t help in the matter with his comment about Afghan Hounds back in February 2018. He asked the Westminster Kennel Club to ban Afghan Hounds from their annual dog show. “They’re foreign, this is America,” states Trump.

 

Widespread Antipathy Towards Dogs in some Countries

 

While unsure why Beijing bans the Afghan Hound, it is a bit more clear why Qatar does.

Most Middle Easterners are generally unfriendly towards dogs because of their belief system. To come in contact or touch a dog is forbidden. The Quran prohibits dogs being allowed in one’s house. However, hadith teaches that dogs are impure warning Muslims to have no contact with dogs.

 

Sadly, some justify being abusive to dogs because of these teachings.

During the month of Ramadaan, it has been reported that many Muslims take their dogs to animal hospitals to have them euthanized. When asked why they do this, they say it is because it is Ramadaan and their religion forbids them to have a dog.

Afghan Hounds – Afghanistan

 

If we look at the country where the Afghan Hound originated from, we can see the same insolent treatment of dogs. The Afghan culture refuses to touch dogs because of the belief they are unclean.

Dogs all over Afghanistan fight to survive as they are forced to scavenge for food. These dogs live in sewers and on the streets. Two such dogs were found and adopted by a loving woman from London. These two dogs started their lives atop a mound of garbage in Kabul. Both were rescued by two men that were from other countries. One was a journalist on assignment, and the other was a German diplomat.

 

Both were friends of the woman (who lives in London) that adopted them.

 

The Clash of Cultural Beliefs and Values

 

We question whether the hadith teaching is going to influence our own dog culture here in America. The Islamic belief system is evidently incompatible with Western values when it comes to owning dogs.

In Minneapolis, a Somali cab driver made national news headlines from his refusal to allow a blind man and his guide dog into his cab. This was because of his Muslim faith.

 

Egypt was once a dog-loving country, however, with the influx of Muslims things have changed.

 

In the Netherlands, a ban was called for in Hague from a Muslim politician.

 

Not All are Dog Lovers

 

Are the Muslims encroaching on dog lovers worldwide? The debate continues as change is happening all over the world with the rights of dogs and dog owners.

 

The diversity that makes up the various cultures throughout the world are to be respected. We all have a right to follow our belief system. However, when animal cruelty or disrespect towards animals is happening, it raises concern.

 

Man and animals should live harmoniously together.

 

Let’s consider ourselves fortunate that we live in a country that defends our four-legged companions!

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Lure Coursing – The Afghan Hound’s Favorite Pastime

Lure Coursing is quite famous among the Afghan Hound breed. It is a beloved sport that provides the dogs with a lot of exercise and mental stimulation. For the dog, it is pure adrenaline fun!

What is Lure Coursing?

 

Lure Coursing is a sport for dogs where they chase a lure that mimics a small prey running. The lure is attached to a pulley that is either mechanically controlled or hand controlled by someone. This is a recreational sport that promotes social gatherings of dog owners while providing an activity for the dogs. Not only is it fun, but it’s healthy for the dogs!

 

Where did Lure Coursing Come From?

 

This sport began as long as four thousand years ago in Egypt. By the middle ages, Lure Coursing was restricted to royalty only and was not something the commoners were allowed to do. They were not even allowed to own a sighthound for a very long time.

 

Sighthound dog clubs in California devised controlled coursing in the seventies that is still used today. Not only was the coursing portable, but it worked in a controlled environment that was safe for the dogs.

The mechanical lure is made up of plastic bags and faux fur. When the dogs see this, to them it looks like the real deal! Who knew a plastic bag and fake fur would pass for a rabbit or something similar?

 

How does it work?

 

A mechanical device controls the speed which the lure travels at as it is dragged across the ground. It can be set up to take turns or change direction. These zigzagging patterns imitate how small prey runs when trying to escape.

 

Professional Lure Coursing

 

There are many Lure Coursing clubs across the country as well as worldwide. It is restricted to Sighthound breeds only and the dog must be AKC registered. Dogs must be a minimum of one year old.

 

United States has a standard Lure Course that measures 600-1000 yards long. European Lure Courses are over 1000 yards long and include the use of jumps and obstacles. Dogs are scored based on speed, endurance, agility, enthusiasm and ability to follow the lure.

 

You can find a sanctioned club by contacting The American Kennel Club or The American Sighthound Field Association.

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What is a Sighthound?

The Afghan Hound is a Sighthound. Sighthounds are breeds of dogs that have the unique ability to hunt by sight and speed. Most dogs hunt by scent, but Sighthounds do not.

Sighthounds are ancient breeds that typically originated in Egypt, Middle East, Africa and Southwest Asia.

Faster than a Bolt of Lightning!

 

Sighthounds can hunt with very little instruction or human intervention with training. Other breeds do not have this capability and rely more on directions and training from their owners.

 

They can run as fast as 27 mph and even quicker when they have their eyes honed in on a prize. This breed clocks in as the fastest dogs in the world.

 

Sighthound Breeds

 

Eleven different breeds fall under Sighthounds. These breeds are docile and laid back in the house, however, if they go outdoors, be very careful if they are not on a leash. They are known for catching something in sight and take off in pursuit of it. This can be very dangerous for a Sighthound that is not in a fenced yard or on a leash.

 

Afghan Hound

This breed originated in Afghanistan. These dogs have a somewhat springy gait as they holds their heads up high in an arrogant manner. The overall impression of the Afghan is elegance, strength and fast.

Azawakh

This Sighthound hales from Africa. For centuries, the Azawakh wandered through the deserts with the Tuareg tribes and were used to guard their camps and livestock. They are often seen on top of the thatch roofs of villagers homes.

Borzoi

Russian nobility has had this Sighthound around for centuries. Their name means “swift.” They have been used to hunt for decades in the plains of Russia. With popularity increasing with this breed, they became more of an indoor family pet. This breed is the quietest dog never barking once in its lifetime!

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Deerhound

This Sighthound was bred to hunt in Scotland. Similar to the Greyhound, the Deerhound is larger and stocky. These dogs are laid back, independent yet sensitive with reservations towards strangers.

Greyhound

This Sighthound has traces in every country on earth, originating in Egypt around 2751 B.C.  The aristocratic demeanor and style of this dog attracted royalty to owning the breed. Greyhounds are bred mainly for racing, lure coursing or for show. Quick in speed and endurance, these dogs infamously fill racetracks worldwide as people crowd in to place bets on them.

Irish Wolfhound

Don’t let the scrappy appearance fool you! This large Sighthound has a “homey” sweetness and vibrant personality. The Irish Wolfhound dates back to 391 A.D. and was used in Roman wars as well as guarding livestock and their owner’s dwellings.

Italian Greyhound

This breed originated in Greece and Turkey over four thousand years ago. They were used for small game hunting as well as rodent control. Having a very fragile appearance, its grace and elegant demeanor attract dog lovers worldwide. It’s a lot of dog in a little package! This Sighthound makes a great family dog because of its gentle and timid nature.

Pharaoh Hound

Native to Malta, this breed is one of the oldest. One odd characteristic of this dog is it blushes in its ears when excited. Being very intelligent and independent-minded, it tends to be stubborn with training.  These dogs are often found in agility sports or lure coursing.

Saluki

This breed comes from the hot deserts of Saudi Arabia. Used by nomadic tribes centuries ago, these dogs hunted for their owners. The Saluki has a sweet personality and tends to get bored quickly. They are very sensitive and requires gentle patience with training.

Sloughi

Native to the Saharan desert, this breed’s origin is unknown. It is thought that the nomadic Berbers created the breed. Held in high esteem, only chiefs and kings were allowed to have them.

Whippet

Dating back to end of the nineteenth century, this breed moves extremely quick and can run up to 37 mph. Nicknamed “the poor man’s racehorse,” the Whippet was popular with low-class gamblers in England. This dog makes a great family dog with their sweet disposition.

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