This article is from the Afghan Hound Breed FAQ, by Janis Nixon with numerous contributions by others.
Yes, grooming is a chore that must be attended to weekly without fail.
Afghans require weekly baths and brush-outs to prevent that
spectacular coat from becoming a sorry, tattered mess. The coat
pattern developes naturally. Pups are often far from what a new owner
expects, as they do not resemble long-coated adults. Afghan pups are
born smooth-coated. The thick, soft puppy coat grows in slowly.
At about one year of age, the steadily lengthening adult coat begins
to show itself and the puppy coat begins falling out, sometimes taking
until the dog is three years old before completely gone. This is the
time when coat care becomes a nightmare, as the puppy coat t angles
and mats in the burgeoning adult coat. Some pet Afghans find
themselves clipped down at this stage, as the owner simply gives up.
Adult Afghans are more susceptible to shedding in the spring and fall,
after illness and unspayed bitches will lose coat after every season.
Conscientious breeders will always explain the intricities of good
coat care and all give new owners grooming lessons. Ill-kept Afghans
are prone to parasites, abcesses and skin diseases, so meticulous coat
care is extremely important.