Silken Windhound

Learn all about the adorable Silken Windhound. It’s a great family pet that just loves people.

Silken Windhound

Height: 18-35” at the shoulders
Weight: 20-55lbs
Lifespan: 14-20 years
Pedigree Breed?: Yes

Positives and Negatives of the Breed

Positives:

  • Can adapt to your lifestyle – happy to curl up on the sofa or run about outside
  • Friendly and good with children
  • Intelligent and easy to train
  • Good with other animals in the home

Negatives:

  • High maintenance grooming
  • High prey drive
  • Poor watchdog
  • Cannot be left alone for long periods of time

Overview

The Silken Windhound has been specially bred to have a nature that is trainable and intelligent, a charming personality and a beautiful coat. These are just some of the reasons why Silken Windhounds are so popular.

Excellent with other pets, young children and even strangers, it’s possible to train this breed to carry out all kinds of tasks, and while they may not be the best watchdog, they make an affectionate and loving family pet.

They thrive in a family home where they can spend time around the humans that they love.

They certainly shouldn’t be left outdoors or alone for a long period of time. These are very expressive dogs and they can clearly show their emotions using their eyes and ears so that even first-time dog owners can understand what they’re trying to communicate.

Wind dogs have generally good health, and with manageable exercise needs and minimal grooming required, this is a dog that both those with no dog-owning experience and expert owners alike will find to be a wonderful family pet.

Silken Windhound black and white

History

The Silken Windhound breed doesn’t have a long history since it has only newly been introduced.

The first littler of Silken Windhound puppies was produced by Francie Stull, a breeder of Borzois who was keen to create a sighthound of mid-size with a silky, long coat that would look beautiful but be relatively simply to maintain and groom.

The Silken Windhound was produced by crossing a whippet with a Borzoi, and the first litter was born in the USA in 1985, but it wasn’t until 1998 that it was officially given its name “Silken Windhound”.

The breed was recognised by the United Kennel Club in 2011, but as yet it hasn’t been recognised by other kennel clubs.

Personality

This breed makes for a poor watchdog since Silken Windhounds are very friendly and are more prone to greeting strangers as old friends rather than reacting with aggression or suspicion.

Very affectionate to their human companions, they take well to early socialisation training and can easily adapt to all types of lifestyle. This breed can happily live in an apartment as long as they can go for a long walk and have a run about each day.

These dogs usually have the occasional high energy burst, but then they’ll happily spend the rest of their time curled up on a sofa with their beloved human family.

Hunting dog breeds

Windhounds are sensitive and don’t cope well without companionship for extended periods. They’re also keen to please – so much so that even a first-time dog owner should have no difficulty in training one.

In fact, given regular access to an outdoor space, this breed has even been known to be able to housebreak itself!

Due to their high prey drive, like other sighthounds, they need strong and secure fencing to keep them in your yard since they can often be tempted to chase small animals.

The Silken Windhound may be trained for dog sports, agility and obedience, and they’ll appreciate the mental and physical challenge that such training provides. When not properly challenged, they could develop destructive behaviours through boredom.

If you’re looking for a family pet that is easy to train, affectionate and active, the Silken Windhound is a low maintenance and fun companion for every member of the family.

Friendly towards pets and children, they may be apprehensive at times if they are faced with overly excited children or loud, sudden noises.

With proper socialisation training at an early age, though, these dogs will learn how to interact well and safely with other pets and humans.

Despite their high prey drive, they will usually be very gentle with other pets that they have been raised with.

Health

The Silken Windhound breed is usually pretty healthy and there are few known genetic predispositions for medical problems.

Yet, it’s still important to be aware of a few possible health conditions that may arise in this breed.

One of the known potential health problems that this breed may experience is Lotus Syndrome.

This appears in young dogs, and puppies that are affected won’t survive long after being born. Another possible issue is that some dogs of this breed will carry the MDR1 gene.

This causes sensitivities to some drugs. It’s therefore important to have your Silken Windhound companion tested for this gene before they are given any kind of medication to treat any kind of health problem since if they have a bad reaction it could prove fatal.

Some other issues which may affect this breed including cryptorchidism, and umbilical hernias. In older age, this breed, like many others may also suffer from cataracts that impede their vision and deafness.

Therefore, having regular veterinary check-ups for your pet is the best way to ensure that they stay in good health in the long term and that any potential medical problems are spotted and treated at an early stage.

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Exercise

Just like other sighthound breeds, Silken Windhounds love running. While they aren’t the most active breed of dog, they will still need a regular daily jog or walk with their owner and could benefit from having a run off the leash.

 

They will enjoy running in open, large areas or in the dog park, but they certainly don’t have as much energy to burn off as a herding breed like a Border Collie.

If you’re looking for a jogging companion, though, you’ll find that this breed fits the bill perfectly once they are a year old.

Of course, if you’re intending to allow your dog off the lead in public spaces you need to ensure that your pet has good recall skills since their prey instinct is very strong and they may be inclined to go chasing after any small animals that it spots on its way.

As long as your pet gets a good long walk every day, they will happily come home and enjoy a nice long rest on the sofa or at their human owner’s feet.

They would, of course, still appreciate having a secure, fenced back yard where they can run about at will if one is available, but if you don’t have one, it won’t be too much of a problem as long as their other daily exercise needs are met.

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Silken Windhound 2

Trainability

Even a first-time dog owner will find the Silken Windhound quite easy to train since this breed is very keen to please its owner. However, it needs to be kept in mind that this breed is a typical sighthound.

Therefore, long repetitions can be boring for them. Keep each training session short and engaging and you’ll achieve the best results.

You’ll also find that positive reinforcement techniques will work very well for this breed – you should certainly avoid harsh and heavy-handed methods.

Silkens are especially easy to housetrain, with some even managing to teach themselves to go outside without any human intervention so long as they can freely access an outdoor space. Some manage to housebreak themselves within as little as 10 or 12 weeks.

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Silken Windhound

Grooming

One of the most noticeable features of the Silken Windhound is its beautiful coat, but while it may look fantastic, it isn’t as difficult to groom as you might imagine.

Perfect for all types of weather, you’ll find your Silken will happily play in hot sunshine or in cold snowy conditions.

Afterward, you only need to brush their coat a couple of times each week using a slicker brush and this should be sufficient to prevent knots and tangles from forming. Your pet will only need a bath every 8 – 12 weeks, using a mild dog shampoo.

Of course, your pet’s teeth will also require regular attention. You should brush them at least once a week to prevent tartar and bacteria from building up.

You should also check their paw pads and ears regularly for any signs of debris, parasites or infection, and clean them whenever necessary.

Their nails will require trimming around once each month to keep them in their best shape. If you can hear your pet’s claws clicking on hard surfaces when walking across them, you know it’s time to give them a trim.

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Image: By Talismanhound (talk) (Uploads) – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

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