The Silken Windhound is a small, hardy, strikingly elegant sighthound. Its classic, sweeping lines and athletic build are the hallmark of a true coursing dog, which is evident beneath the luxurious, silky, yet protective coat. Its size, structure and coat enable the Silken Windhound not only to be a capable runner over a wide variety of terrain and through unpredictable weather conditions, but also to be competitive in a variety of dog sports.
Viewing the Silken Windhound from the side, one should have the impression of remarkable beauty integrated with exceptional running ability. Beginning with its chiseled head, a long arched neck, dramatic depth of brisket and an extreme tuck-up ending with the graceful sweep of the long, low-carried tail, the Silken Windhound is the embodiment of athletic beauty. The moderately long, silky coat complements the sweeping curves.
This is an intelligent and responsive hound that demonstrates a strong desire to please its human companions. Though sometimes dignified in its bearing, the Silken Windhound tends to be quite expressive in its display of affection toward those it is fond of. Similarly, though the Silken Windhound exhibits a competitive spirit in the field, it is generally quite sociable with other dogs. It adapts to any family life very quickly and loves adults and children alike. This also will depend on the type of leadership the owner displays, and the child. Some of the dogs may be more sensitive around noisy, loud or excited children. Be careful what sort of temperament you have and make sure that you take your children when you select a Silken so that you know you have picked one that enjoys children. As long as there is socialization with the other species, Silkens have no trouble living with cats,
chinchillas, birds or other species. The introduction of an older dog may take more time, however it can be done of you take the time to do it right. When first introducing the dogs, be sure to take all dogs on a pack walk, having the dogs heel beside or behind you during the walk, rather than tossing the dogs together face to face. This will ensure they see one another as one pack. Silkens may alert you that a new friend is coming, but they are not watch or guard dogs. This breed is usually friendly with strangers, but should be
socializedand have plenty of exposure to new experiences as a puppy to ensure it will be social as an adult. This is a curious breed. Silkens housebreak easily. Some have been known to housebreak on their own account, if they have free access to the outdoors to do it, reporting some to be housebroken by 10-12 weeks. For other training they want to please their owner, but they are typical sighthounds and can be bored by long repetitions. An owner of a Silken needs to be aware that sighthounds have strong hunting instincts. They need to be able to run free, but should never be let off leash around cars.
Height: 18 - 23.5 inches (46 - 60 cm) at the withers. One half inch above and below the extremes is permitted.
Weight: Females 22 - 45 pounds (10 - 20 kg) Males 33 - 55 pounds (15 - 25 kg)
Silken Windhounds carry no known significant genetic defects. Some herding dogs carry a MDR1 gene which makes them sensitive to certain drugs that are otherwise okay to give another dog, but if tested positive for this gene can kill them.
A yard is definitely a plus since they do love to run, but they will live in an apartment fine with additional walks and runs at the local dog park. Silkens seem to have no trouble in any weather. They glory and frolic in snow, splash through puddles, race in the wind and bask in the sun. They will adapt their exercise and exposure depending on the temperature outside. Do not let a Silken wander free without proper fencing as it is a sighthound and has strong hunting instincts. It may run off chasing something. This breed needs to be able to run but needs a fenced-in yard for its safety.
Silkens love to run like any sighthound, and need to go on a daily walk or jog. If well exercised, they will be happy to snooze at their owner’s feet or on the couch. They do need to get outside for walks and runs in dog parks or large, open areas, but they are not as high energy as a Border Collie or other herding breeds. This breed makes a good jogging companion if the dog is conditioned properly, although you should wait for a puppy to be a year or older before starting long, hard, distance exercise.
Coat is usually a variety of longish to very long, with feathers. Some are straight, some are very curly. All are acceptable. Some never shed and others do shed, but not in amounts like other longhaired breeds such as Goldens or even Borzoi that blow their coat. A female that is pregnant/nursing will blow her coat at that time. Puppies will often blow their coat about 12- 18 months of age. Stress, estrus, diet and weather can all affect how much coat they will grow. The silky coat is easy to groom. Brush regularly, at least once a week.
The first small longhaired sighthounds appeared during the 1960s at kennel Windsprite in USA. They were mainly based on Whippets, but exactly where the longhaired trait comes from is hazy.
Kennel Kristull, USA, started during the beginning of the 1980s with 2 males and 3 females from kennel Windsprite; the 3 females were pregnant with yet 3 other males on arrival. Borzoi was added to enhance the coat and Whippet to enlarge the gene pool.
The intention of the creation of the Silken Windhound breed is not, contrary to some beliefs, to produce a mini-Borzoi or some kind of longhaired version of a Whippet. It is to fill a niche that for so long has been empty—the niche of a small longhaired sighthound.
The Silken Windhound is an established breed that is bred according to the standard accepted by the International Silken Windhound Society.
The studbook of the Silken Windhound breed was officially closed in December 2000.
UKC, ISWS, RI,
IABCA,KCS, APRI, DRA
UKC = United Kennel
ISWS = International
Silken Windhound Society RI = Rarities Inc.
IABCA = International All-Breed Canine Association of
America KCS = Kennel Club of Slovenia APRI = American Pet Registry, Inc. DRA = Dog Registry of America, Inc.
Red brindle colored male is Kristull Northern Lights aka Nipsu, owned by Eija Achren in Finland, Eija's Kennels