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The Silken Windhound dog breed was developed in the United States. Breeders were aiming to create a small- to medium-sized Sighthound with a low-maintenance long coat. They were able to create this new breed by crossing Borzois with Whippets.
Silken Windhounds have a warm and affable personality. They love to interact with people and other pets. As they are way too friendly, these dogs are more fitting to be family companions than watchdogs or guard dogs. They are smart and quick learners, so they are highly trainable.
The Silken Windhound is a low-maintenance dog that only needs weekly brushing. His exercise needs are high since he is very active. This dog breed can live between 14 and 18 years.
The Silken Windhound dog breed first existed in the United States. Francie Stull, a well-known breeder of performance and show American Kennel Club Borzoi and Scottish Deerhound and owner of the Kristull Kennel, created the breed.
She had noticed that most Sighthounds were large in size. Thus, she decided to develop a Sighthound that is smaller than a Borzoi but larger than a Whippet. Francie also wanted the new dog breed to have an easy-to-groom long coat. She worked together with her husband, Chuck, to put her plans into motion.
The couple crossed Borzois with small Whippet-based Lurchers and Whippets bred from show and coursing lines. The initial pairing used to produce the first Silken Windhound puppies were a Borzoi named Stillwater Kristull Peacock and a long-haired Whippet named Winsprite Autumnal Xenon.
The very first Silken Windhound litter was whelped in 1985. It was in 1998 that the dog breed's name was officially adopted. In 1999, the International Silken Windhound Society was established. Two years later, the breed standard for Silken Windhounds was created.
This Sighthound breed is not yet officially recognised by American Kennel Club. Most European dog registries do not acknowledge the breed as well. However, the breed was recognised by the United Kennel Club in 2011. The numbers of European breed groups that are slowly pushing for the breed to be acknowledged as a purebred dog are growing too.
Today, the popularity of Silken Windhounds is gradually soaring in different parts of the world. They are not only found in the United States but also in Austria, Canada, Italy, Japan, Germany, Finland, Mexico, Sweden, Switzerland, and Slovenia.
They are also well-known in the United Kingdom, Union of South Africa, Netherlands, Norway, United Arab Emirates, and New Zealand.
The Silken Windhound breed is a small- to medium-sized Sighthound. Both male and female Silken Windhounds measure 46–60 centimetres at the withers. Male Silken Windhounds weigh approximately 15–25 kilos, whilst female Silken Windhounds weigh 10–20 kilos.
The litter of the Silken Windhound breed may consist 4–6 puppies. Small dog breeds mature quickly, so expect Silken Windhound puppies to reach their adult size within 12 months.
The Silken Windhound has a long, wedge-shaped head. His eyes are large, dark, and almond-shaped. He has a long muzzle and a dark nose. His ears are small and triangular-shaped. They fold and lie back around his neck. He has a slightly arched, slender neck.
Silken Windhounds have deep chests and a lean build. They have a noticeable abdominal tuck. Their legs are straight, slender, and long, yet well-muscled. They have long tails that droop down and have a slight curve at the end.
The Silken Windhound breed has a long, silky coat that is similar to a Borzoi's. It comes in many colours and usually has spotting patterns. The most common colourations of the breed include black, blonde, brindle, cream, grey, red, and white.
No, Silken Windhounds may trigger allergic reactions as they are non-hypoallergenic dogs. For dog lovers with pet allergies, it might be a good idea to consider looking for other breeds before making a final decision.
Yes, Silken Windhounds do shed. They are moderate shedders with a low-maintenance coat. They only require weekly brushing using a slicker brush or a pin brush and a steel comb. Spare at least 10–15 minutes to comb through their coats.
Silken Windhound puppies usually blow their coats between 12 and 18 months old. They will need more frequent brushing to keep their long hair matt- and tangle-free. Bathing can be done every 8–12 weeks. Use a mild dog shampoo to maintain the good condition of their coats.
The fur behind the Silken Windhound dog's ears is prone to tangles. Sprinkle baking soda on this area to prevent matts from forming. His grooming routine should also include ear cleaning and nail trimming, which should be done once a week. Daily tooth brushing is a must as well to prevent gum and teeth diseases.
The Silken Windhound is a wonderful canine companion as he a very friendly and welcoming dog. This Sighthound breed wants to be deeply involved in his loved ones' lives. He thrives in being a part of their daily activities. Thus, the Silken Windhound needs an owner that can keep him in company most of the day.
Silken Windhound loves socialising with humans and would rather greet strangers than be wary of them. Thus, he does not make the best guard dog. Although he does bark at strangers, he is too friendly to be on watchdog duty. This loving dog is better off as a family pet.
Despite their affable nature, Silken Windhounds can turn into anxious, timid, or aggressive dogs if they lack proper socialisation. For this reason, Silken Windhound puppies should be socialised early as it allows them to grow up into self-assured and genteel dogs.
The Silken Windhound breed is fond of children. However, he can be quite sensitive to their loud noises and excitability. Thus, children should be taught how to behave when around their furry friend to keep him calm and happy. Their interactions must be supervised as well to ensure that their playtime does not become too rowdy.
Silken Windhounds are typically amiable and playful towards other pets. They can get along with cats, dogs, and smaller animals.
That said, a proper and gradual introduction is necessary to ensure that they live harmoniously together. Whenever with other pets, particularly small ones, Silken Windhounds should be closely monitored as they have a high prey drive.
Intelligent, competitive, and eager to please, the Silken Windhound breed is easy to train. The downside is he can quickly lose his focus due to his Sighthound abilities. If something catches his eye, he may go running after it. Keep training short and enjoyable to keep his attention from straying away.
Use positive reinforcement techniques to achieve successful results. Harsh training methods and rough punishments are greatly discouraged as they can be detrimental for your dog.
He may suffer from behavioural problems and lose his trust in you. Firmly tell him no whenever he wants to do things his own way. If he does not listen, take a break and try again later.
It is easy to house-train Silken Windhound puppies. Some dog owners claim that their puppies were able to learn on their own provided that they have free access outside. With consistent training, Silken Windhound puppies can be completely house-trained within 10–12 weeks.
The Silken Windhound dog breed needs high-quality dog food that is tailor-made for medium-sized dogs. Full-grown Silken Windhounds require 180–500 grams of dog food per day. They should be provided with 1.5–2.5 cups of dog food every day. Divide these portions into two smaller meals to keep them from wolfing down their food.
Note that as a Sighthound, the Silken Windhound breed possesses a naturally lean physique. Never overfeed as it can cause unhealthy weight gain. Obese Silken Windhounds are highly vulnerable to digestive issues and joint and heart problems. With this in mind, regularly monitor your dog's food intake and weight.
The Silken Windhound dogs can live between 14 and 18 years. These dogs are quite hardy. In fact, a Silken Windhound lived for 20 years. Although this breed is healthy, he is predisposed to a few health problems, including:
Some dog breeds carry the MDR1 gene, which makes them highly sensitive to certain drugs such as ivermectin. Canines that are commonly affected by this condition are the Border Collie and Sheltie.
Long-haired Whippets, which contributed to the creation of the Silken Windhound, are also prone to ivermectin sensitivity. Fortunately, there is a test available that can identify dogs that carry the MDR1 gene.
It is a highly life-threatening life condition that can affect Silken Windhound puppies. Affected pups have difficulty in breathing, suffer from lethargy and bone deformities. The cause of lotus syndrome is unknown.
The best way to prevent it is by getting a puppy from a reputable breeder whose dogs and litter are DNA-tested for this disease.
An umbilical hernia occurs when the umbilical ring does not close properly. This causes the internal organs to protrude through the opening. Dogs affected with this condition have a noticeable bulge on their abdomen. An umbilical hernia can be treated through surgery.
As the Silken Windhound dog breed is a Sighthound, he can run between 30 and 40 miles per hour. An hour of long walks around the neighbourhood or in the dog park is a great exercise for this high-energy canine. Dog sports especially fly ball and agility are fun activities as well, since he loves to run.
Keep in mind that anything that moves can catch your dog's attention. He may suddenly bolt off to run after a squirrel whilst running. Because of this, always make sure that your dog is on a lead whenever he is outdoors.
Getting a Silken Windhound puppy will cost you between £500 and £1500. Dog food expenses can cost around £250–£300 yearly. Purchasing your puppy's necessities requires approximately a total of £200.
Each vet check-up session will cost between £30 and £60. Initial vaccine shots cost approximately £100, whilst expenses for annual boosters are about £50. If you acquire pet insurance, be ready to pay approximately £28 every month.
Are you sure the Silken Windhound is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.Dog Breed Selector Quiz