This breed is very unique – Silken Windhounds are mostly bred in the United States, but you can also find them in Canada, Europe and Africa. The history of this hound is not that long. The breed was invented in 1985 by Francie Stull. She wanted to create a dog which would be a little bit smaller than most hounds but with the same temperament – intelligence combined with affection. The Silken Dog came into being from combining two commonly known breeds: the Borzoi and the Whippet. Let’s find out more about this beautiful breed and its traits.

Silken Windhound – Breed Characteristics

Silken Windhound breed characteristics

The appearance of the Silken Windhound fits into the pattern of a coursing dog. The Silk Hound is athletic – muscular and slender – although it is a relatively small breed. The Silken Windhound size falls within the ambit of 18-24 inches (47-60 cm) at the shoulder, according to the United Kennel Club. Male Silkens weigh between 33 and 55 Ib (15-25 kg), females – between 22 and 44 Ib (10-20 kg). It is fair to say that the this dog has a classic coursing dog build.

Silken Windhound – Build

The proportions of a Silken Dog can be drawn into a square or rectangle. These dogs have long heads and their scull is narrow at the back (you can see it especially when looking at the Silk Hound from above). Their neck is relatively long – and because of that some people say that they are similar to giraffes. The Silken Windhounds’ topline clearly rises from behind the withers to reach the highest point over the last rib, then falls gradually towards the long croup. They have short backs and muscular loins. Their tails are long and flexible.

Silken Windhound – Coat

What sets this Windhound apart from other similar breeds is its coat. Silken Windhounds are one of the dog breeds with longer coats. Furthermore, they have a silky texture which is one of the qualities which make these dogs so special. Their coats are diverse – they come in almost every color variant, so by choosing this breed it is easy to become the owner of a very unique dog.

Silken Windhound – Temperament and Character

Silken Windhound character

Is the Silken Windhound a good choice for families with children? The answer is short – yes, it is! Its temperament can be defined as friendly, gentle and caring. That means that they make great companions for children. Some people may think that because of the Windhound’s coursing attributes they may be dangerous – but this is not true. Silken Windhounds are very intelligent. They know when they can hunt and when to be calm and polite. They are also willing to meet and live with other animals – after appropriate preparation/training. 

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Silken Windhound – Lots of Intelligence

Silken Windhounds are famous for being very smart. They are very eager to carry out orders – it makes them very satisfied and proud of themselves. The Silky Hound likes to be obedient to its owner but this is certainly not an obstacle for him to also show a lot of love. These dogs know when to behave in a particular way – this makes them great companions for different types of people. Silken Windhounds are disposed to be prime in the fields such as dog agility, dog therapy or flyball.

Silken Windhound – Health

Silken Windhound health

In view of the not particularly long history of this breed, Silken Windhounds are known for being remarkably healthy. It is said that there are some health issues characteristic for some representatives of Silken Dogs but these are individual cases. For example, Silky Dogs can have problems with hip dysplasia or bloat, but these cases are very rare. Silken Windhound breeders report that older dogs sometimes suffer from deafness and cataracts. After all, they have good health and live long – compared to other small to medium-sized dog breeds. These dogs can live up to even 20 years.

Silken Windhound – Caring for a Puppy

The charming appearance of Silken Windhounds can come across as being complicated to care for. The good news is that this is only the impression – in order to keep these beautiful dogs clean and happy, it is enough to brush them a few times a week. The best device to do so is a slicker brush – it prevents the dog’s silky coat from tangling. When it comes to bathing – a bath in a mild dog shampoo, every eight to twelve weeks, is sufficient. 

The other grooming actions are standard: 

  • brush your dog’s teeth with a vet-approved toothpaste, 
  • trim the claws as needed, 
  • check the ears from time to time to control if they are clean (if not – clean them with a cotton ball and a gentle, vet-approved cleaner).

Silken Windhound – Feeding

Silken Windhound feeding

In order to provide Silken Windhounds with health and well-being, it is very important to feed them correctly. The main rule is to take care of their guts. It is commonly known that the intestines are the center of the dog’s organism – they contain the ecosystem of bacteria called the microbiome. Its presence is responsible for many health issues. Processed dog food containing chemicals can cause an imbalance in the microbiome and consequently – gut problems. By serving your dog natural food you can be sure that you’re looking after its health.

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This breed’s diet should consist of appropriate protein, healthy fats, ground bones and vegetables with the right vitamins and minerals. The best choice is to feed the Silken Windhound with raw dog food. The amount of food depends on the weight of the dog – it usually falls within the ambit of 180-500g per day.

Silken Windhound – Breeding

Silken Windhounds are bred predominantly in the United States. The largest number of Silken Windhound breeders live there. You can find some lists of recommended breedings (not only those from the United States) on the web. However, before you decide to buy a Silken Windhound puppy from a particular breeder, you should check to see if you can meet the puppy’s parents and their living conditions. Remember – professional breeders always let you come and verify if everything is alright.

Silken Windhound – Price

Silken Windhound puppies cost quite a lot – the reason for this situation is the rarity of this breed. If you plan to become an owner of a puppy, you have to be prepared to spend about $2000 – 2500.

Silken Windhound – Dog Breed History

As mentioned above – the beginning of Silken Windhound history is connected with the American breeder Francie Stull. She was the owner of Borzois – quite big sighthounds – and at one point she decided that a medium-size sighthound would be perfect for her. Her first thoughts circled around Whippets but her dream was to have a medium-size sighthound with a coat similar to the Borzoi’s one. That was the reason why she crossed the two  breeds to create her dream dog.

The first dog resembling today’s Silken Windhound was born in 1975. The official name of the breed was adopted in 1998. The next year The International Silken Windhound Society originated. However, the official breed standards were only accepted in 2001.

Silken Windhounds – Who Should Become Their Owner?

Silken Windhounds are described as very friendly and affectionate dogs. They love to spend time with their owners and participate in all activities. Silken Windhounds are energetic and playful – they can spend a lot of time playing with people and other animals. This means that they are perfect for people with an active way of life. 

Silky dogs feel their best when in company – they can have problems with staying alone for longer periods of time. In view of that, they are not appropriate for people who work long hours. Silken Windhounds do not mind living in apartments but the key to their comfort is the presence of their owner.

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Silken Windhound – a Great Friend for Families with Children

Because of their friendly character, Silken Windhounds are considered as perfect family members. They easily learn how to live with other animals and children. To guarantee best behavior, you should socialize your dog properly. The best way to do that is to introduce your puppy to as many new people and animals as possible at an early stage of their life. You can do this by going for many walks to your favorite places or by frequently inviting people to the house. The Silken Windhound’s personality traits – such as protectiveness and intelligence – influence the relatively short time of socializing this breed.

Silken Windhound – Training and Activity

Like all sighthounds, the Silken Windhound loves to be active. This breed is very muscular. Remember that their ancestors’ main purpose was to hunt. This means that today’s Silken Windhounds find pleasure in playing, running, fetching and other physical activities. Make sure you allow your dog to do so at least a few times a week.

Silken dogs are a pleasure to work with. The reason for that is – among other things – their intelligence. As mentioned above, these dogs love to be obedient, so in most cases, training with this dog is just a pleasure. They’re also really fast learners.

Silken Windhound – Fun Facts

  • There are only about 1200 registered Silken Windhounds around the world.
  • They can run at the speed of almost 64kmph!
  • The Silken Windhound is unapproved by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (International Canine Federation – the superior institution for the main canine organizations in Europe, Asia, Africa, Central America, South America, Australia and New Zealand).
  • These dogs can be more sensitive than other breeds – some things can impact them emotionally.

The Silken Windhound is a unique, intelligent and friendly dog. However, these dogs need to be active. They feel best when their owner is right next to them.

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