There is a lot of different opinions about the breeds name. According to the International Windsprite Club, the breed was formely known as a Longhaired Whippet, but the name was changed in 2016 to Windsprite. In Europe they are known as Silken Windsprites and for exaxmple in Germany, there is even a separate Silken Windsprite and Longhaired Whippet breed club, which is suggesting, that they are two separate breeds and there are slight differences in body structure due to different breeding ideas. But in most countries in the world, they are considered as the same breed.
2) Separate breed
The main reason, why the International Windsprite Club changed the breeds name was probably the future breed recognition. It is because the name Longhaired Whippet suggesting, that they are only a variation of the classic Whippet. For the same reason the word Silken is not used in the breeds name in Canada and USA. It is because the name Silken Windsprite is similar to another breeds name – Silken Windhound, which could cause troubles in the breeds recognition.
As you can see, there is a big ongoing debate about the breeds name and recognition. And guess what? There is even a debate about the breeds origin! It was believed that the Windsprite was developed by crossing Whippets with Shetland Sheepdog, but the breeds founder Walter Wheeler Jr. denied it and he said that he selectively bred his own dogs in the 1970s with other Whippet breeders that displayed observable evidence of carrying the longhaired gene and that he develoepd the breed from this recessive gene. But later, modern genetic studies has shown that the Longhaired Whippets had a herding breed in them, most likely Shetland Sheepdog, and probably a bit of Borzoi.
4) Family companion
Finally, now we will talk about something, most Windsprite breeders and owners will agree and it is that this breed makes a great family companion. The IWC describe this dog as low maintenance, very affectionate, intelligent, athletic, easy-going, easy to train and fun to be around. They are also very adaptable and they will be happy with longer hikes and long playtime, but also with leisure walks or lounging around.
This is a noble looking dog. This is a medium sized dog with very athletic body, deep powerful chest, elongated face with strong muzzle and elegant arched neck. The average height should be between 16-22 inch which is 40-55 cm and weight is typically between 20-30 pounds which is 9-14 kg. Females are naturally little bit smaller than males
Well, the Longhaired Whippets coat is not extremely long, but its definitely longer than coat of most sighthounds. The coat is soft and straight and it is slightly curled or wavy. The fur is visibly longer around the neck, but the length and type of a coat vary quite a bit from dog to dog. Majority of dogs also have feathering under the chest and on the tail, back of thighs and back of the forelegs. You can find this breed in any color combinations and with any markings.
It seems that the Silken Windsprite is more docile, eager to please and more trainable than other sighthounds. Actually many owners report, that this is very willing to learn dog that learns new commands very quickly, which is pretty interesting, especially if you compare it to other sighthounds, who tend to be more stubborn and independent and the training is definitely not an easy task with them. Another great fact about the Longhaired Whippet is, that it is common, that they can be walked off leash. Again, if you compare this to other sighthounds, this is pretty rare. You should train the LHW with positive reward training methods, since they do not respond well to harsh training.
You can see on the first sight, that this is a dog made for speed. And indeed, this is a great and fast runner and you should regularly let them to stretch their long legs. They are great adepts for various dog sports, for example coursing or agility. This breed is quite playful, so they will love almost any kind of play of an adventure, but when they are home, they tend to be pretty calm. This is not a hyperactive breed, but not a coach potate neither and they need daily exercise, walks, runs or good playtime to stay healthy and happy.
It is very easy to groom the Silken Windsprite. Brushing the coat once a week is enough to keep it in great condition. No additional grooming is needed. Just like with all dogs you should regularly check the dogs ears, eyes and nails and clip them or clean them if needed.
Generally this is a healthy dog breed with a lifespan between 12-15 years. You should be cauties with some drugs and medicines, because the Windsprite Multi-Drug Resistance Gene which can make them sensitive to certain drugs. They are also prone to Collie Eye Anomaly.