The Silken Windhound is a medium sized dog breed with the typical sighthound elegance and beautiful silky coat. Overall, the Silken Windhound looks like a small Borzoi and it is not a coincidence, because the Borzoi is a direct ancestor of this breed.
The Silken Windhound has an athletic and balanced, but also very graceful body. Just like all the sighthounds, their body is aerodynamical and made for running. The Silken Windhound average height should be between 18-24 inches, which is 45-60 cm.
You can find this breed in all possible colors and color combinations. The coat is silky and very soft to touch and moderately long. The coat can be wavy, curly but also straight and this dog has naturally short coat on its face and head, hock and feet. On the other hand, there is typically a longer feathering on the back of the forelegs and on the ears.
This breed is an excellent companion. They are very playful, affectionate and friendly. They are also pretty gentle, which is why they are good partners for kids, but of course you should always supervise the situation between any dog breed and very young child.
On the other hand, you should never forget, that this breed has the ancestry of a hunter. They do have excellent vision and strong prey drive and they might try to hunt down smaller animals, especially when they are trying to run away from them. Because of that, smaller household pets might be problematic, just as walks without a leash in unfenced or unknown areas. On the other hand they typically do not have problems with other dogs in the family and if they are raised with other pets, for example with cats, from their puppyhood, they can live with them as well.
Even though this is pretty alert dog, they should never be shy or agressive towards strangers. This is definitely not a watchdog or a guard, they are just too friendly for this purpose and it is possible they would invite the burglar into your home rather than deter it.
Great fact about the Silken Windhounds temperament is its high intelligence and trainability. They are pretty eager to please its owners and they do like interactive playtime or training sessions.
The Silken Windhound is a runner and athlete, but they are not hyperactive dogs. On the other hand, they are not coach potatoes as well and they want to strech their fast legs on daily basis. They all love coursing and off leash runs, but as i mentioned earlier, they have higher prey drive and you should let them off leash only in fenced areas or if you are 100% sure about their recall. They all like longer walks and they can also succesfully compete in various dog sports like agility, flyball or rally.
This is still a young dog breed and as i mentioned earlier in this video, they have Borzoi ancestry. And the person, who founded and developed the Silken Windhound breed was a succesfull Borzoi breeder Francie Stull from the USA.
She decided to develop a new breed in the 1970s and she used her Borzoi dogs and crossed them with some smaller, probably Whippet based Lurchers. The first litter of Silken Windhounds was born in 1985 and in 1998 they got its official name. A year later, the International Silken Windhound Society was formed and the breed was officially recognized by the UKC in 2011.
Health and Grooming
This is usually a healthy dog breed with great lifespan around 14 years, but it is not uncommon for them to live into their late teens. Just like all dog breeds, they can be prone to some health issues. For example, some Silken Windhounds carry the MDR1 gene, which makes them sensitive to certain drugs and all Silken Windhounds should be tested for this before receiving medication, as a bad reaction can be fatal. Other health issues include lotus syndrome and collie eye anomaly.
Even though this breed has moderately long and elengant coat, it is not extremely hard to groom them. They do require regular brushing to preven tangling and matting, especially behind the ears. Just like with all dogs you should regularly check the dogs ears, eyes and nails and clip them or clean them if needed.