The Silken Windhound is an average-sized graceful hound with a medium-long beautiful coat. This American breed has been developed fairly recently but it has already won the hearts of thousands of canine fanciers throughout the world. With its fast legs, great hunting prowess and even-balanced nature it excels as both a sporting and companion dog.
The Silken Windhound is the creation of Francie Stull who had already been a prominent Borzoi breeder when in 1975 she decided to develop her own variety of a coursing dog. The point is that the Borzoi is too large to keep it at home or in a small yard so she wanted her breed to be fairly compact and to have easy-going temperament of a perfect family companion. In order to realize her ambitious goals, in 1984 Francie mated one of the best Borzois from her Kristull Kennel with a miniature long-coated Whippet-like Sighthound that was bought from the Windsprite Kennel. The owner of this dog, Walter Wheeler, qualified it as a Longhaired Whippet but DNA tests proved that the dog was related to a Shepherd breed.
Francie Stull also acquired a few Whippets from the Peruvian Kredoni Kennel. The first litter of the Silken Windhound came into the world in 1987. Its modern name was granted to the breed in 1988. It took several years of careful selective breeding to further perfect conformation and personality traits of this magnificent dog but as soon as in 1999 the International Silken Windhound Society was established. The process of its development was officially finished in 2000 with the closure of the studbook.
The Silken Windhound is first and foremost an outstanding hunting dog. While following the prey it goes by its eagle sight and its agile legs allow it to keep pace with the fastest animals. This dog can also become a good acquisition for a weekend hunter because it likes to live in a family environment.
The Silken Windhound is not recognized neither by the American Kennel Club (AKC) nor by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI), but the members of the International Silken Windhound Society are making steps towards its formal acceptance. The breed has already proved its all-around talents by performing with flying colours in conformation, racing and coursing trials. It also suits well for the role of a service dog. And its affectionate nature and equableness of mind appealed to those canine lovers who wanted to have their own little Borzoi.
The Silken Windhound displays personality of an ultimate canine companion as it is a very pack-oriented breed and its human masters become for it a real pack. It enjoys all kinds of family activities and feels itself deeply depressed if left alone for too long. The dog is good with familiar kids who respect its right for the personal space. As with any breed, basic socialization is an obligatory requirement if you want to raise a well-mannered member of your family.
As a rule, the Silken Windhound behaves itself reservedly yet politely with house guests. The breed lacks human aggression and therefore won’t become the most effective guardian. It prefers to avoid direct confrontations and doesn’t exhibit sufficient interest in defending its territory. Some of its specimens will inform their owners about an unwelcome guest near the dwelling but most of these dogs make rather unreliable watchers.
The properly trained and socialized Silken Windhound gets on perfectly well with all types of its congeners. Moreover it will be immensely grateful to have a permanent canine playmate since this dog is full to the brim with inexhaustible energies. In spite of its high prey drive this breed is fairly friendly with those pets (including cats) with which it has been brought up since the puppyhood.
The most common problems for the breed include:· Lotus syndrome (FADS).
The Silken Windhound needs moderate amount of grooming. Its semi-long and fine hair should be brush only two or three times a week with the help of a slicker brush in order to stay free of tangles and mats. Bathe your pet every two months and its coat will always look neat. The breed sheds averagely.
It’s also necessary to regularly trim the dog’s nails and clean its teeth at least on a weekly basis. Periodic examination and cleaning of the dog’s ears are good preventive measures against ear infections and irritation.
The training of the Silken Windhound is a trivial task. This dog is always eager to please its masters and makes a very bright learner. It’s worth to know that it’s quite independent in its actions so this dog should be trained with a firm yet gentle approach.
The Silken Windhound is also sensitive to the slightest display of harsh discipline and reacts positively only to positive reinforcement, which includes its favourite food. The breed is also endowed with a very competitive spirit and strong physique and usually succeeds in various kinds of canine sports.
The Silken Windhound is a vigorous and clever dog, which needs reasonable amount of physical and mental stimulation. Of course a snail-paced walk isn’t enough for this breed, as it must get a daily opportunity to frisk off-leash in a safely enclosed area. It’s also very hardy and can keep you company during a bicycle ride or morning jog.
At the same time this dog remains tranquil and relaxed at home as soon as its exercise need has been properly met. The lack of physical activity becomes the reason of such undesirable behavioural patterns as continuous barking and unmotivated aggression.