All You Need to Know About the Silken Windhound Dog Breed

The Silken Windhound is an elegant and athletic dog breed that has captured the hearts of many dog enthusiasts around the world. This breed is relatively new, having only been recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2011. In this article, we will take a closer look at the Silken Windhound breed, exploring its history, physical characteristics, personality, and health.

A Brief History of the Silken Windhound

Origins of the Breed

The story of the Silken Windhound breed begins in the mid-1970s, when Francie Stull, a breeder of Borzoi dogs, began crossing her Borzois with Whippets in an attempt to create a smaller version of the Borzoi. Stull’s aim was to produce a dog that would be more manageable and adaptable to apartment living, while still maintaining the elegance and grace of the Borzoi.

The Borzoi is a large, long-haired breed of dog that was originally developed in Russia for hunting wolves. While they are beautiful and elegant dogs, they can be quite large and require a lot of space and exercise. Whippets, on the other hand, are a smaller breed of dog that were originally bred for racing. They are known for their speed and agility, and are often kept as pets due to their friendly and affectionate nature.

By crossing these two breeds, Stull was able to create a dog that combined the elegance and grace of the Borzoi with the speed and agility of the Whippet. The resulting breed was smaller than the Borzoi, but still had the long, silky hair and graceful appearance that made the Borzoi so popular.

Over time, the breed began to take shape, and Stull began selectively breeding the dogs for their desirable traits, eventually developing the Silken Windhound breed.

Development and Recognition

The Silken Windhound quickly gained popularity among dog enthusiasts in the United States and Canada, and in 1999, the International Silken Windhound Society was formed to promote and protect the breed. The society worked to establish a breed standard and to ensure that the dogs were bred responsibly.

In 2000, the breed was officially recognized by the United Kennel Club, which is one of the largest all-breed dog registries in the world. This was a major milestone for the breed, as it meant that Silken Windhounds could compete in UKC-sanctioned events and shows.

It took a bit longer for the Silken Windhound to be recognized by the American Kennel Club, which is the largest all-breed dog registry in the United States. However, in 2011, the AKC finally recognized the breed, allowing Silken Windhounds to compete in AKC-sanctioned events and shows.

Today, the Silken Windhound is still a relatively rare breed, but it has a dedicated following of enthusiasts who appreciate its beauty, grace, and friendly disposition. Whether you’re looking for a companion for apartment living or a dog to compete in shows, the Silken Windhound is a breed worth considering.

Physical Characteristics of the Silken Windhound

The Silken Windhound is a sighthound breed, meaning that they have a keen sense of sight and are best suited for open spaces where they can run and play.

Originating in the United States in the 1980s, the Silken Windhound was created to be a smaller and more versatile version of the Borzoi, another sighthound breed.

Despite their smaller size, the Silken Windhound is still an athletic and agile dog, capable of running at high speeds and making quick turns.

Size and Weight

The Silken Windhound is a medium-sized dog breed, typically weighing between 18 and 30 pounds and standing between 18 and 23 inches at the shoulder. They are slender and graceful, with a long neck and slim build.

While they may be smaller than some other sighthound breeds, the Silken Windhound is still a strong and sturdy dog, capable of keeping up with their larger counterparts.

Coat and Colors

The Silken Windhound has a long, silky coat that is soft to the touch and requires minimal grooming. This coat helps to protect them from the elements, keeping them warm in colder weather and cool in warmer weather.

The coat comes in a variety of colors, including cream, red, black, and blue, among others. Some Silken Windhounds may also have markings or patterns on their coat, such as spots or brindle stripes.

Distinctive Features

One of the most distinctive features of the Silken Windhound is their elongated head, which is narrow and wedge-shaped. This gives them a regal and elegant appearance, further accentuated by their long, flowing coat.

They also have large, expressive eyes that are typically almond-shaped and ears that are set high on their head and folded over. When they are alert or excited, their ears will stand upright, giving them a more alert and curious look.

Overall, the Silken Windhound is a unique and beautiful breed, with a combination of grace, athleticism, and elegance that is hard to match.

Personality and Temperament

The Silken Windhound is a breed that has a lot to offer. They are known for their friendly and affectionate nature, which makes them great companions for families and individuals alike. These dogs are playful and curious, always eager to explore their surroundings and engage in fun activities with their owners. They are highly adaptable and can thrive in a variety of living situations, including apartment living, as long as they get enough exercise and mental stimulation.

General Temperament

One of the most notable characteristics of the Silken Windhound is their friendly and outgoing nature. They love to be around people and are always eager to make new friends. These dogs are also highly intelligent and inquisitive, which makes them great problem solvers and fun to train. They are known for their playful and curious nature, and they always seem to be up for a game of fetch or a good run around the park.

Socialization and Training

Like all dogs, it is important to socialize and train your Silken Windhound from a young age to ensure that they develop into well-adjusted and obedient adults. These dogs respond well to positive reinforcement training methods, which involve rewarding good behavior and ignoring bad behavior. With consistency and patience, you can train your Silken Windhound to be a well-mannered and obedient companion.

It is also important to expose your Silken Windhound to a variety of people, places, and experiences from a young age. This will help them become more confident and well-rounded adults. Take your Silken Windhound on walks in different neighborhoods, introduce them to new people and animals, and expose them to different sights and sounds. This will help them develop into a well-adjusted and sociable dog.

Compatibility with Children and Other Pets

The Silken Windhound is generally good with children and other pets, although as with any breed, it is important to supervise your Silken Windhound when they are around young children or small pets. These dogs are gentle and affectionate, and they love to be around people of all ages. With proper socialization and training, your Silken Windhound can coexist peacefully with other pets in your household.

It is important to note that every dog is an individual, and some Silken Windhounds may have a higher prey drive than others. If you have small pets in your household, it is important to introduce them to your Silken Windhound slowly and under close supervision. With patience and consistency, you can help your Silken Windhound learn to coexist peacefully with other animals.

Health and Lifespan

Common Health Issues

Like all dog breeds, the Silken Windhound is prone to certain health issues, including hip dysplasia, eye problems, and autoimmune diseases. However, with proper preventative care and regular check-ups with your veterinarian, you can help to ensure that your Silken Windhound lives a long and healthy life.

Preventative Care and Regular Checkups

To keep your Silken Windhound healthy, it is important to provide them with a balanced and nutritious diet, plenty of exercise, and regular grooming. Additionally, regular check-ups with your veterinarian can help to catch any health problems early on, increasing the chances of successful treatment and a good prognosis.

Expected Lifespan

The Silken Windhound typically has a lifespan of between 12 and 15 years, although individual dogs may live longer or shorter lives depending on a variety of factors, including genetics, diet, and lifestyle.


The Silken Windhound is a wonderful breed that makes a loving and loyal companion for anyone who is dedicated to providing them with the care and attention they need. Whether you are looking for a running partner or a snuggle buddy, the Silken Windhound may be just the breed for you.

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