The Silken Windhound looks like a small Borzoi. Their head is small and round with a long small muzzle while their eyes are not very large and are set back a little in their head. They have small ears which are set back from their head, as well as a short thick neck and an arched back that resembles a cat. Their chest is broad, yet their stomach is sunken in. Their skinny legs are surprisingly very muscular, but they end with small feet. Their front legs are straight unlike their back legs. The breed has a long furry tail which usually curls under its belly. Their coat is medium in length and is often wavy. Their fur can come in any color from solid to brindle and everything in between.
The Silken Windhound is a very friendly and playful dog. They are extremely devoted and eager to please their family. The breed does great with children and other dogs. They also do well with small animals but should be socialized with them properly if they are being added into the home. Strangers are usually always accepted by Silken Windhounds because the breed loves attention and people. They will take well to house training and usually become potty trained on their own. However, they are not as good with other types of training because they become bored doing the same thing over and over again.
Silken Windhounds are sight hounds and not working dogs. So, positive reinforcement and rewards are important elements in obedience training. Most importantly, the trainer must be patient and loving toward the Silken during training.
The Silken Windhound is a very health breed and has no known genetic concerns. This breed has an average life expectancy of 14 to 18 years of age.
According to Washington State University, Silken Windhounds have a 30% frequency of having the MDR1 gene mutation, a genetic drug reaction character.
Silken Windhounds were selectively bred to be small sighthounds beginning in the 1960’s. To achieve this goal, the dogs were originally bred from Whippets and an unknown dog which would have contributed the long hair trait. After some breeding, some of the offspring were mixed with the Borzoi to further refine the dog’s appearance.
Silken Windhounds do not need much grooming at all. They should just be brushed once a week to keep their coat looking good. The breed does not need a bath usually. They do require quite a bit of exercise, so they should be taken on long walks and let run off leash in a fenced in yard. However, the fence should be very secure because these dogs will try to escape in order to chase cars and animals. They should get lots of socialization when they are puppies so they will be as friendly as possible.
While Silken Windhounds do require exercise, they are sprinters and do not run long distances. A few minutes of full-out running several times a day typically tires them out.
The Silken Windhound is a friendly dog with everyone. They become very close and devoted to their owners. They also get along well with strangers and children. The breed is good with other dogs and with socialization they get along great even with small animals in the family. They are smart and easy to house break. However, they do not do well with other training because they become easily bored quickly. Silken Windhounds can live in an apartment or house and in all climates. They do not need a yard but should be taken to dog parks where they can run off leash.
Obedience training a Silken Windhound requires sessions of short duration. They respond best to positive reinforcement and rewards. May successfully trained dogs have passed the AKC Canine Good Citizen test and gone on to receive their Therapy Dog certification.
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