Silken Windhound

The Silken Windhound is a rare American breed of dog, a member of the sighthound family.

Silken Windhound Appearance

The Silken Windhound is a graceful, small to medium-sized sighthound with a moderately long silky coat. This breed owes its unique appearance, elegant build, and the athleticism of a true coursing dog to champion Borzoi and Whippet ancestors. The Silken Windhound can be any combination of coat colors and markings, from spotted to solid, black and tan, saddled, brindle and sable, pure white and reds to deep black and blues, and a rainbow of colors in between.

Silken Windhound Temperament

Silken Windhounds are as comfortable in the sporting fields as they are on the couch at home with their humans. They are generally affectionate and playful, and make ideal family companions and good playmates for gentle children. They are unsuited as guard dogs due to their trusting and friendly nature. Like all sighthounds, Silkens excel in racing or lure coursing but have also proven to be intelligent and responsive enough to also enjoy less typical sighthound activities. There are successful agility, therapy, flyball and obedience Silkens, as well as those that perform as assistance dogs. They do well with smaller household pets indoors if socialized to them properly, but their sighthound nature means that any small, fast running animals in the field may be chased.

Silken Windhound Training

The Silken Windhound is a gentle, intelligent breed, they train easily and most effectively using reward and affection based training in short, positive sessions. Using positive training methods, Silkens will work eagerly and form strong relationships with their owners. Harsher training based on corrections do not work well with this breed, and will often create a fearful Silken rather than an obedient one. Like many in the sighthound family, most Silken Windhounds can slip out of a standard buckle collar, and the collar most often used with these hounds is a martingale dog collar, or a semi-slip collar.

Silken Windhound Health

With proper care, many Silken Windhounds will live into their late teens, with some living until they are 17 to 20. Bone and joint ailments like hip dysplasia are generally not a problem, nor is bloat. Some dogs in this breed are sensitive to Ivermectin and related drugs; a simple test is now available to find out if a dog carries a defective MDR1 (multi-drug resistance) gene. Responsible breeders are working to eliminate this faulty gene from the breeding pool. There have been some cases of cryptorchidism, umbilical hernia, and lotus syndrome, as well as deafness and cataracts in geriatric dogs. Thanks to the efforts of the UC Davis Veterinary Genetics Laboratory, Silken Windhounds are going to be the first dog breed to have their genome mapped.

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