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Old 08-06-2013, 02:06 PM
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Sekah Sekah is offline
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Default Tell me about WINDHOUNDS

I have a burning desire to know more about silken windhounds. Also, long haired whippets, to a lesser extent.

General back story:
So, as many of you know, I'm fairly involved in dog sports. I dream of one day having one of those flashy, fast as light border collies. My husband has other ideas. He has many, many good points. But unfortunately, being a dog lover is not among them. He finds Cohen too energetic, too focused and too demanding. Mega is more his speed, but even she is too much for him sometimes. He would be happy without a dog. Unfortunately for him, he married me. I would very much like to always have at least one dog. While I still hope to one day have a scary fast collie, I'm looking into other breeds that I feel might be more of a compromise between his desires and mine.

I've always had a soft spot for sighthounds. In particular I'm drawn to the longer fur and moderate size of windhounds and LH whippets. I have passing familiarity with whippets, as there are quite a few in flyball. I know someone with a LH whippet service dog, and another person who titles her whippets in obedience. I've only met one windhound in person however.

I know I can't expect one to be as biddable as a collie, but I'm trying to get a feel for what I might be able to find in the breed(s). I'd like to continue to be involved in flyball, agility, disc, etc, though I could cope with being less competitive than I am now. I'd consider getting involved in coursing and maybe dock diving if I could convince the dog to enjoy it. How drivey and confident are these dogs? Can I find a drivey, confident dog who will settle well at home (and not drive my husband crazy) and who will be okay in the presence of a child?

Can anyone suggest breeders that I can look at? I doubt I want to bug a breeder personally, as all of this is very early on in the planning phase and nothing is written in stone. To those of you who know me from my posts here, do you think I could be happy with one?

I know that LH whippets aren't looked at with particularly high regard by sighthound people. From what I understand, windhounds are closer with their working roots. I'd like to support a breeder who is doing well by the breed, but I'm wondering if the sheltie blood in LH whippets would create a dog that's more in line with what I'm looking for.

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Old 08-06-2013, 03:07 PM
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Romy Romy is offline
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Whether or not there is sheltie blood is under debate. The LHW creator, Walter Wheeler, swears he did never under any circumstances introduce sheltie. Silken windhounds were based on his stock, and there is a very high incidence of the MDR1 gene mutation in the breed which the silken windhound people blame on sheltie that they claim was introduced to Wheeler's dogs to give them long coats.

Wheeler did breed shelties at one point. I have no idea if it's true or not. But there is the political undercurrent and that's why a lot of whippet breeders are not excited about LHW. Either way, they're both good little dogs and it doesn't really matter what's in them.

Windhounds are LHW and borzoi, some people cite sheltie in the breed heritage depending on what side of the controversy they fall on, but really it's not known for sure. Dekka knows more about the LHW side. According to her, the LHW from the Wheeler's original strain DON'T have the MDR1 gene... which means that the silken windhounds got it somewhere else.

The windhounds I have met were basically mini borzois. They're cute, people oriented, lovey, and like to be super lazy and hang out with you allll day. More biddable than the majority of borzois too. So hanging out without annoying your husband, they'd be perfect at. Not every one would make an amazing agility dog, but if you are patient and careful you can find one. They are very athletic. You'd probably have to find the perfect individual to get a dock diving dog, as most sight hounds don't particularly like being wet
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Old 08-06-2013, 03:13 PM
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JennSLK JennSLK is offline
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Google navy rose borzoi. Lexy is a friend of mine. She is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to sight hounds. She has also bred silkens. She is in Canada but would be a good resource. I'm on my phone so I don't have her email on me. Her website needs updating but her email should be on there. If you can't find it pm me and I will look when I get home.

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Old 08-06-2013, 03:20 PM
ruffiangirl ruffiangirl is offline
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There is someone that does agility with them that I met, they are fast, but also have that 'look shiny' attitude of sighthounds, you know that well I will listen, but also might just mosey along, or I'll go super fast...but not listen at all lol. Over all her dogs have fun doing it, but I think it's more for her fun then theirs lmao. But much calmer then the border collies.
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:39 AM
Lixi Lixi is offline
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Default Windy dogs


I'm new to this forum but always look for a chance to discuss my lovely windy dogs. I'm a little biased towards silken Windhounds as they are pretty much the ideal breed for me.

My Caramel is 6 yrs old and is pretty much the ideal companion for me. As for training, if you are interested ask the breeder for the pig of the litter. The extra food motivation will give you an edge. However (!) it's not necessary if you are working with your windhound I find most of them develop the needed foodiness because they love to do stuff (especially cuddle) with their peeps. But also make it very clear to the breeder that you are looking to do dog sports and that you want drive, there are some Windhounds that are definitely more work minded than others.

Watch out for pickiness too, I had friends who took in a retired lady windhound and catered to her pickiness allowing her to become worse and worse. She always ate relatively well when staying with me and would get progressively better over the time of any stay so you really have to not cater to that behaviour. I also catered to Caramel as a puppy and it was a disaster. When she hit about 2 yrs We had a month long argument over feeding (as per Sue Ailsby's teach em to eat program) and life has been WAAAAAAAAAY easier for me ever since. She is now a bone fide food obsessed dog, training is now infinitely easier.

Work ethic in the breed is your greatest challenge but by no means impossible, they have a natural inclination to laziness. Short training periods, high motivation and good relationship along with attention to proper conditioning will net you a dog with speed, capabilities, attention span and control. In a lot of ways you need to be a better trainer to have a successful windhound because they are not naturally inclined to keep working ad nauseum just because they love to work so it becomes good practice for you. I do find I am most successful if I am very clear as to what it is I am looking for in a given training session and exactly what the micro step criteria it is that I need for her to advance the behavior (obviously this is just better training as a rule but with a dog that likes to work you can get away with a bit of wishy washy stuff in a training session, with a windy dog you get a quickly frustrated and distracted dog).

As for your hubby, as long as he enjoys cuddling with a dog from time to time (1-15 times per day for varying lengths of time seems to be sufficient lol) then that is probably all the windy dog will need from him, especially if you are working el hound on a regular basis.

So there is my novel on silken Windhounds. I'm happy to blab more but be warned that you are likely to get more novels...

Simone (and Caramel)
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Old 08-07-2013, 12:00 PM
Lixi Lixi is offline
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Hopefully this picture will work, it illustrates the moment when I realized all our training was working, she was willing to "chill" aka lie down and relax while oodles of people and dogs were milling 20 ft away at some community event. Including the occasional escapee dog. More importantly, on command she was willing to do this outside (ewwww, nature) on (GASP) concrete. This is the same dog that when we started working on this behaviour needed to have a bed or blanket provided to lie down on because the concrete training room floor was not acceptable. She would actually run to the end of her leash on the chill command to go lie down on a corner of carpet!
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Old 08-07-2013, 12:16 PM
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Laurelin Laurelin is offline
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From what I've seen I'd go LHW for an agility dog of the two.

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Old 08-07-2013, 01:58 PM
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Tashapaws Tashapaws is offline
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Wow, with those looks, they really seem to be the incarnation of the wind itself o.o
I also like the personality, I don't think I'll ever get one, but they sure look like a good match. I would like to know the weigth and size, please. If somebody posted it and I didn't see it, sorry.

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Old 08-07-2013, 10:41 PM
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Kirsten&Gypsy Kirsten&Gypsy is offline
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I don't often post, but I saw this thread and had to comment. After tons of research, talking to owners, visiting a breeder's house, and going to a breed specialty, I am absolutely sure that my next dog will be a silken windhound. They're just delightful little dogs, gorgeous and possessing of lovely temperaments. I have loved every one that I've met. Plus, the community is very friendly, cohesive, and supportive of one another, and most breeders seem to stress health testing.

There are definitely silkens capable of excelling at sports, from what I've seen. You'd want to make it clear to the breeder that you want a drivey pup for agility. Still, a drivey silken isn't going to equal a drivey border collie. While quite biddable for sighthounds, they're still sighthounds. Short, positive training sessions. Put them on a coursing field, though, and they'll blow the BCs away. They are totally different dogs on a lure coursing field. AMAZING.

I don't know how useful my input will be to you, OP, since I don't (yet) own a silken. But I'll leave you with some of my silken pictures from the specialty and the UKC Premier:

UKC 3x Group Winning & CCH / ISWS CH & BISSw ‘PR’ Firebird F-117 Nighthawk Oxota ~ "Hawk" by grinningd0g, on Flickr

ukcswhmarkings2 by grinningd0g, on Flickr

ukcswhcreamperch by grinningd0g, on Flickr

SpringLane SilverStreak O'RR by grinningd0g, on Flickr

ukcswhblkwht by grinningd0g, on Flickr

ukcswhcreamspotty by grinningd0g, on Flickr

ukcsilk14 by grinningd0g, on Flickr

aukc15 by grinningd0g, on Flickr

GYPSY, border collie & Australian shepherd mix, 1/10/10
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