~*Silken Windhound*~

EnchantedGypsy

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Introducing the Silken Windhound....
(by Rebecca King)

Background

The Silken Windhound is the most recent member of the breeds known as sighthounds.

Breed Development

There are records and photographs from England in the 1960s of Whippet-type sighthounds with long coats. An American Whippet breeder in Massachusetts imported some of these dogs in the 1960s. He developed his own breeding program and attempted to get the little dogs recognized by the AKC as a variety of Whippet. These attempts failed, but he continued his breeding program with a handful of other breeders. Twenty years later, a champion AKC Borzoi breeder/geneticist in Texas acquired some of these long-haired Whippet-type dogs. She saw the potential these little dogs had, and in 1984 carefully began her own breeding program to develop the dogs into a breed in their own right. The breeds included in the Silken Windhounds’ heritage include purebred Whippets, purebred Borzoi (plural), and long-haired Whippet-type dogs.

The Silken Windhound parent club was established in March of 1999. The International Silken Windhound Society is comprised of dedicated members & breeders with an ultimate goal of full recognition by the American Kennel Club. There are currently Silken Windhound enthusiasts located in twenty states across the United States, as well as in Canada; Europe and Asia.

The Silken Windhound’s stud book was officially closed in the year 2000. As a distinct breed, the Silken Windhound now has four generations of Silken Windhound-to-Silken Windhound breedings. The breed club’s next step is to apply for acceptance into the AKC’s Foundation Stock Service in 2010.

General Description

Silken Windhounds are the smallest of the sighthound breeds to be adorned with a long, silky coat. Moderate in size, these elegant hounds measure 18.5-23.5 inches at the shoulder, and average weight is about 35-45 pounds.

Due to diligence in their breeding, Silken Windhounds are blessed with vigorous good health and long lives. Health concerns in the breed can be avoided by consulting with a vet experienced with sighthound breeds. Like other sighthounds, Silken Windhounds are sensitive to certain types of anesthesia. The breed can also be born with sensitivity to Ivermectin, a component found primarily in some heartworm and flea & tick prevention products. Through on-going research with UC Davis, Silken Windhound breeders can now test all their dogs for Ivermectin sensitivity. Affected individuals are actively being spayed & neutered, thus removing them from the breeding population.

One of the breed’s outstanding characteristics is their temperament. Some sighthound breeds have an aloof, reserved personality and do not enjoy rough-housing with children. Silken Windhounds however, make excellent family pets. Nevertheless, all children must be taught how to respect any animal, and be supervised when they are with pets. Especially when raised with other pets, Silkens can live peacefully with other types of animals in a family. They do need to be part of the family, and often will follow you from room-to-room around the house. Silken Windhounds are easily trained and enjoy being with their people. When training, use of positive-reinforcement methods should be utilized. Harsh methods can cause difficulties when training this independent-thinking breed.

Grooming is minimal for Silken Windhounds. A thorough grooming session with a pin-brush a couple days a week; routine trimming of the toenails; brushing of the teeth; and cleaning of the ears is all that is needed for these low-maintenance hounds. With adequate grooming & hygiene, Silken Windhounds have very little doggy-odor and are moderate in the shedding of their coat. The breed does not possess an under-coat as their larger Borzoi relatives do. Like their sighthound brethren, Silken Windhounds are allowed in any coat color. An all-inclusive list of colors would be rather exhaustive, however, they can basically be found as: one solid color; a solid color with white extremities; and primarily white with spots of a solid color. The solid colors range from cream to black, and they can also have brindle or sable markings in these solid colors.

Performance & Versatility

Silken Windhound enthusiasts are spreading across the world. There are currently Silken Windhound owners & breeders located in the USA, Canada, Finland, Sweden, The Netherlands, Germany, England, South Africa, Japan, Slovenia, and The Bahamas. While preparing for recognition by the American Kennel Club, Silken Windhounds are eligible to compete as a rare breed in conformation competition at dog shows in the USA hosted by Rarities, Inc.; International All Breed Canine Association; and the National Canine Association. In Europe, Silken Windhounds are eligible to compete in dog shows hosted by the Slovenian Kennel Club.

Silken Windhounds possess excellent temperaments as well as athleticism.
The breed’s good nature, gentle demeanor, moderate size, and train-ability make them ideal candidates for therapy dogs. The prerequisite Canine Good Citizen & Therapy Dog International tests have not proven to be a challenge for Silkens. To date there are twenty Silken Windhounds who’ve been awarded as Canine Good Citizens. In fact, every Silken Windhound who has taken the Canine Good Citizen test has passed. The same qualities which make the breed wonderful therapy dogs, have also proven to make Silken Windhounds excel as service dogs for assisting the disabled. There are currently ten Silken Windhounds in the U.S. who are trained and performing various tasks as assistance dogs.

In 2006, the first Silken Windhound earned her Novice Agility title in the U.S. The same year, the first European Silken Windhound earned her equivalent to an American Novice Obedience title. In 2005, the first Silken Windhound earned his Straight Racing championship title in the U.S. December 2006, there are now two new Silkens who've attained their Straight Racing championships as well.
 

Whisper

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Same here Pixie. I just learned about them today. Beautiful! I think EnchantedGypsy is in the process of finding or getting her Silken and she doesn't have it yet.
 

yoko

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when this breed came up in another thread i looked it up and i love them!! i would love to own one in the future! but they're hard to find!
 

EnchantedGypsy

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i would love to own one in the future! but they're hard to find!
The first Silken will be arriving in Oklahoma in early 2007. In the meantime, there are currently Silken Windhound owners & breeders in: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

And in other countries: Canada, Finland, Sweden, The Netherlands, Germany, England, South Africa, Slovenia, Japan, The Bahamas, and the United
Arab Emirates.

The 2007 national breed specialty won't be far from you in Missouri, wish I lived closer to it:lol-sign:
 

neapolitanpitbull

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Beautiful! You are very lucky to have found one. I have never heard of them before. Are you breeding yours? I look forward to seeing more of you and your pup.
 

EnchantedGypsy

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Beautiful! You are very lucky to have found one. I have never heard of them before. Are you breeding yours? I look forward to seeing more of you and your pup.
There are quite a few Silken Windhounds in Northern California, which is about a 5-hour drive for me. I've been making semi-annual trips for my Silken-fix the past 2.5 years. No, I don't plan on breeding my future Silken Windhound. He will eventually be my mobility-assistance dog. I'm sooooo looking forward to my pup, 6 months and counting....
 

Shannerson

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Thanks for posting this.
I have heard about them before and have tried finding info on the web. The Whippet is one of my favorite breeds, but their lack of more coat makes them not particularily good for midwest winters. I have turned to the bedlington terrier because of that. Maybe the silken can take more cold weather? I also am enthralled by the Borzoi but hear that they shed a lot.
Let us know when the little one arrives!
 
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EnchantedGypsy

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Maybe the silken can take more cold weather? I also am enthralled by the Borzoi but hear that they shed a lot.
Silkens love snow! Here's a link to an album of Silkens playing in the snow....
Silkens In Snow

The best starting point to learn about the breed is the creator's website....
Kristull Kennel

The breeding I posted about fell-through, no puppies:( There are a couple more nearby breedings planned for Fall 2007 though!

I have adored Borzoi for over 20 years, I'd still love to have one someday. As long as you can devote time for frequent/thorough grooming, Borzoi shedding is manageable. Coming from 1/2 a lifetime with Springer Spaniels, luckily I enjoy grooming my dogs:p Silkens are normally minimal/moderate shedders, requiring only a weekly grooming session.
 
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