Silken Windhound: Elegant Sighthound Hunting Dog

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The Silken Windhound is a hunting breed of dog that hunts by sight, therefore known as sighthounds. They are coursing dogs which my dictionary defines as the pursuit of running game by sight. Francis Stull who successfully bred top show and performance dogs of the Borzoi and Deerhound breeds created the Silken Windhound. She combined the traits from the Borzoi and Whippet bloodlines. These dogs are also referred to as “Silkens.”

· The first litter was in 1987

· Breed club started in 1999

· United Kennel Club recognized the new breed in 2011

· These dogs are now in the United States, Canada and Europe

· They can hunt by sight and course game in open areas at high speed

· They are graceful, small to medium size

The Dog Breed info Center describes them as”small, hardy, strikingly elegant…with sweeping lines and athletic build.”

Coursing is a form of hunting in which game is flushed, often with dogs, by finding them with sight rather than smell. The kind of prey includes hares, rabbits, foxes, deer, antelope, gazelle, and jackals.

Silken windhound

Czar Gideon
Czar Gideon | Source

Dogs used for coursing include, Greyhounds, Whippet, Borzoi as recognized breeds. Dogs of this type have been around for 4,000 years and their pictures are on the walls of ancient Egyptian tombs, according to the website, Sarah’s Dogs.com. The Silken Windhound is the result of breeding Borzois with the Longhaired Whippet to obtain a medium sized sighthound. He looks much like the Borzoi. It has an all-weather coat of long to very long silky hair. It also make a good family dog, easy to housebreak, trains easily with positive training methods but does not respond well to harsh methods. They have a short attention span and repetition would bore them, according to Sarah’s dogs.com. Since sighthounds are basically hunting dogs they have predatory instinct and therefore any owner should be cautious of trusting them with cats and other small pets. They should get along with the smaller animals with socialization.

The website Dog Breed Info Center describes the Windhound as “…a small hardy strikingly elegant sighthound… classic sweeping lines and athletic build.” It can run over various kinds of terrain, under various weather conditions They are intelligent and responsive and have a strong desire to please the humans they live with and love both adult family members and the children. The dog breed Info Center advises bringing the children with you when you choose one of these dogs so as to get one that will get along with children as some may be sensitive around noisy or excited children.

Standards:

· Height 18-24in male 18-24 in female

· Weight 33-55 lbs. male 22-45 lbs. female

· Life expectation 14-18 years

· coat solid white, red, blue, sable or brindled (obscure dark streaks or flecks of grey or tawny) and saddled

· moderately long head, narrow skull

· strong muzzle tapers

· almond shaped eyes

· dark colored eyes preferred

· strong straight forelegs

· padded and knuckled feet

Temperament:

· Intelligent and responsive

· Wants to please its owners

· Dignified bearing

· Expressive in displays of affection

· Sociable with other dogs

· Adapt to family life

· Not watch or guard dogs

· Easily bored

· Strong hunting instincts

· Adaptable to apartment living

· Love to run

The Silken Windhound was created in order “…to fill a niche…of a small longhaired sighthound,” according to dogbreedinfocenter.com

Resources for this article include Sarahsdogs.com, Dog Breed Info Center,

Copyright 2011 don Hoglund

© 2012 Don A. Hoglund

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Comments 18 comments

WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

What a beautiful breed! Great Hub, Don.

We lost our labs, so we decided no more dogs, since we want to travel.

Yeah, right!

Tomorrow, we go to pick up Lily, a tiny little chihuahua (and a runt at that). We couldn't stand not having a dog!

I hope the cats don't eat her!


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

We always travel with our dog, because we never have anyone to dog sit. I've never had one of the little dogs but at least they would not need as much exercise as the bigger dogs. What I mean is the owner would not have as great a chore. Let me know how you get along. Thanks for commenting.


Larry Wall 4 years ago

Sounds like a great breed of dogs. I have had some exposure to Whippets and found them to be tremendous animals who just want to please people.

I own three beagles. Of course they are scent hounds and sometimes noisy hounds, but they too are a fantastic breed. I am not a hunter, but I would not trade these dogs for anything.

Thanks for the information. I was not aware a Greyhound was a sight hound. I guess that explain how they can be taught to run in races. I hear that retired greyhounds also make great pets.


Suhail and my dog profile image

Suhail and my dog 4 years ago from Mississauga, ON

Reading about various dog breeds seems like my hobby. My first love is livestock guardian dog breeds, but I am biased towards some dog breeds with which I have cultural and regional affinity too. These are Afghan hounds, salukis, and bully kuttas. This last dog breed is from Pakistan and has made its way into the UK and the USA.

Because I like to hike with my dog, I think both sight and scent hunting dogs could be helpful as companions in bear and cougar country. They could tell a bear or a cougar, which would go unnoticed to a human. I am saying this because us humans definitely are unable to note anything unusual against the routine features of wilderness as we pass them by.

I enjoyed reading this hub on a dog breed I had not heard about. Voted useful.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Hi Larry. I was sort of interested in getting a Beagle but my wife was set on getting a Husky as our last dog was part Husky. I thought the beagle would be more practical for an old couple like us. I don't know if they still euthanise Greyhounds when they are no longer useful for racing. It is a practice that turns me off. There have been efforts by rescue organizations to get homes for them. I had a friend with a greyhound who said they have two speeds, 40 miles an hour and zero.

Thanks for commenting and voting.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Subhail. thanks for commenting. I am mostly a city person so I have no experience with bears and cougars. Your thinking is probably correct in having a dog that has the insticts to protect you.


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida

What an interesting breed the silken windhound is. Thanks, Don, for adding to my canine education concerning coursing or hunting by sight. This breed is new to me.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

drjb, the breed is new to me, also. Its picture caught my interest when I saw it. I've never been involved in hunting so I have not usually been drawn to hunting dogs. even when I wrote about greyhounds I did not make the connection to hunting. Thanks for commenting.


midget38 profile image

midget38 4 years ago from Singapore

Thanks for adding to my knowledge of dogs too!! This breed is new to me as well. Beautiful and regal. And affectionate as well! Thanks for sharing, and I share this too!


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

midget, glad you found some new information. Oddly it is the oldest breeds that we know little about. Thanks for commenting and sharing.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

Hi Don,

That video was such a delight to watch. Bacardi and Bella certainly have fun playing together! It would seem that people should consider having 2 of these dogs so that they can play together and get exercise as well as companionship. Still smiling after watching the video! I had never heard of a Silken Windhound but then found out from reading your hub that it is a relatively new breed. Beautiful! Up votes and sharing!


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America

That is a nice looking dog, certainly. The name is striking as well. I'm glad you wrote this Hub to tell us about it!


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Hi Peggy, there are some breeds that having two for that reason is considered a good idea. We have a Siberian Husky and I have read that a second one would be the way to get her more exercise. However, we are not in a position to take on two dogs.Glad you enjoyed the hub about the Silken Windhound. Thanks for the votes and share.


mollymeadows profile image

mollymeadows 4 years ago from The Shire

I had never heard of this breed, but now I want one! These are just beautiful animals. Thank you for the video -- it was a pleasure to watch. :-)


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Patty English, it is nice to hear from you. I'm glad you liked my hub about the Silken Windhound. Thanks for commenting.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Thank you for commenting Mollymeadows. They are an attractive breed.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

Now that I have a Pinterest account, will be pinning this. This is a beautiful dog!


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 3 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids Author

Hi Peggy,

They are beautiful, aren't they? Thanks for the visit and pinning.

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