silken windhound breed information
common health issues
The Silken Windhound is a relatively new breed of sighthound, having first been developed in 1987 by a Kentucky Borzoi and Deerhound breeder, Francie Stull. Stull was attempting to create a smaller sighthound with the same athleticism and elegance of the larger sighthounds, with a wonderful temperament, long coat and all-around good health. She combined champion Borzois, small Whippet-based Lurchers and purebred Whippets, and the Silken Windhound was the result. A new breed club was formed in 1999, and the breed was officially recognized by the United Kennel Club in early 2011. Today, they can be found all over the world.
The Silken Windhound is a small- to medium-sized dog with a moderately long, silky coat. Her lithe shape and long face are similar to those of her larger Borzoi and Whippet ancestors, just on a smaller frame. Her coat can be any combination of colors and markings, from solid to speckled or saddled, from brindle and sable, black and tan, to dark blue, black or pure white. She just needs occasional brushing to keep her coat free from tangles.
The personality Stull sought comes to life brilliantly in the Silken Windhound – she is playful, good-natured and affectionate, making her a wonderful family companion. Her intelligence makes training a breeze, provided a gentle hand is used rather than harsh corrections. She is gentle with children and can get along well with other pets if socialized to understand that they are not prey to be chased around the house!
Although she is a new breed, the Silken Windhound is still prone to a number of hereditary and congenital conditions that can adversely affect her health, and your family’s budget. Some of the conditions and illnesses Silken Windhounds are prone to include stomach conditions such as gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV or bloat); hearing problems such as deafness; eye conditions such as progressive retinal atrophy; genetic abnormalities including multi-drug resistance gene (MDR1); and thyroid conditions such as hypothyroidism.
Thankfully, Petplan pet insurance covers all hereditary and chronic conditions as standard. Which means if your Silken Windhound inherits her mom’s sensitive stomach or her dad’s bad eyes, you’re protected.