The Silken Windhound was created by Francie Stull, a successful breeder of top show and performance American Kennel Club (AKC) Borzoi and Deerhound who utilized her decades of experience with AKC hounds in the formation of this breed, combining the best aspects of some of the top performance Borzoi and Whippet bloodlines in the Americas. The first Silken Windhound litter was whelped in 1987, and the breed club (International Silken Windhound Society) was formed in 1999. In early 2011, The Silken Windhound was recognized by the United Kennel Club. Silken Windhounds now are located all over the US, Canada, and Europe. Silken Windhounds were bred to be a small to medium-sized sighthound. Like other members of their group, they hunt by sight, and can course game in open areas at high speeds.
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 enjoy less typical sighthound activities. They are successful in agility, therapy, flyball and obedience. 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.
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 will 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.
In the U.S., the Silken Windhounds are registered with the United Kennel Club and are shown and participate in a variety of performance sports, in addition to specialty shows held worldwide. Silken Windhounds are also welcome to show in the rare breed show venues NAKC, IABCA, and NCA, competing as part of the Hound groups. In Slovenia, the Silken Windhound is an accepted part of the Slovenian Kennel Club, member of the FCI, and also participates in the Hound group. Silken Windhounds are also able to participate in sighthound performance sports, and in addition to competing alongside other sighthounds in Finnish lure coursing and straight racing events, the ISWS has established a straight racing program, and an oval track racing program that enable Silkens to compete and win points towards performance titles. In late 2009, Silken Windhounds were accepted as a Limited Stakes breed in ASFA American Sighthound Field Association. Over forty dogs competed in ASFA limited stakes in their first month of acceptance. In late 2010, Silken Windhounds were accepted as a breed in NOFCA, the National Open Field Coursing Association, and can participate in open field events.
Silken Windhounds are considered a rare breed. You most likely will need to be out on a waiting list for a puppy.
We have no Silken Windhound breeders in Utah. Please refer to the breeder referrals on ISWS website.
Thank you to Jane Gray for the use of her photography