Silken Windhound

Kate Barrington
by Kate Barrington
fast facts

About Silken Windhound

18.5-23.5 inches
20-45 lb
14-15 years
not applicable
Best Suited For
active singles, active families, house with a yard
affectionate, playful, friendly, trainable
Comparable Breeds
Borzoi, Whippet
Silken Windhound Basics

Most sighthounds are larger dogs, but the Silken Windhound is an exception to this rule. With the small size of the Whippet and the long, silky coat of the Borzoi, the Silken Windhound is a unique breed in and of itself. These dogs make wonderful family pets and they are always entertaining, though they are a somewhat high-maintenance breed both in terms of energy levels and grooming needs.

The Silken Windhound is a small sighthound with a long, silky coat.


The Silken Windhound was developed by Francie Stull, a Borzoi breeder. Stull had a desire for a medium-sized sighthound like the Whippet that had a coat similar to that of her Borzois. Because such a dog didn’t exist, Stull set out to create one herself. By crossing a Borzoi with smaller Whippets, Stull was successful in creating the first litter of Silken Windhounds in 1985. The Silken Windhound Society was chartered in 1999 and the breed standard was published in 2001.


The Silken Windhound was developed from the Borzoi and Whippet breeds with the intention of creating a smaller sighthound with a longer coat.


As a small-breed dog, the Silken Windhound should be fed a high-quality dry food formulated for small to medium breeds. This is also an active breed, so he may respond well to an active or working breed formula. You still need to be careful about overfeeding, however, to prevent obesity.

The Silken Windhound is an intelligent breed that responds well to training.


The Silken Windhound is an intelligent breed that responds well to training because he has a natural desire to please his owner. It is important that you begin training right away with a new puppy – you can start teaching your puppy basic house rules as early as 8 weeks of age. Many puppies of this breed do well in group obedience classes because these classes also provide an opportunity for socialization. Early socialization is important if you have kids or if you have other pets in your household. This breed is adaptable to apartment or condo life as long as his needs for exercise are met.


The Silken Windhound is a small to medium-sized dog, standing 18.5 and 23.5 inches tall and weighing anywhere from 20 to 45 pounds at maturity.


The Silken Windhound is a sighthound and, like most sighthounds, he loves to run and he has a natural desire to chase things. This being the case, you’ll need to make sure that your dog gets plenty of exercise to keep his energy under control and to prevent the development of problem behaviors. In terms of temperament, however, the Silken Windhound is incredibly friendly and affectionate – a great family pet. These dogs love to spend time with family and they do well with children if raised together. Just keep in mind that these dogs have a tendency to chase cats and other pets, though early socialization and training may help with that.

Common Health Problems

The Silken Windhound has a long lifespan of 14 years or more, so they are a fairly healthy breed. This breed is not known to carry any genetic defects, though many dogs of this breed are sensitive to certain drugs. Some other health problems that may affect the breed include cryptorchidism, umbilical hernia, deafness, cataracts, and lotus syndrome.

Life Expectancy

The average lifespan for the Silken Windhound is 14 years or more.

Exercise Requirements

As a hunting breed, the Silken Windhound has fairly high needs for exercise. These dogs love to run, so they will appreciate a daily jog as well as having free time to run in a fenced yard. This breed also enjoys spending time in dog parks where they can run and interact with other dogs.

The Silken Windhound is incredibly friendly and affectionate.


The Silken Windhound is not currently recognized by the AKC. It is, however, recognized by the UKC as part of the Sighthound and Pariah group.


The Silken Windhound has a medium-long, silky coat that comes in a wide range of colors, often with spots or large patches of color. Because the coat is so long and fine in texture, it requires frequent grooming to control shedding and to prevent tangles. It is important to note that there are different coat textures for the breed, some are straight and others are curly, some which shed a lot and others which don’t.


The average litter size for the Silken Windhound breed is 4 to 6 puppies. Because it is a fairly small breed, puppies typically reach their adult size in under 12 months. To support your puppy’s growth and development, feed him a high-quality diet formulated for small to medium-sized dogs. Once your puppy reaches his adult size, switch to an adult formula for small or medium dogs. You should also be aware that many puppies blow their coats between 12 and 18 months, so be prepared to do some extra grooming at that point.

Photo credit: eriklam/Bigstock

Kate Barrington
Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.

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