24 Questions То Consider Before Getting A Silken Windhound
Sighthound breeds are rarely taken as family pets but that isn’t because they aren’t great pets. The fairly new Silken Windhound breed is a great example of that. These medium-sized and highly social and lovable animals were first bred just a few decades ago but make for fantastic family pets.
Still, as sighthounds they do have a few specifics you’ll need to be aware of. None of them are especially detrimental, however, and they don’t make the Silken Windhound any less of an awesome pet. So, to get you ready for this pet, here are the main 24 questions to consider before getting a Silken Windhound?
1. Is the Silken Windhound a good family pet?
Like most other sighthound breeds, the Silken Windhound is calm, gentle, friendly, and loving. This makes it a fantastic pet for any family that can meet its needs. And, unlike most sighthound breeds, the Windhound is quite social and outgoing, including with strangers. So, if you’re the type of family that likes having people over, a Silken Windhound should be a great pet for you.
2. What breeds make up a Silken Windhound?
Silken Windhounds were first bred in 1985 in the Kristull Kennel of Francie Stull. Francie paired Borzois and Whippets, two famous sighthound breeds with the goal of producing a crossbreed that’s small, gorgeous, easy to train, and good with families. And, it’s fair to say that Francie succeeded.
3. How smart are Silken Windhounds?
While not on the level of shepherd or retriever breeds, Silken Windounds are nevertheless impressively smart. As sighthounds, these dogs are very obedient and understand complex commands quite well. They aren’t a work dog breed so they don’t have the instinct to perform tasks around the house but they certainly love to play with puzzle toys and perform various mental games.
4. Are Silken Windhounds easy to train?
Silken Windhounds are both smart and people-pleasing enough to be fairly easy to train. That being said, obedience training is a must for any dog, especially does with incredibly strong prey dries such as most sighthound breeds. So, don’t mistake the “easy to train” label for a “no need to train it” conclusion.
5. Are Silken Windhounds social and friendly?
Indeed they are. Most sighthound breeds are aloof and frightful around strangers but Silken Windhounds are incredibly friendly toward everyone. Of course, adequate socialization is still required to get to that point. Plus, this makes them bad watchdogs, however, it also makes the lives of social pet owners much easier.
6. Is the Silken Windhound breed good with kids?
These dogs are near-perfect for families with kids of all ages. The Silken Windhound breed is social and gentle, and it’s also small enough to not hurt your child accidentally.
7. Do Silken Windhounds get along with other dogs?
This breed can get along with other dogs but you’ll need to go through proper socialization. Ideally, the two dogs will be raised together. If you just want to randomly drop a second adult dog to a poorly socialized Windhound, however, the two may not get along. It’s all a matter of how you go about it.
8. Is the Silken Windhound’s prey drive a problem with non-dog pets?
Getting a sighthound to get along with small non-canine pets such as cats and hamsters can be a problem. These dogs have an incredibly strong prey drive that can kick in at any moment and get them to chase down animals. Hypothetically, if you raise your Windhound pup with a cat from birth, the dog will accept the cat as a fellow family member. However, it’s tricky and requires an experienced pet owner.
9. Can Silken Windhounds be left alone?
The highly social nature of the Silken Windhound means that it’s very vulnerable to separation anxiety. This trait is inherent to all social dog breeds and it means that you don’t want to leave your dog home alone for more than an hour or two at a time. If you work away from home, you’d want a family member to stay with your dog. Other alternatives include:
- Hire a dog walker or a dog sitter
- Get your dog plenty of new and interactive toys
- Exhaust your dog with exercise so that it sleeps when you’re away
- Arrange for playdates with another dog owner
- Take your dog with you whenever possible
- Get a second dog to keep your Windhound company
10. How much exercise do Silken Windhounds need?
As sighthounds, these dogs are highly energetic and need quite a bit of exercise. Fortunately, however, they are also relatively small and more manageable. So, a Windhound will usually feel good with a couple of 30-minute walks a day and one longer and more intensive run.
Ideally, you will have a fully-fenced dog park nearby where you can let the dog run freely. Another option is for you to get into jogging. However, if you don’t include a vigorous run to your dog’s two daily walks, you’ll get an unhappy and unfit dog pretty quickly.
11. Does a Silken Windhound have to be leashed?
All sighthounds should always be leashed when outside and the Windhound is no exception. If you’re sure that the dog park is fully fenced and with no open exits, you can unleash your Windhound there. In any other situation, you are risking your dog running away after a car, a squirrel, a cat, or anything else that moves. Even if you’ve trained your sighthound expertly for obedience, once its prey drive kicks in, there’s almost nothing that can stop it other than a harness with a leash.
12. Can you have a Silken Windhound in an apartment or is a yard necessary?
Funnily enough, a yard isn’t a necessity for this breed. While it can be nice, as long as it’s properly fenced up, these dogs can feel perfectly fine in apartments. As sighthounds, these dogs need to run regularly in open spaces, be it in a large fenced-up dog park or while jogging with you. A small yard, however, doesn’t help them do that. It can be a good playground but so can a medium-sized living room.
13. How long do Silken Windhounds live?
One of the many awesome features of this breed is that it has an incredibly long expected lifespan. The average life of a healthy Silken Windhound is anywhere between 14 and 20 years!
Granted, the emphasis is on “healthy” – you need to make sure that you take a healthy puppy from a reputable breeder who offers health certificates. Then, you’ll need to care for your pup as well as possible or it may not get to 14 years of age, let alone 20.
14. Are Silken Windhounds healthy?
When bred properly, these dogs tend to be quite healthy overall. The few potential issues to watch out for include:
- Lotus syndrome
- Drug sensitivity
- Umbilical hernia
- Cryptorchidism (Retained testicle)
15. How tall is a Silken Windhound?
The average height of Silken Windhounds ranges between 18 and 23.5 inches (46 to 60 cm) at the shoulders. Their standard weight is 33 to 55 pounds (15 to 25 kg) for males and 20 to 45 pounds (9 to 20 kg) for females.
16. How fast can a Silken Windhound run?
The average speed of a Silken Windhound is about 40 mph or 64 km/h. That’s a bit less than the top speeds of Grey Hounds and Salukis (45 mph or 72 km/h) but Silken Windhounds are also smaller so that’s to be expected.
17. How much does a Silken Windhound puppy cost?
Because this is a new breed that isn’t overly popular yet, the “supply” for it is not that great. So, the average prices for Silken Windhound puppies can be a bit steep – about $2,000 to $2,500.
18. What type of coat does the Silken Windhound have?
Silken Windhounds’ coats match their name – they are luxurious, flowing, and gorgeous. They have a soft undercoat but it doesn’t obscure the athletic physique of the dog. It also serves to make these dogs suitable for most climates, both cold and warm.
19. Do Silken Windhounds shed a lot?
Silken Windhounds really don’t shed that much which is great, especially for a double-coated breed. A few brushings per week should be enough to keep them from releasing almost any dog hair in your home.
20. Do Silken Windhounds need a lot of grooming?
Not at all. In addition to a few weekly brushings, you’ll also need one bath a month and just standard eye, ear, dental, and nail care.
21. Is the Silken Windhound hypoallergenic?
Not really. Despite shedding minimally, these hounds do release dandruff and saliva into the air so they will still trigger people’s allergies.
22. What colors does the Silken Windhound come in?
Silken Windhound can come in almost any color – tan, grey, brown, black, white, silver, red, or a bi-color, or tri-color combination of those. They can also be brindle, streaked, solid, or spotted.
23. Why isn’t the Silken Windhound breed recognized by the AKC?
That’s simply because the breed is new and not overly popular yet. When/if the Silken Windhound becomes more popular, more widely bred, and a more consistent standard is developed (for color, for example), the breed will likely be recognized by most kennel clubs.
24. Do Silken Windhounds bark a lot?
The social and well-meaning nature of these dogs means that they don’t feel the urge to bark at anyone and everything that moves. However, Silken Windhounds are still hounds and they do like to howl as well as to occasionally bark as a way of “talking” to you. That’s a big part of their communication toolkit so you should be ready for it. If you want to minimize the amount of barking and howling you’re encountering, consider some anti-bark training in addition to the standard obedience training.
Silken Windhounds are inarguably a special kind of dog. They have the athletic physique of other sighthounds covered with a lovely silken coat and accompanied by an especially social and lovable personality. Small enough to be easily manageable and relatively healthy, this breed can easily be raised in most apartments. As long as you’re not away from home too much and you’re willing to give this dog a bit of running every day, a Silken Windhound can be an excellent pet for you and your whole family.