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Breed Education
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Silken Windhound and Windsprite
Silken Windhound and Windsprite

Silken Windhound and Windsprite

Silken Windhounds and Windsprites are graceful, intelligent dogs. They love being included in family activities and have a friendly, gentle nature.

Weight

10–25 kg

Height

41–61 cm

Lifespan

12–16 yr

Breed Group

Sighthound

Silken Windhound and Windsprite History

Though they share similar characteristics, Silken Windhounds and Windsprites are distinct breeds.

In the 1950s, long-haired puppies appeared in Walter Wheeler, Jr.'s Whippet kennel. Wheeler assumed the hair type resulted from a recessive gene, and the American Kennel Club (AKC) registered these dogs as long-haired Whippets. But the American Whippet Club later determined a recessive gene wasn't to blame. More likely, the long hair resulted from crossing Whippets with Shetland Sheepdogs.

The AKC removed the breed from their studbook and currently considers the dogs to be a mixed breed. However, kennel clubs in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary recognize them as Windsprites.

Silken Windhounds came about in the 1980s when Frances Stull began breeding Borzois with Windsprites and Whippets. The United Kennel Club recognized this new breed in 2011.

Silken Windhound and Windsprite Traits

General Appearance

Silken Windhounds and Windsprites are medium-sized sighthounds with sleek, athletic builds.

Coat and Colouring

Both breeds have soft, moderately long, silky coats that can be straight, slightly curly, or wavy. The hair is longer on the neck, and there is feathering on the chest, legs, and tail. These pups come in all colors and coat patterns.

Distinctive Physical Traits

Notable traits of these breeds include a long, lean head, slim waist, muscular back legs, and a long, tapered tail.

Silken Windhound and Windsprite Temperament

Silken Windhounds and Windsprites are friendly, affectionate dogs that make excellent family pets. They form tight bonds with their humans and are gentle and playful with children.

Though they need opportunities to run and explore, they're more than happy to relax in the house (preferably on a comfy couch) once they burn off energy. Both breeds have a strong prey drive. So, it's best to keep them in enclosed spaces. Otherwise, small animals might tempt these speedy hunters.

Silken Windhound and Windsprite Care

Nutrition

These breeds thrive on a high-quality diet formulated for their life stage (e.g., puppy, adult, senior). To help your dog maintain their slender physique, measure portions to avoid overfeeding and keep an eye on how many treats you're giving. As a guideline, treats should make up no more than 10% of a dog's daily calories.

Both Windsprites and Silken Windhounds have deep chests that may make them more prone to bloat (also known as twisted stomach). To minimize the risk of bloat, break their food up into several meals a day, and use a food bowl designed to slow their eating. Also, avoid feeding immediately before or after vigorous activity. These are just a few ways you can help prevent this life-threatening condition. Consult your veterinarian about other methods, including surgical options.

Grooming

To maintain these dogs' silky coats, brush them a few times a week and bathe them every couple of months. Regular ear cleanings and nail trims should also be part of every dog's grooming routine.

Lastly, good dental hygiene will support your pup's overall health. Dental disease is one of the most common health conditions in adult dogs. Left untreated, it can contribute to other serious issues. In addition to professional cleanings, establish an at-home dental care program that includes regular teeth brushing and veterinarian-recommended dental chews.

Exercise

These athletic pups need daily exercise to be happy and healthy. They love brisk walks, hikes, and opportunities to run in fenced areas. Both breeds also excel at dog sports—such as agility, lure coursing, and competitive obedience.

Training

Silken Windhounds and Windsprites are intelligent dogs and eager to please their people. These qualities make them relatively easy breeds to train. Use positive reinforcement techniques and keep training sessions short to hold their interest.

Additionally, all dogs benefit from early socialization. Introducing your pup to different people and environments when they're young will help them develop into a confident, well-mannered adult dog.

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