Standard Poodle

Silken Windhound


Origin: United States

Height: 18 to 23 inches

Silken Windhound
Kristull Rowan
Photo courtesy of Kennel Starcastle Hounds

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Breed Profile

The Silken Windhound breed was developed in the U.S. through more than ten years and six generations of carefully and selectively breeding the long-haired and smooth Whippets and Borzois. The result is a magnificent, elegant little Sighthound with long hair and a wonderful temperament.

The biggest physical difference between the Borzoi and the Silken is size. While other minor differences exist, it can be difficult to tell the two breeds apart. The difference in personality, however, is very noticeable. The Silken is less independent, does not “run away”, is devoted to his owner and wants to be by his side.

Silkens are known for their wonderful temperament, are easily trained, and eager to please. They are intelligent, affectionate and fairly sociable. They adapt well to family life, enjoy people of all ages including children, and generally get along well with other pets.

The coat is soft and silky and comes in all colours, from pure white to pure black, with reds, creams, brindles and silvers in solid and spotted patterns.

Like all Sighthounds, the Silken is an active dog and loves to run. While he does need daily exercise, he is not as high energy as some of the Herding breeds. Silkens can be seen in Lure Coursing, Racing events, and Agility. In addition, his excellent temperament serves him well to work as a Therapy Dog and a Service Dog.

Health Issues

If you are considering the adoption of a Silken Windhound puppy, or any breed, it is very important to be selective in choosing a responsible and reputable breeder. Ensure that the prospective puppy’s parents have all health clearances. Breeding of any dog should not be done until after they have been proven to be free of evidence of significant hereditary diseases. (For more information on selecting a breeder, see the articles on the main General Information page.)

  • Bloat — As with any deep-chested dog, the occurrence of Bloat or Gastric Torsion is a real possibility in the Borzoi. If you are not familiar with this condition, it is absolutely necessary to learn about it and know the symptoms — This is a real emergency and a life threatening condition that requires immediate Veterinary attention. See Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV) – Bloat in the Health and Nutrition section of Canada’s Guide to Dogs for more information and First Aid for Bloat for an article describing some of the things you can do if you are faced with this situation.

Additional Health Resources:

Breed Standards

Note: The International Silken Windhound Society is the parent club and international registry for all Silken Windhounds.  The Silken is a rare breed and the International Silken Windhound Society (ISWS) is working toward the goal of gaining AKC recognition for the breed. In addition, the breed has just recently been recognized by the Slovenian Kennel Club, a member of Europe’s Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI).

Grooming Information

  • Grooming — This section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website includes tips, articles and information covering all aspects of dog grooming along with a listing of Groomers from across Canada.


Training Resources

  • Training — For training information, see this growing section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website for tips, articles, as well as listings of training centres across Canada.


Additional Information

  • ISWS Pedigree Database
  • Lure Coursing
  • Whippets and Other Sighthounds — A very informative website dedicated to Sighthounds explaining why a Sighthound thinks and acts differently from other breeds of dogs.
  • Clubs, Sports & Activities — For information on the many sports and activities you can get involved in with your dog.
  • Working Dogs — The Working Dogs section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website provides information and listings of organizations that are involved in various dog jobs, such as Guide Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Police Dogs, Protection Dogs, and much more.

Breed Listing

*NOTE 1: CHIC – The Canine Health Information Center “is a database of consolidated health screening results from multiple sources. Co-sponsored by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and the American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Health Foundation, CHIC works with parent clubs to identify health screening protocols appropriate for individual breeds. Dogs tested in accordance with the parent club established requirements, that have their results registered and made available in the public domain are issued CHIC numbers.” To learn more, visit:

*NOTE 2: The Fédération Cynologique International (FCI) is the World Canine Organization, which includes 91 members and contract partners (one member per country) that each issue their own pedigrees and train their own judges. The FCI recognizes 344 breeds, with each being the “property” of a specific country. The “owner” countries write the standards of these breeds in co-operation with the Standards and Scientific Commissions of the FCI, and the translation and updating are carried out by the FCI. The FCI is not a breed registry nor does it issue pedigrees.

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