Breed Silken Windhound

BreedsAbout the Breed: Silken Windhound

Silken Windhounds are playful, friendly, small sighthounds who make a great family dog.


Silkens were created by a Borzoi breeder in Texas, who wanted to produce a smaller, long coated sighthound. They are now a recognized breed, but were originally derived from a mixture of Borzoi, Lurchers, Whippets and Shetland Sheepdogs.


Silkens are smart, friendly, affectionate, and love to play. They get along well with other dogs. They love to run, and need a well-fenced yard at least 5 feet high. They have a strong prey drive, and will chase squirrels and cats, although some Silkens can live with family cats. They tend to be a little cat-like, and generally do not fetch or swim. They tend to be quiet, and do not make good watch dogs. Many Silken owners get involved in lure coursing, fly ball, obedience and other activities, which the dogs really enjoy.

Best with:

  • A home that can provide daily exercise.
  • Owners committed to providing positive training techniques.
  • A home with a 5 foot fenced yard.
  • A home where the Silken is part of the family.

Not for:

  • People who need to leave their dog alone for hours on end.
  • People who intend to leave their dog outside—Silkens are indoor dogs.
  • People who want a dog to play “fetch.”
  • People who want a guard dog.


  • Affectionate
  • Beautiful
  • Smart
  • Silly
  • Quiet


  • Strong prey drive—some stronger than others.
  • Not a good guard dog.
  • Some can be a little aloof.
  • May be sensitive around loud, noisy, excited children.



Females:  22-45 pounds, and 18-24 inches at the shoulder
Males:  33-50 pounds, and 18-24 inches at the shoulder


This breed comes in a wide variety of colors and markings, including brindle.

Energy Level:

Active, although then tend to be couch potatoes indoors.

Life expectancy:

14-18 years or more.


Generally okay with children. Can be sensitive if children are loud and frantic.

Other animals:

Good with other dogs. Since some have a strong prey drive, their compatibility with other animals depends on the dog.


Silkens are rather athletic, and enjoy lure coursing, fly ball, obedience, and other activities.


Silkens are clean dogs, easy to care for with an occasional bath, and brushing a few times a week. They are not heavy shedders, but some shed more than others.


Silkens’ overall health is very good. They can live into their mid-teens and older.  Bone and joint problems and bloat are rare. Some of them are sensitive to Ivermectin, a drug used for parasites. Breeders test their puppies to see if they carry a defective MDR1 drug resistant gene, which is now being bred out of future generations.