About Us

Conowingo Dames is a small, family-run business based out of Maryland, dedicated to nurturing, protecting, and advancing the Silken Windhound breed. We provide a nurturing environment where our dogs are exposed to a wide range of sights, sounds, and smells to ensure that they are well-rounded and confident. We prioritize traits that make our dogs perfect family companions as well as ideal candidates for events such as conformation, obedience, agility, and nosework. We strive for the perfect combination of affection, athleticism, and loveable spunk. 

Kate Coates, Co-Owner
Kate Coates
Co-Owner of Conowingo Dames
Andrew Coates
Co-Owner of Conowingo Dames

Our Story

Discovering Silkens

As a married couple with a relatively small home in historic Laurel, Maryland and a desire to expand our family in the furry direction, we started our quest for our perfect breed. While Andrew wanted a large dog similar to the breeds he grew up with (German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, English Springer Spaniels, etc.), Kate had her heart set on a small dog like the Miniature Dachshund she had previously owned. Meeting in the middle, the search started for a medium sized breed with the perfect look and personality. Research uncovered lots of medium-sized working dog breeds, that, while beautiful, were too high energy. However, the newly discovered Silken Windhound breed hit the mark on all of our wants.

Meeting the Breed

We excitedly set off across the Conowingo Dam to visit New Jersey Silken Windhound breeder Gloria Hyland-Fisher (Cool Run Silkens) to put a face to this magical breed. As soon as we walked into Gloria’s house we were engulfed in a sea of gorgeous dogs, each quietly working their way to be the victor who got to gently rest their head on our laps and get all the pets. We were absolutely smitten, grinning ear-to-ear on the way back to our car. Silken Windhounds were absolute perfection and we couldn’t wait for one to join our family. 

Conowingo Dam (ARRON HARRINGTON / CC BY-SA 2.0)

Adopting the Izze-belle of the Ball

In early March 2018, a beautiful litter of cuddly pups arrived into the world, nursed and nurtured by Gloria and dam Ziva. We were ecstatic to learn that the bubbly little white girl with a dark grey “mohawk” down the center of her head would be a perfect match for our family. A few weeks after meeting the feisty little family for the first time, we were able to officially welcome Izze into our family. To learn more about our leading lady, click here.

Joining the Silken Community

Every bit as wonderful as anticipated, Izze immediately captured hearts. Not only did she grow into a beauty, she has maintained a stunning personality. With Izze by our sides, we became active members of several Silken Windhound clubs including the International Silken Windhound Society (ISWS), the Silken Windhound Club of America (SWHoA), and East Coast Silken Windhounds. Throughout conformation events, training classes, and meet-ups over the years we’ve met many inspiring breeders and devoted owners of this fantastic breed.

Launching Conowingo Dames

With immense love for Silkens, we wanted to find ways of participating in the community even more. With an dwindling breeder population on the East Coast, we felt it was our calling to step up and energetically support the continuation of the breed hands-on. With a lot of heart and the loving support of family and friends long-established in the breeding community, we are setting sail on a new adventure. With the establishment of Conowingo Dames LLC, we are thrilled to participate more actively in the Silken community, learning and growing in our craft along the way.