Silken Windhounds are dogs that both novice and
expert dog owners will love and cherish.
The Silken Windhounds is a great choice for those who want a family dog that is active, affectionate, and adaptable. Silkens are generally eager to please and very intelligent, which makes them easy to train, even for novice owners. Silkens are also highly adaptable to most lifestyles. With adequate daily exercise, many Silkens can even be considered good apartment dogs. They generally have bursts of high energy but are happy to spend much of the day curled up on the couch with the humans they love. When outdoors, a large fenced in area to run around off-leash is important, as their prey drive can cause them to chase small animals and/or wander.
Given their quiet and friendly demeanor, Silken’s generally make poor watchdogs. They are much more likely to greet strangers warmly than to react with any suspicion or aggression. This love of people also causes them to not do well when left alone without companionship for long periods of time.
Silkens can be trained for lure coursing, straight racing, obedience, agility, and other dog sports. They are very likely to appreciate the physical and mental challenge that training will provide. If they aren’t properly challenged, as with dogs of any breed, they make seek out their own fun with unwanted behaviors. A general rule of thumb is: A good dog is a tired dog.
Silken Windhounds are typically quite healthy, and genetic predispositions for medical issues are relatively uncommon for this breed. Still, there are a a few things that owners should be on the lookout for. Some Silkens carry the Multidrug Resistance Mutation 1 (MDR1) gene, that makes them sensitive to certain medical drugs. Silkens can also have Collie Eye Anomoly (CEA), a genetic mutation that can cause varying degrees of vision complications. All Conowingo Dames Silkens are tested for both of these conditions prior to release to their new families. Prior to breeding, the genetics of both the sire and dam are carefully analyzed to avoid the presence of such issues in the offspring.
Deep chested breeds like sighthounds can also experience a condition called Bloat in adulthood. Signs include heavy panting, discomfort in lying down, salivating and non-productive retching and swelling in the rib and abdominal area. If these symptoms are noticed, notify a veterinarian immediately as this is a life threatening condition. While its very rarely seen in Silkens or dogs under one year of age, it’s important to be able to identify the signs should they be seen. As with any breed, it’s important to keep up with regular veterinarian visits to catch medical issues early and maintain good health.
Silkens’ teeth should be brushed regularly as recommended by a veterinarian. Additionally, a dental pet water additive can be used to help kill of plaque-causing bacterial. Silkens’ ears and paw pads should be checked for signs of infection, parasites, or debris and kept clean. Nails should be trimmed as needed to prevent snags and breakage. Usually a trimming once a month will keep the nails in good shape. Monthly, year-round use of preventative heartworm medication is highly recommended as well as a topical flea and tick preventative. Keep up with regular veterinarian visits to maintain good health.
It is important to note that sighthounds are known to have greater susceptibility to anesthesia than other than other breeds due to low percentage of body fat and the manner in which the liver processes drugs. As such, it is important to discuss appropriate anesthesia protocols for your Silken with your veterinarian in advance.
The luxurious, silky coats of the Silken can come in almost any color or pattern. They can be black, tan, brown, grey, red, silver, white, or a combination of colors. Coats can be solid, spotted, brindle, or streaked with unique markings. Despite their appearance, Silkens coats require little maintenance. They tend to be light to medium shedders. A few good brushings every now and again should be enough to keep the coat healthy. They should be bathed once a month or as needed. As adults, Silkens do not have a “houndy” smell so they typically do not to be bathed as frequently as other breeds. A good-quality whitening shampoo is beneficial for maintaining white coats. In adulthood, a creme rinse on the feathering behind the legs, chest, and belly can also be beneficial.