Activities For Silken Windhounds

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Introduction

The Silken Windhound is a rare breed that is playful, loving, and ready to please their family. They do well with other pets and children. They do have a high prey drive and will need to be watched with small animals such as rabbits, hamsters, and ferrets. The Silken Windhound is a newer breed that has not been accepted by the American Kennel Club, although you can see them competing in different dog clubs doing conformation, lure coursing, agility, and training as pet therapy or service dogs. The Silken Windhound is an easy to train dog but can be high energy and does require some type of exercise daily, preferably in the form of a long walk or run. After their daily exercise, the Silken Windhound is content to lounge around the house and nap. 

Conformation Shows

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Any Day
Expensive
Normal
30 min
Items needed
Collar
Leash
Treats
Entry Fees
Activity description

Even though the Silken Windhound is not recognized by the AKC, they are recognized by the United Kennel Club and International All Breed Canine Association and can compete in conformation competitions. Conformation shows are basically beauty pageants for purebred dogs. A judge or a panel of judges evaluate your dog and decide how well they conform to the breed standard and then your dog is judged against other dogs of their breed to determine which one is the best. That one is awarded best of breed. They then go on to compete in group competition and so on. Conformation shows are easy to prepare for and are held in any type of weather, some shows are indoors while others are outside. It can be pricey to participate in conformation shows since each club sets the entry fees and those can add up quickly.

Step
1
Train your dog
You can train your Silken Windhound for conformation shows in the comfort of your own home or you can find a dog breed club that offers conformation classes. By participating in a conformation class with your Silken Windhound you will be able to get your dog used to gaiting around a ring with dogs in front and behind them. Once you are certain your dog is ready to compete in conformation shows, you will then begin looking for shows near you.
Step
2
Find shows
There are conformation shows being held all over the country. You may decide to start out at a fun show where your dog can gain experience before entering a sanctioned event. A sanctioned show is one where your dog is competing for points toward their championship. Show entry fees will vary depending on the club and can quickly break the bank if you enter several shows.
Step
3
Enter shows
After finding the shows you want to enter, you will send in your entry form and fee. Many clubs accept online entries and payments to make the entry process easier for exhibitors. On the day of the show, plan to arrive a little early so you can sit and watch the judge you will be showing under. You will want to know how they run their ring and what is expected of you and your Silken Windhound when it is your turn to show.
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Pet Therapy

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Any Day
Moderate
Normal
1 hr
Items needed
Collar
Leash
Treats
Certification
Visit Log
Activity description

Pet therapy is becoming more and more popular in nursing homes, schools, and hospitals. Dogs that have learned their basic manners or obedience and have a caring demeanor excel at therapy work. The Silken Windhound is an excellent breed for therapy because of their softer, calmer nature and easy to train attitude. A therapy dog is expected to offer comfort to those in need. A therapy dog is not a service dog; they are not required to complete specific tasks for their owner to make everyday life easier for the person. The American Kennel Club offers titles for therapy dogs, starting with dogs that have completed just ten qualifying therapy visits. Since most therapy work is completed indoors, your Silken Windhound can work as a therapy dog in any weather. It is a moderately priced activity; you will have the membership fees of a dog club, cost for instructional courses, and you will need some treats for your dog during their visits. The therapy log can usually be downloaded and printed for free. 

Step
1
Find a club
When you decide to start doing therapy work with your Silken Windhound, you will need to do a bit of research and find a dog club that offers a therapy program. You can speak with people who have trained a therapy dog and completed all of the paperwork for the program and many times you will find someone willing to walk you through the process. Expect to pay a nominal membership for the dog club you do join.
Step
2
Learn the expectations
Some people think that therapy work is simply having your dog go into a school or nursing home and sit by people and get petted. While it is one of the perks of being a therapy dog, your dog must be obedient, not startle easily, and be able to handle stressful situations. Not all therapy dogs can handle working with loud, rowdy children so your dog will need to be evaluated to figure out where they will be the most effective. Then they will be given instructional courses on how best to behave in a therapy situation and will be tested to see how they do and how well they respond to the instructions learned.
Step
3
Start visiting
Once you know where your Silken Windhound will be the most useful, it will be time to start scheduling visits. If you will be working with a school, for example, you will need to contact the school's administration team and learn what their expectations for your dog will be and what you need to do to ensure the visits are successful. Print out your therapy log and have the person in charge at the facility you visit sign the log as soon as you arrive.
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Touch Training

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Any Day
Cheap
Normal
15 - 20 min
Items needed
Treats
Collar
Items to touch
Activity description

Touch training is an easy activity for your Silken Windhound to learn. You will start with basic touching so they know what is expected of them and gradually increase the difficulty of the touch training. Your Silken Windhound works best for treats and praise, so when you are beginning touch training give instant gratification with a treat and lots of praise. Your dog will learn a verbal cue and will immediately know what is expected of them. Plan on spending 15 to 20 minutes a day working on touch training and choose a quiet room in your home when you start training, then gradually add distractions as your dog becomes more confident. 

Step
1
Teach touch word
To start, you will hold your open palm toward your dog with your fingers pointing down and say the word “touch”. Move your hand to within an inch of your Silken Windhound’s face and as soon as their nose makes contact with your palm, praise them and give them a treat. Keep repeating this activity for several days in a row. Once your dog becomes comfortable with touching your hand, you can start teaching them to touch your leg, arm, the back of your hand, or even your foot.
Step
2
Add distance
After your dog learns to touch on command at a close distance, you can then start adding distance. Start by standing one foot back from your dog and have your dog touch their nose to your palm. Then begin moving your hand to different heights and encourage your dog to move with you to touch your palm.
Step
3
Touch objects
When your dog is steady with touching your palm and other parts of your body consistently using the touch command, it will be time to transition them to touching objects. You can start by having them touch a post-it note that is stuck to your palm. Your dog will begin to understand that you are asking them to touch the object not your palm.
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More Fun Ideas...

Racing

There is much debate about dog racing and the ethics of the sport. However, Silken Windhounds love to run and were recognized by the LGRA in 2013 and the United Kennel Club allows Silken Windhounds to race on the NOTRA oval track as a provisional breed. Racing is done in any weather; however, it is more comfortable for the dogs to race in dry, cool conditions. Entry fees for dog racing can be pricey. 

Lure Coursing

Silken Windhounds are excellent competitors in lure coursing and enjoy the excitement of the chase. Lure coursing is when dogs chase a decoy down a lane and their times are recorded. They can earn titles and prizes in lure coursing. Generally, lure coursing is done in any weather, but it is obviously more pleasant when the weather is nice and sunny. It can be expensive to participate in lure coursing but it can also be rewarding. 

Conclusion

The Silken Windhound is a low maintenance, medium-sized dog that loves to run. However, after spending time running and playing, they will come into your home and be the perfect pet. The Silken Windhound is calm and easygoing when they are on a schedule that includes at least 45 minutes to an hour of running or taking long, brisk walks. The Silken Windhound is the right breed for an active family that loves to be on the move.