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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.