Silkens have FUN
We took a number of Silkens to School to help the students with an Art Unit they are doing, the idea was to get some action shots of them. Oz certainly provided them with an extra opportunity when he decided on an impromptu dip. He had been happily running around the edge of the pond when he suddenly sprung off the edge and into the middle of the pond, in retrospect he probably thought it was a sunken garden and still part of the grass area. He came out bedecked with green speckled weed, whether Lily felt left out of the excitement, I'm not sure as she is clearly watching Oz's antic from the pond edge but within a couple of minutes she too, decided it was a swimming lesson, I think she also secretly enjoyed the laughing bystanders as she shook herself off.
Oz posing beautifully before his dip
Lily looking smug
The Silken Windhound is a relatively recently developed breed which truly fulfills a niche within the Sighthound family - a small to medium sized, long-haired Sighthound. I've met many people who loved the overall appearance and personality of a Borzoi, but they were just too large for them. Afghans are the smallest coated Sighthound recognized by the AKC, but their coat care needs are enormous.
Fira with 'Fire' daughters Lily and Cessie
Lily & Cessie in front
The Breed was Conceived in Austin Texas, in the mid 1980’s by Francie and Chuck Stull, who previously bred Champion show and performance Borzoi and Deerhounds under the kennel affix Kristull. This breed is the result of decades of work to realise their dream of creating a medium sized, family-friendly, coated, modern sporting hound.
The breed foundation utilized champion show and lure coursing Borzoi and Whippet bloodlines as well as several individuals of a small multigenerational line of Whippet-based lurchers. The Silken Windhound emerged as its own breed through a process of combining and refining these bloodlines, emphasizing selection for type,soundness, health and temperament, keeping in mind selection for qualities which made generations of AKC champion show and performance Kristull
sighthounds, many generations of Silken Windhounds now exist.
The International Silken Windhound Society (ISWS) was formed in April 1999 and is the parent club for this exciting breed. A breed standard has been adopted and ISWS members strive to follow the standard within their breeding programs. ISWS members are currently working towards AKC recognition for the breed, with the first step being inclusion in the Foundation Stud Service program.
Silkens Windhounds are now living in Sweden, Finland, Norway, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Holland, Slovenia, Japan, The Middle East, New Zealand, France, The United Kingdom as well as the United States and Canada, many of the european countries, having originally imported from the USA, are building up and sharing their own stock and are now subsequently exporting to other european countries and beyond, members are striving for the breed's recognition overseas. Slovenia has recognition for the Breed and they are able to register them with the Slovenian Kennel Club. In Sweden and Germany they are accepted as a Breed but not yet able to register.
Silkens are small, typically 18-24 inches at the shoulder. The photo 'of 3' on this page shows a female adult full-grown Borzoi (back), an adult female Silken Windhound and a female, 10 week Silken puppy. Their coat is easy to care for and comes in all colors and spotting patterns. They should have dark eyes and pigment, scissors bites with full dentition, lovely angles front and rear, and that elegant outline so often seen in Sighthounds. Desired attributes are listed in the Silken's breed standard on the ISWS website.
EVENTS IN AMERICA and EUROPE
In the US and Canada, Silkens can be shown in the Hound group at many rare breed venues as well as in ISWS sanctioned specialty shows. Silkens are actively showing with the North American Kennel Club (NAKC ), the International All Breed Canine Association ( IABCA ), the National Canine Association ( NCA ), and in Canada, the Rare Breed Club of Southwestern Ontario (RBCSWO). Silkens have also shown in fun and exhibition matches with the United Kennel Club ( UKC ). Silkens have enjoyed being awarded many Best in Show, Reserve Best in Show, and Best Puppy in Show ribbons
The U.S.'s many Silken owners are also able to enjoy ISWS-sactioned Specialties; Silkenfest the original National event is held every year, during late Spring, while Boofest is an annual event in California held in the Fall. With more regional Specialties such as The Ohio Classic added to the calendar each year, Silkens are quite clearly an expanding Breed numerically and in popularity. Silken speciality shows - ISWS sanctioned events are also now regularly held in other countries, Finland, Sweden Slovenia and more recently Germany and Holland. Slovenia, have recognition as a Breed, for the Silken and are working toward acceptance by the FCI. Slovenia scheduled the Breed at the European Dog Show in October 2010, coinsiding the show with both their own Slovenia Sighthound Club Show and a Speciality ISWS show which was judged by Francie Stull herself, on the same weekend.
In America, Silken Windhounds have many options when it comes to Sighthound performance venues, and the breed participates in straight racing, oval track,
lure coursing, and open field coursing. While in Europe, Silkens have participated in informal lure coursing, oval track, and straight racing events. Silken Windhounds have been accepted with American lure coursing organisations such as the American Sighthound Field Association (ASFA ), and the National Lure Coursing Club (NLCC ) and as a Breed they have taken home some of the top scores at trials in both. Silkens also are accepted and can compete in open field coursing, which is the sport of coursing jackrabbits in their natural habitat, with the oldest OFC club in America, the National Open Field Coursing Association. In addition to these venues, the Silken Windhound enjoys running in ISWS sanctioned straight racing and oval track programs. These programs run alongside LGRA, WRA, CWA, and NOTRA events
NEWS Slovenia is the first country to gain recognition for the Breed of Silken Windhounds and Silkens with the title of Slovenian Champion, several Slovenian Champions aswell as ISWS Champions and many titled performance Champions now exist.