Are Silken Windhounds Good Distance-Running Dogs?

by Scott Morgan
Windhounds are skinny, but not that skinny.

Windhounds are skinny, but not that skinny.

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If you're looking for a gentle, good-natured running partner, you might find your ideal match in a silken windhound. Simply put, this soft, affectionate companion -- which looks like a smaller, long-haired Borzoi -- is built to run. In fact, the windhound doesn't walk so much as trot, even when just cruising around the yard.

Aerodynamic and Swift

Silken windhounds are sighthounds, a class of dogs that includes whippets, salukis and greyhounds. Dogs in this class have some of the swiftest feet in the canine world, reaching speeds surpassing 40 mph. Their bodies have strong, wiry legs, deep chests, narrow waists and thin, pointed heads that make them near-perfect aerodynamic machines able to process enormous amounts of oxygen. Windhounds were built to chase swift prey, such as rabbits and deer, meaning they can maintain good speed over long distances.

Light on His Feet

The silken windhound's natural trotting gait is a clear sign of the breed's love of running. A windhound's trot is almost balletic, as the animal is extremely smooth and light on his feet. The windhound's rear legs sit wider than his front legs, which allows the dog to instantly switch from a breezy trot to speeding blur. You'll see this in action if your windhound spots a rabbit or squirrel and lays chase.

Great Companionship

Despite their predilection for speed, silken windhounds make gentle companions for apartment dwellers. Their balanced temperament makes them easily adaptable to staying inside with the family. Nevertheless, windhounds need exercise. They make ideal running or jogging partners. Keep yours on a leash, though, because windhounds, like all sighthounds, have extremely high prey and chase drives; you'll never catch one if he bolts after a squirrel.

The Great Outdoors

Though silken windhounds adapt well to apartment and house life, it is best to keep them where they have access to a large enclosed yard where they can frolic. They are not, despite their penchant for running, high-energy dogs, such as border collies are; but windhounds still enjoy racing around outside. Weather does not seem to be a concern for windhounds, who are quite playful and love to splash around in puddles as much as they love to race the wind.

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