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Health and Research

Silken Windhound Health and Research Projects

There are few things more beautiful than the vision of a healthy sight hound coursing after the lure, running freely, or merely seeming to pose for the simple delight of the observer.

Silken Windhounds are in the minority of dog breeds in that they are a remarkably healthy breed. The life expectancy of a typical Silken Windhound can easily extend into their mid teens while experiencing fewer health issues than are typically found in their foundation breeds.

The Silken Windhound community keeps a close eye on the health of the breed by staying diligent when it comes to health testing, and silkens were recently admitted into OFA’s CHIC program, and you can learn about which things silken breeders screen for here.

An older silken windhound chasing after the lure. Photo by Rick Steele
Two silkens in profile. The one on the left is cream and the one on the right is black and white. Photo by Janine Pracht

Diligent selective breeding from the inception of the breed along with DNA parental marker verification of all Silken Windhounds in the breeding pool have aided in maintaining the overall health of the breed. We were surprised to discover that this breeding philosophy has brought Silken Windhounds to the attention of the scientific community. Genetic confirmation extending back many generations and providing a totally confirmed genealogy is a fact no other dog breed can duplicate. Another fact that interests researchers is the scientifically forward-thinking and cooperative breeder and owner family.

Silken Windhounds are not a perfect breed and do have a couple of health issues actively being researched by notable veterinary schools. Breeders and owners of Silken Windhounds are proud to have been approached by researchers in their efforts to learn more about not only canine genome, but also the association of that research as it relates to humans.

Reporting Silken Windhound Health Issues

The ISWS has established a Health Committee in order to track any health issues that occur in Silken Windhounds. Breeders and owners are encouraged to submit their health information to the committee for tracking purposes. This information will be kept anonymous outside of the health committee.

Please use the ISWS Health Report Form to report any health issues to the ISWS Health Committee.

A red brindle silken, Teddy, standing on the beach. Photo credit: Joyce Chin
A black and white silken windhound standing next to a white and cream. Photo by Joyce Chin

To learn more about our past and current health initiatives, check out the links below.