Windhound Breed Standard
adopted by the ISWS,
March 2001; revised December 2005
Silken Windhound is an elegant, small to medium-sized sighthound
with a moderately long silky coat. Its classic lines and athletic
build are the hallmark of a true coursing dog. When viewing
a Silken Windhound, one has the impression of grace, balance,
and strength integrated with exceptional running ability.
PROPORTION, SUBSTANCE: The accepted measurements for
Silken Windhounds are 18.5 -23.5 inches (47-60 cm) at the withers.
Dogs over or under the ideal shall be penalized to the extent
of the deviation. In proportion, Silken Windhounds are approximately
square or slightly rectangular. Silkens that are excessively
longer or shorter than they are tall should be penalized according
to the extent of the deviation.
of the Silken Windhound is sleek, through a balanced combination
of fine bladed bone and smooth muscle, and never looks frail.
Heavy, round, or coarse bone is faulty.
The Silken Windhound's expression is alert, friendly and intelligent.
Eyes are reather large and dark, almond-shaped and set somewhat
obliquely. Picment around eyes is full and dark. Ears are small
and fine in texture, folded and lying back along the neck when
in repose. When alert, ears may prick or semi-prick. Hanging,
or drooping, houndy ears are undesirable. Moderately long in
head, the Silken Windhound has a fairly narrow back skull which,
when viewed from above, tapers gradually through a full muzzle
to the nose. The muzzle is in good balance to the skull. When
viewed from the side, the top plane of the muzzle is parallel
to the plane of the flat skull, with a barely perceptible stop
is well chiseled, skin dry and tight, with noticeable veining.
The nose is dark, and may be slightly down-turned at the end.
Lips and flews are tight, in keeping with the dry head. Pigment
on lips is full and dark. Jaws are strong to accomodate the
teeth, which are large for a dog of this size, with full dentition
and scissors bite. Missing teeth should be penalized.
TOPLINE, BODY: The neck is long and slender. It is
slightly arched, well muscled and powerful, never ewe necked.
The neck is free from dewlap or throatiness, widening gradually
and symmetrically into the shoulder. The topline rises gradually
from slightly behind the withers, with the highest point of
the arch being over the last rib, flowing smoothly over the
muscular loin, carrying through and falling gradually over the
is short and the loin moderately long, wide, muscular and arched.
It is important that the loin be flexible to sustain and drive
the double suspension gallop, which Silkens exhibit when running
at top speed. A flat back with steep croup is not a loin arch
and should be faulted. The chest is deep with moderate spring
of rib. A barrel shaped or slab sided body is faulty. The brisket
reaches as nearly as possible to the elbow, with a graceful
upsweep to the tuck-up; this creates the distinctive underline
of the Silken Windhound.
is long and flexible, falling in a sweeping curve, free of kinks
and reaching past the hock. When carried, the tail should not
rise above the back. A tightly curled or gay tail is faulty.
The shoulder blades are well laid back and are long and smooth
with flat muscle. Fine withers are preferred. Good return of
upper arm is desirable, bringing the legs well under the withers.
Elbows turn neither in nor out. The forelegs are straight and
strong, with pasterns straight or slightly bent, but never knuckled
over. Dewclaws on front legs are acceptable. The feet are well
knuckled with tough, thick pads. Both the hare foot, with its
longer middle toes; and the cat foot, with its shorter middle
toes, is acceptable. Hare foot is preferred. Nails are strong
and of moderate length.
Hindquarters are well angulated, with a long second thigh and
well developed thigh muscles. Viewed from the rear, the hindquarters
are slightly wider than the front, well muscled, without any
suggestion of cowhocks. Stifles are well bent, and hock joints
broad and strong. Hocks are short. Rear dewclaws may be removed.
The feet are well knuckled with tough, thick pads. Both the
hare foot, with its longer middle toes; and the cat foot, with
its shorter middle toes, is acceptable. Hare foot is preferred.
Nails are strong and of moderate length.
The coat is soft, and silky in texture. In no case should the
coat be wooly or profuse enough to obscure the outline of the
Silken Windhound, nor so long as to interfere with the function
of a coursing hound. The coat may be straight, slightly wavy,
or curly. There is longer feathering along the back of the forelegs,
the brisket, hindquarters, around the neck, and tail. Coat on
the face, feet, front of forelegs and hocks are naturally short.
Feathering that frames the ears and face adds to the dog's expression,
and should not be trimmed. The Silken Windhound is shown in
a natural coat with minimal trimming.
MARKINGS: All colors and markings are acceptable.
GAIT: The Silken Windhound moves with a with
a smooth effortless trot, which has good reach in front and
good drive from the hindquarters. Restricted or wasted motion
of the legs or body, when viewed from the side, is faulty. Paddling,
hackneyed gait, toeing in, and toeing out are faults in front
movement. The hocks should not roll in or out when rear movement
is viewed. While the hind legs are wider apart than the front,
the feet, both front and rear, seek a center of balance closer
to the centerline when the dog moves at a fast trot. Movement
which is too wide, or too narrow, or which does not converge
towards a centerline, is faulty.
The Silken Windhound is an intelligent hound of balanced character.
While this breed exhibits strong prey drive in the field, they
are gentle, affectionate, devoted companion animals in the home.
An unwarranted show of timidity or nervousness, or any sign
of hostility towards people or dogs, should be penalized.