The Silken Windsprite is a relatively young breed originally from the USA. In addition to the Whippet Greyhound breed, Shelties and Borzois are said to be among their ancestors. The Silken Windsprite is considered a pleasant companion dog that is very attached to its people, likes to exercise outdoors, but is calm and relaxed indoors. The “Silky Wind Goblin” – the translation of the breed name – is known for its cheerful and friendly nature.
Silken Windsprite – the silky wind sprites from the USA
The history and origin of the Silken Windsprite are still surrounded by myths and are not 100% certain. DNA tests show that whippets, borzois, and shelties were involved in the creation of the breed. However, according to legend, Silken Windsprites are simply “Longhaired Whippets,” a long-haired variety of short-haired sighthounds. At least that’s what their discoverer, the breeder Walter A. Wheeler, who dedicated himself to breeding whippets under the kennel name “Windsprite” from 1958, claimed. To the end, Wheeler denied crossing other breeds into his whippets to obtain long-haired specimens. According to his version, he merely rediscovered a rare long-hair gene and consolidated it in his dogs through targeted breeding selection. Nevertheless, Wheeler himself established the term “Silken Windsprite” as an abbreviation for the term “Silken coated Windsprite Whippets” in addition to the term “Longhaired Whippet”. Translated, the name means “Silky Wind Goblin”.
Nature of the Silken Windsprite
The Silken Windsprite has a happy and cheerful, but never over-excited nature. He is calm and relaxed in the house and likes to sleep higher up on soft pillows. He also likes to snuggle up in his people’s beds. Silken Windsprites are considered reserved and reserved with strangers without being aggressive. They are very attached to their masters and mistresses. Windsprites absolutely need family connection, physical contact, and communication: They are characterized by their social character and feel comfortable with several dogs of the same breed in the “pack”.
Fans of the breed give her an almost cat-like nature, with great independence to the point of stubbornness. The greyhound’s lively side is revealed outdoors: the Silken Windsprite loves to run, play and romp. He has a certain hunting instinct, which, however, can be managed with the right training due to the great human affinity of the small greyhounds.
Breeding and keeping the Silken Windsprite
This breed’s hunting instinct forces you to engage in consistent recall training from puppyhood. If the recall works, you should work on impulse control and gradually increase the stimuli. Wind sprites are sensitive, too much pressure proves counterproductive. A special anti-hunting training course in a dog school will give you the tools you need to train your dog.
The Silken Windsprite enjoys working with its human, is intelligent, and learns quickly. However, the stupid repetition of the same tasks over and over again bores the silky greyhound. Some wind sprites can be used for dog sports such as obedience or agility. They can also be found on the racetrack and coursing (baiting).
Windsprites are not extreme athletes, they rather love to accompany their humans on hikes or go on short bike rides. Even though wind sprites don’t need a lot of exercises, you should give them daily free space. A house with a large and above all securely fenced garden is therefore recommended.
Because of its human nature, the wind sprite is reluctant to be left alone. In addition, he can hardly deal with a constantly changing daily routine and a restless or noisy environment.
Care of the Silken Windsprite
The silky soft, mostly smooth, sometimes slightly wavy coat of the Silken Windsprite requires a certain amount of care. You should therefore brush your dog every few days.
Health of the Silken Windsprite
Silken Windsprites are considered robust and reach an average age of 12 to 14 years. Two hereditary diseases are known due to the crossing of Shelties: MDR1 gene defect (Multiple Drug Resistance), through which certain drugs cross the blood-brain barrier into the central nervous system and accumulate there, and the eye disease Collie Eye Anomaly. That’s why you should contact a reputable breeder – also because of the overall small gene pool – if you want to give a Silken Windsprite a home.