The Silken Windhound was created by Francie Stull, a successful breeder of top show and performance American Kennel Club (AKC) and Deerhound who utilized her decades of experience with AKC hounds in the formation of this breed, combining the best aspects of some of the top performance Borzoi and Whippet bloodlines in the Americas. The first Silken Windhound litter was whelped in 1987 and the breed club was formed in 1999. In early 2011, The Silken Windhound was recognized by the United Kennel Club. Silken Windhounds now are located all over the US, Canada, and Europe. Silken Windhounds were bred to be a small to medium-sized sighthound. Like other members of their group, they hunt by sight, and can course game in open areas at high speeds.
With proper care, many Silken Windhounds will live into their late teens, with some living until they are 17 to 20. Bone and joint ailments like Hip dysplasia (canine) are generally not a problem, nor is bloat. Some dogs in this breed are sensitive to Ivermectin and related drugs; a simple test is now available to find out if a dog carries a defective MDR1 (multi-drug resistance) gene. Responsible breeders are working to eliminate this faulty gene from the breeding pool. There have been some cases of cryptorchidism, umbilical hernia, and lotus syndrome, as well as deafness and cataracts in geriatric dogs.
Thanks to the efforts of the University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, Silken Windhounds are going to be the first dog breed to have their genome mapped.