If you are eyeing to take home an athletic dog breed with classy looks and an amazing personality, you should consider looking into the Silken Windsprite, a.k.a. the longhaired Whippet.
Although the longhaired Whippet is regarded as a rare breed, many aspiring dog owners are still head over heels for the idea of owning a longhaired Whippet, and it’s easy to understand why.
This guide will discuss everything you need to know before committing to taking care of the Silken Windsprite. We’ll tackle its appearance, temperaments, and where you could possibly find this rare dog breed.
What Is a Longhaired Whippet?
The longhaired Whippet, more appropriately called the Silken Windsprite, is a sighthound with a longer coat. This dog breed is relatively new to the market, but because of its friendly, calm, and affectionate personality, many people consider it an ideal family pet.
Although often regarded as a Whippet with a long coat, the Silken Windsprite is a distinct breed with features quite similar to those of a purebred short-haired Whippet.
Due to their uncanny resemblance, debates over whether or not the Silken Windsprite is a purebred or a cross are still going on.
That is why this dog breed is not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). The organization removed this breed from their studbook and considered them to be a mixed dog breed.
However, kennel clubs in other countries, such as the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary, acknowledge the Silken Windsprite as a standalone dog breed.
Longhaired Whippet Origin and History
The longhaired Whippet is a relatively new breed to the dog world. Since it was created over 50 years ago, debates over whether this dog is considered purebred continue to this day.
This dog breed was developed by an American Whippet breeder named Walter Wheeler after activating a recessive long-hair gene found in a purebred Whippet.
However, there are claims that the Silken Windsprite was produced by mixing a Whippet and a purebred Shetland Sheepdog, making it a mixed breed dog.
This was refuted by Wheeler, who heavily insisted that he created a new purebred dog.
Contemporary DNA testing has disproven Wheeler’s claims. It is for the same reason that discussions about the history of this breed are still ongoing and why the AKC has not yet acknowledged it as a purebred dog.
Longhaired Whippet Appearance
Silken Windsprites are hound dogs that feature a lean and athletic build. They also have broad and powerful backs and deep chests. These dogs look very regal, making them very appealing to people.
As said before, Silken Windsprites look very similar to purebred Whippets, except these dogs flaunt a long, silky coat with fringe decorations on their face, tail, and legs.
For this very same reason, Silken Windsprites are thought to be a variation of the Whippet.
As with their coats, Silken Windsprites have a double-layered coat that is often black, red, brindle, fawn, and white.
To get a visual idea of what a Silken Windsprite looks like, you can watch this video:
Longhaired Whippet Size and Weight
Longhaired Whippets are medium-sized dogs that are lean and lightweight. When fully grown, these dogs stand between 18 and 22 inches tall and weigh about 20 to 35 pounds.
As with any other medium to large-sized dog, longhaired Whippets typically reach their full adult height and weight at 24 months old. Note, however, that their overall health has a significant impact on their final size.
Genetics also play a vital role in determining the full adult size of your pet. That said, it can be very helpful if you can see both parents of the dog you’re taking home.
That way, you will have an idea and be able to set your expectations for how big your dog will be when it’s fully grown.
Longhaired Whippet Temperament and Personality
A Silken Windsprite is a whole package! These dogs are full of fun, playful, and goofy yet very calm, sweet-tempered, and well-behaved. They are surprisingly affectionate, despite their size.
They are very people-oriented and get along really well with kids. Although, as always, it is recommended never to leave kids with dogs without adult supervision.
As with dogs, Silken Windsprites generally accept other dogs’ company. However, they have a high prey drive, so you need to spend some time introducing them to small animals, such as cats and rabbits.
Like every other animal, it is advised to have your Silken Windsprites trained and socialized with other people and animals while they are still young, as this will help them be comfortable and confident around them.
When trained properly, Silken Windsprites make the perfect family pet. They are not loud barkers or the best guard dogs, but they will definitely do their best to save you when you are in trouble.
Longhaired Whippet Lifespan and Health Issues
A longhaired Whippet is a generally healthy breed. These dogs can live between 12 and 15 years, given enough exercise, the correct diet, and routine veterinary check-ups.
However, they may still be susceptible to health problems that can deteriorate their quality of life or put their lives at risk.
Here are some of the most prevalent health problems seen in Silken Windsprites:
- Mitral Valve Disease: Mitral valve disease is a degeneration of the mitral valve, which can result in mitral valve insufficiency and blood backflow. As the mitral valve continues to deteriorate, pressure in the left atrium builds up, causing pulmonary edema, build-up of fluid in the lungs, and heart failure in Silken Windsprites.
- Von Willebrand’s Disease: This inherited bleeding disorder affects longhaired Whippets. Dogs with Von Willebrand’s disease cannot clot wounds normally, resulting in continuous bleeding after surgery or trauma.
- Canine Hemangiosarcoma: Canine hemangiosarcoma is an aggressive type of cancer that often affects Silken Windsprites. This type of cancer originates from the blood vessels; although it targets the spleen, heart, liver, and skin, it can affect any part of the body.
To ensure they are in excellent health and to prevent any potential health issues in the future, it is imperative to have your longhaired Whippet evaluated by a veterinarian regularly.
Longhaired Whippet Grooming and Shedding
Contrary to popular belief, longhaired dogs require little maintenance. Your Silken Windsprite’s grooming requirements are actually quite simple.
These dogs do not have any other grooming requirements other than brushing their long hair at least once a week. Silken Windsprites shed occasionally, and brushing can help reduce fur and dander.
As much as you want to keep your dog clean at all times, it is highly discouraged to bathe them frequently. This is because frequent bathing could ruin the natural oil that makes these dogs’ coats easy to maintain.
How Much Does a Longhaired Whippet Cost? Puppy Prices & Expenses
The Silken Windsprite is a relatively new breed, so its price tag may be higher than the average dog’s price. It ranges from $500 to $2,500 and may even increase depending on the breeder’s reputation.
Unfortunately, the expenses do not end when you get your puppy from the breeder. Potential longhaired Whippet owners will also need to set aside funds for puppy supplies, vaccines, and other needs.
Here is the initial list of expenses that you need to consider when you take home a longhaired Whippet:
|Type of Expense||Cost|
|Food and Treats||$80 – $100|
|Food and Water Bowls||$10 – $30|
|Bed||$40 – $180|
|Crate||$50 – $370|
|Leashes and Collars||$15 – $50|
|Toys||$30 – $40|
|Grooming Essentials||$40 – $160|
|Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications||$50 – $200|
|Initial Vet Visits||$100 – $300|
|Initial Vaccine Shots||$75 – $200|
|Neutering or Spaying||$50 – $500|
|Dog License||$10 – $20|
|Microchip||$40 – $60|
|Miscellaneous Supplies||$15 – $30|
|Total Initial Cost||$605 – $2,240|
On top of the supplies and services mentioned above, you will also need to set aside funds for your Silken Windsprite’s monthly and annual expenses.
It is also very wise for longhaired Whippet owners to invest in pet insurance. This will ensure their finances are secured if their dog gets sick or needs emergency treatment.
Places to Find Longhaired Whippet Puppies for Sale and Adoption
Silken Windsprites are quite tough to find. This means you might have to do some dog breeder hunting before finding a reputable breeder that produces this breed.
Fortunately, you don’t have to start your search from scratch, as we already have reputable sources where you can possibly get this dog breed.
Here are some places to look for a longhaired Whippet for sale:
- Apsara Windsprites – This Massachusetts-based breeder whelps and raises their Silken Windsprite puppies at their home. Their litters are carefully planned, assuring you that you will be getting a healthy puppy with a sound temperament.
- Tova Sighthounds – Tova Sighthounds is a New Hampshire-based breeder that produces both shorthaired and longhaired Whippets. You can contact them through their website to view individual photos of Silken Windsprite puppies available for adoption.
- Good Dog – This advertising website allows breeders from all over the United States to post and advertise their dogs. They have over a hundred listings of purebred and mixed-breed dogs, giving you more chances of finding a longhaired Whippet. Good Dog breeders undergo intensive background research, assuring you of a high-quality puppy.
You may refer to our puppy buying guide for some useful tips that will be very helpful in getting you through the nitty-gritty process of buying a puppy online.
If you are on a tighter budget, you can also consider other options, such as adoption. Aside from being able to get the puppy of your dreams for a slightly lower price, you also give rescue dogs a new life.
Here are some places where you can find a Silken Windsprite for adoption:
- Petfinder – Petfinder is an online database of animals looking for a new home. With over 11,000 partner animal shelters across the United States, Canada, and Mexico, you have a very high chance to come across a Wilken Windsprite for adoption through this website.
- Adopt-a-Pet – This is another online database that lists pets from more than 17,000 shelters and rescues. Since longhaired Whippets are hard to come by in shelters, you may need to check out their website every now and then to see if they have one that is up for adoption.
- PetSmart Charities – PetSmart partners with local rescues and shelters across North America and helps dogs find new homes through adoption. Aside from their website, they have physical adoption shelters where you can personally check your desired longhaired Whippet before taking them home.
Additionally, our dog adoption guide can brief you through the process of adopting a longhaired Whippet.
If you still haven’t found a Silken Windsprite puppy to take home with you, you can read our article on how to find free puppies for more ideas on how and where to find one in your area.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Purebred Whippets Have Long Hair?
Purebred Whippets normally have short, straight hair. This dog breed’s hair can rarely grow longer than usual.
If you ever come across a Whippet with longer hair, it could be a Silken Windsprite or a mixed dog breed.
What Breeds Make Up a Windsprite?
Until now, debates over which breeds comprise a Silken Windsprite have raged. However, it was once believed that this breed was created by crossing Whippets and Shetland Sheepdogs.
Nonetheless, what is very clear to us now is that Silken Windsprites belong to the sighthound family, which includes Greyhounds, Italian Greyhounds, Afghan Hounds, and other similar breeds.
Are Silken Windsprites Rare?
Yes, the Silken Windsprite is quite a rare and uncommon breed. This dog is still a relatively new breed to the dog world, which is why you might not come across it very often in the park.
That being said, finding a breeder that produces high-quality and healthy Silken Windsprite can be very challenging.
Do Longhaired Whippets Shed?
As with any other dog breed, longhaired Whippets or Silken Windsprites shed. The good thing, though, is that these dogs are considered low-shedding breeds.
However, note that although they are low-shedding dogs, they are still not considered non-hypoallergenic. This means they could still induce allergic responses in people with dog allergies.
That is why it is highly recommended to always have them groomed at least once a week, as this could keep dander and shedding levels low.
Final Thoughts: Is a Silken Windsprite the Right Dog for You?
With its friendliness and gentle nature, the Silken Windsprite is undeniably one of the best breed options for families looking for a family and companion pet.
However, like every other dog, these dogs have needs that owners need to provide. On top of the financial responsibility, owners also need to give enough love, time, and veterinary attention.
This breed can be for anyone, but they will reach their full potential if they are cared for by dog owners who match the Silken Windsprites’ energy.
Are you ready to take home the Silken Windsprite? Let us know in the comments!
My name is John Carter and I absolutely love pets, especially cats and dogs. I’ve got a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare and have several years’ experience working in animal shelters and rescues. My passion for animals started at a very young age as I grow up on a farm with several horses, cows, cats, chickens, and dogs on our property.