The long haired whippet is not one of the recognized akc breeds. Sometimes classified in the rare dog breeds, these handsome hounds are now gaining popularity.
Longhaired whippets are medium sized hounds with a longish, silky coat and fringes. They come in all colors and color combinations.
Like the whippets, these hounds have a friendly and sweet temperament and are able of great sprints but enjoy the comforts of the home.
Overall these dogs look like miniature borzoi, the majestic Russian hounds.
The origin of these hounds is very controversial.
In the early days of the breed, whippets sometimes showed rough coats probably for the crossing with other dog breeds, mostly terriers that were used in the making of the modern whippet to add gameness.
In the 1970, a long time whippet breeder, Walter A. Wheeler Jr of the Windsprite Kennels in Massachusetts, claimed to have bred a long coated variety from his smooth coated whippets as the expression of a recessive gene still present in the breed.
This variety is not recognized by any of the major kennel clubs because by definition a whippet can only be short coated as stated in the breed standard.
Nevertheless there are two main clubs promoting this breed: The Longhaired Whippet Association and the International Longhaired Whippet Club.
These clubs organize activities, events for their members and are pushing for the recognition of their dogs as a new breed.
To further complicate the matter, also the Silken Windhounds are a medium sized, long haired sighthounds.
They were bred by Francie Stull of Kristull Kennel in Texas. Mrs Stull started her breeding program with dogs from Windsprite kennel of Walter A. Wheeler. Later, whippet and borzoi blood was added to the gene pool.
The result is a small long-haired sighthound that breeds true. This means that this group of dogs are similar enough in their looks and genetic making to produce an offspring that is similar to their parents.
The end result of all this breeding and controversies is a very attractive, smallish sighthound.
In the video below you can see some Silken Windhounds in action.
It's easy to appreciate here their resemblance to the borzois.
The attractive look, sweet disposition and moderate grooming requirement are quickly earning to this rare dog breed many fans.