The Windsprite is an athletic and endearing dog. These little speedsters are extremely friendly and love the company of others. They are equally happy to be cuddled up to you as they are participating in the canine sport of lure coursing.
Illustration courtesy of the Swedish Kennel Club
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It is was believed that the Windsprite was created by crossing Whippets with Shetland Sheepdogs. The breed's founder denied this, claiming the breed came from a recessive gene found in Whippets. Modern genetic testing, however, has shown this claim to be unfounded. In 2017, the name of this breed was changed to Windsprite by the official breed club, International Windsprite Club.
The Windsprite (formerly known as Longhaired Whippet) or Silken Windsprite as it is known in Europe, is a separate breed and not a Whippet with a longer coat. Walter A. Wheeler Jr. claimed he had discovered the recessive gene for long hair in Whippets and bred them into existence. However, genetic testing in the 1980s showed that these dogs had a herding breed in them, most likely Shetland Sheepdog, and probably a bit of Borzoi, bot breeds that Wheeler had in his kennel.
These dogs popped up in America during the 1970s and gained in popularity in the 1980s. Windsprites are sighthounds and are extremely athletic dogs. Their coat is very soft and often wavy or curly. Fortunately, this wonderful coat does not require more than average maintenance. This is a smart breed that absolutely adores people and values companionship above all else.
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