The Whippet is a medium-sized dog and looks very much like a small Greyhound. They are part of the sight hound family of dog breeds which means they hunt purely by sight, not smell. The Whippet’s body is perfect for racing.
Over short distances it can reach speeds up to 35 mph. The male of this dog breed stands 18 to 22 inches tall at shoulder height and 17 to18 inches for females. Their weight range is from 20 to 30 pounds. Built for racing the Whippet’s legs are well muscled, with strong bones and it has a long thin tail.
The Whippet has a long narrow head that tapers to its nose. This dog’s ears are small and very mobile, flopping over slightly when not in use. This breed’s coat is short and smooth and can come in many colors. The American Kennel Club first registered a whippet in 1888.
This breed is a member of the Hound Group.
History of The Whippet
The Whippet was developed in Northern England. This sight hound was bred from the Greyhound and crossed with terriers. This dog was originally used for hunting rabbits and small game.
The Whippet also used to be called “the poor man’s racehorse”, since the working class people of England used to race their whippets for sport.
The Whippet was ranked 62nd out of 154 dog breeds in AKC registrations in 2004.
Temperament of The Whippet
The Whippet gets along well with children and makes a good family dog. This breed is good natured, gentle and very playful. As well this dog can be easily trained, sheds very little and is a great size for an apartment.
Although it is important to know that Whippets do like and even expect to sit on furniture -so that should not be a concern if you are considering this breed. This breed is most happy when it gets to live with one or more other Whippets.
A Whippet puppy can be very destructive, but the dog will quickly mellow as it gets older. This breed is initially wary of strangers but can quickly be convinced that they are friends. This makes them not very useful as a watchdog.
Whippets are excellent at coursing and racing. Whippet racing is a hobby which makes it very different from Greyhound racing. There is no prize money or gambling involved.
The Whippet is also good at fly ball, obedience, agility and Frisbee competitions. The Whippet does well with novice or first time dog owners.
This dog loves games that involve running and needs short periods of vigorous exercise each day. Because the Whippet is so fast they should have a fenced area to play in. The Whippet should wear a sweater in cold weather.
The Whippet’s coat needs very little grooming and sheds very little.
Whippets can be expected to live from 12 to15 years. Low thyroid, skin disease (sebaceous adenitis) and heart problems can occur in some lines so ask the breeder for health certificates to certify these diseases aren’t present.