Whippet

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20-40 lbs
18-21"
England
Snap Dog, English Whippet

The Whippet, a graceful dog that is very similar to and descendant of the Greyhound, was developed in England and used to compete in rabbit-luring competitions at first, and rag races later on. They are thin dogs, but are very athletic and excel in various canine sports, like agility, flyball and luring, up to this day. They are very well behaved around children and other dogs, but will need to be supervised around small pets, including cats, as they might see them as prey. They would be good watchdogs as they are very alert, but are not aggressive enough to be guard dogs for your home.

Purpose
racing, rabbit coursing
Date of Origin
1800s
Ancestry
terrier, greyhound, spaniel

Whippet Health

Average Size
Height: 19-22 inches Weight: 25-40 lbs
Height: 18-21 inches Weight: 20-40 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Von Willebrand's Disease
  • Anesthesia Sensitivity/Allergy
  • Corneal Dystrophy
Minor Concerns
  • Cataracts
  • Lens Luxation
Occasional Tests
  • Blood Test
  • Dna For Vwd
  • Eye Examination
  • Physical Examination

Whippet Breed History

Dogs who are similar looking to the Whippet have been found in some artwork, such as carvings and paintings, for centuries. Their exact history is unknown, and there are a number of theories considering how these dogs came to be. Some think that the Whippet was bred from runt Greyhounds, leading to the smaller size. The crossing of Spaniels with Greyhounds is another idea. There are also some who believe that this breed was created from Italian Greyhounds and several types of Terriers, one of them being the Manchester Terrier. What we know is that these dogs were developed during the 19th century in England, and were used in rabbit-luring competitions. They quickly became popular among the working class in Northern England, and were used in the popular sport of rabbit-killing, where a hare would be released in an enclosed space, and the people would watch to see who’s dog could make the kill the fastest. The owners of these dogs had to eventually switch to a sport called rag racing when rabbit-luring was banned for cruelty. In this new hobby, a fur lure or cloth was used as bait and pulled down a long and straight road or field, as opposed to live rabbits. The townspeople would use these events as a way to meet up and gamble. When these dogs were not competing, they were still using their impressive hunting abilities to contribute to their family by hunting small game. It was the English Immigrants migrating to New Zealand who first brought this breed and its sport into North America between the late 19th and early 20th century. It was in 1891 that the American Kennel Club recognized the breed.

Whippet Breed Appearance

These stunning dogs are lean and graceful, with an appearance that is quite similar to the Greyhound, all but slightly smaller. They have a long head and muzzle, and a deep chest. These canines have bodies that are arched from the neck and the back all the way to the loin. Their ears will usually be held back, but when the dog becomes alert, they will become semi-pricked. The Whippet has teeth that will meet in a scissors bite, and eyes that will vary in color with each individual dog. They have coats that are smooth and hair that is short, lying close to the skin. These dogs can be found in a variety of patterns and in almost any color. Black, blue, white, fawn, cream, red and brindle are all color possibilities. The patterns that can be seen on their coat could range from blazes to spots to patches.

Eye Color Possibilities
Brown
Nose Color Possibilities
Black
Coat Color Possibilities
Brindle
Red
Fawn
White
Blue
Black
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Whippet Breed Maintenance

These dogs are thin and will need a sweater to keep them warm while out in the winter time. These dogs love to hunt and will set chase to anything that moves. Therefore, a yard with a high fence, about 5 to 6 feet, will be necessary. Besides some time to run around outside, Whippets will need several walks every day, lasting 20 to 30 minutes each. These dogs should not have too much strain on their joints, and therefore should not be over exercised. They are also very intelligent, and house training should be a breeze. The Whippet loves to please and should be treated nicely; do not yell or be harsh with them, otherwise, they will not be motivated to cooperate with you. Besides basic obedience, these dogs are very skilled at luring, agility, flyball and other dog sports. 1 to 1½ cups of dog food each day, divided into two meals, should be a good amount for them. Keep your dog’s coat soft and shiny by using a hound glove or rubber curry brush to groom them weekly. They should not need to have baths very often. These dogs have thin coats, and can easily get scrapes and scratches. Check them over often to make sure that they do not have any serious injuries. Trim the nails once or twice each month, and every week the teeth should get brushed two or three times.

Brushes for Whippet
Slicker Brush
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Daily Weekly Monthly

Whippet Temperament

Although these dogs can be intense while on the trail of prey, they are gentle and quiet while at home. Because of their still present hunting instincts, Whippets will require a fenced in yard and will need to be kept on their leash while on walks. They are very alert and can be great guard dogs, but do not have the powerful and intimidating bark, and are also far too friendly to be guard dogs. They are great with kids, as they are not too big to be intimidating or dangerous, but are not so small as to get easily hurt. Whippets will also enjoy the company of other dogs, and if you are gone often for long periods at a time during the day, some additional canine company will be greatly appreciated. If they are introduced as a puppy, Whippets can sometimes get along well with cats. However, the dog and cat should be separated when nobody's home, as the Whippet has an instinct to chase and hunt any small furry creature. Because of this trait, it is best for this breed to live in a house with no cats.

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
10 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
60 minutes

Whippet Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
2.8 cups
Daily Cost
$1.2 - $1.4
Monthly Cost
$34 - $45

Whippet Height & Weight

6 Months
Height: 16 inches Weight: 17 lbs
Height: 15 inches Weight: 14 lbs
12 Months
Height: 20 inches Weight: 24 lbs
Height: 19 inches Weight: 22 lbs
18 Months
Height: 20 inches Weight: 32 lbs
Height: 19 inches Weight: 30 lbs

Top Whippet Breeders

Check out who made our list for the most reputable Whippet breeders of 2017.
Liberty Akitas & Whippets
Sand Springs, Oklahoma
Timbreblue Whippets
Lexington, Virginia
Sugar Valley Farm and Kennel
Sugar Valley, Georgia
Sighthounds of Kemar
Donalds, South Carolina
Karasar Kennels
Saint Petersburg, Florida
Meisterhaus
Louisville, Kentucky
Merci Isle
Stow, Massachusetts
Hickory Tavern Farm
Hickory, Pennsylvania
Piper Whippets and Dachunds
Milford, Ohio

Whippet Owner Experiences