The Whippet

Quick Facts

- Good for novice dog owners
- Best with older children
- Good with other dogs
- Medium size
- Medium exercise needs
- Low shedding
- Low guard dog abilities
- Medium ease of training

Whippets are an old dog breed that date back to at least 1610. They were originally developed in England by the crossing of Greyhounds and terriers. Whippets are Sighthounds, made to hunt prey by sight; they are capable of quick bursts of speed and are very agile. Whippets were officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1888 and the English Kennel Club in 1890.

Whippets are gentle sensitive dogs. They are sweet natured and affectionate, yet not one to suffocate their owner or dote endlessly on them. They are comfort-loving dogs that are easily upset by household turmoil and need an owner and home that is calm and stable. They are a fine choice for a novice dog owner, but are not appropriate for those given to moodiness or a quick temper. Whippets should never be harshly treated, yet they should not be pampered outrageously either. When raised properly, Whippets are stable hardy dogs, yet if ill raised they can be skittish and nervous. They need early and thorough socialization and training to help them become confident adults, and should be treated like the intelligent sturdy dogs they are. Training is best accomplished with lots of praise and patience.

Quiet and well mannered, Whippets fit into almost any environment, be it city or country, house or even apartment, provided they receive adequate daily exercise. Whippets require at least an hour of exercise daily, preferably with some time for free running. They are chasers and move quickly; reaching speeds of 37 miles per hour, care should always be taken when allowing them off lead as they could take off in pursuit of prey and be out of sight in seconds. Whippets make good jogging companions and are excellent lure coursing competitors; they also usually enjoy agility and obedience trials, flyball, scent hurdles and conformation shows.

Whippets are docile dogs. Some can be a bit timid with strangers and due to their sweet nature are not good guard dogs. They are usually good with children when raised with them. However, as they are such sensitive dogs they can snap if startled or treated too roughly so are best for homes with older children or no children. They are good with other dogs and most can live happily with household cats, but due to their natural hunting instincts are not trustworthy around small pets like rabbits, rodents and sometimes kittens.

Appearance and Grooming:
Whippets are streamlined athletic dogs. They stand 17-20 inches tall and weigh around 28 pounds when full grown. Their short coat comes in white, tan, black, patched or brindle. They are very clean dogs, low shedders and require only a quick brushing once a week to keep them neat and tidy.

Whippets are usually healthy dogs and are not given to the hereditary health problem many breeds are susceptible to. Eye defects and undecsended testicles are occasionally seen. Like all Sighthounds, they have a serious sensitivity to medications and should never be given them lightly. They are emotional dogs that do not take well to turmoil in the house, change of owners and other disrupts in their lives and can get digestive upsets and ill from it. Due to their short coats, they often need protection during cold weather. Their usual life span is around 15 years.


Located in: Sighthounds