Type: Scenthound and Pariah
Height: 17 - 22 inches.
Weight: 20 - 28 lbs.
Life Span: 12 - 15 years.
Litter Size: 4 - 8 puppies.
Country of Origin: Great Britain
Activity: Indoor - Low. Outdoor - Very High.
Watch-dog: High. The Whippet is an alert breed.
Description: The Whippet looks like a miniature Greyhound. They are medium sized sight hounds giving the appearance of elegance and fitness, denoting great speed, power and balance without coarseness. They are one of the fastest breed in the world having been timed at 36.5 mph for a 150 yard course, which is at least 10 mph faster than the fastest human can run. Whippets have frail bodies, but they are intense when racing. They have small rose ears, a black nose and thin snout. Their bodies are thin and lean but muscular. Their tapering tail remains undocked. Whippets are gentle, affectionate and adaptable, splendid watch dogs. Delightful companions or great jogging partners, the Whippet needs plenty of exercise and might as well get it with you. Whippets are considered one of the friendliest of the sight hounds, but can be initially nervous or reserved around strangers. They tend to get along very well with other dogs, but smaller animals may be hunted by this breed. They get along well with children however and are very playful, though children should be gentle. The Whippet is a calm and sensitive breed that is powerful on the race track and playful at home.
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Colors: Any color or mixture of colors, and any pattern.
Coat: Short, fine, smooth and close.
Temperament: Whippets are amiable, friendly, gentle, but capable of great intensity during sporting pursuits. They may seem fragile, but they compete with tenacity during races. They are sensitive to the cold, however, and should be housed indoors. The Whippet does well with all people, children included. They do not do well with small animals, however, and they will try to hunt them. They should also be kept on a leash in the public as they like to roam. Whippets are adaptable, somewhat fragile, but amiable. They are among the most obedient sight hounds as well. They are calm inside the house and are playful.
With Children: Yes, they do good with older children.
With Pets: Yes with dogs, but the Whippet needs to be watched around other small animals as they have a strong prey drive.
Special Skills: Hunting dog and companion.
Care and Training: Grooming of the Whippet's short coat is minimal. Brush the coat with a firm brush and bathe them only when necessary. Wiping down the coat will keep them clean and shiny. You can also give them a rub down to keep them clean. Whippets need plenty of exercise which should consist of running free on open ground and long, brisk walks. This speedy breed needs plenty of exercise to keep in shape. They are sensitive to the cold and should be kept indoors and not in a kennel.
Learning Rate: High. Obedience - Medium. Problem Solving - Medium. This breed is said to be the most obedient of the sight hounds.
Special Needs: Attention, fenced yard, leash, and protection from the cold.
Living Environment: Whippets will do well in a house or apartment if they are exercised. They are susceptible to cold weather and do better in arid climates. They need to have a warm, soft bed. The best owner for this breed would be an active owner living in either the city or country, as they are very adaptable to different places.
Health Issues: The Whippet may get sunburned and they are sensitive to cold. They also may have delicate bones, or genetic eye diseases.
History: Developed from the Greyhound with the possibility of a cross between breeds such as the Pharaoh Hound and various terrier breeds. The other half of the Greyhound cross is unsure. They were developed into a fast little dog used for hunting rabbit and later on racing. Known in Britain as the "poor man's racehorse," the Whippet were expected to earn their keep at the races, which they did! The Whippet has turned out to be the fastest dog breed, racing up to 36 mph! Earlier, terriers were tried out in rabbit racing, in which they miserably failed due to the speed of rabbits. Therefore, they were replaced with the Whippet. Later when using live rabbits was banned in England, racers turned to using lure or rag racing. The dogs were first exhibited at the Crufts Dog Show in 1897, and in 1902 the breed was accepted by the British Kennel Club. The Whippet was accepted by the AKC in 1888. When English Lancashire textile mill workers immigrated to the United States they brought these little race dogs with them to New England in the early 1900s during the Industrial Revolution. Thus, the breed spread into North America and became moderately popular. There are longhaired Whippets, but kennel clubs have no accepted it.
First Registered by the AKC: 1888
AKC Group: Hound Group
Registries: AKC, ANKC, CKC, FCI (Group 10), KC (GB), UKC