The Whippets are cross breeds of the Greyhound, Terrier and the Italian Greyhound. Around the 19th century it was mainly used by poachers to play games known as snap contest. The name ‘Whippet’ was derived from ‘Whip-it’ meaning to move quickly. Art dating has found various representations of Whippets in ancient Egyptian artefacts. Whippets are sight hound breed of dogs that can run with a great speed of 60 km per hour. Hence, Whippet racing became a popular gambling sport among lower class working English men and it was bestowed with the nickname “poor man’s race horse”. As a talented hunting, sighting, racing and lure coursing dog, the Whippet was recognized by the AKC in 1888.
Whippet is a sweet and affectionate dog. It is extremely sensitive in nature and bestows a lot of love on the family. It loves variety in training and enjoys sprinting and playing intelligent games. This dog breed likes the company of other dogs but can kill cats and other small animals as it has a hunting instinct.
- Activity level: 4/5 (great sprinters)
- Intelligence level: 4/5 (confident and intelligent)
- Curiosity: 3/5 (likes to learn new games)
- Friendliness: 4/5 (friendly with strangers too)
- Vocal: 1/5 (rarely barks)
This medium-sized dog resembles Greyhounds in looks but is shorter in size. The Whippets gait is unique where legs fully extend and then tuck under the body to produce high speed. The coat colour ranges from solid black to solid white with red, fawn, brindle, blue or cream patterns etched on them.
Fur: The Whippet’s soft smooth coat coming in white and red colour lies close to the body making it prone to tear and scratches.
Eyes: The dog has oval shaped dark eyes.
Body structure: It has a lean body with straight legs and thick feet. The tail is long, held low with an upward curve, tapering at end.
Facial features: The skull is long and lean with a wide forehead. Its muzzle is long and tapers towards the nose. The ears are small and rosy.
Weight: The average weight of a female dog is 5-7 pounds while that of a male dog is 4-6 pounds.
The Whippet is prone to health issues like deafness, arrhythmia, skin infections, eye infections and Von Willebrands disease. The breed may have heart issues so OFA echos are now being done by most breeders. CERF screening for eye problems, DNA tests for diagnosing genetic mutation help to identify the Von Willebrands disease. The tests offer good diagnosis if they are done before the pup turns 2 years of age. OFA certification to identify hip and bone disorders is also advised by vets to monitor the dog’s health.
Though it’s a low shedder, weekly brushing reduces its shedding over a period of time and improves the shine of the coat. Regular bathing is not required for this dog breed. To keep it away from bad breath and gum infection, daily brushing of its teeth is highly advised. Fortnightly trimming of the nails and regular examination of ear and paw is needed to keep the dog free of scratches. Prey drive and off leash in an unsecure area isn't recommended. Feeding a Whippet with rich quality dog food twice a day keeps it healthy and energetic.
We have gathered this information from our breeders based on their experience with this breed. However, remember that each animal is different with its own personality and needs (just like people!), so use this information wisely.
Do you know more about this breed and want to share your knowledge with us? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org