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The Whippet is medium sized, well balanced
and resembles a miniature Greyhound. The
body is sleek and slender, yet muscular
with a graceful outline. Some may view the
Whippet as fragile, but in actuality, they
are very fit and have the ability to run
up to great speeds in just a few seconds.
Depictions of dogs similar to the Whippet
have been found in art dating back to Roman
times. This breed was developed by the working
class in Northern England during the late
nineteenth century. It is believed they
crossed Greyhounds with other breeds including
small terriers when developing the Whippet.
This new type of breed was less expensive
to maintain than Greyhounds, yet very effective
at running at high speeds, hunting by sight
and coursing small game - particularly rabbits.
Whippets were also used to course rabbits
in an enclosed area and in straight racing
- both which provided cheap gambling entertainment
to the working class. Today while the Whippet
makes an ideal companion, it is also still
used in straight and oval racing as well
as in lure coursing.
The Whippet was recognized by the American
Kennel Club in the Hound Group in 1888.
When measured at withers, the height of
a male Whippet is 19 - 22 inches (48 - 56
cm) and for female Whippets 18 - 21 inches
(46 - 53 cm).
There is no AKC specific weight range for
Whippets. This breed is generally larger
in the United States and Canada than those
in Europe. We have seen weight range from
25 - 45 pounds (11 - 21 kg).
Type: The Whippet has a
single coat that is smooth, short, fine
and dense. The coat does not provide enough
insulation against cold temperatures, therefore
Whippets should not be left outside for
long periods during this time of year. This
is also the the likely reason Whippets enjoy
soft and warm bedding and not cold surfaces.
Brush and bathe only when necessary. The
Whippet is a light shedder.
The color of the Whippet's
coat can be of any color, combination or
Whippets are affectionate, sweet, friendly
and have an even disposition. They make
an ideal companion or family pet. Whippets
are very patient and gentle with well behaved
children - noting they do like rough play
or teasing. This is an intelligent and sensitive
breed that should never be harshly trained.
They can also become easily bored with repetitive
training (and with playing such as frisbee),
so you'll need to mix it up. Whippets are
eager to please its master and love nothing
more than being with the family. They do
not like to be left alone for long periods
and if they are, they can become bored and
often destructive. Whippets have what some
refer to as a split personality - they love
to lounge on the couch (or any warm and
soft bedding), but can swiftly change gears
and be ready for a chase or hunt. They are
reserved with strangers and do not bark
without reason, making them a good watch
dog. Whippets are athletic and natural sprinters.
They need daily exercise and play time which
is very important in helping them keep mentally
and physically fit.
Concerns: Whippets have
a life expectancy of between 12 - 15 years.
This is generally a very healthy breed,
and although rare, they can have genetic
• The Whippet can quickly top speeds
of 35 mph or 56 km per hour.
• Because the Whippet was owned by
the lower working class, they were also
referred to as 'poor man's race horse' or
'poor man's greyhound'.
AKC: Hound Group
ANKC: Hound Group 4
CKC:Hounds Group 2
FCI: Group 10 Section 3 Short-haired Sighthounds
UKC: Sighthounds & Pariahs