|Country of origin
|Classification and breed standards
||Group 10 Section 3 #162
||Group 4 (Hounds)
||Group 2 (Hounds)
||Sighthounds & Pariahs
|Not recognized by any major kennel club
|This breed of dog is
The Whippet is a
dog, specifically a
member of the
family. They are active and playful and are physically similar to a small
Their popularity has led to the reuse of the Whippet name on a large number of
from cars to cookies.
White whippet with brindle saddle and head
Because color is considered immaterial in judging Whippets, they come in a
wide variety of colors and marking patterns, everything from solid black to
solid white, with red, fawn, brindle, blue, or cream. All manner of spots and
blazes and patches are seen, sometimes all in the same litter. Whippets are a
medium-size dog ranging from 25 to 40 lbs (11-18 kg), with a maximum height of
22 inches (56 cm).
There are dogs who have been referred to as "long-haired Whippets", but it is
the opinion of the
American Kennel Club and the American Whippet Club that these dogs are
mixed breeds. They are not recognized by the AKC or by any other major
canine registry, and cannot compete in events such a racing or coursing.
Whippets are generally quiet and gentle dogs, content to spend much of the
day sleeping. They are not generally aggressive with other animals, and although
especially attached to their owners, they are friendly to visitors. They are not
prone to snapping, so they are good with young children. They may or may not
bark when strangers arrive, and are not suited to be
due to their trusting and unsuspicious nature. Outside, however, particularly
when they are racing or
coursing, they demonstrate their superb athletic skills and will pursue
their “quarry” (even when it is an artificial lure) with the heart of a lion.
Unlike many other breeds, the males are as easy to
housebreak, and no more aggressive than females. Both sexes make excellent
pets. Males tend to be slightly more loyal and enjoy repetitive play. Females
can be a little more complex and strong-willed, but are equally devoted to their
owners. Males tend to run one to two inches taller, and three to six pounds
heavier, than females.
Whippets are not well adapted for living in a
kennel or as
outside dogs. Their coats do not provide the insulation to withstand prolonged
periods of exposure to the cold. Their natural attachment to people makes them
happiest when kept as housepets. The quiet Whippet is well suited to
life, although they do need regular exercise. Care should be taken with Whippets
on the street as it is difficult to instil any sort of traffic sense into them.
Whippets, as their heritage would suggest, are outstanding running dogs and
are top competitors in lure coursing, straight
oval track racing. In these events, a temporary track and lure system is set up.
The lure is usually a white plastic trash bag. With new methods of motivational
obedience training being used, Whippets are becoming successful obedience
dogs. Many enjoy
The elegance and ease of
the Whippet have made it a popular
but to be successful at this sport, you must purchase a puppy who is considered
by its breeder to be show quality.
Given proper nutrition, exercise, and veterinary care, most Whippets live for
12 to 15 years. They are generally healthy, and are not prone to the frequent
ear infections, skin allergies, or digestive problems that afflict other breeds.
Genetic eye defects have been found in the breed, but are still very rare.
Because of this threat, the American Whippet Club recommends that all breeders
have the eyes checked clear on their breeding stock.
dysplasia is not a problem in Whippets. Undescended testicles are common in
These dogs were bred to hunt by sight, coursing game in open areas at high
speeds. Although one can find numerous representations of small Greyhound-like
hounds in art dating back to Roman times, the modern Whippet was created by
working-class people of northern
crossing Greyhounds with several other breeds, including the
Italian Greyhound and a now-extinct long-legged
These small coursing hounds were cheaper to feed and house than Greyhounds but
were very handy at providing rabbits for the pot. They also were used to provide
sport on nonworking days as their owners enjoyed racing them against each other.
The modern look of the breed was created by upper-class English dog fanciers,
who bought the best-looking Whippets and bred them selectively to appear most
similar to a miniature Greyhound.
| Welsh Corgi
| Welsh Springer Spaniel
| Welsh Terrier
| West Highland White Terrier
| Wilkinson Bulldog
| Wirehaired Pointing Griffon
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