Whippet

Breed History

Whippet puppy with glasses

Whippet is a medium sized dog, skinny build, slim head and long legs. One of the fastest dogs in the world and they’re known to be timid and gentle with dogs and humans.

Speed is one of the reasons why the dog was bred. Running 40 miles an hour can happen with this dog at any moment. Most dogs can’t reach in the speed that the Whippet can.

Smaller version of the Greyhound and known as the Poor Man’s Race dog. Poor people would own this dog and it was not a favorite of royalty because they would own the bigger version of the Greyhound that cost more.

Victorian England is the place where they were first shown recognition in a painting. Documentation of a small Greyhound dates to the Black Ancient Egyptians, but that is a controversial viewpoint.

Earlier representations were found in 15th century, but they were probably smaller Greyhounds or younger Greyhounds. Being called a Whippet didn’t happen until the 1800’s in England.

There is no known dog that was bred to make them smaller and some believe that it is the runt of the Greyhound litter. Those are just theories and no evidence to prove them, but the folktale is out there.

Racing, agility, flyball, hunting jackrabbits, tracking and therapy dogs makes them a true jack of all trades. Perfect hunting dog to go after smaller animals because they can chase them down and have the stamina to keep up for a long distance.

Quiet dog that is known to not bark much at all and have those lazy qualities you see from some of the other sighthounds.

Registration

In 1888, the Whippet began receiving recognition in America and was here for a decade before. Top 60 in registration they have been very popular in the United States.

Recognition all over the world there are shown recognition from every major kennel club around the world including the international FCI.

Always in the Sighthound or Hound dog group where dogs are known to hunt down prey of all sizes and have been in packs to hunt down bigger animals.

Here are the different Kennel Clubs and their breed standards

Whippet Size

Male Height: 19-22 inches

Female Height: 18-21 inches

Male Weight: 25-30 pounds

Female Weight: 30-40 pounds

Boys and females are around the small weight and the males are slightly bigger.

Litter Size

5 puppies are the average litter size for the Whippet. Breeders should be aware that they’re going to have at least five puppies for the next eight weeks before they can sell to someone else.

Currently there are no known birth issues with the pelvis with the mother dog and natural birth is a normal occurrence.

Colors

  • Black
  • Blue
  • Fawn
  • Cream
  • Brindle (fawn, red, blue, white)
  • White (black, blue, brindle, fawn, and red)
  • Mask (blue, black)
  • Markings (white, blue, black)

Price

$1,500-$3,000 is the price for Whippet with papers from a reputable Kennel Club. Prices vary depending on region, supply, demand, and if they come from a champion bloodline or not.

Dogs without papers will cost less and the quality of puppy will go down as well. You will have no guarantee of any crossbreeding and will have to depend on the word of the seller. Cost of this dog is much cheaper. Expect to pay a few hundred.

Breed Standards should be understood, colors, and general appearance. You will have a better chance of understanding when a dog is outside of the standards before moving forward.

Grooming

  1. Brushing
  2. Combing
  3. Bathing
  4. Ears
  5. Nails
  6. Professional Help

Brushing the dog should happen at least once per week. Having a single coat and smooth requires low maintenance labor and some people don’t do anything and the coat is just fine.

Combing is not something that the owner should worry about. Single coats that are short they don’t need any combing because there is no danger of matting or tangles.

Bathing the dog should happen to the convenience of the owner. Owners may want to do it on a schedule and other people may want to do it when dirty. Choice is yours of course.

Ears should be clean at least once weekly. Infections can start to appear and become repetitive costing the owner more money than they should spend if they make the small commitment of cleaning the ears.

Nails can be trim by exercising and should be trim in this manner. If you don’t exercise the dog, which we don’t recommend, you will need clippers to cut them yourself or take them to get grooming.

Professional help is not something that we recommend.

Life Span

12-15 years the lifespan of the Whippet. That is a long lifespan for a dog and owners should prepare on being the owner for this long duration of time. On the higher end of the lifespan that can be a huge percentage of your lifetime.

Health Issues

Whippets are one of the healthiest dog breeds and they don’t inherit diseases through their bloodline and there are few tests that need to be done on them. Here are the few tests that their Kennel Club recommends.

Cardiac – these dogs suffer from irregular heartbeats that can lead to different health problems in the future. Getting a regular checkup every year can help find out what is the issue if one is present. They can also help you understand that the dog is currently healthy.

BAER – tests like these are done to make sure the dog isn’t deaf. Sound waves will show that the sound in each ear is enough to ensure they don’t have any hearing disabilities. Early diagnosis within early care and the dog being on the same page as the owner concerning their health issues.

Breed Group

Proud members of the Hound Group. These dogs all have one thing in common and that’s hunting down prey. Talent in this group is impressive. They are known to do all kind of jobs and excel at them.

Fast, strong nose, agility, tracking and other activities name only a few of the qualities these dogs possess. Most of them share the same ancestors.

Here are some of the dogs in the Hound Group

Exercise Needs

The exercise needs for a Whippet is a lot. Running should be a solid part of your routine. Before we get too ahead of ourselves lets look at how to determine when we are doing enough or falling short of the dog’s exercise needs.

When a dog is behaving in a bad manner it is happening for one reason 99% of the time. Dogs without a daily exercise outlet will exercise themselves through bad behavior. For example, jumping on you, jumping on guest, digging, barking, crying, whining, and other behaviors.

Getting the proper amount of exercise has its perks. You will no longer deal with a dog that is exercising themselves and you now get to exercise together. Transforming your relationship will begin and end in this area.

Here is a recommendation of where we would start

Morning: Hour (run, walk, or treadmill)

Evening: 30 minutes (run, walk, or treadmill)

Running will be more frequent in the younger stages of the dog’s life, but very important. Young dogs need to run and that’s done with a bike or any other form of wheels you may own.

As an adult the energy will start to decline some but runs will still be an important part of the process. Getting them out everyday will decline some running them and walks will need to be done half the time at this point.

Lastly, as a senior dog try not to run them unless you must, and the behavior is digressing. Walk them because that is all they will need after a life of many runs and walks. Something simple like 30 minutes will be all that they need.

Training

  1. Exercise program
  2. Commands
  3. Socialization
  4. Corrections

Exercise programs will be the foundation of your training and the reason why your dog looks different than everybody else’s dog. Following the walking guidelines will enable you to train the dog by making them follow a lot of rules one to two hours per day. Compare that to not having them listen to any guidance at all and there is a completely different dog one year later. Setting them up for success starts with putting on a leash and running/walking them every day. Twice a day if one time isn’t enough.

Commands are a good part of every training program and will take up less time than the exercise portion. With great repetition and repetitive body language the dog will learn quickly what is being asked. Remember, the dog can learn commands and still misbehave.

Socializing is going to be a natural transition from a nice and calm dog. Bringing another dog around will be easy to do. Nothing is impossible when you take care of the dog’s daily outlet.

Correcting the dog is a big part in the beginning and will gradually become rare when you do have to correct. Taking a few years, you must earn this equity by showing consistency and dedication. Only true dog owners or trainers will achieve this feat. Sending the dog off will never produce these results.

A homeless man is the perfect example of a dog owner that exercises the dog. Respectful, never aggressive, and getting a daily outlet. Strong leadership can come from the places you never expect.

Is the Whippet a Good Pet?

Yes, because of their low energy levels inside of the house and their ability to have strong prey drive and exercise a lot outside. It is really the perfect combination and the dog doesn’t bark a lot. Any dog owner would love to have those characteristics of a dog all in one.

Whippet vs Greyhound

Whippet – smaller, slower, from England, younger in history

Greyhound – bigger, faster, from Ancient Egypt, older in history

Similarities – run fast, slim heads, same appearance, both sighthounds

Additional Resources