We don't spam and hate it as much as you do :-) You can also unsubscribe from our mailing list at any time.
Country of Origin, History of Whippets
Whippets were created in England in the 19th century, from the descendants of hounds brought at the time of the Roman invasions, about 55 B.C.
It was developed for track racing, and catching rabbits - at which it really excels. Its name comes from the expression ‘whip it’ which means to move quickly as if being whipped. It can reach speeds of up to 37 miles per hour in seconds.
"The poor man's race horse," was taken to the United Stated by the English mill operators who enjoyed betting on it. Massachusetts, home to many mills, was also the center of Whippet racing in the US. Later the sport moved south to Maryland, particularly Baltimore.
Whippets are well-suited for hunting, sighting, lure coursing, racing, and agility.
Breed Selector Tool - is the Whippet the right breed for you?
Is the Whippet the right breed for you and your family?
Find out by using our Free Dog Breed Selector Tool
Check Your Whippet's Learning Style
Are you aware dogs also have a learning style that can greatly affect their ability to housetrain as well as be trained correctly. Evaluate your Whippet's learning style and personality using our free Learning Style tool so that you are better able to provide him with the proper training methods.
Is your Whippet dominating over you?
Does your Whippet bark unnecessarily? Does your Whippet come to you when you call? Download a FREE Report on Dog Dominance for you and your Whippet and learn how to control your dog.
Do you make these mistakes with your Whippet?
Are you inadvertently snow-balling bad behavior in your Whippet? Evaluate your Dog Training Style from our Free Tool and learn how best to deal with your dog.
Whippet Calorie Calculator
Do you know how many calories your Whippet needs every day and how many cups of food you should be giving it every day? Click here to use our Whippet Calorie Calculator.
A General Appearance of the Dog
Whippet is a very slim, lithe, coursing hound that is quite strong and muscular for its small size. The Whippet has a triangular-shaped head with medium ears that can stand erect when listening, and then fold compactly beside the head in what is known as a “rose” shape at other times. Large, round eyes are part of their overall expression and the breed is known to squint their eyes when communicating with their owner.
Whippets are can be slow and statuesque at one moment, and quick and agile the next. Whippet might be considered a small pet if not for their pronounced muscle mass with regards to their small light frame.
The Whippet has quite a variety of coat colors and designs. Their coats can be solid, brindled or tigered. Solid backgrounds of white, slate, sable, fawn and black can also have spots of another solid color.
The coat of Whippet is short, compact and smooth but not particularly dense which makes the use of coats or sweaters necessary in all but the warmest temperatures. Some Whippets like to wear a sweater in the house as well.
Males 19 - 22”
Females 18 - 21”
Males 30 - 45Lbs
Females 25 - 35Lbs.
Temperament of the Dog
Whippets are generally quiet and gentle dogs in the house, content to spend much of the day sleeping on the couch. They are not generally aggressive with other animals but because of their prey drive, cannot be trusted with small pets such as hamsters, rabbits, etc. especially outdoors. Cats in particular give Whippet cause for confusion and while they may be fine with the family cat indoors, will probably chase it outside as if it were prey. It is not recommended to mix the two.
A Whippet can be aloof to strangers initially but warm up soon to most people. They may or may not bark when strangers arrive, and are not suited to being guard dogs due to their trusting and unsuspicious nature. Highly intelligent, affectionate and dignified, the Whippet is an easy breed for most people since they are lightweight and very adaptable to change in environment.
The Whippet trains easily but gets bored quickly, so needs variety. Various games and periods of running alternated with obedience or agility training help. They are very sensitive to a harsh voice and cannot stand to be threatened or hit. They may never be perfect in obedience as they are very independent.
Outside, particularly when they are racing or lure 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. To see these dogs in full stride is breathtaking!
Better suited to an indoor or outdoor lifestyle?
A balanced combination of both indoor and outdoor life is what Whippet is most happy with. Because of their size, they make great apartment pets as their needs indoors are few and they are very quiet indoors. But exercise and opportunity to run in a safe and free environment is also necessary for the breeds' health. A fenced yard will serve as a safe space for the breed to exercise if you have one but be sure to walk your Whippet on lead to socialize him and to enforce restraint training.
Are they suited to homes with kids?
The Whippet is especially good for families with children. Their size makes them a fine playmate for even smaller children and their easy care leaves no room for excuses when it comes to bathing or brushing!
Children find this breed particularly appealing because of the Whippet's affectionate personality and endearing need to cuddle for warmth.
They are not prone to snapping, so they are good even with young children.
How Active is the Breed?
The Whippet is one of the fastest domesticated animals known and can reach speeds of 35 miles per hour when coursing or chasing prey. Once this degree of activity has been satisfied, they become docile and sedate pets in the home. This lifestyle, with bursts of exercise followed by rest, needs to be repeated on a regular basis to keep a Whippet happy and healthy. This breed thrives on the two extremes.
How Much Exercise Does the Dog Need at every stage of its Life?
Since Whippets are sight hounds, they never seem to lose the need to chase and therefore are an active breed their entire lives. Puppies must be on lead early to acquaint them with restraint and to ensure their safety. Puppies also enjoy stuffed toys for play and will toss and shake them about for exercise. Older dogs will need frequent walks on lead or playtimes in enclosed spaces to keep them satisfied. Whippets make great pets for serious walkers but may have difficulty keeping up with a jogger for more than a short time.
The Whippet’s smooth, fine, short-haired coat is easy to groom. A regular rub all over with a damp chamois will keep the coat gleaming. Brush with a firm bristle brush, and bathe only when necessary. The coat of the Whippet is virtually free of "doggie odor." This breed is an average shedder.
The breed is prone to stomach upset and skin problems. Bloat and Torsion are two situations that the Whippet is prone to but can be avoided by offering small meals twice a day and limiting activity immediately after feeding. This breed is sensitive to the cold. Wearing a coat is required outside in the winter in climates that deem it necessary. A sweater indoors is sometimes needed unless dense bedding is offered for this pet to snuggle in.
Breeding the Dog and any Cautions
A Whippet is fairly easy to breed and exhibits few difficulties in whelping. Speak with your pet’s breeder to ensure a proper mate for your pet is selected to ensure a healthy litter.
Litter Size: Whippet litters can range from 3-8 puppies, 4-5 being the average.
Life Span: 12-15 years
National Breed Clubs
British – Whippet Club – www.thewhippetclub.com
US – American Whippet Club - www.americanwhippetclub.net
Other Recognition: CKC, FCI, AKC, UKC, KCGB, CKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, CCR, APRI, ACR
Group: Hound Group
AKC Popularity Ranking: 61
Also Known As: Snap-dog “Poor man’s race horse”
Sign up for our Free Whippet Mini Course to have a housebroken, obedient dog that happily comes to you every time you call.
You'll learn new commands to obedience-train your dog as well as how to housebreak your dog in 6 days or less.
You'll also learn how to eliminate bad habits like barking, nipping or biting, jumping, or pulling on the leash.Here's just s small fraction of what else you'll learn in the course:
How to lead and think like a pack dog - the new psychology.
3 dangerous mistakes that most Whippet owners make when they are trying to potty train their dogs.
The 2 main reasons why your dog barks excessively and how to control its excessive barking.
How to obedience train your Whippet to permanently end behavioral problems like Jumping, Aggression, Pulling on Leash.
A surprisingly easy way to teach your dog cool new tricks.
How to improve your dog's lifespan and keep it from getting overly heavy with a healthy and nutritious diet.
Getting Pro help fast - how to get access to our expert trainers when you need them most.
One hidden psychological trigger that all Whippets have... that practically allows you to "analyze" and "control" your dog's every action.
Priority access to the free online seminars conducted by our training experts.
Whereas other dog training related web sites and books offer generic information for dogs in general, ours is the ONLY web site that offers Whippet information specifically, from a renowned panel of experts - because as you probably know, Whippets have their own special training requirements that other dogs don't have.
Did you know we have over 875,000 subscribers of the FREE Whippet Training mini course?
You can also subscribe for free, but first...
Read what other dog owners just like you found when they subscribed to this mini course:
Here are a few of our experts: