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The whippet was developed in England during the 1800s as a hunter of rabbits and other small game. The breed was developed by crossing greyhounds with terriers. The sight hound’s skill of running at high speeds quickly made the whippet a popular competitor at racetracks. The American Kennel Club recognized the whippet as a member of the hound group in 1888.

The Whippet is a medium-sized sight hound that bears resemblance to the Greyhound. Their bodies are long and lean, with deep chests. Whippets have long skulls and muzzles. Their ears fold backward and are semi-erect when the dog is alert. Their coats are short and smooth. Grooming Whippets is easy. They only require occasional brushing and wiping down.


The Whippet is a friendly, gentle and sociable breed. Whippets are eager to please and very loyal and affectionate. They do not respond well to being handled roughly, they need calm and gentle leadership. They get on well with children as long as they don't tease or handle them roughly. Whippets need plenty of exercise and should be able to run and roam in a safe area. When given enough exercise they are usually calm and lazy indoors. This dog breed is friendly towards other dogs but may try to chase and kill cats or small exercise due to their sight hound instincts.

Breed Characteristics

Preferred Climate:Warm
Life Span:12-15 Years
Nicknames:English Whippet, Snap dog

Whippet Build Information

The whippet resembles a small greyhound with its lean body, long legs, long neck and smooth, sleek coat. Whippets stand at a height of 18 to 22 inches at the shoulder and weigh between 25 and 35 pounds. The short, smooth coat exhibits any of 18 colors. These colors may be solid, or they may present in any of six different patterns. The small ears are carried back and folded, but they are not erect. The long, tapered tail is carried downward. Whippets are built for speed and agility, and they can run at speeds of 35 miles per hour.

Length (Male):19-25 in.
Length (Female):18-20 in.
Weight:26 - 40 lbs
Litter Size:5 - 10 Puppies
Tail Dock or Crop:No

Behaviour and Personality

The whippet is an energetic, loyal and affectionate member of the family. They are relatively easy to train, but some whippets are difficult to housebreak. They get along with children, and they enjoy active play. They enjoy an invigorating run, but they must not be allowed to run outside of enclosed areas. As sight hounds, they will take off a high speed after anything distant that catches their eye and resembles potential prey. Whippets are docile and sweet, and they get along with children. They can get along with other dogs if they are raised with them, but cats and other small mammals are perceived as prey.

Activity Level:Moderately Active
Affection Level:Moderate Affectionate
Aggressiveness Level:Moderate
Dominating or Submissive?:Submissive
Energy Level:Moderately Active
Good to Other Pets:Moderate Friendly
Guardian Skills:No
Kid Friendliness:Moderate Friendly


The smooth coat of a whippet requires little grooming. Brushing the coat once a week with a grooming mitt will eliminate the dead hair to reduce shedding, and it will also maintain the coat’s glossy luster. Brush a whippet’s teeth daily to preserve good oral and overall health.

Colors:Black, Blue, Off White, Red, Red-Black Brindle
Grooming:Low Maintenance
Coat Type:Fine

Whippet Common Health Conditions

Whippets live average lifespans of 12 to 15 years. Some health concerns that have been noted in whippets include anesthesia sensitivity, congenital deafness, progressive retinal atrophy, corneal dystrophy and hypothyroidism.

Whippet Pet Insurance

When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.

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Breed Talents and Facts

The whippet makes a sweet companion that adapts easily from romping at full speed in a fenced yard to relaxing alongside its owner for an evening in front of the television. The whippet originated in England. The whippet is also known as a snap dog. The whippet is athletic, sweet and mischievous. The whippet will not make a skilled watchdog, but it will keep the home and property free of mice, rats, rabbits and other furry intruders. The whippet stands 18 to 22 inches tall and weighs 25 to 35 pounds. Whippets have moderate energy levels. Whippets require minimal grooming. The average lifespan for a whippet is 12 to 15 years.

Training:Moderately easy to train
Hunting Companion:Yes
Jolly for Jogging:Yes
Sighting Capabilities:Yes
Ideal for Tracking:No
Retrieving Skills:No
Pointing Breed:No
Herding Skills:No
Dutiful Watchdog:Yes
Security Guard Capable:No
Police Performer:No
Wet Water rescues:No
Assist Disable Owners:No
Dog Sledding:No
Able to Perform Dog Carting:No
Fun with Lure Coursing:Yes
Possible Schutzhund Work:No
Trainable for Tricks:No