Whippet Dogs: Graceful Elegance in Canine Form

Whippet Dog

Last Updated on September 1, 2023 by Fumipets

Whippet Dogs: Graceful Elegance in Canine Form


The Whippet, often described as the “poor man’s racehorse,” is a breed that combines grace, speed, and affectionate companionship. This elegant dog, originating from England, has become a beloved breed worldwide.

In this comprehensive guide to Whippet dogs, we will explore their history, characteristics, care requirements, suitability as pets, and their role in various dog-related activities.

Whippet Dogs

Whippet Dogs are an elegant and sociable species that is in a class of their own, even though they are linked to the greyhound and Italian greyhound due to crossbreeding hundreds of years ago. They are a medium-sized canine with few hygiene requirements, ordinary activity demands, and a laid-back disposition. They are frequently referred to as the “Goldilocks” of dog types.


Whippet Dogs are tall and slim: The breed standard states that males should be 19 to 22 inches tall and females should be 18 to 21 inches. If you see a whippet that appears thin, don’t panic; mature whippets at a healthy weight should actually have two to four exposed bones.

The whippet breed standard states that the hue is “immaterial.” To put it another way, whippets come in a wide range of colorations and coloring styles, from gray to white, black to blue. The American Whippet Club points out that you won’t encounter merle, multicolor, or harlequin whippets; if you do, the dog is likely a hybrid type.

Although eye pigment can differ, pure-breed whippets frequently have big, black eyes. The whippet has big, rose-shaped ears that flatten even when it’s vigilant. They have an alluring, elfin appeal as a result of this and their big, black eyes.

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One thing to keep in mind is that the whippet breed standard calls for modest tail bearing. She explains that whippets who have their tails curled between their knees are not doing so out of fear or anxiety. As a result, you shouldn’t be alarmed if you see a whippet doing so.


Whippet dogs require a modest level of activity. They are explosive exercisers, so a run will give them all the exercise they require in a brief period of time. Whippets were raised as sighthounds to hunt rodents and other small animals in wide areas. However, after their workout, they are happy to spend the remainder of the day lounging around the home. 

You must provide them with five to ten minutes per day of opportunities to run after a ball or a Frisbee in quick spurts. And, you know, a short, pleasant stroll in between.

Whippets are a lot less tense than other sighthounds (like greyhounds).

They have a slight advantage in toughness. They are resilient to pressure. To keep himself occupied, a whippet may acquire unwanted behaviors, such as chewing through the drapes and the sofa, if left alone for an extended period of time or without exercise.

Living Needs

A firmly enclosed yard is essential for a whippet’s ideal living situation, and because whippets are such nimble canines, this fence should be at least 6 feet high. Whippets are able to reside in flats, though, as long as their proprietors are committed to taking them for daily outings and exercise. After exercising their long legs, whippets enjoy relaxing on sofas and cuddling up to their owners. Consider acquiring an elderly whippet if you are unable to provide them with a means of exercise.

Whippet dogs are incredibly patient with toddlers and the elderly. In general, they get along with other canines, but tiny creatures may pique their hunting drive. For instance, he might be unable to avoid pursuing a cat through the yard or a pet bunny across the living room floor.

The whippet is more accepting of mild weather than frigid weather because of their minimal body weight. Whippets are wonderful in the summer, but if you reside in a chilly environment, you’ll need to prepare for them in the winter as well.

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Whippet dogs do moult occasionally, but they have very brief and low-maintenance hair. The whippet has the benefit of requiring little maintenance. With that short garment, they are sort of wash-and-wear. 

Additionally, unlike some other varieties, Whippets’ ears don’t hold wetness, and they have a very low level of “dog odor,” so they won’t require frequent cleaning. Shortening their claws and washing them down after an outdoor excursion are advised. They require very little care and are not only simple to maintain but also have silky, smooth bodies.

Whippet dogs can be taught for agility contests, they don’t yap a lot, and they make better companions than guard dogs. It’s crucial to keep your whippet on a tether in any external, unfenced scenario because of the strong hunting drive they were bred for—if he goes after a mouse, he’ll be very challenging to capture.


The American Whippet Club claims that this breed canine is among the healthiest ones available. Given that, it’s critical to assist your whippet in maintaining a healthy weight. After all, his thin body wasn’t made to support extra weight.

Bully Whippet Syndrome, a DNA variation that effects muscular development, is a very uncommon hereditary disease that only impacts whippets. One myostatin DNA mutation can result in an increase in muscular density and a quicker, more powerful racing canine. However, a dog with two mutant myostatin alleles combined is unusually strong; picture Arnold Schwarzenegger in canine shape. Bully whippets’ normal-sized hearts must also support their excessively big frames, which can cause cardiac problems. 

Bully Whippet Syndrome and other diseases that may impact your dog can be found through genetic testing. The Canine Health Information Center advises examining your whippet’s heart and eyes as well as checking for diabetes, blindness, and hip deformity. 

Whippet Dogs


According to the American Whippet Club, the whippet originated in Northern England and has been depicted in art since prehistory, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance. 

Working-class people weren’t actually permitted to own greyhounds during the middle of the Victorian period if they weren’t members of the rural nobility or the upper class.

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In order to produce a smaller, tougher, and still-speedy canine, the miners and other working-class residents of the area crossed the agile greyhound with more hardy and affable terriers.

On the weekends, they also offered wagering sports. Rag-racing, in which whippets competed against one another to reach flapping rabbit hides (and subsequently, rags) at the finish line of the course, was one of the most well-liked whippet activities.

The breed eventually attracted the interest of more affluent dog enthusiasts, who crossed in a little more Italian greyhound to produce a slightly more refined version. With the arrival of English colonists, the whippet entered America, and in 1888, The American Kennel Club acknowledged the species.

In the early years of California, where they were bred as racing canines, whippets gained particular popularity. Even the silent movie icon Douglas Fairbanks owned a racing whippet.

Frequently Asked Questions 


What is the history and origin of the Whippet breed?

Whippets have their roots in 19th-century England, where they were initially bred for racing and hunting small game. They are descendants of Greyhounds and were once known as “snap dogs” due to their lightning-fast agility and ability to “snap” up prey.

What are the physical and temperamental characteristics of Whippet dogs?

Whippets are medium-sized dogs known for their slim, muscular build and distinctive deep chest. They have short, smooth coats and a gentle, affectionate temperament. They are often described as gentle, friendly, and good with families.

What are the exercise and grooming requirements for Whippets?

Whippets are active dogs that require regular exercise, including daily walks and opportunities to run in secure areas. Despite their short coat, they are sensitive to cold weather and may need a coat in chilly conditions. Grooming is minimal, with occasional brushing to keep their coat shiny.

Are Whippets suitable for families with children and other pets?

Yes, Whippets are generally good family dogs and get along well with children and other pets, including other dogs. However, as with any breed, early socialization is essential to ensure they develop good manners and adapt well to different situations.

What are Whippets known for in dog-related activities and competitions?

Whippets excel in dog sports like lure coursing and agility due to their incredible speed and agility. They are also active in obedience trials and make wonderful therapy dogs. Additionally, they participate in conformation shows where their graceful appearance is showcased.



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