The Whippet originated in Great Britain in the 19th century as a cross between terriers, small greyhounds, and Italian greyhound and was known as "snap-dog." In snap dog competitions bets were made on which dog could snap up the most rabbits in a large circle drawn on the ground. It was often referred to as "the poor man's greyhound." Whippet racing was a popular entertainment before better commercially organized Greyhound racing and still is very popular in England.

Energetic and athletic in the field, Whippet is a very calm, gentle and loving family dog. He adores people and easily adjusts to all kinds of housing conditions, but like most short-haired breeds they cannot withstand severe cold. He is naturally reserved with strangers.

Whippets have become very popular sighthounds because of their stable temperament. While other popular breeds are plagued by hip, joint, heart, eye and blood problems, Whippets are remarkably healthy.

Whippets Didi and Jasper (Peachtree City, GA)

Whippet Breed Outline

Country of Origin: Great Britain


FCI Classification: Group 10: Sighthounds (without working trial); AKC Classification: Hound

Size: Medium. 17.5-20 inches at shoulders (FCI), 18-21 inches at shoulders (AKC)

Colors: Any color or shades of color (solid color, parti color or brindled). The color saturation can be intense or dilute. Dilute colors are sometimes less favored in show Whippets.

Litter Size: 6

Life Span: 14 years

Grooming Requirements: The Whippet's coat is wash-and-wear. No fancy haircuts or extensive brushing is required. In fact, you would be hard-pressed to think of anything to groom on a Whippet. Their close-fitting coat naturally repels dirt. Whippets have virtually no odor.

Shedding: Little

Personality: Gentle, affectionate, dependable, and easy-to-care-for, Whippet makes an ideal family pet.

Social skills: Whippets get along well with other pets, but will chase cats.

Suitability for Children: According to many Whippet owners and breeders, few other breeds can be recommended so whole-heartedly as children companions.

Exercise Needs: Medium. They are always on the lookout for something to chase, so a fenced yard is a must, but watch out: Whippets are the best fence jumpers in the world. Make sure the fence is tall enough.

Train Ability: Whippets respond well to gentle methods. They are natural followers, not leaders and forcing will intimidate them.

Health & Behavioral Issues: Cataracts, color dilution alopecia, ectodermal defect, pattern baldness. Some pink-skinned, white-haired dogs a are more susceptible to demodicosis. Their thin skin is prone to lacerations. Whippets easily become chilled.

Keywords: Whippet, racing dog, Rennhund, chien de chasse, chien de course, perro de carrera

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