Whippet | Information & Dog Breed Facts


A Whippet dog can be considered unique in the sense that, being an ideal hunter, it gets along well in an apartment. This animal surprisingly combines qualities such as hunter’s instinct, friendliness and calmness.

The whippet does not bark for no reason and does not bother the household with howling, there will be no particular trouble with him. Instead of hassle, you get a loyal, cheerful friend in the form of a whippet.


Also known as the English Whippet or Snap Dog is a slender, muscular and sporty dog. These dogs represent the ideal balance between strength and power, and grace and elegance, with a perfect complexion for work and speed. Their coatings are thin and short and can be presented in different colors.

Breed history

For a long time, the Whippet breed was called the Small Greyhound. It is the most popular type of greyhound in all countries of the world. The homeland of the Whippet is England, namely Yorkshire and Lancashire.

The exact history of the origin of this greyhound has not been established. Several extravagant options are known:

  • According to legend, Whippets are divine dogs. They originally lived on Olympus and were the favorites of the goddess Artemis. Later, Artemis, wanting to give people a useful gift, presented them with Whippets. People called them “poor greyhound”. Since these dogs turned out to be ideal hunters for rabbits and other small animals. They cleared houses of rats and participated in dog races, raising money for the owners.
  • In the nineteenth century, miners in Britain bred Whippets to participate in dog races and to hunt rabbits.
  • The Whippets entered Britain around 55 BC along with the Romans. They are considered the first representatives of this species in the British Isles.

In 1891, the English Kennel Club officially recognized the breed. Whippets are gaining popularity not only among the poor, but also among the rich, powerful people. Breeders try to get dogs with the maximum speed during breeding, capable of participating in dog races.

This kind of entertainment became more and more popular, new participants were needed. There are also exhibitions in which purebred Whippets take part.

The Whippet is the fastest breed in the world. Its maximum speed can be around 64-70 km / h. Hunters appreciate the ability to turn sharply on the run, turn around, almost without reducing speed during maneuvers.


Whippet breed standard

In the past, whippet dogs did not look the same as the breed today. Once upon a time, these greyhounds had a heavier build and resembled mongrels with terrier features. Contemporaries got rid of the external heredity of the terrier and acquired a more graceful, light build.

Gracefulness and sophistication are perfectly combined in a whippet with endurance, strength and inexhaustible energy. The growth of adults is 44-56 cm, weight is about 11-21 kg.

An elegantly elongated, long neck carries a long head with a flat skull. The ears are small in size, in the shape of a rose. Oval eyes, attentive gaze. The color of the nose depends on the color of the coat. Jaws strong, scissor bite.

The Whippet’s physique is so thin that because of the visible ribs, uninformed people may think that the dog is suffering from exhaustion. In fact, a greyhound is hardy, with well-developed muscles. Thinness is due to the small amount of subcutaneous fat.

The back is long and strong. Abdominal line with pronounced undermining. The chest is deep. The tail is thin and long. The Whippet never holds him over his back. Legs straight, long, muscular. Medium feet with thick pads. The step is light, long.

The coat is short and dense. The hair is thin, it does not hide possible errors on the skin, for example, scars. Any color is allowed, in any combination. The most common are black, gray and brindle whippets.


Character traits and personality

Balanced, affectionate and gentle – this is a whippet. This hound is in dire need of the care, attention and love of the owner. She tries to be around people all the time. Among all existing greyhounds, the whippet is the most affectionate. Trying to participate in all household chores, the dog shows how much he loves all household members.

He treats children calmly and friendly. From their side, the greyhound should feel understanding, and even respect. If a child drags the dog by the ears, tail or offends it in a different way, it will simply leave. Whippet will not bite the kid for his pranks.

He does not behave friendly and wary with strangers. With the right upbringing, he shows restraint, but looks affably only at close family, well-known people. If socialization is not done in time, the Whippet can become timid and nervous.

Hounds, greyhounds by nature, pack animals. They can both hunt and coexist peacefully in the company of their own kind. Due to their hunting nature, they should not be left alone with small dogs or other small animals. Whippet can see game in them and start hunting.

The tense situation in the house, quarrels between household members can bring the pet to a nervous breakdown. The dog may even get sick. Leaving alone for a long time is also not recommended. He is an excellent companion and is ready to accompany the owner everywhere.



On average, with good, proper maintenance, a whippet can live 12-15 years. In general terms, this is a healthy breed, but some problems are:

  • Diseases of the eyes.
  • Deafness is often congenital.
  • Von Willebrand’s disease is a hereditary disease in which there is a violation of blood clotting, spontaneous bleeding.

During the formation of the breed, weak dogs that did not meet the requirements of the standard were not allowed to breed, they were culled. The strongest and strongest individuals remained. It is interesting that even dysplasia does not bother these hounds.

Every whippet owner should know that his pet does not tolerate anesthesia very well. All because of the minimum amount of subcutaneous fat. Anesthesia suitable for another dog can be fatal to a Whippet. It is important that the veterinarian you trust your pet is qualified and aware of the breed specificity indicated.

Without fail, to maintain health, we carry out routine vaccinations to the dog. Timely treatment for skin parasites and worms is important. It is also recommended to visit a veterinary clinic with a pet at least once a year for prevention purposes.


Basic care

Everyone knows that the climate in England is quite cold and damp. Interestingly, the Whippets, being English dogs, are not at all adapted to this climate. They do not tolerate frost and require clothing in such weather.

Whippets don’t need long walks. They have low physical demands (at least an hour a day). In damp, frosty weather, it is better to shorten walks.

When walking a pet that can develop high speed and has a hunting instinct, never let it off the leash in public. Find a deserted, suitable area where the greyhound can run and jump freely. You cannot overstrain the whippet; he has weak joints.

It is recommended to keep such a dog in the house. Set up a soft bed for him to sleep and rest. Due to the small amount of subcutaneous fat, the dog will not feel comfortable on a firm bed. According to the owners, the whippet feels completely happy if he is given the opportunity to lie down on the soft sofa next to the owner.

Before buying a puppy, prepare not only a bed, but also utensils for water, food, a collar with a leash, toys and care products.

Taking care of a shorthaired whippet is not difficult at all. To maintain beauty and health, the following procedures are required:

  • A couple of times a week we comb the coat, ridding the dog of dead hairs and at the same time giving the skin a light massage. After combing out, rub a piece of suede over the coat to make it shiny and smooth.
  • We bathe as needed, as the whippet does not exude the characteristic doggy smell. When bathing, we use a soft rubber glove, special detergents for dogs and cotton balls for the ears so that no water gets into them. After bathing, we make sure that the dog does not get into the cold and is not in a draft.
  • We trim the claws with a claw cutter as they grow.
  • We clean our dogs’s ears and teeth regularly.

Whippet elbows must be lubricated with moisturizer.

Carrying out care procedures, it is necessary to carefully examine the skin of the whippet. Its short coat cannot protect against various injuries, early detection and treatment, such as an abrasion or cut, will help prevent infection.



There are important points in greyhound nutrition that require attention:

  • Nutrition should be balanced.
  • Feeding methods can be used: natural, artificial or mixed. It is important to decide right away, as the dog can hardly tolerate the change in diet.
  • Doses are determined based on the age, physical activity and health of the animal.
  • It is important to feed only quality food and drink fresh water.
  • With natural feeding, vitamin supplements are needed.
  • We feed the puppies 3-6 times, depending on age, it is enough to feed adults 2 times a day. We do it in the same place, at the same time.
  • Table scraps, sweets, smoked products, legumes are prohibited.


These dogs start running abruptly, but they also have the vitality to spend a whole day doing much needed exercise.

They will love walking or running with their owners and, although they need daily exercises, they are not very demanding. An adult whippet will usually need one hour of exercise.


Training and education

The Whippet is a headstrong, independent dog, although very attached to the owner. He is smart, so he can not only be trained in different teams, but also make him an athlete, security guard, shepherd.

This type of hound can even perform various circus tricks. The hunting instinct is developed in such dogs so strongly that the owner only needs to direct him in the right direction.

The whippet will not just execute the commands. It is necessary to establish a trusting contact with him, to find an approach to him. During training, corporal punishment and any other rude attitude are excluded.

This approach will only discourage the dog from continuing his lessons and obeying. With the right approach, the owner will be able to understand that the whippet is considered the most manageable greyhound.

The main thing in the training process is to be patient, for the correct execution it is worth encouraging the pet with treats and praises. Lessons are recommended to be conducted in a playful way with intense physical activity.

Whippet Fun Facts

  • In the paintings with the images of the goddess Diana, next to her, in almost all cases, flaunts a small-sized dog, in appearance it is almost a complete copy of a whippet.
  • In the homeland of the Whippet, it is often called the “bull terrier among greyhounds”.
  • In the Louvre there is an exhibit in the form of a sculpture of a dog exactly like a Whippet. The sculpture dates back to the 5th century BC.
  • Whippet is able to detect a hare in a matter of seconds, using his scent, and in a couple of seconds to overtake him.
  • Representatives of the breed are capable of speeds up to 70 km / h.
  • “Move quickly, nimbly” is what the English word whippet means.
  • Whippet barks extremely rarely, if you hear the voice of a greyhound, it means that it notifies about something important.

Whippet Breed Highlights

The Whippet breed is suitable even for owners with no experience in dog breeding. Such a pet will become an excellent friend, companion, and hunting assistant. But before settling a whippet in your house, think carefully about whether you can provide him with worthy content, attention and love. Below are the main pros and cons of this breed.

Positive points

  • The whippet is a dog of good size, neither too big nor too small.
  • Elegant appearance.
  • This dog does not suffer from many health problems.
  • Attachment to the owner, friendliness.
  • The whippet is affectionate and devoted by nature.
  • It is the perfect choice for anyone who leads an active outdoor lifestyle.
  • It is a moderate shedder.
  • Cleanliness, no dog smell.

Negative points

  • The whippet is smart, but can be slower to learn new things, which can make training a bit more difficult.
  • The whippet is very active and must be subjected to a lot of vigorous exercise at the age of maturity.
  • Requires daily walks.
  • Houses and gardens should be well protected from puppies.
  • We know that puppies are destructive at home, but they tend to get out of this type of behavior unless they are bored.
  • Strongly developed hunting instinct.
  • It has a very thin skin that can easily be damaged when it is exercised.
  • The whippet is quite independent and often turns a deaf ear to the “reminder” command if he finds something more interesting in the distance even if he always returns.

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