“When a problem comes along, you must…” Whippet? If you can keep up with her, that is. This speed machine can zoom along more than 30 miles an hour. She's faster than a deer, a Grizzly, or a kangaroo! The Whippet goes forward and moves ahead so fast, no one gets away from her. That's because of her gallop — a “double-suspension” stride that makes her look as though she's flying when she runs. She can also navigate at nighttime. It's no surprise that this breed takes its name from the whip-fast velocity at which these dogs move, or that the Whippet is the world's most popular sighthound.
Originally from England, this medium-sized and medium-energy breed can grow to between 20-40 pounds and lives an average of 12-15 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Hound group.
AKC Recognized: Y
Breed's Original Pastime: Running, Hunting
Breed Group: Hound
Average Lifespan: 12-15 years
Bark Factor: Rarely barks, if ever
AKC RANKING 59
FAMILY sighthound, Southern (sighthound)
AREA OF ORIGIN England
DATE OF ORIGIN 1700s
ORIGINAL FUNCTION racing, rabbit coursing
TODAY'S FUNCTION racing, lure coursing
AVERAGE SIZE OF MALE Height: 19-22 Weight: 20-40
AVERAGE SIZE OF FEMALE Height: 18-21 Weight: 20-40
OTHER NAME none
Energy level Medium energy
Exercise needs Medium
Playfullness Moderately playful
Affection level Very affectionate
Friendliness toward other dogs Very friendly
Friendliness toward other pets Very friendly
Friendliness toward strangers Friendly
Ease of training Moderately easy to train
Watchdog ability High
Protection ability Not very protective
Grooming needs Low maintenance
Cold tolerance Low tolerance
Heat tolerance Medium tolerance
BEHAVIOR & TRAINING
WHAT IS A WHIPPET'S PERSONALITY LIKE?
Loving, playful, and calm, the Whippet is a wonderful breed. They like children and make gentle, devoted canine companions for your little ones. It is always best, however, to supervise play. Considering she's a cousin to the more reserved Greyhound, this dog is fairly demonstrative with her affection; she'll gladly cuddle up close to you. Your Whippet will generally be happy to see strangers on either two or four legs, unless they're small, furry, and running away from her. (In which case: chase on.)
WHAT IS WHIPPET BEHAVIOR LIKE?
These are elegant, athletic dogs prone to incredible sprints and long, lazy afternoon naps. They're incredibly focused while coursing or racing, Whippets are otherwise sedate and dignified housedogs. If you're looking for a jogging buddy who then wants to chill with a movie and cuddles, this breed is a perfect choice.
HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN A WHIPPET?
Whippets respond well to training, though this quick-learning breed is also easily bored. Keep training sessions short and fun. Be gentle with this sensitive soul. She'll respond best to play or food rewards.
Whippets are fierce competitors in the dog sport of lure coursing. But that focus and determination to catch the small thing running away also makes these dogs poor candidates for off-leash play outside a well-fenced area.
CARE & HEALTH
HOW MUCH DO WHIPPETS SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?
Whippets are below-average shedders who don't require much grooming. Their short, thin coats just require weekly brushing to help dispel extra hair and the occasional bath.
WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO WHIPPETS HAVE?
As a breed, the rapid, robust Whippet is generally healthy. Their slight frames make them ill-suited to carry more weight, and obesity in Whippets can lead to orthopedic problems. Be conscientious about meals and snacks. Some are also susceptible to deafness, eye ailments, and heart disease.
Breed history has moved while this section is under construction. Please check out the first tab for fun facts about this breed's history. You can also read on to learn about this breed's ideal family situation.
ARE WHIPPETS GOOD FOR PEOPLE WITH ALLERGIES?
The American Kennel Club doesn't list Whippets among its breeds recommended for allergy sufferers.
Remember that no breed is 100% hypoallergenic, and any breed can aggravate allergies. You can reduce your furry friend's impact on your allergies with frequent baths and brushings to reduce loose hairs and aggravating proteins in your pet's dander. Use a damp cloth to wipe off your dog after you've been playing outside. Smaller dogs have less surface area, and so produce comparatively less dander than larger breeds — definitely something to keep in mind with a dog like a Whippet!
WHAT IS A WHIPPET'S BEST DAY?
Whippets don't want to run all day, but a day without running is never a Whippet's best one. Find a fenced-in area this speed racer can sprint through, then take her home for a snuggle on the couch.
SHOULD I ADOPT A WHIPPET?
A Whippet's short coat doesn't afford her much protection from the cold. (Bonus: adorable dog coats.) Keep this in mind in more Northern climates — your Whippet may dislike walks and have real trouble half of the year. This breed usually does just fine in the heat, though. If you're looking for a quiet, devoted canine companion, these dogs are a wonderful choice.
Have you decided that a Whippet is the perfect dog for you? It's not too late! Why not be your new best friend's hero and adopt a rescue? Be sure to check out our article on what to expect when you're adopting a dog or cat.