Whippets have always been a breed of surprises. Though originally developed for hunt and kill, they turned out to be such good family dogs. The let off their steam in dog shows rather than hunting rabbits. They became seen as a sign of splendor, which is kind of unusual too. At high time, when breeds like Great Dane and even hounds like Afghan hound were seen as majestic breeds, whippets broke the mold. Their smooth running actions and precise body movements made them stars. They are now considered the Ferraris in the world of dogs.
Whippet is a medium sized, sight hound breed that originated in England. Small greyhounds were crossed with other dogs to develop this breed. Modern breeders used it to hunt rabbits. Later, they were used in sports, where agility took center stage. From 19th century, racing whippets have become popular past time in England and Whales. Its rising popularity made fans to export them to other countries. Recognition from kennel clubs started coming around the same time. They have always remained popular in shows. They are also great family pets with added ability to race.
Height of adult male whippet is between 18 to 22” at the withers. They weigh in the range of 20-40 pounds. American whippets are tad larger than the European ones. Consider Whippet a miniature greyhound with streamlined physique and agile body. The coat is short and smooth and comes in wide range of colors. From white to black to fawn to brindle to blue, you name it. There can be marking to go along with it. The expression is alert and keen. The eyes are oval and the ears are folded.
Grooming: Grooming needs are minimal in case of whippets. It requires a weekly brushing at max. Their ears stay clean and dry on their own. Trimming of nails and dental care is something you should take care of.
Environment: Despite a racing background, the whippets can be couch potatoes. The dogs love relaxing for most of the day. Till they get some time to run around, they can do well in apartments. It doesn’t like left alone for long period.
Health problems: Cardiac problems are common in the breed. Tetanus and some eye defects are occasionally seen. They are prone to a range of skin diseases. A vet with some experience in whippets or greyhounds is advisable.
Is whippet the breed for you?
The Whippet can live in an apartment, provided you take them for regular outings. It prefers to live in a house with fenced backyard. They do fine in city as well as countryside. The Whippet is an active dog. You need to engage them in agility sport, where they can let off steam and just run. It requires several exits a day to spend its energy and run freely. You must be available to be able to devote several hours per week. Whippets are a suitable breed for all sorts of families. They do well with kids and adults. They provide invaluable companionship for the elderly.