Whippets are cheetahs of the dog world. They ace it when it comes to speed. The dogs can race deer, grizzlies and kangaroos to victory. We are talking speeds in range of 35 miles per hour. Its proportionate body system enables the dog to cover ground quickly. It’s known for its whip like speed, hence the name whippet. Like its cousin, the greyhound, they whippets excel at flat out sprinting.
When they extend for a run, they get to their optimal horizontal length. It looks like they are flying parallel to the ground, for a moment. With the double suspension gallop they skimmer through the ground. All four paws get off the ground twice in one stride. Firstly all of its legs gets off the ground and gets tucked up under the body. Secondly, they get completely extended and the entire body stays parallel to the ground. They stride with optimal length and stretch. The running action is entirely natural and smooth.
Origins of the breed
Greyhound, whippet’s closest cousin was found in art, dating from the Roman times. Nevertheless, there was no mention of Whippet until 1610. The breed was developed by crossing greyhound with terrier/spaniel. It was primarily bred for racing. The modern whippet was reinvented by working class folks from Northern England in the 19th century.
As a hunting breed, whippets have definitive advantage. They have their eyes always on the prize. They navigate superbly in the dark. Their narrow head allows the eyes to be further on the sides. It enables them to see in a wider range. They have 250 degrees of vision. To put it in perspective, it is better than human’s 180 degrees. Their hair like feet makes them better at clawing into the ground. In spite of the impeccable speeds, they leave almost no trace.
Short hair whippet is what you see frequently. Long hair whippets happen too, but rarely. Whippets brag a thin, smooth coat. Grooming requirement cannot get easier than this. Using a rubber brush and clicker would do. Clip the nails regularly to save them from sprinting injuries. The breed is odor free, just like Samoyeds. On the flipside the short coat doesn’t provide insulation required for colder weather. If you live in colder regions, consider dog clothing.
Whippets are not the puffy show animals. They are high class, splendid and athletic dogs. Whippets either run in range of 35 miles per hour or crash at zero. They are laid back, couch potatoes for most part of the day. Training for these dogs is not so demanding. With proper diet and shelter, they easily live up to 15 years.
Whippets are family friendly, especially kid friendly. The only catch is living together with cats. They are inclined to chase after small animals. You need to factor in the hound side of the breed. They combine splendid athleticism with love and loyalty. Thee dogs can live in just about any condition, barring snowy winters.