Whippet Dog

The whippet dog is one of the lightest greyhounds, reaching a reduced size compared to other sighthounds. This dog looks like a small greyhound, and was formerly used as a hunting and racing dog. Of British origin, the whippet is a really popular dog, generally for its slender and elegant bearing. It is an active, playful and very sociable dog that undoubtedly reminds us of the English sighthound.

If you are thinking of adopting a whippet and have questions about its size or weight, you have come to the right place. In this AnimalExpert breed sheet we will detail with you everything you need to know about the whippet dog , its characteristics, origin and care , among many other things. Do not miss it!

Origin of the whippet

Of British origin, the whippet dog originated from the crossing of the greyhound and terrier type dogs . The crossings made gave rise to one of the fastest dogs that currently exist, capable of reaching 60 kilometers per hour in a few seconds. In fact, the whippet is the dog that achieves the greatest acceleration.

In the beginning, whippets were considered the small and light version of the English greyhound , but as they developed, breeders wanted this type of dog to also achieve the resistance of the Italian greyhound. These dogs were used as racing dogs and hunting dogs for hares and rabbits. Currently these activities are not common and pet whippets that enjoy a peaceful life without having to work are becoming more and more common.

It should be noted that the whippet dog breed was not officially recognized by the Kennel Club in England until 1890 and, in fact, in 1899 the Whippet Club Foundation was created.

Whippet Dog Characteristics

Even though the breed standard accepted by the FCI indicates that the appearance of the whippet combines power and strength with elegance and graceful lines, it is difficult to appreciate the power and strength of this dog breed at first glance. On the contrary, a general look at the whippet usually suggests that it is a delicate and fragile dog. However, a deeper knowledge of the breed reveals strong and resistant dogs, with a very good predisposition to physical activity .

Some of the characteristics of the whippet, also known as the long-necked dog, are:

  • The head of the whippet is long and thin : flattened at the top. It tapers towards the snout, which is also long and thin.
  • The eyes are oval : bright and with a very lively expression.
  • The ears are small and rose-shaped : they also have a fine texture.
  • The neck is long and muscular : it has an arched appearance.
  • The back is wide : firm and somewhat long, while the loin is strong and slightly curved.
  • The chest is deep : it has a low and well-defined chest, and continues with the well-retracted abdomen.
  • The whippet’s tail is long : it ends in a sharp point. Although the dog picks it up when active, he never carries it above his back. The coat is fine, short and tight, and can be any color.
  • The size of the whippet varies between males and females : in males it ranges between 47 and 51 centimeters. The height at the withers of females ranges between 44 and 47 centimeters. Weight is not indicated in the FCI breed standard, but whippets usually weigh between 9 and 20 kilograms.

Whippet character

The whippet has a calm, gentle, sweet and sensitive character . He can be reserved with strangers, so it is advisable to socialize him as a puppy to avoid shyness problems when the dog is an adult. However, some reserve with strangers can be useful if you want an alarm guard dog.

Positive training works very well with whippet dogs and is the style of dog training that should be chosen for this breed. Clicker training is perhaps the most advisable variant of positive training for training a whippet.

These dogs tend to get along well with children , as long as the latter do not bother or harm them. They are not dogs that like rough play and, therefore, are not the best pets for young children. Yes, they are excellent pets for older children who are capable of controlling themselves and treating their dog well.

It is not easy to have a whippet along with another small pet, since these dogs have a strong hunting instinct and tend to chase and capture all small animals that move quickly. There are several known cases where whippets have injured other pets, such as cats and rabbits. However, they usually get along well with other dogs.

How to socialize a puppy dog ​​correctly? Discover the answer in the following AnimalWised article.

Whippet Care

Due to their thin skin and short coat, these dogs are very sensitive to the cold and should be protected with dog clothing during cold weather. Otherwise, we can watch our elegant dog tremble. Some of the specific whippet care are:

  • Diet : Due to the whippet dog’s build, they have a fast metabolism. This means they have to eat less, but more times a day. Don’t forget that it is also a dog that moves a lot, so it needs constant nutritional value.
  • Exercise : They can adapt to living in an apartment, but need to get intense exercise on a regular basis. We must not forget that they are greyhounds and, as such, they need to run to release their energy. Therefore, it is best if you have a fenced garden where the whippet can run freely. If you do not have a garden, it is advisable to give the whippet, at least once a day, the opportunity to run freely in a pipi-can or fenced enclosure. With about three walks a day and some time in freedom, our whippet will be really happy.
  • Grooming : The whippet’s short coat is easy to maintain. Regular brushing and occasional bathing are usually sufficient. Of course, the whippet loses hair regularly. Additionally, you have to keep in mind that due to the quality of their hair, you must use a soft brush and products without aggressive components.

whippet education

The whippet is a shy dog ​​but will interact with other dogs without problems if we provide it with good socialization from its puppy stage. To do this, we will introduce you to other dogs, cats and pets on a regular basis, as well as people and objects of all kinds. This point is very important if we want the whippet to live with other pets besides dogs. Discover more important things in our complete guide to puppy training .

Like any other dog, the whippet must learn basic commands that provide security wherever it is. Additionally, this will allow him to develop good mental health and a good relationship with you.

Whippet Health

Whippet greyhounds have an average lifespan of between 12 and 15 years , but they can be subject to some ailments that are relatively common in the breed. Therefore, these dogs can suffer from:

  • waterfalls
  • Heart problems
  • progressive retinal atrophy
  • Thyroid problems
  • Hypersensitivity to chemicals and medications

Additionally, they have very thin skin that can be easily injured. By following the dog’s vaccination schedule and going to the veterinarian every 6 months, we can prevent many health problems or treat them promptly when they appear.

Where to adopt a whippet dog?

As we have mentioned, whippet dogs were very popular at the time in which they originated. This popularity continues to boom throughout Europe, but especially in England. Technically, in Spain it is not difficult to adopt a whippet dog, but until you delve into the real search, you do not know the real answer.

To adopt a whippet you can try visiting different animal shelters and shelters that are close to where you live, and you can also choose to go to a breed club where they can have specimens. Remember that what is important is not the dog’s physical characteristics, but being able to offer it the best possible life.

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