Sleek, beautiful, and athletic, the Whippet is a dog breed of medium size. The Whippet is descended from Greyhounds that originated in England. They have a peaceful, gentle demeanor who love their family members and are also kind to strangers. Besides, they are hunter’s best friends, too, as they are speedily going after rabbits and other small game.
|Other Names||English Whippet, Snap Dog|
|Color||Black, Blue, Red, White|
|Height||Males: 18-22 inches. Females: 17-21 inches.|
|Weight||Males: 25-40 pounds. Females: 25-40 pounds.|
|Life Span||12-15 years|
|Personality||Affectionate, Playful, Calm|
|Kids Friendly||Yes with supervision|
In the wild pursuit of game, the Whippet takes on an undeniable resemblance to the larger Greyhounds, but on a closer look, you’d find they are actually smaller in size. Fierce at the chase of rats and rabbits, but gentle and friendly around the house, Whippets can be a reliable source of joy around the house. Their sleek and swift nature has earned them the name “Poor Man’s Racehorse”, as they were originally owned by the commoners of Medieval times’ England. Their short and dense coats, come in almost any color at all, except Merle.
A standard Whippet will stand at 19-22 inches from shoulder to paw and weigh around 28-42 pounds, regardless the gender. They are smaller than the Greyhounds, although they share a lot in common. Playful and calm, Whippets make good companions in the house. On average, they live to about 11-14 years before they die.
Living with Whippet
The Whippet has a short, smooth coat which only needs to be brushed with a hound mitt once per week to remove loose hair and keep the coat healthy, also, he needs a bath as needed. Their thin coat does not protect well against cuts and scrapes like other breeds, so they are easier to minor skin injures than others. Owners need to check your Whippet frequently for such injuries and to ensure that there are no infections in any of the nicks and scrapes.
The Whippet’s dental hygiene is also important, brush the teeth at least two or three times a week to remove tartar buildup and the bacteria that lurk inside it, and the daily brush is better to keep fresh breath and prevent gum disease.
Check their ears weekly for signs of infection, irritation, or wax buildup, and clean them softly with a gentle cleanser. Trim nails once or twice a month if your dog doesn’t wear them down naturally.
As a hound breed, Whippets need vigorous exercise every day about an hour or two to stay in peak condition. For this eager-to-run animal, open fields and daily walking should be considered requirements for them, and it is prone to attacking small critters, so owners should be careful about taking him to dog parks without a leash. Besides, adequate exercise could be in the form of several vigorous retrieving sessions a week with the ball or flying disc, regular walks, or play sessions with another dog in a safely fenced area, as they are sprinters by nature. Organized activities like lure-coursing and agility can provide healthy outlets for the Whippet’s energy and athleticism.
Generally, it is recommended to feed Whippet with one to one and a half cups of high-quality dry dog food per day, divided into two meals. There should be clean fresh water at all times. More importantly, the food amount should vary depending on your dog’s weight, activity level and age.
Some dogs are easy to get overweight, so you need to watch their calorie consumption and weight level all the time. Treats may be an important aid in training, but excessive intake can lead to obesity. Also, owners need to distinguish which human food is safe for dogs and which are not. If you have any problems with your dog’s weight or diet, just consult from your veterinarian.
The Whippet frame is not well suited to carrying excessive weight, so it is important to maintain your Whippet at the correct weight through lifelong portion control, this will extend his life and avoid many of the orthopedic problems that are both painful and expensive to repair.
Whippets are prone to the following health conditions: corneal dystrophy, lens luxation, cataracts, vitreal syneresis, progressive retinal atrophy, cutaneous hemangioma, a number of skin disorders…
Major concerns: none
Minor concerns: none
Occasionally seen: some eye defects, deafness
Total Annual Cost: $2889
Cost is estimated for the first year and may vary depending on many factors, such as dog food, health care, leash, collar, licensing, possible fencing, crates, training and obedience classes, dog-walking, grooming, treats, toys, flea, tick, and heart-worm meds, microchips, etc.
Young Whippets are smart, agile, and mischievous, as they can jump and climb, owners need to confine the dogs safely while not under supervision. They are intelligent and attentive dogs that could pick up on basic commands with ease, so do housetrain. Unfortunately, they could be stubborn sometimes, but consistent and sustained training can help them don’t begin ignoring your directives.
Early socialization and puppy training classes are recommended and help to ensure that the dog grows into a well-adjusted, well-mannered companion. Besides, they are natural athletes that are good at dog sports, such as lure coursing, agility, and flyball. It is to be mentioned that they shouldn’t be overtrained as they are sensitive dog breeds.
The oldest piece of writing that had the name Whippet in it dates back to 1610. Whippets have a vague and long-winded origin that seems to elude specificity and agreement amongst historians. There are several theories as regards the history and pedigree of this breed, but the most plausible and well developed is the report which links the Whippets to certain miniature Greyhounds of old times, England.
The Greyhounds used to be the popular hunting dogs of Medieval times’ England, prized by the nobility of England for their speed, agility, and intelligence, and yet not permitted for common people to own. Greyhounds owned by common people were mutilated as punishment. However, peasants and families alike relied on hunting of rabbits and other forest games and it was as much as they could do to decide to create a smaller breed from the Greyhounds, which would share similar features with the Greyhounds. These miniature Greyhounds are believed to be the ancestors of the Whippets.
For decades, these miniature Greyhounds were employed in ratting and rabbit catching. Gradually, they rose to prominence mainly for their swiftness and remarkable strength. Even after the regulations on ownership of Greyhounds were rescinded, Whippets were still popular among folks and breed fanciers. Later, in the 19th century, dog coursing or racing became a popular sport in many regions of England, and the Whippet enjoyed the fancy of the sport’s enthusiasts due to its incredible speed.
Whippets were officially recognized by The Kennel Club in 1891, although prior to that (in 1888), the American Kennel Club recognized the breed as a distinct breed. The Whippet is ranked 61st most popular dog breed in America by the American Kennel Club.