- Weight: 25-45 pounds (11-21 kg)
- Height: Males are 18.5 to 22.5 inches (48–56 cm), 17.5 to 21.5 inches (46–53 cm) for females.
- Coat: Fine, dense
- Colour: any
The whippet is a sighthound breed that looks like a small greyhound.
They're generally hardy, athletic and are often used for racing and lure coursing.
Whippets are generally quiet, gentle dogs that gets along fine with everyone and everything. They're very loyal to their family and fairly easy to train. But since they are sighthounds they usually have very strong hunting instincts and can be a bit cat-like in their manners. They often prefers to think for themselves rather than listening to commands so all training should be playful and possitive without many repetitions.
Most whippets have long lives, 14-15 years is not unusual. They are generally healthy, and are not prone to the frequent ear infections, skin allergies, or digestive problems that can afflict other breeds.
Becuse of their thin, short coat they're not suitable to live outdoors and needs some kind of clothing if exposed to cold temperatures or bad weather.
Sighthounds like greyhounds, salukis and afghan hounds have existed for 5000 years with the earliest presumed sighthound remains appearing in the excavations of Sumer dated approximately 7000 - 6000 B.C. The earliest description of a sighthound in European recorded history comes from Arrian's Cynegeticus, of the 2nd century AD.
During the 17th century the name "whippet" was used in England for all small dogs, but in the middle of the 19th century there are texts describing a small breed resembeling a mix between greyhound and spaniel.
The whippet as a breed was recognized by the English Kennel Club in 1890 and is believed to be a deliberate mix of greyhound, italian greyhound and different kinds of terriers.
Since whippets where cheap and good for hunting hare it became very popular among the miners in northern England. Whippet racing also became a national sport in England, more popular than football. The breed was called "poor man's race horse".
In the United States, the whippet was recognized in 1888 by the American Kennel Club. Early specimens were taken from the race track by dog fanciers of the time and exported all over the world.
There are different explanation to where the word "whippet" comes from. One is that it comes from the whip-like tail. The other explanation is that it comes from "Whip it!" that was often shouted around the racing track or during hunting.
I got my very first dog of my own in 2005 - a whippet puppy named Zaphod.
A lot of people was a little surprised at my choice of breed, why would I get a dog like that? They're not cute in the true sense of the word, they're not soft and fluffy, why not choose a nice spaniel instead? A charming Pug? A friendly Golden Retriever?
The answer is simple: because they don't interest me.
Sight hounds are different and unusual and even exotic, but they're also the type of dog that I find I have most in common with. I like their calm, their sweet nature and how they easily adapt to any environment and activity.