Whippets have been described as the perfect “all-purpose dog.” The fastest domesticated animal of its weight, this miniature English Greyhound is capable of speeds up to 37 m.p.h. While a speed demon when racing, in a home the Whippet is quiet, dignified and extremely elegant.
When pastimes such as bullbaiting, bearbaiting and dogfighting lost their popularity in the 19th century, the ever-so-slightly gentler sport of coursing rabbits gained favor. Originally the breed was called “Snapdog” because of how it snapped up or caught the most rabbits.
Just like a certain song, the breed’s current name is derived from the expression “whip it,” meaning to move quickly. When the breed began to be used primarily for straight racing (a form of gambling for the English lower classes), it was nicknamed “the poor man’s racehorse.”
The Whippet was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1888 and by the English Kennel Club in 1891.
Amiable and friendly
A gentle couch potato at home, but capable of great intensity during sporting pursuits
A good watchdog, and may be reserved with strangers
18-22 inches in height
Whippet Family and Home
Good with all children as long as there is no roughhousing or teasing of the dog
May kill cats and other small animals if given the opportunity, but are good with other dogs
Since they are sighthounds and will chase and kill small animals, a fenced yard is essential
Not well-adapted for living outdoors
Whippets are quiet and do not bark unnecessarily
Whippets should never be roughly trained because they are extremely physically and mentally sensitive
Use lots of variety when training them; for best results, include games and running
Clean, odor free and easy to care for
Should regularly run free in a safe area such as a dog park
Needs to be taken for brisk daily walks
Great traveling companion
Sensitive to the cold and should wear a sweater in winter
Prone to stomach upset and skin problems
To adopt one of these speedy, easy-to-care-for dogs, visit Whippet Rescue and Placement