Around 12-15 years although some have lived longer
4 to 8 puppies
Southern and AKC Hound
CKC, AKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC
According to the American Kennel Club standards, the color of Whippets is immaterial, but they come in different colors and patterns including solid black, solid white with red, fawn, blue, brindle (an appearance like tiger striped) and cream. It is not unusual for one litter to have a mixture of spots patches, stripes or blazes with no two pups looking the same. The Whippet dog comes in almost every color imaginable for a dog.
19-22 inches (47-56 cm)
25-45 pounds (11-21 kg)
18-21 inches (44-54)
25-45 pounds (11-21 kg)
The Whippet is a dog that needs to be kept indoors for most of the time. While they enjoy playing outside and getting exercise, they are not physically and psychologically fit to be outdoors for any length of time. They have a very low fat content in their body and therefore overheat quickly as well as not being able to stand the cold.
Their shorthaired coat does not grow an 'insulation' coat like some dogs so they get uncomfortable in a short amount of time outside. They don't need a large home or yard and are most content when in the home with their family, so apartment life would suit them great. Because of their thin coat and low body fat content, they will not be able to lie on a hard floor for any long period. They do need a chance to go for a good run outdoors as they have a lot of pent up energy.
The Whippet is a medium sized, active and playful shorthaired dog that is part of the sighthound family. They look like a greyhound, but are a breed of their own. They are gentle and quiet dogs that make great all around family pets. They become very attached to their family members, including the children and enjoy spending most of their day sleeping. Some Whippets are prone to 'excessive greeting disorder, which occurs when a dog will jump, bark, and howl when his owners return from any absence of 10 minutes for longer. This can be dangerous if you have young children in the home, so you may want to crate your Whippet while you are gone, so the family can enter the home safely before uncrating him.
Whippets are very active and athletic dogs that love pursuing their prey and do it with great enthusiasm. They generally don't snap or growl at other domestic animals. They are playful, loving dogs that have been given the nickname of 'Velcro dog' because of how they love cuddling with you on the bed or couch. They are not a dog that is content to lay on the floor by themselves. They are very easy to housebreak whether they are male or female unlike some other breeds. The female is more strong willed and the male more loyal, but both sexes make excellent pets. It is important to remember that each dog is different and his training will go differently as well.
Whippets make great racing dogs due to the excellent speed, and have participated in many races such as lure coursing, straight racing and oval track racing. Whippets are such active and athletic dogs that they can easily jump on the top of the countertop, couch or wherever they want to be to see what is going on around them. If bored, they will chew on things so it is important to give them plenty of toys. Whippets were bred to chase, so it is important to always keep them on a leash while outdoors. If they see a small animal that they consider prey, they will chase and they can run up to 35 mph. By time they get tired of the chase, they could be miles from home and lost. Many Whippets lose their lives by being hit by a car.
The coat of the Whippet is fine, smooth and shorthaired. Their short coat does not turn into a "winter coat" like many longhaired dogs, and therefore, are not good outdoor dogs. They will not survive the bitter cold.
The Whippet dog first came to be in Northern England in the middle to late 19th century. Breeders crossed small terriers with greyhounds with the intent and hopes of getting a small but fast hound that could successfully hunt rabbits and other small game. The result was the Whippet. It was mostly the factory workers, mine workers and other working class people in England that owned the Whippet, so the became known as "poor man's greyhound" or "poor man's race horse". In their spare time, the workers raced their Whippets in the fields or roads with the use of a piece of cloth as the lure and the dog had to run a straight 200-yard track.
The American Kennel Club registered its first Whippet in 1888 under the name of Jack Dempsey. In 1891, the Whippet dog was recognized by the Kennel Club of England and was then recognized as a registerable breed in England. Since then, Whippets have become one of the most popular of the breed of hound dogs at dog shows. They have one many championships in different categories.
Whippets are very loving and affectionate dogs that enjoy being with their family members as close as possible. This sweet and docile dog is very quiet and calm in you home and very seldom barks. They will bark when they want to get a point across to you or occasionally if they are unhappy about something. It is rare that they bark when visitors come to your home. They are extremely sensitive physically and emotionally so their training should be done with positive reinforcement and not in a physical way. Because of their sensitivity, they will notice things such as stress in the home and will actually get upset to the point of making themselves sick. Some ailments that can occur are severe digestive upsets, neurotic behavior and sick to their stomach.
They are intelligent and learn very quickly, but they are very independent dogs so don't expect perfection with them. By nature, they are standoffish with strangers, although they do bond with their family. They are such an easy going dog, that they would not make a good guard dog. It is because of their docile and passive nature that they are often placed in aging homes with the elderly. They are full of energy but love attention and affection and being in the home. While they enjoy exercise like all animals, their preference is to being inside the house with their family.
Unlike some dogs that are prone to many Health diseases and disorders, the Whippet is typically a very healthy dog. With proper nutrition, Exercise and food, they can live up to 15 years of age with minimal Health Problems. An occasion genetic eye disorder may affect Whippets, but this is rare. Breeders can do a test as a preventative measure if they intend on Breeding the dog. The American Whippet Club recommends this test. Undescended testicles is one disorder that is common with Whippets. Heart disease is the second leading cause of death with Whippets and research believes there may be a connection with this and their slow heartbeat while resting. When they are getting Exercise, the heartbeat is normal, but exceptionally slow while resting or sleeping. Unlike many dogs, hip dysplasia is not a problem with Whippets.
Whippets have a smooth, shorthaired coat so they need minimal grooming. Many will tell you their dogs don't shed. Unless a dog has no hair, they shed and the same is true for the Whippets. You won't find large piles of hair like you would with a longhaired dog, but they shed just like any dog, specifically in the spring and fall. A good brushing once or twice a week will not only take care of that problem, but will make your dog very happy as well. To keep your Whippet's coat sleek and shining, give him a good rub with a chamois cloth (which he will also love). You'll notice the difference it makes in his appearance.
Luckily, the Whippet dog does not have your typical doggie odor, so bathing often is not necessary or even recommended. In fact, it is recommended to only bathe when necessary. When you are bathing them, use a soft rubber brush. Use a firm bristle brush to brush him and then give him the rub. You can also use a light conditioner after brushing is complete. They need the same health care grooming as most dogs such as toenail trimming, cleaning of ears and teeth. Many people don't realize the importance of these grooming procedures.
Dogs that don't have their nails trimmed take the risk of ripping or snagging a nail too deeply and needing medical treatment. Ears that are not cleaned regularly are also at risk of ear infection. This is especially true if the dog's ears get wet often and are not properly dried. When bathing your Whippet, put cotton balls in the ears to prevent water from entering them. You may also wish to use an aloe skin cream or moisturizer on their elbows. Trim the whiskers with a small pair of scissors that can be purchased from a vet or pet store.
While you are rubbing, bathing or brushing your Whippet, look over his body carefully. Because of their short coat, they are very susceptible to cuts, scrapes and bruises and often need stitches or medical treatment.
Whippets need exercise just like any other dog. They don't need a large yard, but should have enough room to go for a good run as they have a lot of energy to wear off on a daily basis. In addition to running, they enjoy a nice walk with their family members. It is important that their yard be fenced and when out of the yard that they always are leashed. Being part of the sighthound group, they love to chase what they consider their prey and will run for a long time and distance before getting tired. Their instinct to chase and kill their prey is so strong and they are so fast that they may get away from you before you realize it if not on a leash. Taking them for a walk is a good time to attempt to work on basic obedience. Many times away from the every day distractions in the home, a dog will respond better, especially a younger dog.
Training your Whippet can be a fun and yet challenging experience. They are known for being very headstrong, but at the same time, they are eager to please their owner. Many dogs were bred years ago to do a certain thing and now that they are domestic, we expect them to become a different type of dog. Luckily for the Whippets, who were bred to race and course, we train them for the same things today. With patience and time, you can teach your Whippet obedience that will impress anyone.
It is important to remember that Whippets are very sensitive dogs and will not respond well to physical punishment or to loud, angry or stressful voices. In fact, it will be worse than no training at all. They are very capable of being taught the basic home commands such as sit, down, stay, etc. With time and patience, many dogs complete not only basic obedience but also go to compete in advanced obedience competitions. Many Whippet owners go all the way successfully with the training including lure coursing, racing, fly ball competition and agility. Lure coursing is chasing a plastic bag pulled by a string, but often has the appearance of a fluffy animal.
If you are planning to train your Whippet for any type of competition, it is important that he or she be in top physical condition. They require exercise regularly, good nutritional food and need to be free from parasites, which can make them weak and sick. You may want to have your local vet check him over to assure he is in top condition so he can do his best. Allow your dog to train around other dogs if possible to promote a sense of competition in him or her. Training for competition can begin as early as 3 months of age. Allows show your Whippet when he has done well. Be generous with praise and treats during training.