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The Whippet breed profile is sponsored by visit PetWear to custom design your Whippet's next designer dog collar, leash or more and then let PetWear hand make it and then ship for free!

The Whippet maintains the gentle, sensitive nature of the Greyhound in its history while still filled with the fun, joyful aspect of their Terrier heritage. With their compact size, artful grace and quiet presence, Whippets are a charming companion and great bed-warmer! 

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General Information
Group(s): HoundsSighthound Height: 18-22 inches
Weight: 28 to 38 pounds is common Longevity: early teens
Colors: All colors and patterns are acceptable Coat type: short, close, smooth and firm
Recognized Registries: AKC, NCA, FCI, CKC, UKC and others
Overall Appearance: Elegance and bold sweeping lines. Whether in motion or still, the Whippet is as close to aerodynamic as dogs get. With a slippery smooth coat and curves where many dogs are straight, the Whippet's entire build speaks of lithe, athletic action and remarkable extension.
Personaility - Behavior - Training
Energy Level: high outside, quiet inside
General Nature: very sensitive and gentle
  with Children: excellent if properly socialized and around well behaved children, also a
  with other pets: can be problematic with cats or other smaller animals
  with dogs: generally good if introduced properly
Socialization requirements: moderate, as the breed is sensitive, a Whippet without proper socialization can be scared of many things and highly stressed
Ideal home characteristics: one that appreciates the artistic appearance and nature of the breed, not always a safe dog to have off lead in an open area (recalls can be tricky for all sighthounds); one that pays attention to special needs in cold or difficult weather
Temperament Notes: Extremely intelligent, highly sensitive with a refined sense of
Training requirement: minimal and not difficult (socializing and basic manners) with the possible exception of a recall if there is the intent to have the dog off lead in open areas
Trainer notes: The Whippet is a dog that loves comfort.  At home, finding a Whippet draped over a piece of overstuffed furniture with or without a blanket shrouding him/her is not unusual.  Outside they can easily burn their energy with inventive games of their own creation.  As a result, the Whippet, like many Sighthounds can become a training challenge in the area of motivating.  Unlike many breeds, do not expect the Whippet to tolerate repitition or irritation on the part of their trainer. Their sensitivity alone will make it unendurable for them.  If the situation deteriorates, the Whippet will "turn off" and never be a satisfactory training partner.  Thus the responsibility lies with the trainer to keep it happy and light and fun.  Making training into a game will result in a Whippet that will not allow you to forget a daily session and a dog that will utilize all their energy and focus to help develop and further "the game" you are teaching.
Background Information
Year range of first recognition: mid19th century
Country of Origin: England
Original Function: Ratter and
History: Greyhounds were crossed with a small Terrier (perhaps Bedlington?) in Northern England. These quick offspring,the property of factory and mineworkers became known as the poorman's greyhound and participated in rag races (referring to the lure).
Adoption Information
Deviations from Standard: oversized, incorrect coat (suspected that longhaired individuals are indeed crosses)
Health Notes: heart murmurs, eye problems, skin problems, hypothyroidism, seizuring, hip/elbow dysplasia
Health Testing: CERF, OFA or Penn Hip, Michigan State Thyroid Panel, vWD, Baer hearing test
Questions to ask Breeder:  - The Breeder Questions as listed here provided with explanations and answers you will want to be looking for!

  • How long have you had Whippets?
  • Will you be keeping a puppy from this litter?
  • What activities do you do with your Whippets?
  • What do you consider correct Whippet temperament?
  • What suggestions do you have for properly training and socializing a Whippet?
  • Do you have a written contract and puppy guarantee?
  • How did you select this specific breeding pair?
  • What do you look for in your breeding stock? health clearances? titles?
  • What health issues have you observed in the breed?
  • What do you consider to be the ideal home for a Whippet?
Web Sites:

Do you and your Whippet support our country? spay/neuter? breast cancer awareness?  or some other cause close to your heart?  If so, you'll want to check out Bark Out Loud! with some great tshirt designs for you and your Whippet! A highly regarded Whippet Rescue; contact them first for recommendations of who to work with if they aren't in your area


Other Resources
Breed standard: - Standard of the American Whippet Club

Breeder Ethics: Code of Ethics for the American Whippet Club

Other: Regarding the health issues listed above, many problems exist in the breed but appear in very few individuals.  The most common, and fortunately rather easy to diagnose even in a young puppy, is heart issues or the murmur which is most common.  Be sure to have your new puppy checked as soon as possible, even then a mild murmur needn't compromise the life of a Whippet at all unless intended for breeding.
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