Now Whippet, Into Shape: The Whippet Breed

Quickly chasing rabbits and other little games, the whippet breed is a dear friend of a hunter. Nowadays, the breed is one of the swiftest legs in the dog park, accelerating to a top speed of 35 miles per hour, only next to the greyhound’s long legs.

Whippets also do very well in lure coursing, a dog sport that involves chasing a mechanical lure in a field meant to simulate actual prey hunting. Whippets also bring home the trophy in flyball (a race where packs of dogs negotiate obstacles before culminating in a tennis ball race), as well as rally obedience contests. Although these are considered purebred dogs, some of them may end up in rescues or shelters. If you think that this breed is most suitable for you, you may consider adopting it.

History Of The Whippet Breed

Also called the “poor man’s Greyhound”, the classic but mighty Whippet was seemingly developed during the later part of the 18th century and utilized by the poachers to hunt for rabbits and to participate in snap competitions.

As the working type bred and finished the competition and chasing spirit in the breed, it is believed that the upper type has made the appearance of the breed perfect as it is nowadays by putting in some Italian Greyhound for civilization.

The Whippets is somewhat a sophisticated breed with an age that is not over a couple of hundred years. They were formed in Northern England, particularly Yorkshire and Lancashire, perhaps during the later part of the 1700s. 

The Whippet dog breeds are averagely-sized hound and have a short but thick coat in different shades and markings wrapping a sleek body. These breeds are not the pint-sized Greyhound. They were formed by blending Greyhounds with little terriers and afterward, Italian Greyhounds. The output was a glistening and alluring dog that is pleasant and friendly.

Kennel Club of England acknowledged the Whippets in 1891. The very first Whippet breed that was recorded in the American Kennel Club was named Jack Dempsey in 1888.

Up to these days, the Whippet breeds continue to motivate adoration because of his classy appearance, adaptability, and loyal comradeship. 

How Do Whippets Look?

A male Whippet breed has a height of 19 to 22 inches at the shoulder. A female Whippet, on the other hand, is around 18 to 21 inches. Their average weight is around 18 to 48 pounds, with the female version being quite smaller. Males are normally seen around 34 pounds while females are roughly 29 pounds. 

What Are The Characteristics Of Whippet Dogs?

The distinct characteristics of Whippet breeds, along with their affectionate personality, and sleek appearance make them outstanding as a family buddy, and also in the show ring. These animals can also make ideal pets in an apartment, although one has to consider the fact that they need a lot of exercises to disengage their high-level energy. Furthermore, Whippets do not like being abandoned for quite a while.

If your goal is to get a watchdog, then you should reconsider and not choose a Whippet. These dogs hardly bark, even if exposed to strangers. Nonetheless, you can get an extremely sympathetic friend for the entire family.

Although they are popular for their liberated nature, which can lead to difficult obedience training, a lot of Whippets are triumphant when competing with obedience trials.

Should You Get A Whippet Breed?

Normally, the Whippet breeds can easily complement other breeds of dogs and humans, even though in recent socialization – the introduction to various people, situations, sounds, and sights – is essential to help them from getting scared when exposed to new situations.

However, if you also have the heart for cats, the Whippet breed is not an ideal option. You should understand that these creatures possess an extreme prey urge. Even though certain Whippets can manage to live harmoniously together with cats and other little furry animals, there were a lot of instances where Whippets get violent and kill family cats.

You can try training your Whippet and teach him to socialize and welcome the family cat, however, it is necessary to always overlook their interplays and never abandon them.

That similar urge of preying that turns Whippets inadequate to strolls off-leash. They will not hesitate to chase anything that they find worth hunting. Even a well-taught Whippet can easily ignore the commands of his owner. Some will not get tired and will pursue their target even for miles.

Caring For A Whippet Breed

What is most important for the comfort of the Whippet is having a soft bed to bolster his body and getting access to your bed and sofa so he can have some moments cuddling with you. 

Whippet breeds love daily walks and they also enjoy every chance of running in a confined place or fenced yard. However, you should know that an underground electronic-type fence is not enough to contain them. Whippets will just take the shock for granted just to pursue any moving target. However, you should not reach the point of extremely exercising your pet. You must prevent any strain on their system or in the joint. The common guideline is 5 minutes for each month of age. It means that a 5-month-old Whippet should only get an exercise not over than 25 minutes a day.

When in the house, these animals can be undemanding and compassionate. They will also want your company and you will see them satisfied if you give them what they want. When exposed to kids, these animals can be cheerful and naughty. Their delicate coats and gentle characteristic make them inappropriate for outdoor living. 

Whippets will curl up with you on the couch and may give your feet warmth at the end of the day. This will surely give you a wonderful feeling!

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Lovelia Horn

I’m a certified crazy dog mom, a physical therapist (for hoomans), writer, animal rescuer, and foster home provider. Together with my hubby Ryan, I’ve fostered and helped look for forever homes for over a hundred shelter dogs in the Southern Illinois area. I mostly work with Puppy Rescue 911, Inc., a certified animal rescue organization based out of Chester, IL (home of Popeye!)

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