Canine Breed Menu

English Whippet

English Whippet

English Whippet
Breed Organization
American Whippet Club
Native Country
Great Britain
Other Names
Whippet, Snapdog
Life Expectancy
Approximately 12-15 Years
Litter Size
Average 4-8 Puppies
Breed Group
AKC Hound
Breed Appearance
Whippets were originally greyhounds that were deemed unsuitable for hunting because of their size. They were returned to their peasant breeders after being maimed so that they could not be used to hunt and break the Forest law. These maimed dogs were bred together and used to catch rats, and hunt rabbits. When the Forest law was repealed, these "miniature greyhounds" became popular in the sport of dog racing. This has led to Whippets being described as "the poor man's racehorse." They are still frequently used as racing dogs today, as they have the highest running speed of breeds their weight: 35 miles per hour (56 km/h). Whippets also participate in dog sports such as lure coursing, agility, and flyball.

Breed Description
Head: Long, thin. Long, flat skull. Slight stop. Powerful jaws. Nose matches coat color.
Ears: Small, thin, rose-shaped.
Eyes: Oval, shiny.
Body: Square build. Neck long, muscular, delicately arching. Very high chest. Well-sprung ribs. Strong hindquarters. Tuck-up. Well-arched loin. Broad, fairly long back.
Tail: Long, tapering, carried below the topline.
Hair: Short, fine, and dense.
Coat: Any color or combination of colors.
Size: Dog: 47 to 51 cm.Bitch: 44 to 47 cm.
Weight: Approx. 10 kg.

The Whippet was developed in northern England about a century ago to replace the Fox Terrier in hunting hare. He is believed to be the product of crosses between various terriers (Fox, Bedlington), the Italian Greyhound, and the Greyhound. He was used in competitions staged by miners. This miniature Greyhound’s name is derived from "whip up" or "whip it". The breed was recognized in England in 1902 and became quite common in other countries. The Whippet was recognized by AKC in 1888 and by the English Kennel Club in 1891.

The tough, hardy Whippet was used on hare. One of the world's swiftest sighthounds, he is very fast for his weight and is more adept than the Greyhound. He truly shines in races and lure coursing events. Very affectionate and intelligent, gentle with children, calm, and quiet, the Whippet makes a wonderful pet. He is not a watchdog. His training must not be harsh.

Whippets course, work, and race; they have been bred for these jobs for years. This has kept them a structurally sound breed which is predominantly free from the physical exaggerations that can lead to certain health problems. Whippets are, like other sighthounds, intolerant of barbiturate anaesthetics. This is in part due to their low concentration of body fat and their liver's inability to metabolise the anaesthetics. The heart of a Whippet is large and slow beating, often being arrhythmic or even intermittent when the animal is at rest. This sometimes causes concern to the owner, or to the vet not experienced with the breed. Whippets will, however, demonstrate a regular heartbeat during exercise.

He can adapt to the city but needs lots of exercise for his well-being. He does not like being left alone and cannot tolerate the cold. He is very clean and needs brushing once or twice a week.

Hunting Dog (Ratter), Racing Dog, Agility and Lure Cursing, Pet.

Horse Herd