Basic Whippet Information
- Lifespan: 12 - 15 years
- Height: 18 - 22 inches
- Weight: 20 - 40 pounds
Medical Conditions Seen in Whippets
- Chronic Valvular Disease
- Otitis Externa
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy
- Myostatin Deficiency
- Joggin Partner
- Lap Dog
- Good with Children
- Warm Weather
- Cold Weather
- Grooming Requirements
- Ease of Training
- The whippet descends from greyhound roots, probably mixed with ratting terriers.
- The resulting small dogs could be used for poaching in the royal forests, and for entertainment in snap dog contests in which bets were made on how many rabbits a dog could snap up before the rabbits escaped from a circle. This gave the whippet its first name of "snap-dog."
- During the Industrial Revolution, workers brought their dogs with them to towns. They staged betting races in which the dogs raced in a 200-yard straight line toward a person waving a rag. This earned the breed the name of "poor man's racehorse."
- The AKC recognized the whippet in 1888.
- The whippet is the most popular of the greyhound-like breeds.
- The whippet is the most successful breed competing in the sport of lure-coursing, in which they chase a plastic bag dragged along a zig-zagging course at high speed.
Whippet Behavior Concerns
- Makes a devoted and gentle companion.
- It is one of the most demonstrative and obedient of the greyhound-like breeds.
- It enjoys sitting close to its family; it is sometimes described as "clingy."
- It may tend to run off to chase moving things, especially small animals.
- Sociable with children, strangers, and other dogs and animals (except small strange ones running away).
- An alert watchdog, but not a very effective protection dog.
- Learns quickly, but is easily bored.
- Does best with reward-based training involving food or play. Very sensitive.
Whippet Suggested Exercises
- Makes a very quiet housedog as long as its exercise needs are met.
- Requires a moderate walk or jog, or a sprint in an enclosed area, every day.
- Games and tricks provide needed mental exercise.
- Its short hair provides virtually no protection against cold weather. A coat may be necessary in cold weather.
- Coat is short and thin.
- The coat needs weekly brushing, and occasional bathing.
- Shedding is below average.
Suggested Whippet Nutritional Needs
- Whippet conformation is for a naturally thin build, but owners often overfeed them. You should be able to feel the ribs, but they should not be too noticeable.
- Adult dogs should be fed a balanced diet, with restricted calories if the dog starts to gain too much weight.
Did you know?
- Grapes and raisins are harmful to dogs.
- Some dog parasites are transferable to humans.
- Many common pet ailments may be detected early and prevented by visiting your veterinarian twice yearly - saving both time, money, and most importantly, ensuring the best quality of life for your dog.
Come visit us, we would love to see you!
We are here to help! Book an appointment today to continue your pet on a path to great health and wellness
Ask the Vet
Have unanswered pet health questions? Dr.Donna Spector, with 10+ years of hands-on Internal Medicine experience, is here with your answers every Friday.