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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Whippet

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Whippet Facts

  • Group
  • Hound
  • Affiliations
  • AKC, CKC, UKC
  • Height
  • 18" - 22"
  • Weight
  • 20-30 lbs.
  • Lifespan
  • 14 years | Add yours

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  • Exercise Requirement
  • Moderate - This breed enjoys typical daily activity
  • Training Requirement
  • Average Training Time
  • Grooming Requirement
  • Easy
  • Colors
    • Various Colors
     
  • Breed Characteristics
    • Adapted to city living
    • Good with children
    • Should sleep indoors
 

True Cost Of Ownership

Alternate Names

None known.

Origin

The whippet originated in England.

Date Of Origin

This breed developed in the 1800's.

History

Whippets were bred to hunt by sight, coursing game in open areas at high speeds. One can find numerous representations of small greyhound-like hounds in art dating back to Roman times but the first written English use of the word "whippet" with regard to a type of dog was in 1610. There is a picture by Jean Baptiste Oudry (1686?1755) of "Misse", one of two English whippets presented to Louis XV, in the Washington National Gallery and another, with her companion, "Turlu", by the same artist in the Mus?e National de Fontainebleau. However, some French sources, notably the Ministry of Culture, use the word "levrette" to describe Misse and Turlu. Levrette translates as "female greyhound". In the nineteenth century, whippet racing was a national sport in England, more popular than football. It is only beginning with this period that the existence of the whippet as a distinct breed can be stated with certainty. The age of the modern whippet dawned in 1890 when the English Kennel Club granted the breed official recognition, thus making the whippet eligible for competition in dog shows, and commencing the recording of their pedigrees. In the United States, the whippet was recognized in 1888 by the American Kennel Club. Early specimens were taken from the race track by dog fanciers of the time and exported all over the world. The whippet's versatility as a hunting, racing, exhibition or companion dog soon made it one of the most popular of the sighthound breeds.

Description

The whippet is a small to medium size, elegant and muscular dog. The whippets length is equal to or slightly longer than its height. It has a long, narrow head with a long, powerful muzzle. It has large, dark eyes;a black nose; and small rose ears. It has a long neck and long tapering tail. The short, smooth coat is of any color.

Temperament

This is an amiable and friendly dog that likes almost everyone, including children and other dogs. It has a pronounced prey instinct and will chase and roam. It is intelligent and can be intense.

Uses

The whippet is used at the track for short races, and can reach 37 mph (60 km. per hour). Due to its excellent character, it has also become a companion dog that at the opportune moment will transform itself into an attentive watchdog.

Health Concerns

Eye problems.

Additional Information

This breed does well with an active family or individual and is adaptable to city life as long as there is adequate exercise.

Show Sources & Contributors +

Sources

The Howell Book Of Dogs

Publisher: Wiley Publishing Inc, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Author: Liz Palika

Dog Bible

Publisher: BowTie Press, 2005

Website: http://www.bowtiepress.com/bowtie/

Authors: Kristin Meuh-Roe, Jarelle S. Stein

Simon & Schusters Guide to Dogs

Publisher: Simon & Schuster inc, 1980

Website: http://www.simonandschuster.com

Author: Elizabeth Meriwether Schuler

The New Encyclopedia of the Dog

Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishing, 2000

Website: http://www.dk.com

Author: Bruce Fogle

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