Whippet is an elegant, medium sized dog that resembles a Greyhound, though in miniature form. These well behaved yet powerful dogs possess great speed and balance. These intelligent, calm and quiet dogs are generally not aggressive.
The Whippet dog breed was developed in England by the cross breeding of Italian Greyhound and another now extinct terrier-type dog. They were originally developed as low maintenance hunting and racing dogs. Hence, the breed became popular as “the poor man’s racehorse”. In fact, the name Whippet is derived from the term “whip it” that is, moving quickly. They are capable of running at a speed of 35-40 miles per hour.
These agile dogs are characterized by long legs and an overall lean yet balanced muscular form. They have round to oval, large expressive eyes that are generally dark brown or black in color. They have small, rose ears folded along the neck but tend to stand semi erect in excitement.
The nose is usually dark in color, ranging from dark blue, dark brown to black in color. The low held long Whippet tail bears a slight upward curve towards the end.
Color: These dogs come in a variety of colors like white, black, blue, fawn, red, brindle and other solid or mixed colors.
Height: The average height of a male Whippet is generally 19 to 22 inches. Female Whippets are generally an inch shorter, that is, 18 to 21 inches in height.
Weight: Both male as well as female Whippets usually weigh around 20 to 40 pounds.
Whippet dog breed is generally considered strong and healthy with less number of health concerns. Normally, these dogs are not likely to suffer from frequent stomach problems, skin allergies and ear infections. However, these dogs are prone to sunburn because of the short and thin hair coat.
Some Whippets may be susceptible to genetic eye problems (like lens luxation, cataract, progressive retinal atrophy etc), heart murmurs, thyroid disorders, seizure disorders and other such health issues. Besides, they are known to be intolerant and sensitive to several anesthetics.
Life Expectancy: The average lifespan of Whippet dogs is 12 to 15 yeas.
Litter Size: The average litter size of these lovely dogs is 6 to 8 puppies.
Grooming a Whippet dog is quite an effortless and hassle free task. These dogs have easy to maintain short and smooth hair coats requiring weekly brushing and combing. These dogs are relatively clean and free of doggy odor. So, they need not be bathed very frequently.
In fact, it is advised to bathe them as less as two to three times in a year. Simply use a damp chamosis from time to time to rub the coat in order to maintain the shine of the hair coat. Plus, trim their nails and clean their eyes and ears on a regular basis to avoid troublesome infections.
Whippet breed dogs are smart, gentle, affectionate, sensitive, friendly and highly energetic dogs. They are adept at the art of welcoming their owners as well as strangers alike. Therefore, do not entrust guard dog duties to your trusting and unsuspicious Whippet. Still, these intelligent dogs do make for good watchdogs.
In general, a male Whippet dog is considered to be more loyal and reliable as compared to a moody female Whippet. These dogs are usually good with small children. However, they are generally not reliable around small animals like cats, rabbits etc but are compatible with other dogs.
They are obedient and easy to train. Plus, these introverted dogs should be subjected to early socialization to avoid extremely shy and timid behavior. When not engaged in running, they love to spend their time lying luxuriously on the couch. Whippet dogs should not be subjected to high-pitched yelling and rough handling as they are sensitive in nature.
Whippet dogs are immensely faithful and devoted towards their owners. They tend to get bored quite easily. Therefore, while training your Whippet, make sure you provide him with plenty of variety and stimulation in order to make the task more fun for him.
These dogs are quite sensitive to cold weather. Therefore, it would be better to make them wear sweaters and coats to keep them protected. You can safely keep your Whippet dog in an apartment, preferably with a small yard for physical activity.
These dogs are quite inactive indoors and hence require daily brisk walks to keep them in good health. Security arrangements like leashes with leads and yards with fences are more than necessary in case of these diligent sighthounds.