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Whippet

Whippet

An Excellent Companion

Loyal, Gentle, Quiet

Whippets are extraordinary pets. While it is interesting to learn about the breeding purpose of Whippets, their genetics actually influence health, outward appearance and behavior. Some behaviors make the Whippet and some can be quite irritating! Understanding her unique needs will help you keep her healthy and will create a stronger bond between the two of you. Explore this page to learn more about where she came, which health conditions are a risk to her and how to keep her feeling her best.

Breed Details

Height:18-22 Weight:20-40 lb Lifespan:12-14 years

Size
3

1=small 5=large

Grooming requirements
1

1 = little grooming - 5 = much grooming

Energy level
3

1 = low energy - 5 = high energy

Ease of training
3

1 = difficult - 5 = easy

Affection toward owners
4

1 = independent - 5 = very affectionate

Friendliness toward strangers
3

1 = shy - 5 = very friendly

Routine Care: Due to her smaller size, the Whippet makes an excellent house dog and companion. When exercised off leash, she should be in a fenced enclosure.

Grooming: Brush her coat at least weekly.

Dental: Whippets generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!

Ear Care: Clean her ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!

Whippets are known to be one of the most sensitive breeds. They respond best to positive behavioral training. When provided with enough exercise she’ll make for a quiet and loyal friend.

Positive Traits:

  • Quiet—not much of a barker

  • Excellent companion and family dog

  • Good with children

  • Requires minimal grooming

  • Intelligent and easy to train

  • Compact - does well in small living quarters

Negative Traits:

  • Needs a lot of exercise and mental stimulation

  • Fragile and easily injured because of her small size

  • Needs frequent attention from her family

  • Sensitive by nature, a bit slow to mature

Whether you are considering adding a new Whippet to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Whippet will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds.

By exploring the health concerns specific to the Whippet you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. She’s counting on you to be her health expert.

Some health issues a Whippet could encounter:

Anesthesia

Multidrug Resistance

Heart Disease

Eye Problems

Cataracts

Corneal Dystrophy

Whippets originated in England in 1891. They were bred for racing, often steeple chase and rabbit coursing. They were first brought to the United States by English mill operators of Massachusetts. One of the fastest domesticated animals, she is capable of speeds up to 35 miles per hour. Not the pet you want to chase down the street. Whippets excel in lure coursing, agility, flyball, and obedience. Whippets are great human companions – active outdoors, but quiet in the house. They have an average life span of 12-14 years.

Consult with a veterinarian if your Whippet shows signs of the following:

  • Lethargy, drooling, or abnormal behavior following drug administration

  • Coughing, especially at night or upon rising after sleeping, rapid breathing at rest

  • Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

  • Cloudiness to eye lens

  • Dilated pupils in daylight, or increased "eye shine" at night

  • Misplaced or missing teeth, bad breath, hair and food stuck between teeth

  • Excessive licking or chewing, pawing at face and/or ears, head shaking, face rubbing

  • Dry, scaly, sometimes itchy hairless patches on face or paws

  • Dull coat, hair loss, sluggish, weight gain

  • Any new or changing lumps or bumps

  • Easily startled, no reaction to unseen sounds

  • Care

    Routine Care: Due to her smaller size, the Whippet makes an excellent house dog and companion. When exercised off leash, she should be in a fenced enclosure.

    Grooming: Brush her coat at least weekly.

    Dental: Whippets generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!

    Ear Care: Clean her ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!

  • Characteristics

    Whippets are known to be one of the most sensitive breeds. They respond best to positive behavioral training. When provided with enough exercise she’ll make for a quiet and loyal friend.

    Positive Traits:

    • Quiet—not much of a barker

    • Excellent companion and family dog

    • Good with children

    • Requires minimal grooming

    • Intelligent and easy to train

    • Compact - does well in small living quarters

    Negative Traits:

    • Needs a lot of exercise and mental stimulation

    • Fragile and easily injured because of her small size

    • Needs frequent attention from her family

    • Sensitive by nature, a bit slow to mature

  • Health Concerns

    Whether you are considering adding a new Whippet to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Whippet will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds.

    By exploring the health concerns specific to the Whippet you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. She’s counting on you to be her health expert.

    Some health issues a Whippet could encounter:

    Anesthesia

    Multidrug Resistance

    Heart Disease

    Eye Problems

    Cataracts

    Corneal Dystrophy

  • History

    Whippets originated in England in 1891. They were bred for racing, often steeple chase and rabbit coursing. They were first brought to the United States by English mill operators of Massachusetts. One of the fastest domesticated animals, she is capable of speeds up to 35 miles per hour. Not the pet you want to chase down the street. Whippets excel in lure coursing, agility, flyball, and obedience. Whippets are great human companions – active outdoors, but quiet in the house. They have an average life span of 12-14 years.

  • Watch Out For

    Consult with a veterinarian if your Whippet shows signs of the following:

    • Lethargy, drooling, or abnormal behavior following drug administration

    • Coughing, especially at night or upon rising after sleeping, rapid breathing at rest

    • Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

    • Cloudiness to eye lens

    • Dilated pupils in daylight, or increased "eye shine" at night

    • Misplaced or missing teeth, bad breath, hair and food stuck between teeth

    • Excessive licking or chewing, pawing at face and/or ears, head shaking, face rubbing

    • Dry, scaly, sometimes itchy hairless patches on face or paws

    • Dull coat, hair loss, sluggish, weight gain

    • Any new or changing lumps or bumps

    • Easily startled, no reaction to unseen sounds

Whippet Discussions

Share your thoughts and experiences, ask questions, or just show your love for the Whippet breed here!

Select Another Breed

To view the sources for the information listed on this page, see our Dog Breed Guide Reference page.

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