Search Menu
Whippet standing in profile outdoors.
© -

Known for their speed, Whippets, have been called the “Poor Man’s Racehorse” and “Lightning Rag Dog.” Although sometimes mistaken for Greyhounds, they’re a breed of their own with a distinctly deep chest and trim waist.

The breed is speedy, but also enjoy the role of man’s best friend and are loving and cuddly family pets. Owners of this beloved breed will relate to these facts about Whippets.

Whippets Are Extremely Affectionate and Playful

According to the American Whippet Club, the Whippet’s “natural attachment to people makes them happiest when kept as house pets.” Whippets are the type of breed that will lick strangers in the park because of their love for affection.

Whippets Aren’t “Barking” Dogs, but Watchdogs

That’s why Whippets make great city dwellers and great neighbors. The breed’s name developed from the word “whappet,” an older word describing “a small dog that yaps.” Their watchdog instinct stems from their hunting instinct, so you can say it’s in their blood.

Whippet standing in profile outdoors.
© -

Whippets Can Reach Speeds of Up to 35 MPH

Whippets were originally used for hunting, especially before they arrived in America. They’re one of several Sighthound breeds that excel in speed-based AKC sports, such as AKC Lure Coursing.

Whippets Are Known for Their Temperament

While Whippets are great apartment dogs, they do extremely well in a fenced-in backyard. Whippets need to be exercised regularly — you don’t want to deal with a torn couch!

Many Get Whippets as a Second Dog to Exercise Their First

Whippets are natural family pets and are good with both small children and other dogs. They make a great breed to keep the kids tired and older dogs energized.

Whippet head portrait outdoors.
©otsphoto -

Whippets Are a Very Intelligent Breed

In Victorian England, coal-miners participated in dog racing and rabbit hunting on their days off. At this time, the laborers struggled to afford kennel space or a place to exercise their larger Greyhound-like breed. The solution was to breed a smaller version, but it’s not known which breed created the Whippet. The breed followed coal miners, came to America and arrived in New England. They come with a bloodline of intelligence and obedience.

Whippets Are Very Low-Maintenance in Terms of Health

Like any companion, a Whippet’s ears should still be checked frequently for signs of infection and nails should remain trimmed, not worn down. Long nails can cause them discomfort. You don’t want long nails if you’re running at speeds up to 35 mph.

Whippets Have a Short, Smooth Coat

With their short coat, the Whippet is a somewhat frequent shedder that could definitely use a regular weekly brushing. Be careful of wearing dress slacks or suit jackets while petting these friendly companions — you’ll need a lint brush!

Whippet running on the beach.
©otsphoto -

A Whippet’s Frame Isn’t Suited for Extra Weight

In fact, two to four vertebrae should be visible. Young Whippets may appear long and may have difficulty covering up their ribs. Adult Whippets, at a healthy weight, will appear skinny in comparison to other breeds. Whippets at a proper weight will avoid health issues.

Whippets Often Get Wrongly Identified as Other Breeds

Part of the same group as the Greyhound, Whippets are a breed of their own. Well-mannered and quick, they’re the fastest breed of their size. They’re also commonly recognized as Italian Greyhounds because of their build and short hair.

Once a Whippet owner, many find themselves an lover of this cuddly and affectionate companion for life. Plus, how could you say no to the huge eyes and soft smile, especially if they’re curling up on your lap.

Related article: Sounders the Whippet is a Top Diving Dogs Competitor
Get Your Free AKC eBook

The All-Purpose Grooming Tool kit

Do you have everything you need to keep your dog in tip top shape? Not sure where to start? This e-book will outline how to put together the perfect grooming kit for your dog.
*Turn off pop-up blocker to download
*Turn off pop-up blocker to download