June 22, 2020 // 5 minute read

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Whippet dogs are slightly similar to a greyhound but smaller. Their bodies are naturally thin and curvaceous, where an arc seems to appear to its loin. The Whippet is built for speed and is believed to run at a speed of 35 mph.

Whippets are known to be excellent family members. They get along well with everyone, but they are not demanding of attention. They make excellent companions regardless if you’re up for outdoor activities or just resting on your couch.

Whippet Dog Breed

Whippet Statistics

Dog Breed GroupHound
Breed SizeMedium
Height19-22 inches (male); 18-21 inches (female)
Weight 25-40 pounds
Lifespan12-15 years

Whippet Ratings

Energy level
Exercise needs
Requires attention
Friendly with family
Friendly with kids
Friendly with strangers
Friendly with other dogs
Prey Drive


Whippets are a fairly new breed whose history can be traced back to 18th century Great Britain. During those times, North-country coal miners enjoyed dog racing and rabbit hunting as sports, however, they can’t afford to have a Greyhound.

So, these miners decided to breed a smaller version of the Greyhound, which is the Whippet. There are no apparent records as to what breeds were used to create the Whippet, but the fact remains that the miners succeeded.

Whippets became known to be the fastest breed of their size. The dogs became popular with working men in England, and Whippet races took place on a straight track down roads and across fields. There are even games where they would chase a rag or piece of cloth – rag races.

Because of these activities, Whippets were also given the name “poor man’s Greyhound” and “Lightning Rag Dog.”

When the 20th century came, textile workers from Lancashire were emigrating to New England, and they brought their Whippets with them. Since then, there has been no stopping the rise of the Whippets’ popularity.

By 1888, the American Kennel Club registered the breed. And now, Whippets remain to be one of the most popular dog breeds in the US.



The American Kennel Club describes Whippets as affectionate, playful, and calm dogs. They love their family, and wouldn’t mind staying on your couch and sleeping for hours. However, once you let it out, expect that he will enthusiastically play in the yard.

These dogs love running games, and they require a few exercises a day. They are fast but not highly energetic, so no need to spend the whole day just playing with them.

They’re friendly with strangers and good with children. They also get along well with cats and other pets that grew up with them, but for those that don’t, his prey drive might kick in.

They are not aggressive dogs. They are also not demanding of attention and are known to the most obedient out of all sighthounds. Training them should come easy, just make sure not to be harsh on them.

Early socialization is essential to make them more well-rounded. This will also help him get accustomed to new people, animals, sights, and sounds.

Whippet Care Requirements

  • Nutrition: Whippets are racing dogs, which means they need lots of protein on their diet to give them the muscular support they need. However, this would depend on whether you’re letting him do a lot of activities in a day. Regardless of which, Whippets should get a high-quality and well-balanced diet that consists of all essential nutrients. The recommended maintenance diet should be 20-25% protein and 10-14% fat. If you have no idea about how much to give your dog, you can ask your vet for guidance. Make sure that you only use high-quality ingredients for your dog’s food. If you’re going for commercial products, make sure it does not contain any fillers, artificial flavoring and coloring, and by-products.
  • Grooming: Whippets are low maintenance pets. Their bodies are covered with short, smooth coats that shed occasionally and need very minimal brushing. Baths should be occasionally given as these dogs don’t have a smell. Ears should be regularly checked and cleaned even if you’ll not bath them. This will help prevent ear infection. Don’t forget to check and trim the nails too. Maintaining it short would help in relieving your dog from any pain and discomfort.
  • Exercise: Whippets are fast dogs, but that doesn’t mean that they are highly energetic. These dogs can also be couch potatoes, but regular and moderate exercise will help keep them happy. These dogs don’t need to run around all day. Retrieving sessions and other activities that will allow him to use his agility should suffice. Just make sure to keep him in a secured fence.
  • Health: Though Whippets are generally healthy, they are prone to getting sick, especially if not taken care of. Some diseases you would need to watch out for are Anesthesia Sensitivity, Deafness, Eye Diseases, and von Willebrand’s Disease. You can have your dog take some screening tests so you can rule out any of these conditions. Take note of any symptoms, too, and take your dog to regular check-ups for monitoring.
  • Lifespan: The life expectancy of Whippets is 12-15 years.

Whippet Dog

Famous Whippets

  • Wendy: World-famous uber-muscled Whippet dog

Fun Facts about Whippets

  • The breed’s history goes way back to the 1600s; they have been present in arts and literature of that era.
  • They are the fastest animal of their weight; reaching speeds of 35 mph.
  • Their running style is called “Double Suspension Gallop.”
  • They are skinny dogs.
  • They are usually recognized as Greyhound, Italian Greyhound, and Great Dane.
  • They were also called “Poor man’s Greyhound” as these dogs are commonly owned by British miller workers, coal miners, and tenant farmers.

Check Out Other Hound Dog Breeds:
Afghan Hound, American English Coonhounds, American Foxhound, Basenjis, Basset Hound, Beagle, Black and Tan Coonhound, Bloodhound, Bluetick Coonhound, Borzois, Cirnechi dell’Etna, Dachshund, English Foxhound, Grand Basset Griffon Vendeens, Greyhound, Harrier, Ibizan Hound, Icelandic Sheepdogs, Irish Wolfhound, Norwegian Elkhound, Otterhound, Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen, Pharaoh Hounds, Plotts, Portuguese Podengo, Redbone Coonhound, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Salukis, Scottish Deerhounds, Sloughis, Treeing Walker Coonhound

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