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The Whippet was developed at the end of the 19th century through crossing among the Greyhound, the Italian Greyhound, and another terrier type dog. Its name comes from the expression "whip it" meaning to move quickly. The Whippet is an outstanding track racer over short distances reaching speeds of up to 37 miles per hour, 60km. per hour reaching those speeds in seconds! It was recognized by AKC in 1888 and by the English Kennel Club in 1891. Some of the Whippet's talents include: hunting, sighting, watchdog, racing, agility, and lure coursing.
The Whippet is a medium sized sight hound that looks similar to its cousin the Greyhound. The skull is long and lean with a fairly wide space between the ears. The muzzle is long with almost no stop, tapering to the nose. The nose is black, or dark brown. The teeth meet in a scissors bite. The small, rose ears are held back and folded and are semi-perked when they are excited. The beautiful oval shaped eyes are dark in color. The front legs are straight and the feet are thick either cat or hare like. The tail is long, tapering to a point. It is held low with a slight upward curve near the end, reaching to at least the hock. The short, smooth coat comes in all colors including brindle, black, red, fawn, tigered white or slate blue, either solid-colored or mixed. Unlike some other breeds, male whippets are as easy to housebreak as females. Females can be a little more complex, moody and strong-willed. Males tend to be one to two inches taller and three to six pounds heavier than females
The Whippet is intelligent, lively, affectionate, sweet, and docile. This very devoted companion is quiet and calm in the home. The Whippet should never be roughly trained, for they are extremely sensitive both physically and mentally. Be sure to introduce plenty of variety when training them. The best results will be achieved by including games and running. They are good with children of all ages as long as the children do not roughhouse or tease the dog. Whippets are clean, virtually odor free, easy to care for and easy to travel with. They are good watchdogs and may be reserved with strangers. They will pursue and kill cats and other small animals if given the opportunity, but are good with other dogs. Household cats that they are raised with and have become accustom to will be left alone. The Whippet's sweet personality makes him a fine companion dog. The Whippet is the ultimate sprinter, unsurpassed by any other breed in its ability to accelerate to top speed and to twist and turn with matchless dexterity. Some can be difficult to housebreak while others housebreak quickly.
Make sure you are this dog's firm, confident, consistent pack leader to avoid Small Dog Syndrome, and behavior problems. Always remember, dogs are canines, not humans. Be sure to meet their natural instincts as animals. The average height is 19-22 inches (47-56 cm.) Females 18-21 inches (44-54 cm.) Average weight, Dogs 25-45 pounds (11-21 kg.) This breed is sensitive to the cold. Wearing a coat is advised in the winter. They will do okay in an apartment if they are sufficiently exercised. Whippets are calm indoors and a small yard will do. They’re prone to stomach upset and skin problems. The Whippet kept as a pet should have regular opportunities to run free on open ground (in a safe area) as well as a brisk daily walk on a leash. They are sighthounds and will chase and kill small animals so a fenced yard is essential. All in all they are a wonderful breed of dog and are wonderful to curl up with at the end of a long day.