Why Is It Called a Whippet?

The name “whippet” is thought to come from the word “whappet,” which is an old English term for a small, fast-moving, and yapping animal. Some people believe that the name may also come from the fact that these dogs were often used as “whippers-in” by huntsmen, driving the rabbits towards the hounds.

Whippet Dog Breed

The whippet is a member of the sighthound family, which also includes dogs like the English greyhound and the Italian greyhound. Like other sighthounds, whippets are known for their speed, athletic build, and keen eyesight.

Although there is some historical evidence presenting whippet-like dogs, the breed is thought to have originated in England in the late 1800s, where they were bred as racing dogs. However, they quickly became popular as pets as well, due to their gentle nature and affectionate temperament. It wasn’t until the late 19th century, though, that the Whippet was officially recognized as a distinct breed by the American Kennel Club (AKC). Today, whippets are still prized as racing dogs.

The Difference Between a Whippet and a Greyhound

Though they may look like a small greyhound, whippets are actually a separate breed. Sighthounds and greyhounds are both types of dogs that were bred for hunting. However, there are some important differences between them. Sighthounds, such as whippets, are built for speed and agility. They have long legs and lean bodies, which helps them to reach high speeds quickly.

Greyhounds, on the other hand, are built for endurance. They can maintain a fast pace for a longer period of time than other dogs. Greyhounds also have larger chests, which allows them to take in more oxygen and run for longer periods of time.

Whippet Breed Characteristics

The whippet is a medium-sized breed of dog. They weigh between 25 and 40 pounds and stand 18 to 22 inches tall at the shoulder. Whippets are slim, athletic dogs with short fur that comes in a variety of colors, including black, brindle, fawn, and white. They have long legs and graceful curves, which give them a sleek and elegant appearance.

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Breeding a Whippet

Although they make loyal and loving companions, whippets are not the easiest dogs to breed. Because they are so slender, whippets can have difficulty carrying puppies to term. In addition, they often have trouble whelping, or giving birth. As a result, many breeders opt to use artificial insemination or C-sections when breeding whippets. Although it is more challenging than breeding other breeds of dogs, the rewards of successfully breeding a litter of whippets can be well worth the effort. Whippet puppies are incredibly cute and make wonderful pets.


Whippet litters typically consist of six to eight puppies. The puppies are born blind and deaf, and they spend the first few weeks of their lives huddled together in a warm, safe place. During this time, the mother dog will care for them, cleaning them and keeping them fed. After a few weeks, the puppies’ eyes and ears will open, and they will start to explore their surroundings. At this point, they will also begin to eat solid food. The weaning process takes a few weeks, and during this time the puppies will learn how to socialize with their littermates.

Health Concerns

Unfortunately, they are also prone to a number of health problems. One of the most common health risks for whippets is heart disease. This can be caused by a number of factors, including genetics, diet, and exercise. Another common health problem in whippets is allergies. These can be caused by environmental factors, such as pollen or dust, or by food allergies. Whippets are also susceptible to joint problems, such as hip dysplasia. If not treated properly, these conditions can lead to pain and disability.

Thankfully, there are a number of ways to prevent and treat these health problems. For example, feeding your whippet a healthy diet and providing them with plenty of exercise can help to prevent heart disease. Regular check-ups at the vet are also necessary.

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Whippet Temperament

They are very intelligent and easy to train. Whippets are active dogs that need plenty of exercise, but they are just as happy curling up on the couch with their owner. They are gentle and affectionate dogs, known for their quiet nature and calm disposition. Whippets make excellent companion animals and are loyal and devoted to their families. They are typically gentle with children. However, because of their strong prey drive, they may not be suitable for households with cats and other small pets.

Whippets tend to be fairly independent and can be left alone for short periods of time. They enjoy moderate exercise and do well in apartments or small homes. With their gentle nature and low-maintenance personality, whippets are an amazing choice even for first-time dog owners.

Breed Specific Care

When it comes to care, whippets are relatively low-maintenance dogs. They only need to be brushed a few times a week, and they don’t require strenuous exercise. Though, it is important to go on a long walk every day, and to provide them with an opportunity to run around at least once a week. As far as food goes, whippets do best on a diet of high-quality dry food or canned food. However, it’s important to avoid overfeeding, as these dogs are prone to weight gain, and that may strain their joints and back.

Whippets and Racing

In the 19th century, whippets were bred specifically for racing in England. These agile dogs could reach speeds of up to 35 miles per hour, and they quickly became popular as gambling favorites. The races were called “rag races” as the dogs were trained to rush to their owners who were waiving rags. It was then, when the whippets got the nickname “poor man’s racehorse.”

Today, courses can be set up in open fields or on city streets, and races typically attract many spectators. Whippet racing is a popular sport in many countries, and it is considered one of the most exciting dog sports to watch.

Whippets and Hunting

Whippets are a type of dog that come from a hunting family. They are very fast and have a strong sense of smell, which makes them ideal for finding and chasing down prey. Whippets were once used extensively for rabbit and other small game hunting, but they can also be used to hunt birds. In recent years, whippets have become popular pets, but their hunting instincts can still be strong. Some owners train their dogs to hunt, while others keep them as companion animals.

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However, even if a whippet is not specifically trained to hunt, it may still chase after small animals if given the opportunity. As a result, owners of whippets need to be aware of their dog’s natural instincts and take steps to prevent them from hunting if they do not want their pet to engage in this activity.

Getting a Whippet

Whippets are known for being very quiet, which makes them great pets for people who live in apartments or small homes. They are relatively healthy dogs, and they typically live for 12 to 15 years. When it comes to cost, whippets are generally less expensive than other types of dogs. A healthy whippet can cost anywhere from $500 to $2,000. However, if you are looking for a show-quality dog, you may have to pay more. Whippets can make great pets for people of all ages, and they can be a valuable addition to any family.

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