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Breeds 101

Whippet

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The Whippet is a medium-sized Sight Hound developed in England at the end 19th century crossing among the Greyhound, the Italian Greyhound, and another terrier type dog; Its name derives from the expression “whip it”, meaning “to move quickly”.

In the 1800’s, rabbit coursing was a popular sport in northern England; good coursing terriers were bred with small greyhounds, producing today’s Whippet.

The Whippet’s aerodynamic body design is perfect for racing, over short distances it is capable of reaching 65 km/h (40 mph), reaching those speeds in seconds.

Peasants used the Whippet for poaching rabbits, as well as in “snap dog” contests, in which dogs competed to see which could “snap up” as many rabbits as possible before they escaped from a circle. Coursing these dogs was an entertaining form of gambling for the lower classes in England, and Whippet was nicknamed “the poor mans’ racehorse”.

This dog may look and behave like a delicate breed, but in the field, it is a robust, fearless and successful hunter. Some of the Whippets’ talents include: hunting, sighting, watchdog, racing, agility and lure coursing.

The Whippet is gentle and affectionate; Its coat requires very little grooming.

Size:

Medium; Females: 18 to 21 inches, 20 to 30 pounds; Males: 19 to 22 inches, 25 to 40 pounds.

Color:

Any color.

Temperament:

Good with children; amiable, gentle, friendly, devoted and demonstrative; intense chaser.

Energy level:

Moderate.

Best owner:

Active, athletic owner.

Needs:

Daily exercise (long walk or run), fenced yards, leash; soft bedding, warmth (coats or sweaters), minimal grooming.

Life expectancy:

12 to 15 years.