Whippet Dog – the “poor man´s Greyhound”

whippet dog

The Whippet Dog

The Whippet Dog is second to none in agility when it comes to chasing small game such as rabbit. Today, he is a strong competitor when it comes to flyball, lure coursing, rally, and obedience. He also makes a great therapy dog.


The Whippet dog was developed in Lancashire and Yorkshire in the late 1700s. The English breeders obtained him by crossing Greyhounds with long-legged terriers. The result was a swift fast dog that will hunt small game.

Working men in Northern England appreciated this dog and worked in perfecting their hunting abilities. They started what is now known as rag races. The upper class, on the other hand, focused on improving the looks of the dog, crossing him with more elegant breeds.

The AKC recognized the Whippet dog as a breed in 1888.

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Physical characteristics

These dogs are medium-sized fast dogs. They can reach speeds of up to 35 miles per hour. This is due to their peculiar way of running, which is known as double suspension gallop.

Their weight is usually between 15 and 42 pounds. As with the height, the American Kennel Club and Canadian Kennel Club call for a height of 18.5 to 22.5 inches for males and 17.5 to 21.5 inches for females. However, the Fédération Cynologique Internationale and The Kennel Club have standards of 18.5 to 20 inches for males and 17.5 to 18.5 inches for females.


When it comes to chasing game, this dog is pretty intense and focused. Under normal conditions, he is calmed, quiet, and friendly at home. He does not bark too much but will bark at a stranger. However, he is too friendly for a guard dog.

Caring for a Whippet Dog

You must have a large fence to prevent the Whippet dog from running after a sound or car siren he heard. He needs a daily 30-minute walk. If you take him to a park, he will unleash all his energy at once, meaning that this burst of energy will only last a few minutes.

These dogs are not too tolerant of cold weather, so put him a sweater if you take him outside to the cold.


The Whippet dog is easy to train. Housetraining should not be a problem either, when training is consistent and has a firm hand. Reward him with a treat or praise whenever he does what you ask.

Fun facts

  • These dogs do not bark unnecessarily.
  • Did we mention that they are pretty fast, reaching speeds of up to 35 mph?
  • A Whippet can live in an apartment as long as his exercise needs are met. He will become destructive otherwise.
  • Their skin is very thin, making them susceptible to tears, scrapes, and nicks.

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