Whippet Dogs:
Breed Characteristics

Discover whippet dogs: size, requirements, health, life expectancy, behavior and breed characteristics.

Breed Group

The whippet has the general look of a miniature greyhound.

It belongs to the sighthound family. These fast and elegant dogs have been employed around the world to chase and take down prays of various size and strength.

Other breeds in this category are the Saluki, the Afghan Hound, the Greyhound, the Borzoi, the Scottish Deerhound, the Irish Wolfhound, the Sloughi, the Ibizan hound, the Galgo.


Whippets are medium sized dogs.

According to the Kennel Club, a male should be 47-51 cm. (18 1/2-20 ins) a female 44-47 (17 1/2-18 1/ins) at the withers.

The American Kennel Club allows a bigger size: 19-22 ins for dogs and 18-21 for bitches.

Medium dog breeds are very adaptable and easier to handle than large dogs.

A Group of Seagift Whippets around a Fountain. Owned by Whitwell
A Group of...

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Whippet Dog Coat

The short and fine whippets' coat is easy to groom and makes these hounds low maintenance dogs for the happiness of housekeepers.

To suit everyone’s taste, any color and combination of color is allowed, making each whippet truly unique.


High energy outdoors, low energy at home. This dog is a superb sprinter reaching speeds of 35 miles per hour in short races but has a limited stamina.

Very calm at home especially when they have a chance to nap on your favorite couch.


These hounds' pleasant personality makes them good alarm dogs but gives them little protection abilities.

The Heads of Two Whippets Owned by Whitwell
The Heads of Two...
Thomas Fall
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Life Expectancy

Despite their delicate appearance these little hounds are healthy dogs. They can easily live up to 14-16 years.

Like other sighthounds, they are sensitive to anesthesia.

Brindle-And-White Whippet Puppy, 9 Weeks, with White Maine Coon-Cross Kitten
Mark Taylor
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Other Pets

Non aggressive with other dogs but cats and rabbits and small furry creatures can look like natural prey and trigger the whippet's natural chasing instinct.


They don’t appreciate rough games but are definitely among the dog breeds good with children.


Minimal shedding, a weekly grooming with a hound glove will keep the silky coat in top condition. Whippets are definitely low maintenance dogs.


Whippet dogs excel in many activities as lure coursing, racing, agility, shows, flyaball, dog frisbee, hunting and snoozing.

Living Conditions

When daily exercise is provided, a small fenced yard is sufficient.

dog door is really appreciated and can solve the problem of having to leave your whippet alone for many hours.

In extreme weather these dogs need coats for their outings. Low body fat demands soft bedding.

Portrait of Whippet Chosen Best in Show at the 88th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show
Portrait of...
Nina Leen
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Whippet History

Although there have been dogs of whippet type for centuries, the whippet history as a breed starts only in 1890. Discover the humble origins of this miraculously balanced dog breed.

Breed Standard

Click here to read the whippet dog breed standards, the documents that officially define the characteristics of the breed.

Wendy, the Bully Whippet

What’s a bully whippet? Read the story of Wendy the whippet, a strikingly muscular but still lovable dog.

Long Haired Whippets

The long haired whippet is not one of the recognized akc breeds. Sometimes classified in the rare dog breeds, these handsome hounds are gaining popularity.

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Where the Whippet Originated 
So many people and books still attribute the whippet to English breeders. Consider the fact that the English had the greyhound, staghound and various …

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Best Training Books

Whippet Coats

Best Whippet Books

Read our interview with Bo Bengtson, acclaimed author of the most important and beautiful book about the whippet breed.

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I have been to many different on line sites about whippets and I must say yours in absolutely the BEST! Friendly, warm, personal and fast....sounds like a whippet to me! I am very much enjoying my daily visits to your site and the education it has given me about this beautiful breed we all love so much. Thank you for all your efforts and God bless!


I wanted to find out about this dog breed and your website was so informative! It´s clear just how wonderful these dogs can be! Thanks!

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I love your site, it is hands down my favorite whippet site ever! It's made by people that love their dogs as much as I love my baby girl. You guys rock!


Love your site - very well put together, easy to follow and full of all kinds of information not found elsewhere!

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