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 for centuries 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 or toy breeds  dogs.

Not sure about the difference between an Italian greyhound and a whippet? Click here to compare these two dog breeds


Short, fine and silky to the touch.


To suit everyone's taste whippets come in every color and color combination. Every dog is truly unique!

Portrait of Whippet Chosen Best in Show at the 88th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show
Portrait of...
Nina Leen
Buy This at Allposters.com


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

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


High energy outdoors, low energy at home.

Whippets are superb sprinters reaching speeds of 35 miles per hour in short races but they have limited stamina and are a very relaxed companion 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. They will bark to alert.

Life Expectancy

Despite their delicate appearance these little hounds are healthy dogs. They can easily live up to 13-15 years.

Like other sighthounds, they are sensitive to anesthesia. 

Common Health Problems



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

Suitable for first-time dog owners.


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

Required Exercise

At least half an hour a day of brisk walking on leash with some free running will keep you and your whippet in good health.

Living Conditions

Whippets adapt easily to living in an apartment if enough exercise is provided, although a small fenced yard is greatly appreciated.

dog door can solve the problem of having to leave your whippet alone.

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

Brindle-And-White Whippet Puppy, 9 Weeks, with White Maine Coon-Cross Kitten
Mark Taylor
Buy This at Allposters.com

Whippet Dogs and 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.

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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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Keep your Whippet Cozy!

Give your whippets the bed they deserve. 

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Whippet Books

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

Training Books

Whippet Rescue

Whippet and sighthound for adoption. Scroll down to see more entries.

Whippet Puppies

Find your perfect pup! Upcoming litters and pups from all over the world.