What’s a typical whippet size? Well, there is more than one answer to this apparently straightforward question.
A breed standard is the detailed description of the desired characteristics of each particular dog breed.
The American and European official standard for the whippet dog breed differ mainly in the required size.
In Europe, according to the Kennel Club, a male should be no taller than 51 cm. (20 ins) and a female whippet should measure no more than 47 (18 1/ins) at the withers.
The American Kennel Club allows a bigger sizes for whippets: 19-22 ins for dogs and 18-21 for bitches.
This becomes especially important when a whippet is to compete in shows and even more in racing and coursing.
At the first racing meeting your dog will be measured officially.
If your whippet exceeds the measurement, he won’t be allowed to compete with smaller dogs that are within the allowed standard size.
But don't despair, if your whippet grew taller then you expected, some whippet clubs allow special competition for oversized whippets.
I think all whippet lovers must have had the Goldilocks and the Three Bears story in mind when they fell in love with whippets.
What did Goldilocks say? "Too big, too small...just right!"
The whippet size is just in the middle of that of an Italian greyhound and a greyhound.
These three breeds share many common traits.
They all have the same elegant kind of body built for speed and performance in the hunt.
They also share the short, silky coat in innumerable different colors and the same gentle disposition toward humans.
The size is what differentiate the most these three breeds: the greyhound is the largest, the smallest is the Italian greyhound and the whippet dog is a medium dog breed, that many consider (including me, of course) the perfect size.
The medium size makes the whippet an easy companion to live with. Small enough to be handled by kids or seniors and to travel with but at the same time big and strong enough for a full day outing or to play with the children.
Also the body proportions define these three breeds.
In the whippet the ribcage length (red in the picture above) is the double than the loin length (in black), while in the greyhound the proportion is three to one and in the Italian greyhound is almost one to one.
In the picture above you can see a whippet and an Italian greyhound walking shoulder to shoulder.
These are the average weights and sizes of these three breeds:
Italian greyhound height 13-15in (32-38cm) weight 11 lbs (5kg)
Whippet height 17-20in (44-51cm) weight 20-26lbs(9-13kg)
Greyhound height 27-31in (69-78cm) weight 55-66 lbs(25-30kg)
Take your pick!
The question if a whippet is a miniature greyhound or comes from breeding smaller hounds with terriers remains still open.
Here you can read about different opinions about this controversial topic.
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