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Whippet Dog Breed Traits and Quirks

The whippet dog breed is at the same time a lovable family pet and a great racer and hunter. Discover the traits, quirks and singularities of this unique dog breed.

Breed Group

Despite his racing and hunting background the whippet is a very adaptable family dog and an incurable coddler but it is still able to offer entertainment for a day out at a coursing meeting or as a dog agility partner.

The whippet has the general look of a miniature greyhound.

The whippet dog breed belongs to the sighthound family of dogs. These fast and elegant canines 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.

They are easy to handle for children and senior owners for their moderate size and sweet temperament.

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.

Not sure about the difference between an Italian greyhound and a whippet? Compare here these two dog breeds.


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


This breed sheds little, is clean in the house and blessed with an odorless coat that is fine and silky to the touch.

The short 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.


The whippet dog breed is high energy outdoors, low energy at home.

Despite his athletic abilities, the whippet is more than happy to curl on a sofa and sleep for hours on end especially if the weather outside is rainy and uninspiring.

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.

Required Exercise

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


The whippet is easy to train and obeys better than most other sighthounds. The whippet dog breed is easygoing and loving, attuned to owners’ mood.

Cat lover appreciate this neat and quiet dog breed that although affectionate isn’t fawning.


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

The whippet dog breed has a limited use as watchdog because of his fundamental faith in the goodness of human nature but thanks to an acute sense of hearing can act as an efficient alarm.

The whippet dog breed is not yappy and tends to bark only for a good reason. The whippets' bark is deeper than what what you would expect for their size.

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

None. The whippet skin is rather fragile and unprotected and can tear easily.


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

The whippet dog breed is suitable for first-time dog owners.

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.

They require a coat in harsh winter and a soft bedding preferably located in the most comfortable spot of the house. Whippets, given the chance, will arrange cushions in the most comfortable position on the sofa.

They need to be on the leash in unconfined and traffic areas because a cat, a squirrel of even a flying paper can trigger their chasing instinct and they are gone and in trouble, in a flash.

Whippets 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.

The coexistence with cats is controversial, some whippets accept them and others can never be reliable in the presence of a feline.

These little hounds happily accept the presence of other dogs but generally prefer companions of the same breed.


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

More about the Whippet Dog Breed?

Hungry for more whippet dog breed quirks and trivia? Have a look at these pages.

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.

Whippet Facts

Whippet trivia, facts and history of the breed at a glance. 

Whippet Info

All about whippets in a nutshell

Share your Whippet Breed Knowledge!

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