Are you interested in knowing more about whippets? You have arrived at the right place! Lovingly called the 'poor man's racehorse', whippet's are well-known for their performance in sports events. The history of whippets started sometime during the 18th Century when they were probably bred from a mix of English Greyhounds and Terriers or Irish Greyhounds to have a dog that is fast and agile. The breed can be easily identified because of its short, smooth coat. Whippets are amiable dogs for one's home, and the breed is known for being extra affectionate to their human family. There are a time when whippets were actively used to chase rabbits and other small mammals for the consumption of humans. Though this breed can be a little too lazy at home, they need regular exercise to keep themselves healthy and strong. The dogs of the whippet breed have fairly good health with little to no problems. Lure coursing is a sport in which whippets actively participate because of their excellent physique and great health. The breed can grow up to be 22 inches tall, which makes them medium-sized. If you have kids, they would surely love a cuddly whippets dog for themselves.
What do they prey on?
Rabbits, small game animals
What do they eat?
Average litter size?
How much do they weigh?
18-48 lb (8-21 kg)
How long are they?
How tall are they?
18-22 in (46-56 cm)
What do they look like?
Black, white, red, fawn, bridle, cream
Fine and short coat
What are their main threats?
What is their conservation status?
Where you'll find them
Human households, farmlands
Around the globe
Canis lupus familiaris
Whippet Interesting Facts
What type of animal is a whippet?
A whippet is a slender-bodied friendly dog that is known for their exceptional ability of participating in different sports events.
What class of animal does a whippet belong to?
A whippet belong to the class 'Mammalia' of the family Canidae.
How many whippets are there in the world?
As they are one of the most popular dog breeds of the world, there is no data about their exact population.
Where does a whippet live?
A whippet is usually found in a house with its human parents and family.
What is a whippet's habitat?
A whippet lives with humans. If we look at their history, whippets were bred from greyhounds and terriers or other hound species, which gives them their iconic height and coat. These affectionate dogs appreciate a comfortable lifestyle. They would love to wear some sweaters during the winter times or have adequate heating as they cannot stand the cold. They are moderately tolerant to hot climates owing to their short fur coat. These hound-like dogs cohabit with humans, and they can easily adjust to apartment life. However, as they tend to be energetic, a whippet should have enough space to get their exercise.
Who do whippets live with?
Whippets live with human beings, and they are great with children. If the dogs are socialized from a young age, they also become tolerant towards other dogs and even strangers. However, whippets can be a little icky about cats. A whippet dog should seldom be left alone as they can easily develop issues of separation anxiety. They can live for more than 12 years in a happy environment.
How long does a whippet live?
In the whippet breed, a dog can live anywhere from 12-15 years. Whippets seldom have bad health conditions, and they are quite agile. However, the whippet breed has a bad tolerance for cold weather. You will often find the dog breed wearing colorful sweaters in the winter months. In the UK, Whippets do live to be 12 years old on average.
How do they reproduce?
Female whippets have a heat or estrus cycle twice a year, helping them to breed. The dogs can have 1-10 puppies in one litter. However, a whippet usually has six or eight puppies on average. The gestation period in dogs usually lasts for six weeks. In history, whippets were actually formed by breeding greyhounds with other dog breeds like Italian greyhounds or terriers. But currently, they are mainly purebred with other whippets, which allows them to take part in sports.
What is their conservation status?
No information is available about the conservation status of whippets.
Whippets Fun Facts
What do whippets look like?
The whippet dogs are a sighthound breed which gives them the peculiar 'inverted S' shape of the body. They were originally bred with greyhounds, so the dogs may appear similar in terms of looks. You can immediately recognize a whippet because of its medium-sized height, slender waist, a sunken chest. The dogs have a distinctly long arched neck. When it comes to their limbs, the breed tends to have slim legs, which help them in racing or to actively participate in sports. This hound-like dog has a smooth short coat which may come in a number of colors. Black, white, red, fawn, bridle, and cream are some of the common colors of coats seen in this dog breed. However, the merle whippets were recently disqualified from taking part in lure coursing and other sports as they aren't considered purebred. One of the cutest parts of these dogs has to be their droopy ears and big sharp eyes. The breed also tends to have short cute little tails compared to other dogs.
How cute are they?
Have you ever seen a dog that isn't cute? Whippets are also cute, and they stand out amongst other dogs because of their slender bodies. They have a smooth coat that comes in variable colors. These dogs are especially known for making puppy eyes. You can always trust the whippet dog breed for being adorable, specifically to their human family. These racing beasts like to cuddle and get lots of attention.
How do they communicate?
One thing that pet parents should know is that whippets aren't fond of barking. They have been a great hunting partner of men as they like to remain calm. Through proper training, humans can teach Whippets to follow their communication cues. As they were originally bred for a greyhound, whippets can often be a stubborn dog breed. However, hound-like dogs do behave well when they are socialized and trained from an early age. Another common way of communicating for these dogs is to use scents and pheromones. The scent signals help them to communicate with possible mates, and it also works as a territory marker to warn other dogs. A whippet dog is also known for its extreme facial expressions. The hound-like dog can stare at you with sparkly eyes in need of attention.
How big is a whippet?
The height of a whippet varies between 18-22 in (46-56 cm). This is the size that is recommended by clubs, but you can also find some whippets that are smaller. As they have been bred from the greyhounds, whippets tend to have a slender body that appears thin and long. They are about 0.5 times smaller as compared to greyhounds, the original ancestors of a whippet. In fact, people often misrepresent a whippet afor a Greyhound or an Italian greyhound. They may look similar in their body shape. However, an easy way to differentiate between the three breeds is that a whippet is smaller than a greyhound, but whippets are slightly bigger than the Italian greyhound.
How fast can a whippet run?
As a sighthound dog, a whippet can run as fast as 35 mph. Because of their fast speed, whippets have been a choice of dog racing as well as hare racing from the 18th century onwards. Whippets are also known as the 'poor man's racehorse' because of their fast speed. Whippets are able to participate in the dog races organized by the American Kennel Club.
How much does a whippet weigh?
The weight of a whippet ranges between 20-35 lb (9-16 kg). The females in the whippet breed tend to have lesser weight than the male whippets. The body of a whippet doesn't allow them to carry more weight than necessary. Hence, whippets do appear quite slender for a medium-sized dog, and it makes their body look longer. If you want a whippet to take part in a running or chase competition, it is important to follow the rules set by the clubs. Parents should keep a strict diet plan that helps in training the bred dog to maintain their weight for racing and running.
What are their male and female names of the species?
The male Whippet is called a dog and the female Whippet is called a bitch.
What would you call a baby whippet?
A baby whippet is called a puppy.
What do they eat?
Whippets need to have a properly balanced diet to maintain their optimum body weight. So, it is advisable to feed a whippet with the best quality dog food available in the market. Their calorie intake should be checked, and giving them extra treats is always a no-no. Whippets tend to suffer from health conditions if there is increased body fat, so they need a little more attention when it comes to their health. However, whippets do love to eat, so they may show you their innocent eyes to coax a nibble or two. Training them as a puppy helps to avoid such problems in the breed. The diet of a whippet should change according to their age. Whippets love to slurp on water, so one should always make sure to keep a bowl of clean water readily available for them. They do love to chase after rabbits and other small mammals, but that isn't their primary source of food.
Are they slobbery?
No, the whippet is one of the least slobbery dog breeds. However, they can definitely drool when excited or if they see food. A vet should be consulted if a whippet dog is facing excessive drooling.
Would they make a good pet?
Whippets make a fabulous pet, even for someone who has never had the experience of dealing with dogs. This medium-sized lovely dog breed is affectionate, and they love to snuggle. Whippets don't have a tendency to bark, but they will go to all lengths to protect its human family. Even though whippets are closely related to greyhounds, this breed tends to be calm and quiet without showing any form of aggression. At times you may even feel that a whippet dog is far too clingy compared to any other breeds. Whippet racing is a popular sport, especially in the U.S.A, where the American Kennel Club has set special standards for judging whippets participating in the various competitions. So, a whippet can become a treasured pet for those who can keep up with their energy level. However, a whippet is also a good family dog. They need daily exercise for an hour or more, but whippets shouldn't be left outside on their own. Even though whippets aren't aggressive, they can at times be impolite to cats. An easy way to avoid this problem is to socialize a whippet right from their childhood. Want to have some fun with your whippet puppy? Take it to the woods to hunt some rabbits, and they will be happy because of all the running.
Did you know...
The AMC lists the whippets as the 55th most liked dog in the U.S.A.
Eve though whippets have a short smooth coats, regular grooming is a must to keep them clean. You should brush the dog two times a week and give them at least one bath every month.
Whippets also have anesthesia sensitivity like other sighthounds.
Myostatin mutation in whippets leads to make some dogs who are extremely muscular and they are known as 'bully whippets'. A whippet needs to receive two copies of the mutation to have the defined physical differences.
Do whippets like to cuddle?
Yes, whippet dogs are very affectionate and well-mannered. They are obedient to their pet parents and family. The loveable dog showers affection to everybody and they are extremely friendly towards kids. Whippets can easily become good cuddle buddies. As they are closely related to greyhounds, they might be a little intimidating, but whippets have the power to cast a charm over everyone. Whippets do not like to be left alone, so pet parents should make sure to never leave their whippets for long durations.
Should a whippet be skinny?
Whippets appear skinny because of their body structure. In their optimum weight, two or four vertebrae of the greyhound-like dog should be visible. Pet parents often have a problem where they might think that a whippet dog breed is just too skinny. However, in most cases, they are the right weight, and it helps them to keep away from health problems. Even the race clubs have a strict rule regarding the physical appearance and body weight for a healthy whippet. Whippet puppies may appear skinnier and have visible ribs. If someone feels that their dog is too skinny, it is best to see a vet rather than overfeeding them.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our whippet dog coloring pages.
At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.
We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it’s important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.
Kidadl provides inspiration to entertain and educate your children. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.
Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong.
Sponsorship & Advertising Policy
Kidadl is independent and to make our service free to you the reader we are supported by advertising.
We hope you love our recommendations for products and services! What we suggest is selected independently by the Kidadl team. If you purchase using the buy now button we may earn a small commission. This does not influence our choices. Please note: prices are correct and items are available at the time the article was published.
Kidadl has a number of affiliate partners that we work with including Amazon. Please note that Kidadl is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.
We also link to other websites, but are not responsible for their content.