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Fun Facts About Whippets!

Sara Ochoa

By Dr. Sara Ochoa

Looking for an energetic, but loving companion to keep you busy?

A small but lively friend?

Consider the Whippet!


Their name alone is a testimony to their fun-loving nature!

The Whippet’s name originated from an antique word  “whappet”.

Whappet is used to describe ‘a small dog that yaps’.

These dogs are in the same family as Greyhounds and possess many of the same physical characteristics, along with personality traits.


I’m sure you still have many questions concerning this breed but this article covers all topics like:

What does the whippet look like? Is the grooming complicated?

How much exercise does this pup need?

How is their health?

Where did they originate?

By the end of this article, you should be well-educated about Whippets.

Let’s get started!



Whippet Appearance

Standing between 18 to 22 inches at the shoulder, the Whippet looks very similar to a Greyhound but smaller.

They can weigh anywhere from 25 to 40 pounds, most of which is muscle.

Whippets exhibit the inverted S shape of a sighthound.

Deep-chested with a trim waist, a lean head and slim but sturdy legs are all factors that contribute to the athletic look of the Whippet.

A wiry tail is typically held between their legs when standing still.


These pups have a short, smooth coat that requires minimal care.

Their coat can come in a variety of colors ranging from black to brown to white.

Most display a speckled or spotted look, typically accompanied by another colored mask on their face.


Despite their rather dignified, elegant look, Whippets are very low maintenance.

More about their grooming needs will be discussed later.



Whippet Personality

These doggos are very easy to adapt to your family and your lifestyle.

Although they are very energetic, they are very good with children and they get along well with other pets.

They are perfect for keeping your kids tired and other dogs energized!


When they are not stimulated by something to chase, they are very gentle and amiable.

Whippets tend to mellow out after two years of age. Whippets five years old or more are exceptionally easy to live with!  

Their gentleness and size also make them suitable for senior owners.


Whippets are very graceful and purposeful.

However, they are actual couch potatoes, they are very entitled and don’t enjoy being cold and they even have disregard for hard surfaces.

So you will definitely find them on your furniture, but as long as you are content to cuddle, Whippets are a perfect match for you!

Some of these pups are known to have separation anxiety. 

If not given sufficient attention they can become destructive and unhappy.

Pacing and whimpering are signs that your doggo is craving some attention.

Getting a doggy companion for your Whippet may be a wise decision if you have a very busy lifestyle that involves your pup being home alone.


This breed is fairly open to strangers, always ready for a pat on the head.

However, when trained properly they make good watchdogs, given that they are naturally protective of those they love.

If you recall the meaning of their original name, they have a tendency to bark. This makes them a suitable watchdog.

Overall, Whippets have a very well-rounded and fun personality!



Whippet Exercise

Whippets are very energetic.

They love to have something to chase and keep them occupied.

However, they are content to run in fenced-in areas, along with relaxing in comfy apartments, as long as they get a daily dose of exercise.

These are a few pros for city dwellers looking for a pet!


Whippets are born sprinters.

They are the fastest dogs of their weight due to their ability to run in a double suspension gallop.

This gait results in four of the dog’s legs being off the ground twice in each stride.


It is advised to keep them on a lead if not well trained. They have a tendency to chase after small critters.

A variety of exercises can keep these pups occupied.

While they are content to run and roam free, it is important to entertain them through different forms of playing.

They enjoy vigorous sessions of fetch or flying disks. Chew toys can also keep them busy while wearing off their energy.


Exercise is very important to this breed considering that they were raised as natural sprinters.

Use this exercise time to bond with your pup! A pet-owner bond is very important for their happiness!



Whippet Grooming

The Whippets’ grooming is very simple.

They have a short, sleek coat that only requires a weekly brushing.

And of course, an occasional bath is necessary for good hygiene.


Since they have such a short coat, these pups hate the cold.

They are real cuddle buddies and enjoy snuggling in bed with their humans.


Ears should be checked often for infection, and teeth should be brushed often.

Nails should also be trimmed, when you can hear their nails clicking as they walk, you know a trim is long over due!

Overly long nails can cause your pup serious discomfort, and it can also affect your dog’s running performance.


Grooming is something that can feel mundane and useless but it is necessary for your pup to live a good life!



Whippet Training

Whippets have an unusual energy, only revealing itself in random, explosive bursts.

They are very calm in the house but when they get outside they immediately begin burning up their energy!


This breed is very smart, agile, and mischievous.

Whippets can easily jump and climb, so supervision is advised even when in a fenced-in area.

However, a five foot fence should be enough to prevent even a full-grown Whippet from jumping over.


As with any pup, training is important to start at an early age.

Socialization and exposing them to different activities and people is necessary for them to grow into a well-mannered pup. 

House breaking is also something that should be handled early on.

Mental stimulation is important in this breed. They are very intelligent and therefore require tasks that challenge them and help them grow mentally.


Whippets are easy to train but are very sensitive to harsh correction.

They will respond the most to positive discipline, and love.

Typically sight hounds aren’t known for their obedience, however, the Whippet is known as the most obedient of them all!


Whippets excel in many canine sports such as lure coursing, racing, agility, obedience, and many more.

Above all, remember to show your pup love as you train them!



Whippet Health

Whippets have a very slender look.

It is not unusual for younger pups to have their ribs visible through the skin.

They have a slim frame that is not built for heavy loads.


In 2007, a myostatin mutation particular to Whippets came to light.

This mutation was associated with their athletic performance. 

Whippets with only a single copy of this mutation are generally unaffected but dogs with a double copy have unusually large musculature and are known as ‘bully whippets’.

These bully whippets experience no more significant health problems than those Whippets without the mutation.

However, they may be more prone to muscle cramping.


Nutrition can be rather tricky with this breed.

Owners who are used to bigger, heavier-bodied breeds may think that Whippets seem rather scrawny.

Even fully grown Whippets will appear ribby.


Being conscious not to overfeed them is important.

Talking with your vet to help you find good dog food and make healthy portions is recommended.

A regular checkup should also be arranged to ensure that your Whippet is happy and healthy!

If cared for properly, the Whippet’s lifespan is 12-15 years.



Whippet History

The Whippets’ story begins in Victorian England.

Coal miners in the north country enjoyed seeing these dogs compete in dog racing and rabbit hunting on their days off.

However, the hounds’ large appetite and size soon caused the miners to go penniless trying to feed and house them.

But they came up with a solution: breeding a smaller version of the Greyhound.

The end result is the pup we have today, the fastest in their breed reaching up to 35 mph, the Whippet.


They have been given several nicknames throughout the years such as “ Poor Man’s Racehorse” and “ The Lightning Rag Dog”.

When the 20th century came around, textile workers from Lancashire started emigrating to New England.

And what touch of home would they bring with them but their precious pups, the Whippets!

This breed was an instant success in America. Citizens used the dogs for racing(either for money or just for fun).

In 1888, the AKC registered their first Whippet!

They have been beloved pets ever since!


Where Can I Find Myself A Whippet?


There are several factors to consider when looking for a pet.

The first and most important is to find a reliable and responsible breeder.

A good breeder is distinct in several ways.

They should be knowledgeable of the traits and quirks of the individual pups.

Up-to-date medical papers and screenings should be done, and they should be able to tell you of any health problems or things to watch out for in your doggo.


Don’t be afraid to ask questions and make sure your breeder can tell you all about your pup!

Take your time when choosing your lifelong friend!

Meeting your Whippet before you make a final decision is a good way to connect and find out if this is the right pup for you!

Lastly, if you are in the market for a Whippet of your own, you can find one right here at VIP Puppies!



Q: What about Whippets’ temperament?

A: Whippets have a sweet and loving temperament but they can be stubborn and willful at times. Whippets have a double personality.  The couch potato that became a permanent decoration to your sofa, will suddenly turn into a determined and courageous hound when hunting or coursing.


Q: Are whippets good apartment dogs?

A: If you can provide enough exercise, whippets will happily adapt to apartment living. Thanks to their short coats, they are low-maintenance dogs and shed very little.


Q: Are whippets easy to train?

A: Probably a whippet is not the best candidate for the world obedience title but they are very eager to please and with patience and gentle methods you can teach them almost anything.


In Closing


What do you think about these quirky, fun pups?

Would a Whippet be the perfect addition to your lifestyle?

They love to be close to their owners and never tire of spending time with them!

Even when it comes to sleeping, the Whippet loves to be touching their human, they are real cuddle bugs!

Whippets’ soft eyes and gently, loving nature are enough to steal your heart!

Take some time to look into getting yourself a friend like a Whippet!



American Kennel Club.(2022) Whippet Dog Breed. Retrieved from the American Kennel Club:

The (2023). Whippet Dog Breed. Retrieved from The Whippet.Net:

Wikipedia.(2023) Whippet. Retrieved from Wikipedia:

Hills Pet. (2023) Whippet Dog Breed. Retrieved from Hills Pet:






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