Whippet Breed Overviews

The whippet tank was a light, fast tank use during WWI by the British. The whippet dog breed is by no means a tank or even built like one. But they are light and fast and able to reach about 37 mph in only a few seconds. Whippets are the fastest animal of their size.  In the whippet breed overview below, you will learn many more interesting facts about the ever adorable whippet.

They are not long-distance runners, even though they can quickly accelerate, but are robust and sturdy sprinters. Looking at the whippet they may appear quite fragile, but they should never be underestimate. They may look small, but they are mighty!

You may be thinking about getting a dog and perhaps adding a whippet to your family. Maybe a little unfamiliar with the breed.

Overview of Whippet Dog Breed

Whippet Dog Breed Overview

Breed Name : Whippet

Breed Group: Hound

Height: 18-22 Inches

Weight: 20-40 Pound

Lifespan: 12-15 Years

Coat: short and smooth

Color: any coat color including black, white, red, fawn, blue, cream, brindle, and various combinations of those colors with a wide variety of spots, blazes, and patches.

Temperament: gentle, affectionate, and playful

Needs for Grooming: low

Hypoallergenic: No

Origin: United Kingdom

Whippet History

Whippet History

The actual origin of the whippet is somewhat sketchy. Although ancient pharaoh tombs portrayed images of greyhound-like dogs, some large and some small.

Art from the Graeco-Roman era is also on display at the British Museum of paintings including dogs. With a strong resemblance to whippets. One such painting is entitle, “Group of Dogs.”

The modern whippet is said to be a cross between an Italian greyhound and a terrier, bred for racing and hunting. With the speed of the greyhound and the smaller terrier feistiness. Whippets are sighthounds and hunt by locating their prey with their excellent vision. In the 1700’s they were using in Yorkshire and Lancashire in

Northern England for hunting rabbits, which they could easily and quickly run down. They were known as “snap dogs” because they would speedily “snap” up their prey.

The coal miners and working men of England use whippets to provide dinner for their tables but also for racing because of the whippet’s speed. Racing took place along a track on open fields. Calling them “rag races,” whippets would chase cloths or rags, racing to victory and earning themselves the nickname, “the poor man’s racehorse.”

Today, whippets are a belove family dog and are popular in breed competitions for the show as a member of the hound group. They also compete in agility and flyball competitions and make excellent therapy dogs with their calm and gentle demeanor.

Whippet Temperament

Whippet Temperament

The whippet has a lovely temperament and personality. They are gentle, loving, affectionate, intelligent, loyal, easy to train, and make an excellent family dog, especially for first-time dog owners.

The whippet is not a vocal animal, which wouldn’t be good if you are looking for a guard dog.

They are pretty quiet and never yappy which will make both you and your neighbors very happy. They also make very good greeters when guests come to call.

Whippets do need plenty of exercise, but they aren’t fond of the cold and they will even shiver.

They need a coat or sweater in chilly weather.

Because whippets are sighthounds, they should be kept on a leash or in a fenced-in yard when outdoors.

With their instinctual prey drive, if they spot a rabbit or baby squirrel, they’ll be off in a flash.

Whippets are very content indoors and will happily curl up beside you on the couch, earning them yet another nickname, “couch potato.”

Whippet Appearance

Whippet Appearance

Whippets are considered a medium-sized dog, although, with their slight and fragile build, they appear smaller than other stockier medium-sized breeds.

They have long legs and a lean body, weighing in from 25lbs to 45lbs. A female’s height can be 17 inches to 21 inches and a male’s, 18 inches to 22 inches.

Whippets have a short, velvety smooth, dense, and fine coat that comes in a wide variety of colors such as, white, cream, blue, fawn, red, black, shades of brown, and brindle.

Usually, they have big dark eyes that often match their coat color along with cute rose-shaped ears.

The unusual size and shape along with the colors that the whippet possesses, make them adorably irresistible.

More About Whippets

Included below is some extra information for those of you hoping to add a whippet to your family.


Whippets are a generally healthy breed with few health issues requiring medication or monitoring for their lifetime. However, to stay healthy, your whippet will need suitable nutrition, daily exercise, along with wellness visits with their veterinarian.

A few common ailments whippets can suffer from are skin and food allergies, ear infections, and joint problems.

Although whippets have fewer genetic issues than many other breeds, there are a few health problems that they can acquire that are genetically related. Hypothyroidism, congenital deafness (which is rare), eye defects, and cardiac disease are a few genetically acquired illnesses.

With proper care, a healthy diet, exercise, veterinary care, and much love, your whippet’s lifespan can range from 12 to 15 years.


You do need maintenance to keep a car running and whippets need maintenance to keep running as well, but they are a pretty low maintenance breed. No drooling and no fur balls floating around.

Maintenance, of course, does include feeding healthy food, making sure they have daily exercise, and regular veterinary check-ups.

Grooming is another area of maintenance. This involves brushing and bathing. Whippets do not shed much at all and since their coat is short and not a double coat like some breeds with a thick full coat, they don’t require daily brushing.

This is good to remove any dead hair as well as stimulating their skin and brushing away dry skin and dander.

Your whippet can be bathed as needed. Whippets do not have a doggie odor like some breeds and bathing too often can dry out their skin by stripping away essential oils, which can cause rashes and skin problems.

Clean your whippet’s ears at least monthly or bi-monthly if they play outdoors a lot.

Brush their teeth at least twice a week or more. Get them accustomed to this as puppies.

Dog dental wipes can be used in-between as well as dental treats and toys that help remove plaque and tartar. Poor dental care for your dog can lead to gum disease and in turn, health problems down the road.

Your whippet also needs their nails clipped. Acclimate them to this procedure when they are young also. If you are squeamish about clipping, a groomer can do it, and sometimes at a vet appointment, they can also help you out.

Final Thoughts

Unfortunately, the whippet tends to be an underrated breed when families are looking for a dog, yet, they are perfect for almost any family or a single person as well. They are highly adaptable and can live in a house or apartment.

They are happy running outdoors and just as pleased to be cuddling with you indoors, plus they know when to settle down.

Hopefully, this whippet breed overview has helped with your decision. Adorably cute and loving, the whippet is the whole package. What’s not to love?

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