Whippet Breed History
The peasants used these dogs as entertainment by seeing how many rabbits a dog could snap up before they left a drawn circle. More and more people moved to industrialized areas, taking their “snap dogs” with them. With a lack of rabbits and a need for entertainment, they found that their dogs would chase a waving rag just as readily. Rag racing became a pastime of coal miners, and the whippet became known as “the poor man’s race horse.” Many people raced their family pet as a way to earn extra money. Whippets were considered one of the family, often sharing dinner and even sharing the bed at night. The whippet was crossed with the Italian greyhound to further add to its curvaceous shape. It slowly gained popularity and is now well received as a show dog, racer, lure courser, and companion.
Whippet Breed Appearance
The whippet has been called a miniature greyhound, and with good cause. Its sleek curves, long legs, and lean form are all suggestive of the greyhound. This breed portrays a perfect balance between muscular strength and elegant grace. The breed’s flexibility and powerful hind legs lend to its quick acceleration, fast pace, and ability to turn quickly while maintaining balancing. It can perform the double-suspension gallop easily. Its frame is square or slightly longer than tall. The whippet’s coat is short and fine and consists of any solid or mix of colors.
Whippet Breed Temperament
The Whippet is a sensitive animal, both mentally and physically. It cannot take harsh treatment or conditions. It can never be fully trained due to its independence streak. This breed makes a wonderful house pet, because it is calm when indoors and plays gently with young children. When outdoors, it loves to run and play and can show a great intensity when involved in sporting activities. Whippets have been known to kill cats, but not ones that they have grown up with in the family. Although very friendly and devoted to those they know, they are aloof to stranger and often bark at them.
Whippet Breed Maintenance
The whippet requires minimal grooming to its coat, and it should only be given a bath when necessary. Instead of a bath, wipe down its coat to keep it clean and shiny. This breed is virtually free from odor. The whippet can get sunburn, so protect its skin when outdoors. In the wintertime, it should wear a sweater. The whippet can enjoy a good romp in the snow, however inactive times should be spent indoors. Daily exercise is necessary, and a soft bed to sleep at night is preferred.