Photo by Penny King

Whippet - Breed Profile:

Origin: England
Size: Small
Type of Owner:
Exercise: Vigorous
Grooming: Very little
Trainability: Slightly difficult to train
Combativeness: Friendly with other dogs
Dominance: Low
Noise: Not a barker

Physical characteristics

The Whippet resembles a small Greyhound. Graceful and slender, this breed is nonetheless quite hardy. The chest is very deep, reaching to the point of the elbow. The back, neck and loins are arched. The skull and the muzzle are long and lean. The large eyes are round to oval in shape, dark brown to black in colour. The small rose ears are thrown back and folded along neck. The upper and lower jaws fit closely to each other forming a scissor bite. The long tail is tapering. The gait is free and smooth. This breed denotes great speed, power and balance.
Whippets weigh 10 to 28 pounds. Their height is 18 to 21 inches. Females tend to be smaller.


Intelligent and elegant, Whippets do better with adults rather than with children as these dogs are not particularly playful or demonstrative. Very devoted, affectionate and docile. Good with other dogs but should not be trusted with cats and other small animals unless raised with them from puppyhood. These dogs won't refuse a chance to curl up under blankets. At the same time, they are incredibly athletic and enthusiastic. Whippets are great sprinters; no other breed can surpass them in their ability to accelerate to the top speed and to zigzag with striking dexterity. Whippet puppies can be mischievous and destructive, but adults are calm, undemanding, quiet, and unobtrusive indoors. Whippets are mildly stubborn, but also very sensitive, both physically and mentally. They respond better to calm, upbeat training methods that emphasize praise and food. Make sure you become the dog's firm, confident, and consistent pack leader.
Photo by Penny King

Coat and grooming

The Whippet's short sleek coat comes in any colour. The hair is fine in texture and easy to take care of. A regular rub all over with a damp chamois will keep the coat gleaming. Brushing and bathing should only take place when necessary.


This breed is sensitive to the cold, prone to stomach upset and skin problems. The lifespan is 12 to 15 years.

Other interesting facts

The English Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1891. Used for racing early on, the breed was nicknamed "the poor man's racehorse."
Whippets are very clean and odour-free dogs.