The Whippet is gentle, docile, intelligent, loyal and affectionate. Whippets are very tolerant of children and other dogs, but are more cautious with strangers. They naturally chase anything that moves and should be socialized with household pets at a young age so they can become accustomed to them. Whippets are not overly obedient dogs and need plenty of variety and games included in their training, for optimum results to be achieved. Whippets do not bark excessively and they make lovely companions with their gentle nature.
Little grooming is needed for these dogs with their short coats. Occasional brushing is necessary to remove the loose and dead hairs. The teeth should also be checked regularly, as some Whippets can be predisposed to tartar build-up.
The Whippet is built for racing and hunting and therefore needs substantial amounts of exercise. Because these dogs hunt by sight they are not allowed off the lead in some countries. If this is the case, it is a good idea to take these dogs to the race track or join a club that races Whippets.
Whippets do not have a long heritage and were developed as smaller racing hounds. These dogs came from the north of England and evolved from cross-breeding with the Greyhound, Italian Greyhound and the Manchester Terrier. They were once called the 'Rag dogs', as their handlers used to wave rags at the finish line in the hope that their dogs would respond and run faster. Whippets also proved themselves to be good hunters of rabbits and hares.
General Appearance: Elegant, muscular and powerful.
Color: All colors and mixtures of colors are accepted.
Coat: Short, close and fine.
Tail: Set low, carried low, tapering and long.
Ears: Small and either rose-shaped and folded back or semi erect when alert.
Body: The body is deep-chested with a well outlined rib-cage. The broad back is rather long and shows a definite arch over the loin. The ribs are well sprung and the shoulders are oblique and muscular.
- Whippets have very delicate skin which can rip easily if injured. They tend to feel the cold and may need a coat or some form of protection during winter.