By Terri Estes
The Whippet is a medium-sized dog breed known for its elegant appearance, speed and gentle temperament. They stand between 18 to 22 inches at the shoulder and usually weigh between 25 to 40lbs (unless you have a Whippet like mine who, at times, tends to look like a sausage). Resembling a smaller version of the Greyhound, Whippets possess long legs, a deep chest, and a slim physique. Their exceptional speed, makes them adept at chasing moving objects, making them popular in dog sports like lure coursing and racing. Despite their swift nature, Whippets have a calm and affectionate disposition, making them suitable for families and companionship.
The Whippet is one of the most well-rounded dog breeds. They are super athletic and can compete at high levels in many canine sports, but they are also loving and affectionate and are just happy to chill with their families. They are also very intelligent and adaptable and can learn to fit into many lifestyles.
The Whippet breed dates back to 19th century England. Whippets were bred by crossing small Greyhounds with terriers and other breeds. These dogs were primarily owned by working-class families in northern England, particularly in coal-mining areas. They were used for various purposes, including hunting rabbits and rats, as well as participating in the popular sport of ratting, where dogs would compete to catch the most rats within a given time. This sport provided entertainment while also keeping the rat populations in check.
Today, Whippets are primarily kept as companions and excel in various dog sports, including lure coursing, obedience and agility. Their affectionate nature and adaptability have made them popular companions in households around the world. That, along with their short, low maintenance coat make them great pets.
Whippets come in a variety of colors. You can find them in solid colors of fawn, black, gray/blue and white. They can also exhibit tricolor patterns, merle patterns, brindle colors and sable coats. This variety of coat colors and patterns just adds to the visual appeal of the beautiful Whippet.
As a Whippet owner, I can tell you that this breed has a great sense of humor and is always willing to entertain you. They are very independent, but at the same time, constantly crave your attention. Unlike their close relative, the Greyhound, they are more active, and more likely to get into mischief. But in my eyes, this just makes them more endearing. They tend to be little clowns who are always looking for their next adventure.
So, if you are looking for an active, medium sized, low maintenance dog that likes to be involved in all family activities, and that will entertain you with their silly antics and warm personality, then perhaps a Whippet is the breed for you!