Whippet Breed Information and Buying advice

Whippet

Are You Looking to Buy or Adopt a Whippet?

Quick Whippet Facts

Average Size of Adult
Small (2/5)
Puppy Puppy Puppy Puppy Puppy
Grooming Requirement
Low (1/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Sociability
Medium (2/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Exercise Requirements
Medium (2/3)
Puppy Puppy Puppy

Why Whippets are great

Whippets have held a place in the heart of Britain and Europe for many years, and have proven their worth throughout history. They are moderate in size and slightly built, with exceptional athletic ability and speed. Whippets are often compared to a smaller version of the greyhound, and like the greyhound, they were bred for their speed. By nature, Whippets are very loving and gentle, and they thrive on human attention. Whippets are categorised as a sighthound breed, meaning they have a high prey drive and may be known to chase anything that moves. Whippets are perfectly suited to individuals and families who live an outdoor lifestyle, as they require lots of exercise and stimulation to be content. Whippets are extremely popular companions, and are often depicted curling up next to the fire and happily snoozing, they have been a loyal and loving partner to many in Britain for centuries. Some highlights:
  1. Whippets are affectionate and loving in nature
  2. Whippets are low maintenance on the grooming front
  3. Whippets are athletic and are full of energy and fun
  4. Whippets are a great medium-sized dog
 

Things to consider when looking at Whippets for Sale

Some downsides to the Whippet:
  1. Whippets require a lot of exercise to keep them happy
  2. Whippets have a high prey drive; they may be difficult to recall instantly if they spot something to chase
  3. Whippet puppies can be a handful and homes/gardens should be puppy-proofed
 

History of Whippets

Whippets have been much loved and celebrated in Britain for many years, even centuries. Whippets have similar traits to that of the greyhound, leading people to speculate that the smaller greyhound may have been an ancestor. Whippets rose to popularity during the 1900s, when they were popularly bred to race for their, known for their speed, agility and elegance. Whippets are thought to have been bred through various sporting breeds, and The Whippet Club was officially established in 1899. Whippets were once referred to as ‘snap dogs’, as they were often used to hunt rats and hares because of their speed and prey drive. Although Whippets were originally bred as working dogs, they have a gentle and loving nature and are now popular family pets and companions.  

Appearance

How big is the Whippet?

Whippets reach a height of between 44 and 52cm  

How heavy is a Whippet?

Whippets are very light and elegant in build; they usually weigh between 9 and 19kg  

What Colour is the Whippet? 

Whippets can be seen in a variety of different colours; including black, black and white, brindle, blue, blue and white, fawn, red and white and silver.  

Temperament

Do Whippets make good guard dogs?

Whippets are not generally known to be natural watchdogs, although they will be happy to alert their owners of strangers  

Do Whippets bark a lot?

 Whippets are known to be silent hunters and don’t feel the urge to bark often. However, if a Whippet is left alone for too long or is stressed, they may bark to make their feelings heard.  

Are Whippets easy to train?

Whippets are intelligent dogs and have a great attitude to work. However, they are sometimes not quite as quick as other breeds to learn new things, and patience may be required when it comes to training a Whippet. Whippets are sensitive dogs who love to please, and they will respond well to a gentle hand and patience.  

Are Whippets playful?

Whippets are very playful and fun dogs; they are thrilled to join in with any family activities or outdoor games.  

Are Whippets good with children?

Whippets are a fantastic choice as a family pet, as they are gentle and obedient around children. Whippets are best suited to older children that they can play with, rather than toddlers and babies. Whippets can sometimes be nervous, so loud noises and crying may cause them stress.  

Are Whippets good with other pets?

Whippets are generally great with other dogs and love to play. However, they are sighthounds and have a high prey drive, meaning that care should be taken around animals such as cats and rabbits. That said, if a Whippet has been brought up with a cat in the house from a puppy, they will generally get on.  

Can I leave a Whippet Alone?

Whippets are loyal dogs and crave human companionship; they may pine for their family when left alone for too long. Whippets should be happy to be left for a few hours but leave them for too long and they could develop destructive behaviour.  

Do Whippets like water?

Whippets generally like to swim and will happily enjoy playing in the water, especially on warm days. However, Whippets are very slight in build and feel the cold, so care should be taken in deep or cold water.  

Health

How long do Whippets live?

Whippets are generally healthy dogs; they have a life expectancy of between 12 – 14 years  

How much exercise does a Whippet need?

Whippets are active and athletic dogs who require a lot of exercise. They are elegant movers and boast long, galloping strides with a great amount of power. Whippets require at least an hour of exercise a day and would benefit from time off the leash in the park so that they can have a good run on the grass.  

What are Whippets Common health issues?

Whippets are delicate dogs and can be prone to injuries and fractures. It is important that you are careful when letting a Whippet run on rough or hard ground.  

Care

How much space do I need for a Whippet?  

Whippets are not large dogs and are slight in build, so they don’t require a huge amount of space. They are happy to curl up on the sofa and sleep in the house, however they would benefit from a secure garden to exercise in and must have sufficient walks each day.  

What should I feed my Whippet?

A reputable breeder will provide you with a feeding schedule, it is important that you stick to the schedule to ensure the health of your puppy. Adult Whippets are not generally known to be fussy eaters, but it’s important that they are fed a high-quality diet. A mature Whippet may be fed twice a day on good quality dog food; between 135g to 156g for a Whippet weighing 10kg is an accurate guide, depending on exercise.  

How much grooming do Whippets need?

Whippets are low maintenance on the grooming front and a weekly brush is all it takes to keep these dogs looking smart. Whippets tend to have thin skin that injures quite easily, so it’s important to be gentle and use soft brushes, as well as check regularly for any wounds or cuts that could develop into something more.  

Do Whippets shed?

Whippets have a short and sleek coat, so minimum grooming is required to aid with seasonal shedding.  

Average costs

How much does it cost to keep a Whippet?

As a rough guide in pricing: Cost to buy: roughly £300 - £500 for a well-bred Whippet puppy Other costs (Vet, Food etc): £60 - £90 per month  

Specific Buying Guide

You can read our general buying guide here (/advice-on-buying-a-puppy/), with the most important thing being going to view your Whippet Puppy, seeing it with its mother, and checking the quality of the breeder. More specifically, here is some Whippet puppy buying advice:
  1. Whippets are an extremely popular breed, both in the UK and Europe, meaning that well-bred Whippet puppies may cost a lot of money. It’s important to be wary of scams when searching for a Whippet puppy; ensure that the mother is always seen with the puppy and that their welfare is put first. You should also be able to see any supporting hereditary or medical documents upon request.
 

Other reading, Adopting Whippet Puppies and Rescue Organisations

A big thank you to the following sources who helped to shape this article: https://www.pdsa.org.uk/taking-care-of-your-pet/looking-after-your-pet/puppies-dogs/medium-dogs/whippet https://whippet-health.co.uk/is-a-whippet-for-you/4543443129 https://thehappypuppysite.com/whippet/ https://dogtime.com/dog-breeds/whippet#/slide/1 https://whippetrescue.org.uk/ https://www.justwhippetsrescue.co.uk/      

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