The Gentle, Loving Whippet

descriptive textDog breed info
Weight: 25 — 40 lbs
Height: 18” — 22”
AKC Rank 2008 #61
Lifespan: 12—15 yrs
Group Hound
Origin England

Dog Breed Info -- The Whippet

Doing what Whippets love to do:
Running through fields of wildflowers!
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Breed Overview

This breed comes from Greyhound roots. Coal miners, in need of entertainment, started an event they called “rag racing.” This was done with Whippats. The dog was known as the “poor man’s racehorse.” A family's dog was not only an immense source of pride, but also at times an extra source of income. Racing is still done today. The breed was officially recognized in 1888 by the AKC.

If you are looking for one great all around companion, this is it! Just treat her right!


This breed is intelligent and enjoys learning. They are easy to train but I suggest using the kind and gentle CLICKER with Positive Reinforcement Training. clicker training is always best for sensitive breeds. Do not reprimand or punish these dogs. Done right, this is a fairly easy breed to work with.

Crate Training

Want to crate train your Whippet puppy? It's easy and if you're interested, take a look and you'll see what to do. Crate training your puppy will save many headaches and problems.

The Whippet "Hug"

Potty Training

The Whippet puppy can be difficult to house train, potty train, toilet train, housebreak or whatever you want to call it. If you have a puppy, decide if you want to crate or paper potty train it. For the best results, we have a page at Crate vs Paper Potty Training which will help you decide and from there you can get all the information you need to get the job done. Always praise the pup profusely when she goes potty in the RIGHT PLACE so she knows she has done a good thing. Either method will work for this breed.

If you have an older dog, take the dog outside every two hours until she gets the idea which door leads to her potty area. Older dogs catch on to the potty or housebreaking pretty fast once they are shown what to do.

A very fast moving Whippet!
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Perhaps the most demonstrative and obedient of the true sight hounds, the Whippet makes an ideal pet for people who want a quiet house dog and devoted companion.

This breed is gentle with children and can make an excellent companion for them as long as they are taught how to behave around dogs. The dog is calm indoors and loves to run and play outdoors.

Whippets will want to sleep on your bed. If not, they will need a bed as soft as yours to sleep on. It is physically necessary. (Same is true for the Greyhound)

This breed is extremely sensitive, both physically and mentally, and can not take punishment or harsh corrections.

If you happen to get a dog with a separation anxiety problem, that can be dealt with by investing a few hours of work on your part and some "tough love."

Friendly Toward Other Dogs

They love canine company. I had a female in the ‘60’s and she never saw a dog she didn't like.

Friendly Toward Other Pets

This breed is known for being friendly to just about everything.

Friendly Toward Strangers

Yes. Bring on the relatives. Your "Whipper" will give them all a kiss. This is a real family dog.


Somewhat playful. Give the breed 6 bars out of 10.


This dog is very affectionate. They are gentle and will kiss you until you run for a towel. These are real “people” dogs.

Good with children

Yes, good with kids over 6 year. Under 6 can be a bit rough for this breed.

Good with Seniors over 65?

Yes. The Whippet can be a great choice for seniors. This is a gentle, loyal companion dog that is very affectionate and loves the couch. As long as the master can walk a distance each day, all will be well. If training or longevity are issues, look for a Whippet Rescue group and adopt a 2 or 3 year old dog that is house trained and knows a few commands.

Living environment

Farm or home with a big fenced back yard. Prefers warm climate, get a doggie coat if you live in a cold climate.

Apartments are OK if taken for several long walks or runs and some outdoor play each day.

This breed must have a SOFT bed. Either your own or hers. It's medically necessary. She might even sleep on her back. It's normal. Don't make her sleep on a floor. She has almost no cushioning over her ribs, thus the soft bed.

Ultra-fast solid-white Whippet
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Energy level

Moderate energy. Give it 6 bars out of 10.


Exercise needs, daily

This breed needs lots of exercise. Two good walks OR jogging in the park OR a romp in a large back yard are suggested. The Whippet is a terrific jogging partner.

Note — when walking, never let the dog off leash… they’ll run after any small thing that’s moving.


Good. They will announce any intruder, fire or other disaster.

Guard dog

NO. This dog is too friendly.


Yes. Moderate


No. Brush him now and then… He’ll appreciate the extra attention.

The hair is very fine and this dog is free of “doggie odor.”

This is a really handsome looking Whippet
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Suggested Reading About The Whippet

The book on the right is by the American National Red Cross. It covers emergencies, illnesses and injuries to dog. This is a very useful book for all dog owners.


Whippet Breeders

In the event you decide to go looking for puppies, be SURE to find reputable breeders that really know what they are doing. Be sure the puppy has been well socialized and started in obedience training.
Whippet Breeders with puppies for sale.

Whippet Rescue

In the event you are seriously considering the adoption of an older dog and are looking for a Whippet Rescue group or groups in your state, here are several links that might help:
Petfinder - Whippet Rescue - (Nationwide) At this time, Petfinder is showing only 179 Whippets available for the entire USA. These dogs are popular and scarce!
Adopt A Pet This is an interesting site but based on what we just saw with Petfinder above, going online and searching for Whippet Rescue Groups and various Rescue Kennels would be in order.

Dog Health Issues For The Whippet
Below: The dog illness / illnesses or medical problems listed for the breed by various vets.

This is basically a healthy breed. Don’t let the list below scare you! Your own dog will probably never have ANY of these problems. These are dog illness and medical issues this breed is prone to that have been listed by various veterinarians at different times over the past decade or so and some pertain to puppies and very young dogs that a breeder would deal with.

The information contained herein has been gathered from numerous books by veterinarians and is intended as general information only. Every dog and situation is different. You must see your vet. Our information is for general interest only and not intended to replace the advice provided by your own veterinarian.

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy—An inherited, untreatable disease of the retina affecting both eyes causing blindness. It’s in the genes of the dog and is not painful. Starts with night blindness and progresses as the retina gradually deteriorates.

  • Corneal Dystrophy—An inherited disease of the eye. A fluid buildup causing the outer part of the cornea to appear white and move inward toward the center.. A very painful and difficult to treat ulcer will develop.

  • Mitral stenosis (Mitral valve insufficiency)—Hereditary heart problem in the Whippet. A weak mitral valve allows blood to flow backwards and to simplify this, the net result is an enlarged heart and when the heart can no longer compensate, look for a loss of desire for exercise, trouble breathing, coughing at night and liquid in the lungs. As this progresses, the dog may collapse. There is no cure... but if you act quickly, the vet may be able to make the dog more comfortable with medication and diet.

  • Lens luxation—Hereditary eye problem. Weak fibers holding the lens of the eye allow the lens to dislocate. The eye can not focus. This leads to painful, red eyes that tear a lot and can lead to Uveitis or Glaucoma if not treated right away. If detected early, surgery and medication might solve the problem.

  • Cataracts - Hazy or cloudy vision which if not treated will lead to blindness.

  • Only other health issue for this breed is deafness. More common for the Whippet than many other breeds.

Other health problems could occur with your dog. If you notice any problems with your dog, take it to the vet immediately. This website is for general information only and is not intended to, in any way, be a medical guide.


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