• The whippet descends from greyhound roots, probably mixed with ratting terriers.
  • The resulting small dogs could be used for poaching in the royal forests, and for entertainment in snap dog contests in which bets were made on how many rabbits a dog could snap up before the rabbits escaped from a circle. This gave the whippet its first name of "snap-dog."
  • During the Industrial Revolution, workers brought their dogs with them to towns. They staged betting races in which the dogs raced in a 200-yard straight line toward a person waving a rag. This earned the breed the name of "poor man's racehorse."
  • The AKC recognized the whippet in 1888.
  • The whippet is the most popular of the greyhound-like breeds.
  • The whippet is the most successful breed competing in the sport of lure-coursing, in which they chase a plastic bag dragged along a zig-zagging course at high speed.
Whippet Behavior Concerns
  • Makes a devoted and gentle companion.
  • It is one of the most demonstrative and obedient of the greyhound-like breeds.
  • It enjoys sitting close to its family; it is sometimes described as "clingy."
  • It may tend to run off to chase moving things, especially small animals.
  • Sociable with children, strangers, and other dogs and animals (except small strange ones running away).
  • An alert watchdog, but not a very effective protection dog.
  • Learns quickly, but is easily bored.
  • Does best with reward-based training involving food or play. Very sensitive.
Whippet Suggested Exercises
  • Makes a very quiet housedog as long as its exercise needs are met.
  • Requires a moderate walk or jog, or a sprint in an enclosed area, every day.
  • Games and tricks provide needed mental exercise.
  • Its short hair provides virtually no protection against cold weather. A coat may be necessary in cold weather.
Whippet Grooming
  • Coat is short and thin.
  • The coat needs weekly brushing, and occasional bathing.
  • Shedding is below average.
Suggested Whippet Nutritional Needs
  • Whippet conformation is for a naturally thin build, but owners often overfeed them. You should be able to feel the ribs, but they should not be too noticeable.
  • Adult dogs should be fed a balanced diet, with restricted calories if the dog starts to gain too much weight.


Whippet dog breed picture
12 - 15 years
18 - 22 inches
20 - 40 pounds
Whippet Traits
  • Jogging Partner
    4 out of 5
  • Lap Dog
    3 out of 5
  • Good With Children
    4 out of 5
  • Warm Weather
    3 out of 5
  • Cold Weather
    1 out of 5
  • Grooming Requirements
    1 out of 5
  • Shedding
    2 out of 5
  • Barking
    3 out of 5
  • Ease Of Training
    3 out of 5