The whippet breed belongs to the sighthound family and share’s many of their characteristics, such as their slender build, deep chest and exceptional speed.
Like many sighthounds, they can be viewed as lazy due to their habit of lounging around indoors, snuggling up under blankets and in cosy corners, but this is generally a misunderstanding. Whippets are sprinters and incredible athletes, but like most sprinters, this comes in short and intense periods followed by periods of rest. That’s why a whippet with the zoomies really is a sight to behold!
Whippets as pets
Whippets originate from England but are loved universally because they make such good house dogs for the family as they usually build strong bonds with their loved ones, although this means they often won’t like being left alone. They tend to have a calm and affectionate demeanour indoors which helps them to mix well with other dogs and children. They’re gentle natured and can be quite cheeky – it’s no wonder Instagram is covered with adorable videos of whippets! Plus, as we mentioned, after they stretch their legs, they’re quite content to curl up for a lazy day (every day is a Sunday for a whippet). This can make them great for apartment living too.
However, they do need an outlet for their exercise and mental stimulation otherwise they will find other ways to release their pent-up energy which could become a problem. You’ll also have to keep an eye on them on walks. Whippets have a strong prey drive which can make them prone to chasing furry things in the park. This, combined with their unique body shape can make them susceptible to escaping traditional harnesses and collars, so it is important to use a whippet harness or a whippet martingale collar to keep them safe and secure.
They have little to no body fat and thin coats, so whippets really do feel the cold. That’s why it’s so important to wrap them up warm for walks in the winter, and possibly investing in some PJs for the house too which makes winters even cuter!
Training should focus on positive reinforcements as whippets can be quite sensitive so they will respond best to rewards, praise and encouragement. It’s also more rewarding for you and your dog, so a positive approach is what we would always recommend at Snootiful Hound anyway.
How fast is a whippet?
A whippet is one of the fastest dog breeds in the world with a top speed of up to 40 miles per hour, or 64 kilometres per hour. This put’s them at the 5th fastest breed in the world, not a bad feat.
This is why it's often recommend to use a shorter whippet lead so they don't reach top speed before being pulled to a halt.
How big are whippets?
Whippets are considered to be medium sized breeds, with a height of between 18-22 inches and weighing between 25-40 pounds / 11-18kg. Naturally, male whippets tend to be slightly larger than their female counterparts.
Whippets are a blend of grace, speed and affection which is why they’re so loved. They really do add a lot to their owners lives, and from what I hear, once you have one, you’ll be hooked and won’t ever look back!