Did you know?
Small greyhound-like hounds appear in art dating back to Roman times but the first written English use of the word “whippet” with regard to a type of dog was in 1610.
Dogs are miracles with paws. – SARK (Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy)
The Whippet belongs to the Greyhound family, and is descended from dogs brought to Britain with the Romans. They are an ancient breed and can be seen in art dating back to the ancient Egyptians. Pharaohs kept small greyhound-like dogs in their palaces. In medieval England, a small greyhound breed was a popular ratter.
The name “Whippet” comes from an obsolete early 17th century word meaning to “move briskly”, and move briskly he does! Later on, he was nicknamed the “poor man’s racehorse”. This dog is one of the fastest dogs in the world and now participates in racing and lure coursing events.
As one of the sight hounds, Whippets track their prey by sight and were originally used for hunting rabbit.
Photos displayed courtesy of Steve Pedro and Paul Allard, The Hounds of Freckashpeng, Ontario
This slim and elegant dog is the picture of fitness, speed, and power. He stands up to 22 inches (56 cm) high at the shoulder.
He has a smooth, short-haired coat that comes in any colour or combination of colours. With his short coat, he may be susceptible to sunburn and cold temperatures. Grooming requirements are minimal.
Whippets are the fastest dogs for breeds of their weight: 40 miles per hour (64 km/h), and even challenge greyhounds for top speed.
This is the fastest accelerating dog in the world. Seeing this dog run is like watching poetry in motion. They were born for it! So don’t forget, a fenced exercise area is a must.
Like Greyhounds, they have a double suspension gallop which means they run like a cheetah, not like a horse. When running, they spend 80% of their time in the air. It is as close to “flight” as a land animal can get.
The Whippet is gentle, affectionate and adaptable, and generally not a barker. They are quiet and content to spend much of the day lazing about the house, up on the furniture, as long as their exercise needs are met. When not running around, they are usually asleep or snuggled up with their master. They are wonderful companions and great jogging partners.
Although he is one of the friendliest of the sight hounds, he can be initially nervous or reserved around strangers. Socialization to other people is important. Highly sensitive, they will often jump or startle when touched unexpectedly. These dogs are not the breed for people who are gone for long periods of time as they do not enjoy being left alone.
Whippets are hounds and have the independent nature of all hounds. They respond well to calm, positive training methods that emphasize praise and food.
As you might expect, Whippets need plenty of outdoor exercise including a good run as well as long, brisk walks. As a sight hound and a racer, this dog will instinctively take off after anything that catches his eye, including other small pets. Having said that, he will get along well with other dogs.
National Whippet Club of Canada
Whippet Club of British Columbia
British Columbia Whippet Racing Club
Canadian Sighthound Field Association
Canadian Amateur Racing Association (C.A.R.A.)
Alberta Lure Coursing Association
Aspen Grove Sighthound Association
Ontario Lure Coursing Association