The Whippet was developed during the latter part of the 19th century from various sporting, coursing and running dogs, including small greyhounds. He was bred to race and his ability to reach speeds of up to 35mph suited him to track racing. This breed was adopted by the miners of North-east England who were keen dog racing enthusiasts but they also used him for coursing, as he is capable of catching rabbits and hares. He gained his nickname of Snapdog from his ability to kill rats and rabbits with a sharp snap. Although he is still used as a working and racing dog and takes part in agility and obedience activities, his main role is as a companion.



The Whippet is a lean muscular athletic dog with an aerodynamically designed body. Their coats are fine and short and they are very clean dogs. They balance muscular strength and power with grace and elegance being built for speed and work. They are both working or racing dogs and ideal companions.

Size Small
Colour The whippet comes in a wide variety of colours and mixes of colours. These include black, fawn, white, blue, brindle, black and white, blue and white etc.
Coat Length Short Smooth
Weight/Height Range Dogs ideally measure between 47 - 51cms at the withers and bitches measure between 44 - 47cms. Both dogs and bitches weigh between 12.5 - 13.5kgs.
Ailments The Whippet has a very fine coat which offers little protection to the skin, so scratches are likely to become tears and may require suturing. They have sensitive skins therefore harsh shampoos may provoke skin reactions and should be used with care. Their limbs are  susceptible to injury and fractures may well be serious. They are also susceptible to stomach upsets on poor quality food but these apart they are generally healthy dogs.
Breed Classification
The Whippet is a small dog, a member of the Hound group. It is a Sight hound, chasing by direct sight rather than scent and is valued both as a working dog and as a companion.

Feeding & Ownership

The Whippet is generally not a fussy eater, often with a small appetite but requires a good quality, easily digested diet. They may become overweight if overfed or underexercised.

Food Cost $5 to $10
Other Expenses Whippets are generally inexpensive dogs to keep, feeding costs are low and professional grooming is not required. Veterinary expenses can be high as the Whippet is susceptible to injuries of skin and bone. The Whippet has little resistance to cold and will appreciate a coat, preferably both wind- and rain-proof.



The Whippet is a gentle, patient, tolerant and affectionate dog. Although they are competitive when racing, they are adaptable and quiet dogs. They love people but prefer to stay away from very young children who may handle them roughly. At home in castle or cottage, they make ideal companions. They can be highly strung and need understanding from their owners.


Intelligence The whippet is an intelligent and adaptable dog but can be slow to learn and the owner must be patient and gentle. Whippets can be trained for agility and obedience  in addition to their racing, working and companionship roles.
Energy Medium
Suitability for Children Medium
Tendency to Bark Low
Overall Exercise Requirement Whippets are capable of short sharp bursts of fast running but are spirited enough to spend a long day of exercise if required. They will be happy to walk or jog with their owners and, although in need of daily exercise, are not too demanding. They are happiest on level, clear surfaces, uneven ground may lead to injury, particularly when travelling at speed and rough vegetation can tear their skin.
Suitability as a Guard Dog Low
Ease of Transportation High
Level of Aggression Low
Other Animal Compatibility High



The Whippet benefits from regular grooming but care must be taken to use soft brushes and gentle handling as their coat and skin is very fine and sensitive. Any shampoo used should be gentle without harsh ingredients as these may cause reactions in the sensitive skin. Eyes and ears should be checked when grooming and his teeth will benefit from regular brushing.s.

Grooming Requirements More than once a week
Amount of Hair Shed Little

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