All About the Breed Whippet

Have you recently fallen for the Whippet or do you simply love rare breeds? Learn all about the breed here, including: Breed History, Personality Traits, Train-ability, Benefits and Disadvantages of the Breed, and Common Health Concerns.

The Whippet is a gentle and extremely friendly breed.

But how do you know whether you are ready to purchase a pet and if this breed is right for you?

This information is absolutely necessary in making the decision to purchase a pet.


The origin of the Whippet can be traced back to 17th century England.

Throughout its history, the Whippet has been most commonly used for racing and rabbit coursing, proving its superior ability to run at speeds up to 35 miles per hour. In more recent years, the Whippet has found a place among service dogs, working with the elderly and handicapped.

The Whippet was introduced to the United States in the mid 19th century, and was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1888.

Today, while the Whippet has earned an underground popularity as a racing, companion, and service dog, the breed remains rather rare outside of Europe and the United States.

Personality Traits

Best known for its gentle, friendly, and outgoing nature, the Whippet thrives on strong and dependable human relationships. This breed is highly intelligent and easily trainable. These dogs are known for being rather lazy during the day and more active at night, like many sight hounds. As a pet, the Whippet is obedient, loyal, loving, and affectionate. The Whippet enjoys time spent outdoors and playing games such as fetch.


Due to its need for human relationships and eagerness to please and impress its owner, the Whippet generally responds well to basic training and commands. These bright dogs have the ability to learn to perform most any task their trainer is willing to take the time to teach.

Establishing immediate trust and respect is key to successfully training the Whippet. This breed can be somewhat sensitive to criticism and respond best to a stern yet gentle approach and positive reinforcement.

Benefits and Disadvantages of the Breed

There are many benefits to owning a Whippet, such as its no hassle, low maintenance coat. These dogs are very intelligent, easily trainable, and capable of learning to perform many impressive tricks and tasks. When properly socialized from a young age, the Whippet gets along well with children and other pets, known for its gentle approach to small children.

This breed is very alert, making an excellent watch dog, announcing the arrival of guests or unwanted visitors. The Whippet is obedient, loyal, loving, and affectionate, making an amazing family pet and companion alike.

Unfortunately, there are also disadvantages to owning a Whippet. This energetic and athletic breed requires large amounts of daily exercise and room to run and play. Anyone wishing to purchase a Whippet lacking the adequate amount of time and space to dedicate to the dog is strongly advised against doing so.

A Whippet not receiving the proper amount of exercise and space will often act out by destroying property, chewing, digging, barking, whining, and ignoring basic training such as housebreaking.

The Whippet has a strong instinct to hunt and will occasionally indulge in a good chase. When on the run, this breed is capable of running at speeds up to 35 miles per hour, and may pose a threat to other animals, neighborhood pets, and small woodland creatures. The Whippet must be leashed or properly secured at all times when outdoors.

As previously mentioned, the Whippet remains rather rare outside of Europe and the United States and can prove difficult to obtain. Individuals seeking to purchase this breed often encounter such challenges as inability to locate a breeder, high prices, and being placed on long waiting lists.

Common Health Concerns

While the Whippet is typically known as a healthy and hearty breed, they do suffer from a few health problems, including: hip dysplasia, cryptorchidism - the failure or one or both testicles to fully descend, arrhythmia, sensitivity to anesthesia, and bloat.

Now that you know all about the breed, do you think you are ready to own a Whippet?

Remember, purchasing a pet is a big decision and should be discussed thoroughly and seriously with your entire family.