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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Whippet?
The first thing that comes to the mind is that song by the band Devo. Many people do not have any idea what a whippet is and sometimes refer to them as a small greyhound. The Whippet was known as the poor man's racehorse in England where the breed was created.
Whippets were bred to hunt by sight, coursing game in open areas at high speeds. One can find numerous representations of small greyhound-like hounds 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. The age of the modern whippet dawned in 1890 when the English Kennel Club granted the breed official recognition, thus making the whippet eligible for competition in dog shows, and commencing the recording of their pedigrees. Early specimens were taken from the race track by dog fanciers of the time and exported all over the world. The whippet's versatility as a hunting, racing, exhibition or companion dog soon made it the most popular of the sighthound breeds.

What does a Whippet look like?
Well, a small greyhound! But if you don't know what a greyhound looks like then here you go: Whippets are a medium-size dog averaging in weight from 25 to 40lbs, with height of 18.5 inches for males and 17.5 inches for females. Whippets tend to be somewhat larger in the United States with show, coursing and some race Whippets required to be within the AKC standard of 18.5 to 22.5 inches for males, and 17.5 to 21.5 inches for females. Because color is considered immaterial in judging whippets, they come in a wide variety of colors and marking patterns, everything from solid black to solid white, with red, fawn, brindle, blue, or cream. All manner of spots and blazes and patches are seen, sometimes all in the same litter.

What is the whippet personality?
Whippets are generally quiet and gentle dogs, content to spend much of the day sleeping. They are not generally aggressive towards other animals, and although especially attached to their owners, they are friendly to visitors. They are not prone to snapping, so they are good with young children. Because of their friendly nature they have often been known to be used in aged care facilities. They may or may not bark when strangers arrive, and are not suited to be guard due to their trusting and unsuspicious nature. They do however tend to attack cats that stray onto their territory. Outside, particularly when they are racing or lure coursing, they demonstrate their superb athletic skills and will pursue their prey (even when it is an artificial lure) with the heart of a lion.

Unlike some other breeds, the males are as easy to housebreak, and no more aggressive, than females. Both sexes make excellent pets. Males are sometimes considered to be slightly more loyal and to enjoy repetitive play. Females can be a little more complex and strong-willed, but are equally devoted to their owners. Males tend to be one to two inches taller, and three to six pounds heavier, than females.

Whippets are not well adapted for living in a kennel or as outside dogs. Their coats do not provide the insulation to withstand prolonged periods of exposure to the cold. Their natural attachment to people makes them happiest when kept as housepets. They are most at home in the company of their owners, in their lap or lying next to them on the lounge. Whippets are quiet and thus well suited to apartment life, although they do need regular exercise. The chance to run free in open (fenced in) spaces should be made available to the whippet. Care, however, should be taken with whippets on the street as it is difficult to instill any sort of traffic sense into them.
Whippets are outstanding running dogs and are top competitors in lure coursing, straight racing and oval track racing. Typically in these events, a temporary track and lure system is set up. The lure is usually a white plastic trash bag, sometimes in conjunction with a "squawker" to simulate a sort of prey sound or with a small piece of animal pelt. Many enjoy flyball and agility.

Source: http://www.worldofwhippets.com/