Do you want to raise a dog with a stable personality that will allow you to interact on a daily basis without feeling weird, nervous, or overly protective? This is an ultimate guide that will teach you everything about the Whippet dog breed.
If you’re looking for a dog with a strong sense of belonging, lots of happy and positive memories to share, then whippets are perfectly what you need.
The Whippet dog breed is mostly calm and quiet, although they do get nervous around loud noises, such as fireworks or different types of alarms. They love to play, but they don't really get into trouble as much as other dogs in the family do. However, they are still very protective of their masters, even if they know that their owner may be doing something wrong. As a result, you will have to put in more effort when training your Whippet to follow your rules. Remember, a playful dog is a good dog, but a smart dog is even better.
Let's take a look at some of the traits that it possesses.
Whippets are average dogs when it comes to adapting to certain environments. They have an overall adaptability rating of 3 stars out of 5 and here is why:
Whippets dogs are known for their obedience and affection. They are a breed who get along well with family -kids, children, other dogs, and family pets and that's why they have a 5-star rating when it comes to all-round friendliness.
Here is what add up to this rating:
These dogs are considered to be the healthiest breed on the planet. Unlike other dogs, they don’t require frequent medical attention and grooming but are exposed to some health problems which most are hereditary. When it comes to their general health and grooming needs, they score 3 stars out of 5.
Take a look at what sums up that rating:
Whippet breed dogs are highly intelligent and easy to train. They are rated 4 stars out of 5 for being obedient, prompt following and eager to learn.
See how it performs in different attributes below:
Whippets have high physical needs of 4 stars out of 5. It is because of the one sole task that they were bred to do - hunt. They require daily exercise and if they don’t get one, they might become destructive.
Here is the breakdown of their physical needs rating:
Whippet dogs were developed in Northern England from small English Greyhounds and Terriers in the mid 19th century.
During their development, breeders bred the Italian greyhound to come up with the current sleek appearance of these dogs.
They were developed with the aim to chase rabbits in sports but later used as hunting dogs because they run at a tremendous speed of 56km/hr.
Despite having been documented to originate from England, some theories state that it can be traced back to ancient Rome and Egypt. The evidence was collected in paintings, statues, pottery and artifacts. This theory states that the existence of dogs resembling the Whippet can be dated back 1350 BC.
They’re also called the poor man’s race horse. This name emerged after the rabbit sport chasing was outlawed because of its cruelty. They were involved in a rag racing sport where they were tasked to chase a waving rag being pulled by a truck. The winning dog could be rewarded hence a source of income to the owner.
Whippets are thin-bodied and small enough to sit on your lap. Female Whippet dogs have a height of 44 - 55 Centimeters while male Whippets measure between 47-67 Centimeters. They weigh between 8 to 22 Kilograms.
Each and every whippet dog personality are unique in its own way, but all of them share common traits. These dogs are most often active and playful, and they all have that certain "personality" that you can sense about them when you first meet them. Though a whippet's personality has a lot to do with how you feel about them as a person, these dogs have one that allows you to be around them on a daily basis without feeling nervous or awkward.
They are very intelligent and very devoted to their masters, which is why they can be a real "pit-bull" in their behavior. That being said, they have a great personality, but they still need some tender loving care, especially when it comes to training.
While each dog has its own personality, there are some personal characteristics that most whippets share, such as being affectionate, and easy to train.
You should be able to easily talk to them without feeling intimidated, and they’ll always greet you as you approach them.
They respond well to any types of commands, as well as go along with your commands without too much fuss.
Whippets are healthy dogs who don’t develop many health issues. Actually, buying one from a genuine breeder should be your aim because you’ll be taking home one of the healthiest Whippets.
There are a few complications however that this breed is exposed to though they are genetic based.
The following conditions may affect your lovely Whippet:
Whippets being small bodied are at risk of contracting Hip Dysplasia. It is a condition that causes abnormal formation of the hip socket.
During growth, the ball (thighbone) and the socket must grow at the same rate but this uniform growth is not seen in puppies with Hip Dysplasia.
This genetic health problem should be treated because it can cause lameness and arthritis in its severe stages.
There is no ultimate cure for this disease but vets have many options to alleviate the clinical signs. Treating it does not necessarily need a surgery but if the dog is not responding to medication, vets could recommend one and replace the affected hip with an artificial hip.
Anesthesia is a drug administered to dogs with the aim of depressing the nerve functions. They’re used to make the dog unconscious during surgeries to cause complete loss of pain sensation.
Whippets are very sensitive to Anesthesia and other drugs in such a way that a prescribed dose for other breeds can take out its life.
Before you accept to take a Whippet from a breeder, ensure that they give you a detailed overview of the dog’s reaction to Anesthesia and other drugs.
Veterinarians should only recommend the use of Anesthesia when the benefits outweigh the risks.
This health problem can occur in dogs because of several reasons. It can be challenging to live with a deaf dog especially if you don't have access to the right tools. The good thing is that deaf dogs can live to their lifespan. The only rough time owners face is the communication language between them and the dogs..
Dogs with this problem need to be well taken care of and their activities should always be supervised.
Ensure that ist is leashed when you are out for a walk because they will not hear any threat such as an incoming car or nearby predators.
Eye disease has become rampant among dogs and Whippets are not spared. Blindness is not an eye disease but a condition that can be caused by eye diseases.
Some of the common eye diseases are:
Make sure that you get eye clearance acquired within the past one year for both parents of the Whippet puppy you’ll be given by the breeder.
This is an inherited blood disorder that affects blood clotting. Dogs with this ailment usually have a deficiency in the Willebrand factor in the blood.
Many dogs will not show any signs of this defect and if they show:
Whippets are an adorable nature that need your love and care. They’re intelligent and agile dogs who are caring and super sweet.
They won’t give you hard times when it comes to caring because they’re calm pets whose aim is to make you happy but they expect the same from you.
If you want to have a Whippet with proper personality when it hits adulthood, training or care should begin while it’s still young.
Below are some of the care tips that you can follow to take good care of your Whippet.
Proper Diet: Whippet puppies need meals that will supplement their body with the required nutrition for proper development. You should feed them with nutritious dog food that contains high levels of animal proteins and other nutrients which add to their development. The right feeding routine should be adhered to a tee - 3 times a day. Water and milk can add up to their daily meals but don’t let ‘em take surgery beverages or alcohol.
Leash Training: Without proper training, a Whippet puppy might think that a leashing is some kind of punishment while it is not. If you don’t prove to it that leashing is a basic need, It’ll become stubborn in later stages. One way of making it accept leashing is to give it a treat. This way, it will understand that you’re pleased every time you put a leash on it.
Potty Training: Whippet puppies potty 45-60 minutes after every meal and could take it after every two hours on a normal day supply. You should train them to potty at a specific spot else you’ll have shit all over your compound or house. Start training them early if you want to raise a responsible Whippet.
Crate Training: Crates are thought to be punishing tools to dogs but in real sense, they’re good for training them. If you realize that your Whippet is developing unwanting behaviour (barking at guests), locking it up in a crate will help shape it up. It will learn that visitors are not enemies but family.
Grooming: These dogs are generally neat and grooming shouldn’t be a problem. They don’t shed much and don’t get dirty easily. Brushing should be done once a week or even once after every two weeks. No need for haircuts but nail trimming is necessary. Don’t forget to brush its teeth after every two days to prevent gum problems and bad mouth smell.
If you heed to these guidelines, you’re assured to have an intelligent, loving and gentle dog.
Diet and nutrition is key when it comes to breeds. This something that should not be taken for granted if your goal is to have a happy and healthy dog.
It is not yet known on what food Whippet dog breeds should be fed (whether dry or wet wood) but it needs to be rich in animal proteins. The most recommended meal is the premium dry kibble. However, regardless of what food you want it to eat, its health and wel-being matters.
Breeders disagree on what should be the best dog food for Whippets but dry kibble, raw food, home-cooked, wet or canned food should do. The only precaution is that it should be rich in animal nutrients.
Here are the most recommended foods for Whippet dogs:
As much as you supplement your dog with other meals, you should be careful on which dog food brands you buy from.
Dogs should not be fed with food rich in meat byproduct, corn, and artificial flavors, colors and dyes. That said, avoid buying food made by the following brands:
Whippets even though they are naturally thin, they have a great potential to obesity and malnutrition if a proper feeding practice is not put in place. They may not look fat when they’re overweight but they usually face breathing difficulties, digestive problems and the worst of all, shorter lifespan.
So, now that I have your attention, what is the best feeding routine for Whippets? Take a look at the table below.
Whippet Dog breeds have short hair and a thin coat that requires relatively little grooming care.
They don’t shed too much. In reality, weekly grooming or brushing is considered too much. Keep in mind that they don’t need haircuts and baths are not necessary unless the dog is somewhat dirty.
Whippets exist in balck, red, white, fawn, cream, blue and brindle colors. There are other Whippets who have a combination of these colors. It is common to see different color spots and patches on their coat as well.
Since Whippets are short-haired, the following tools will work best when it comes to grooming.
When brushing your dog, you should mist its coat first and then gently brush its hair towards the direction of hair growth.
During baths, ensure that you brush your dog first then bath it in a bathtub with a rubber mat. If that's not available, you can use a kiddie pool and a garden hose.
Bathing should not be more than 5 minutes because these canines are not big fans of water so they might be skittish about baths.
A canine shampoo e.g Earthbath, 4-Legger, and Pro Works should be used during baths as human soap and detergents could irritate their undercoat skin. Use a soft towel to dry it and give it another brush to make the coat look neat.
Whippets could get skin cuts during grooming because they have a thin skin. You should look out for any after grooming it and even after playing. Don’t allow it to run through thorny zones. If you find minor cuts, take care of them with a first aid kit and seek a vets attention for major injuries.
Finding the right dog that fits in your extended family (a family with kids, other dogs, and pets) can be difficult.
If you settle with a dog who doesn’t understand the existence of other dogs and one who doesn’t know that other pets are family, then expect a chaotic household.
So, are Whippets good family dogs?
Yes they are!
They’re naturally loving when it comes to family. They are affectionate dogs who are gentle with children.
They try to build a strong bond with people who take care of them -elderly or young. These dogs understand that children are their only hope and company when it comes to play time. Usually, they are calm and quiet while indoors but their playful nature emerges when you take them out.
Whippets are loyal and consider other dogs as companions. They like making friends wherever they go that's why you’ll see them running towards other pets and start playing with them.
They are deemed to be safe dogs when interacting with kids and other pets because they usually eliminate themselves from anyone who gets rowdy on them. However, supervision is necessary when playing with children and pets.
There are several breeders in Australia which you can contact if you need further assistance with Whippet dogs.
Here are some of them.
Do you have a Whippet that you want to rehome?
Get in touch with the following rescue groups from Australia.
Please keep in mind that rescue is usually done in case of the following situations:
If you want a dog that is a bit on the playful side, but can also be very smart, then the Whippet dog breed is the right choice for you.
When it comes to choosing which breed of dog you will get, it is very important to make sure that you find a well-rounded dog. This dog has all the qualities needed to be a great companion and to do some serious training work. It's just a matter of finding the right one for you. That way, you will be able to spend the rest of your life with a dog that is truly a perfect addition to your family.