Whippet Mobile


An elegant sighthound capable of speeds up to 56 kph, the Whippet developed in England, where he was used for racing and rabbit hunting. Amiable, friendly and gentle, Whippets make excellent indoor companions. Despite their intensity during sporting pursuits, they are quiet and dignified at home. These natural athletes do best with regular exercise.

DID YOU KNOW? A Whippet called Ashley Whippet was the first flying disc dog. In 1974, the dog and his 19-year-old owner, Alex Stein, dashed onto the Dodger Stadium baseball field and began performing flying disc tosses for fans and a television audience, inciting a national flying disc craze.

ALSO KNOWN AS: English Whippet, Snap dog

The need-to-know
  • Dog suitable for owners with some experience
  • Some training required
  • Enjoys active walks
  • Enjoys walking one to two hours a day
  • Small dog
  • Minimum drool
  • Requires grooming once a week
  • Non hypoallergenic breed
  • Quiet dog
  • Not a guard dog
  • May require training to live with other pets
  • May require training to live with kids

Pet Card

  • Living Considerations: Good with children, Suitable for apartment living, Not hypoallergenic
  • Size: Medium
  • Height: Males – 48 to 58.5 centimetres at the withers, Females – 46 to 53 centimetres at the withers
  • Weight: 9 to 18 kilograms
  • Coat: Short/Smooth
  • Energy: Medium
  • Colour: Any
  • Activities: Agility, Conformation, Lure Coursing, Racing
  • Indoor/Outdoor: Both

Key Facts

Lifespan: 12–15 years
Weight: 12.5–13.5kg
Height: 44–51cm
Colours: Black, white, red, fawn, blue, cream and brindle. They may also be a combination of these colours with spots, blazes and patches
Size: Medium
Kennel Club group: Hound


Family-friendly: 5/5
Exercise needs: 5/5
Easy to train: 4/5
Tolerates being alone: 2/5
Likes other pets: 3/5
Energy level: 5/5
Grooming needs: 3/5
Shedding: 2/5


The Whippet is a gentle, patient, tolerant and affectionate dog. Although they are competitive when on the chase, they are adaptable and quiet dogs. They can be highly strung and need understanding from their owners. Loving to their family, they make rewarding companions in the right home.

History and Origins

Country of Origin: England

The Whippet was once referred to as the ‘poor man’s Greyhound’ and that described them well. They were developed in the 19th century by miners in the north of England who couldn’t afford to keep a Greyhound so they invented their own smaller, less costly version. Records of these breeding’s weren’t kept, but depending on who you believe, they were either progressive breeding’s of smaller Greyhounds or else Italian Greyhounds crossed with Manchester Terriers with back breeding to Greyhounds.

However, they were largely used for the sport of competitive rabbit killing - where rabbits would be released and the first dog to make a kill won. This permitted the miners to engage in gambling with little cost. When cruel sports were banned, they turned to ‘rag’ racing where a cloth was dragged in a straight line and the dogs would race. These two sports gave rise to the Whippets other names - Snap Dog and Lighting Rag Dog.

Today the Whippet has won fans all over the world as a gentle companion dog.

Health and Common Issues

Exercise Needs

Space Requirements

Nutrition and Feeding

Grooming Whippets

Training Whippets

Best Family Dog Breeds

Did You Know?

  • While similar to the Greyhound (the fastest dog on earth), the Whippet, being lighter built, has got better acceleration, and over very short distances will be able to beat them.
  • Whippets can reach top speeds of up to 35mph.
  • This breed has very little body fat, so they’ll need to have a good dog coat for the winter.
  • Whippets are super quiet dogs and some owners say theirs doesn’t ever bark!
  • A Whippet was supposed to star in Alien 3, but they were deemed too cute for the part.

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