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The Whippet is not considered an old breed, having evolved in England a hundred or so years ago. It was developed by miners in Northern England who, unable to afford the upkeep of the Greyhound for coursing hare and rabbit, developed this dog which costs less to feed and groom.

The dog’s terrier blood, and presumed source of courage and stamina, has long since been bred out of the Whippet. Emphasis, instead, has been placed on the dog’s prowess in straight racing, a sport which had its inception in Lancashire and Yorkshire. This sport was introduced in North America by the Lancashire textile workers who took jobs in the mills of New England early in the 20th century.

The British Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1892.


The Whippet is intelligent, lively, affectionate, sweet, and docile. This very devoted companion is quiet and calm in the home. The Whippet should never be roughly trained, for they are extremely sensitive both physically and mentally. Be sure to introduce plenty of variety when training them. The best results will be achieved by including games and running.

They are good with children of all ages as long as the children do not roughhouse or tease the dog. Whippets are clean, virtually odor free, easy to care for and easy to travel with.

They are good watchdogs and may be reserved with strangers. They will pursue and kill cats and other small animals if given the opportunity, but are good with other dogs. Household cats that they are raised with and have become accustomed to will be left alone. The Whippet’s sweet personality makes him a fine companion dog.

The Whippet is the ultimate sprinter, unsurpassed by any other breed in its ability to accelerate to top speed and to twist and turn with matchless dexterity. They can be used to hunt. Some can be difficult to housebreak while others housebreak quickly.

Something of a couch potato.


Care must be taken to ensure that the Whippet is given a balanced diet. Too much starchy or liquid food may cause stomach problems. Avoid overfeeding. Daily walks are essential and the animal should be allowed to run free in an open area whenever possible. Brush the coat daily with a soft brush and polish it with a chamois.

For more information on the Whippet.

Links to Whippet Breeders, Clubs and Rescue Groups.

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