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Last updated: Aug 31 2023

A whippet is a medium-sized sighthound that originated in England. Calm, affectionate, and playful – these are all traits that best describe this dog breed. They were originally bred for chasing smaller animals. These are slim, but athletic and graceful dogs that excel in various dog sports including agility, and flyball.

This is a low-maintenance breed that can adapt to any living condition. They will enjoy running around the yard but also spending time in a cozy apartment if their needs are fulfilled. Today these dogs are mostly loyal companions that will relax with you for hours. They are also called English Whippets and Snap Dogs.

FUN FACT: Whippet is derivated from“whappet“ which means „small dog that yaps“.



18-22 in (46-56 cm)



25–40 lb (11-18 kg)



Great Britain


Life Expectancy:

12–15 years

Dog Breed Characteristics

Energy Level
Grooming Needs
Exercise Needs
Kid Friendly
Dog Friendly
General Health

Standard describes these dogs as a perfect combination of muscles and strength with an elegant outline. Whippets were built for working purposes. They are ideal companions, highly adaptable, gentle, and affectionate.

Whippet grooming

Whippets have a short and smooth coat and such a coat requires minimal grooming activities. Regular brushing will keep his coat clean and healthy. During shedding season, you must brush it more frequently to remove all dead hair from his coat. Whippets come in varieties of colors, including white, black, red, blue, cream, fawn, brindle, and various combinations of these colors.

Besides grooming, you will have to regularly brush their teeth to prevent bacteria development and to secure good and healthy gums and fresh breath. Their nails should be trimmed when they get too big and if the dog doesn't naturally wear them down.


When you groom your dog, always check his entire body for rashers or redness and also check their ears for a bad odor of redness which can indicate an infection.

You can often see Whippets with the sweater on a cold day because they are not so tolerant of the cold climate, so they need sweeter to keep them warm.


These dogs require a decent amount of daily exercise if you want that your dog will be happy and satisfied. Long walks, retrieving balls, or even playtime with other canine friends will do the trick. If you have a house with a big yard your Whippet will enjoy exploring and running free.

These are smart and agile dogs that will jump and climb on everything, so you must supervise them so they won't hurt themself. While training them, always be patient and calm and use positive training methods filled with a lot of praise and treats. If you put in the work with consistency, you will end up with a well-behaved dog with whom you will not have problems later in life.


FUN FACT: These dogs can reach a speed of 35 mph.


Early socialization is essential for your dog to develop all the social skills. You will need to expose him to many different sights, sounds, dogs, and people so he can learn how to react in many different situations.

The socialization process should start as soon as your puppy comes to your home, and if you are an inexperienced owner, you can always seek professional help. These are friendly and gentle dogs, but you should always keep them on a leash to prevent them from taking off and chasing objects or smaller animals.


Whippet and kids

These dogs are perfect for households with kids. They are not so big that they will knock the child, and also they are not so small that they can be easily injured. Whippets will be excellent playmates for your kids. You should always teach your kids how to properly play with the dogs, and you always need to supervise them while playing.

Whippet and other animals

Whippet dogs get along excellently with other canine friends. You must know they have a high prey drive, so you must carefully around other smaller animals because Whippet might start chasing them. Some dogs can learn to live in the same households as cats if they are raised together from a young age.

Health problems

This is a healthy dog breed, and although it may seem skinny to some people, you must keep their weight at the optimum level if you don't want that your dog develops some serious health problems. Adult Whippets should have two to four visible vertebrae. If you keep your dog at the correct weight throughout his life, you will avoid him getting many orthopedic problems that can be very painful to the dog and, besides that, very expensive.

These dogs are also prone to

  • eye diseases,
  • deafness,
  • von Willebrands disease.

To secure that you end up with a dog with the best possible health, never buy a dog from an irresponsible or puppy mill breeder. Good and responsible breeders always perform health checks on their breeding dogs as well as their puppies to secure healthy dogs that will not have any inherited diseases.

whippet dog

Whippet breeders

When searching for Whippet breeders, make sure that you are talking to official and responsible breeders because if you do, you can be sure that their puppies will be in the best possible health. Responsible breeders regularly check the health of their breeding dogs and puppies as well to be sure that they won't end up with the same inherited diseases.

These are active dogs that require the proper amount of activities to be happy. With the right approach and early socialization, you will end up with a well-behaved dog with whom you can enjoy mutual company.

World Dog Finder team


Updated at31.08.2023.

Breed History

The history of Whippet dogs started in Victorian England. At that time, coal miners enjoyed dog racing. Since they weren't been able to afford to feed and keep large dogs such as Greyhound nor did they have a proper space to exercise them, they wanted to create a small version of the Greyhound. It is quite uncertain which breeds helped to create Whippet, but the miners did excellent work.

At the beginning of the 20th century, textile workers emigrated to New England, bringing their dogs with them. Whippets gain massive success in America from the beginning. Americans loved Whippet racing – no matter if it was for money or fun. Whippets were recognized by the AKC in 1888.


FUN FACT: These dogs were known as „the poor man's racehorse“.