Breed Spotlight – Whippet

Known as the “poor man’s racehorse” the sleek Whippet is faster than greased lightning when he has something to chase. But when he’s not running, the Whippet is quite content to stretch out and relax. 

Whippets resemble miniature Greyhounds, with a trim, tight waist, deep chest and lean head, they are the picture of the perfect athlete. Males stand 19 to 22 inches at the shoulder and their life expectancy is between twelve and fifteen years.

The Whippet breed was developed in Victorian England by north-country coal miners who wanted to enjoy dog racing and rabbit hunting. But they could not afford the upkeep of large dogs like the Greyhound and they didn’t have the space the Greyhound needs, so they bred a smaller version. For it’s size, the Whippet is the fastest breed and can clock speed of up to 35 miles an hour.

Whippets came to America at the turn of the 20th century when Lancashire textile workers settled in New England. The Whippet quickly became quite popular and was registered with the AKC in 1888. Whiskey, a Platinum Grand Champion, won the 2018 AKC’s National Championship as Best in Show.

You might expect this dog to be high maintenance, but he’s exactly the opposite. As long as they can get enough exercise, these small dogs do very well in city apartments. Plus, they rarely bark, another plus!

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By Ellen Britt

Dr. Ellen Britt has loved dogs since she was a child. She is particularly fond of the Northern breeds, especially Alaskan Malamutes. Ellen worked as a PA in Emergency and Occupational Medicine for two decades and holds a doctorate (Ed.D.) in biology.

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