The words Dog Breed Info with the letter D inside of a black paw print

The Purebred Whippet

Information and Pictures

A white with tan Whippet dog is laying across a rug and it is wearing a plaid harness. It has ears that stick out to the sides and brown almond shaped eyes.

Melody, a 3-year-old female Whippet from Greece

Other Names
  • Snapdog

WIH-puht speaker


The Whippet is a medium-sized sighthound that looks similar to its cousin the Greyhound. The skull is long and lean with a fairly wide space between the ears. The muzzle is long with almost no stop, tapering to the nose. The nose is black, dark blue or dark brown, the latter two being so dark they look black. The teeth meet in a scissors bite. The small, rose ears are held back, folded and are semi-perked when they are excited. The oval-shaped eyes are dark in color. The front legs are straight and the feet are thick, either cat or hare like. The tail is long, tapering to a point. It is held low with a slight upward curve near the end, reaching to at least the hock. Dewclaws are sometimes removed. The short, smooth coat comes in all colors including brindle, black, red, fawn, tiger white or slate blue, either solid-colored or mixed.


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 it is extremely sensitive, both physically and mentally. Be sure to introduce plenty of variety during training. The best results will be achieved by including games and running. These dogs 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 accustom to will be left alone. They can be used to hunt. 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. Some can be difficult to housebreak while others housebreak quickly. Make sure you are this dog's firm, confident, consistent pack leader to avoid Small Dog Syndrome and behavior problems. Always remember, dogs are canines, not humans. Be sure to meet their natural instincts as animals.

Height, Weight

Height: Males 19 - 22 inches (47 - 56 cm) Females 18 - 21 inches (44 - 54 cm)
Weight: Males 25 - 45 pounds (11 - 21 kg)

Health Problems

Prone to stomach upset and skin problems.

Living Conditions

This breed is sensitive to the cold. Wearing a coat is advised in the winter. These dogs will do okay in an apartment if they are sufficiently exercised. Whippets are calm indoors and a small yard will do.


The Whippet kept as a pet should have regular opportunities to run free on open ground (in a safe area) as well as a brisk daily walk on a leash. It is a sighthound and will chase and kill small animals so a fenced yard is essential.

Life Expectancy

About 12-15 years.

Litter Size

About 4 to 8 puppies


The Whippet's smooth, fine, shorthaired coat is easy to groom. A regular rub all over with a damp chamois will keep the coat gleaming. Brush with a firm bristle brush, and bathe only when necessary. The coat of the Whippet is virtually free of "doggie odor." This breed is an average shedder.


The Whippet was developed at the end of the 19th century through crossing among the Greyhound, the Italian Greyhound, and another terrier type dog. Its name derives from the expression "whip it," meaning “to move quickly.” The Whippet is an outstanding track racer over short distances, reaching speeds of up to 37 miles per hour (60 km per hour), reaching those speeds in seconds! Coursing these dogs was an entertaining form of gambling for the lower classes in England and the Whippet was nicknamed "the poor man’s racehorse." The Whippet was recognized by AKC in 1888 and by the English Kennel Club in 1891. Some of the Whippet's talents include: hunting, sighting, watchdog, racing, agility and lure coursing.


Southern, AKC Hound

  • ACA = American Canine Association Inc.
  • ACR = American Canine Registry
  • AKC = American Kennel Club
  • ANKC = Australian National Kennel Club
  • APRI = American Pet Registry, Inc.
  • CCR = Canadian Canine Registry
  • CKC = Canadian Kennel Club
  • CKC = Continental Kennel Club
  • DRA = Dog Registry of America, Inc.
  • FCI = Fédération Cynologique Internationale
  • KCGB = Kennel Club of Great Britain
  • NAPR = North American Purebred Registry, Inc.
  • NKC = National Kennel Club
  • NZKC = New Zealand Kennel Club
  • UKC = United Kennel Club
A tan with white Whippet puppy is laying on the edge of a red couch and it is looking forward. It has long front legs.

Jade the Whippet puppy at 14 weeks old

Action shot - A white with gray brindle Whippet dog is runnign across a field. It has a long skinny tail and long legs.

Piper the Whippet on the run!

The right side of a white and grey Whippet dog that is standing across a field. It has a long skinny body with a high arch. Its long ears are pinned back and its snout is long.

Tylko Ty Today the Whippet, photo courtesy of Magda Kruszewska, Poland

The right side of a white and tan brindle Whippet dog that is standing across a field. It is looking to the right.

Zoe the Moonlight Ypsylon, photo courtesy of Magda Kruszewska, Poland

The right side of a white with brindle Whippet dog that is standing in a field and it is looking to the right. Its left paw is in the air.

Tylko Ty Today, photo courtesy of Magda Kruszewska, Poland

The left side of a black and white Whippet that is standing across a brick surface. It is wearing a red collar and it has on a leash. The dog has a high arch, a long tail, long legs and a long snout with a black nose.

Pippi the black and white Whippet at 1 year old

A white with brindle Whippet is sitting at the beginning of a bridge and it is looking forward. The dog is skinny with long front legs and ears that stick out to the sides with a skinny snout.

Comet the Whippet sitting on a bridge

The right side of a white with brown Whippet that is sitting across a blue couch. The dog has long front legs and a skinny snout.

Daphne the Whippet, photo courtesy of Lagniappe Whippets and Norwich Terriers

See more examples of the Whippet