Breed Whippet

BreedsAbout the Breed: Whippet

These sensitive, gentle companions are just as happy snuggling on the couch as they are running a lure coursing event.


The Whippet breed originated in England, where they descended from Greyhounds that were deemed unsuitable for hunting because of their size. Over time, these smaller “Greyhounds” were bred together and used to catch rats, and hunt rabbits. To this day, still resemble a smaller greyhound in both looks and personality.


These dogs have a gentle spirit, more sensitive and passive than other dog breeds, and thus do not respond to harsh training methods or treatment. They love both active and lazy lifestyles, as long as they are in your company.

Sighthounds are not for everyone however; they are unique, almost cat-like in demeanor. They are not to be trusted off leash, unless in a secured yard. If you are not familiar with the breed, reading, research and interaction is strongly encouraged prior to bringing one into your home.

Best with:

  • A loving home that can provide exercise.
  • Owners willing to use positive training only.
  • Homes with a minimum 5 foot fence.
  • Owners committed to keeping their Whippet leashed.
  • Mature owners with some sighthound experience.

Not for:

  • An inexperienced dog owner.
  • Homes with unfenced yards.
  • Outdoor living.
  • Insensitive treatment.


Smart, easy going, beautiful, quiet, hypoallergenic for some people with allergies to other breeds, no dog odor.


  • Can sometimes be unsafe with livestock and small pets.
  • Can sometimes be aloof or timid.
  • Not suited for outdoor living.
  • Cannot be trusted off leash.



The Whippet is a smaller dog, weighing 25 to 40 pounds and standing 17-23 inches at the shoulder.


Any color or combination of colors, including brindle.

Energy Level:


Life expectancy:

12 to 15 years.


Most Whippets are good with well-behaved or older children.

Other animals:

Good with other animals (occasionally not cat or small animal safe).


Lure coursing, agility, showing, companionship.


Medium shedding, brush once per week, bathe as needed.


Generally healthy as a breed; known issues include periodontal disease, sensitivity to anesthesia, and thin skin that can tear more easily than other breeds.