Whippet.

Other Names:

English Whippet, Snapdog

Price Range:

$1,200 – $2,000

Size:

Medium

Dog Group:

Hound

Coat Length:

Short

Energy:

Medium

Kid Friendly:

Medium

Life Expectancy:

12-15 years

Available in these colours:

Characteristics & Tendencies:

TENDENCY TO DIG10%

10%

|
LOW

|
MEDIUM

|
HIGH

SNORING10%

10%

|
LOW

|
MEDIUM

|
HIGH

DROOLING10%

10%

|
LOW

|
MEDIUM

|
HIGH

EXERCISE NEEDS52%

52%

|
LOW

|
MEDIUM

|
HIGH

GROOMING NEEDS10%

10%

|
LOW

|
MEDIUM

|
HIGH

BARKING52%

52%

|
LOW

|
MEDIUM

|
HIGH

APARTMENT FRIENDLY

HYPOALLERGENIC

About the Whippet

The Whippet, also known as the Snapdog, belongs to the Hound dog group and resembles a miniature version of the Greyhound. They earnt their Snapdog nickname from the way they killed rats and rabbits with a sharp snap. This breed is lean and muscular, with long legs built for speed. They measure between 47 to 51 cms at the withers for males, and 44 to 47 cm for females. Whippets generally weigh between 12.5 to 13.5 kgs. They are highly agile dogs and natural sprinters.

Whippets have very fine coats, and shed an average amount. They are not hypoallergenic dogs, and are fairly low maintenance, but care should be taken not to use shampoos with harsh chemicals as they are prone to skin reactions. They are free of doggy odour, and should only be bathed when needed. Whippets enjoy daily walks and love running around at full speed. However, they are sensitive to the cold, so they should generally be kept in warm environments. The limbs of the Whippet are also susceptible to injury, so they should only play on even, flat surfaces to avoid injury.

This breed is great with children, as long as they are handled gently. They have a sweet, affectionate personality, making them great companion dogs. They are very demonstrative, and enjoy cuddling and playing around with their family. Whippets do well in multi-dog households as long as they are trained and socialised, however will not be as amicable with cats. They have a high prey drive and cannot be trusted with small pets. Whippets will do okay in an apartment as long as they are sufficiently exercised, and are usually calmer indoors.

FEEDING

How much do Whippets eat?

1 – 1.5 cups of food a day

TEMPERAMENT

Are they kid-friendly?

Naturally affectionate, great companions for kids

EXERCISE

How much exercise?

20 to 30 minutes of daily exercise

LIVING

Do they need a lot of space?

Can live in small places, as long as they get enough exercise

Top health issues

What are the most common health issues for Whippets?

  • Deafness and blindness
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hip Dysplasia

IN DETAIL

Common Whippet diseases & conditions, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment in detail:

Feeding

How much does a Whippet eat?

The Whippet is generally not a fussy eater. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior) and adjustments will be required as their needs change with age. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.

Shedding

How often does the fur fall off?

Whippets have short, smooth coats, and are average shedders. They’ll shed lightly during the year and undergo two seasonal sheds as well – once in the spring to lose the winter coat and a lighter shed in the fall to shed the summer coat. Regular brushing of his coat will help remove the little hair that is shed. They are not hypoallergenic dogs.

Grooming

Are Whippets high maintenance?

The Whippet is fairly low maintenance in terms of grooming. However, it is important to note that they have smooth, fine, short-haired coats which lie close to the body. They have sensitive skin, so avoid any harsh shampoos to prevent skin reactions. Regular rubbing with a damp chamois will help keep the coat gleaming. The Whippet also does not have any “doggy odour”, so bathe them only when necessary. Brush your Whippet’s teeth regularly to remove tartar buildup. Trim his nails once or twice a month.

Exercise

How much exercise does a Whippet need?

The Whippet has moderate energy and exercise levels. They are an athletic breed, so long walks once or twice a day will be adequate to keep them stimulated. As natural sprinters, they are capable of short, sharp bursts of fast running, rather than running for prolonged distances. It is best to exercise them on clear, flat surfaces, as opposed to uneven ground, which may lead to injury. As traditionally bred as hunting dogs, Whippets may tend to chase cars, smaller dogs and animals when off-leash, so care should be taken. It is best to let them exercise in a fenced yard or exercise area, which will be safe enough to let them run at full speed. Although they love playing in the snow, they cannot stand cold weather for long periods of time due to their thin coats and lack of heat retaining body fats. When not exercising, they tend to be quite lazy, and are content with spending much of the day relaxing.

Vet Visits

How often should a Whippet visit the vet?

Whippets are a generally healthy breed with few health issues. However, they can be prone to upset stomaches due to poor quality food and skin problems. Furthermore, they have a very fine coat which is not effective in providing protection to their skin. Their limbs are also easily susceptible to injury. Veterinary care is essential to a dog’s health and wellbeing, however the frequency of treatment and checkups will depend on the dog. Scheduled six-monthly health check visits with your vet are important to ensure your Whippet is healthy and happy throughout all life stages. In these annual visits, your vet will complete a physical examination, take your dog’s temperature and check his heartbeat, among other things. Routine maintenance for your dog gives you a chance to track your dog’s growth and development and discuss any concerns with your vet, and forms a key part of preventative care.

Family Suitability

Are Whippets kid-friendly and sociable with humans?

While they are wonderful with children, Whippets can be startled easily and may over-react to surprises. Children should always be supervised and taught to respect the Whippet’s personal space. They will show a great deal of tolerance towards kids and are very easy going, but don’t like excessive pestering. Whippets should not be awoken suddenly or hassled during their rest. Between bursts of intense pursuit, Whippets love to stretch out and relax for long hours, and enjoy having the role of a loving, and loved, companion.Whippets like a fenced yard to run in, but they do nicely in cozy apartments too – as long as they are exercised properly. Another plus for city dwellers: Whippets rarely bark. Despite the breed’s elegant looks, the Whippet is a robust, low-maintenance dog.

Trainability

Are Whippets difficult to train?

The Whippet is an intelligent and adaptable dog but can be slow to learn. Whippets can be trained for agility and obedience, in addition to their racing, working and companionship roles. Young Whippets are smart, agile, and mischievous, and they can jump and climb, so confining them safely while not under supervision is a must. Early socialisation and puppy training classes are recommended and help to ensure that the dog grows into a well-adjusted, well-mannered companion. They are gentle and non-aggressive. The biggest danger to people is their wagging tail that can leave welts on you once it gets going and smacks your leg. They are hopeless as protection dogs.

Compatibility with other pets

Do Whippets get along with other dogs or cats?

Be aware that Whippets are traditionally hunting dogs. They love to chase anything that moves, and that includes the neighbourhood cats. Normally, Whippets tend to chase cars, smaller dogs or wild animals particularly when off-leash. However, they do get along well with family cats and dogs. They enjoy their company, and the presence of another dog can help prevent them from feeling lonely if their owners are away during the day. Aggression towards other animals in the home is not common, however early socialisation will, as always, help to prevent any problems.

Need for company

How often do they need to be around humans?

Whippets are also among the most demonstrative dog breeds, and enjoy cuddling and playing with their family. Whilst affectionate, this affection is usually reserved for family members, as they are not social butterflies. Being a sensitive breed, Whippets are attached to their family and do not like being separated from them. Overall, they enjoy the company of people but prefer to stay away from children who may handle them roughly. They are very loyal animals and enjoy human contact. It should be noted that behavioural issues may arise if the Whippet isn’t given enough quality time with humans or is under-exercised. Separation anxiety can occur in the breed if left unattended for extended periods of time. Whippets like to be with you and even want to be touching you when they sleep.

Menu