The Whippet (right, Int Ch Catchacre Tiger Lily of Barnesmore) is the smallest of hounds originally used for hare coursing; standing at no more than 20" and quite light, at 12.5-14kg, th Whippet is a lean, neat, athletic and immensely elegant dog. He was developed during the 19thC by numerous crosses between Greyhounds, selected for their speed, and terriers for size and tenacity. Also known as "the working man's racehorse" he has been raced particularly in the North East of England, where a great affection developed for the breed.
Whippet races were often held in the narrow alleyways that ran behind the terraces of houses and so the Whippet developed into a 'straight racer', unlike the Greyhound who follows a curving track. Some could cover 200m in as little as 12 seconds. Created by sportsmen for speed on the track or in the field, he is a dog totally free from exaggeration and bred solely for function.
The Whippet coat is very fine and smooth and can be of any colour, but he does feel the cold and should be warmly bedded and have a coat during the winter. He is a very gentle, affectionate and even-tempered and makes an excellent housedog. He loves the company of his family and is totally adaptable to their lifestyle. As a hound, he is of course quite sensitive and does not handle rough play particularly well.
He is much less keen to escape from his garden than most hounds, but the working type especially can channel their energy into very high jumps and view a weldmesh fence as the next best thing to a ladder.
The Whippet is a lovely dog, extremely neat and clean he makes a charming pet who will whilst he loves to run will not be forever demanding exercise.
To read the Kennel Club Breed Standard for the Whippet click here.
Whippet Breed Clubs
- EAST ANGLIAN WHIPPET CLUB Mrs J Strunin 01754 830585
- MIDLAND WHIPPET CLUB Mrs Defaye 0247 671 2552
- NATIONAL WHIPPET ASSOC Mrs M Blanks 01268 288091
- NORTHERN COUNTIES WHIPPET CLUB Mrs S McEvoy 01524 60360
- NORTHERN IRELAND WHIPPET CLUB Ms J Duke 01762 849874
- SOUTH WEST WHIPPET CLUB Ms A P Vickerstaff 01209 821979
- SOUTH YORKSHIRE WHIPPET CLUB Mr Mason 01909 515864
- WHIPPET CLUB OF SCOTLAND Mrs A Skelley 01505 842123
- WHIPPET CLUB OF WALES Mr A Rees 01656 737598
- WHIPPET CLUB Mr D F Mayger 01494 523372
Whippet Rescue and Re homing
Contact a Breed Club. They should all be able to give you information about hounds requiring homes and procedures for re-homing; if you are in the unfortunate position of having to re-home your own Whippet, please go through breed rescue. They will not be judgmental and are best able to find the right permanent home for him.
If you are looking for a puppy contact the Breed Clubs and the Breeders listed and visit the puppyfinder website where there is a great deal of information on hereditary conditions. If you are a Breeder and wish to advertise your puppies puppyfinder is an excellent showcase.