Whippet Dog Breed: Info, Pictures, Overview and more

Whippet Dog Breed Information and Pictures

Breed Overview

Whippets are medium-sized, elegant dogs known for their slender build, deep chest, and athletic physique. Originally bred for racing, they are among the fastest domesticated animals, capable of reaching speeds up to 35 miles per hour. Despite their speed, whippets are gentle and affectionate companions, often seeking warmth and comfort from their human counterparts. With a keen sense of sight, they are fascinated by moving objects, making them excellent hunters. Additionally, their short, smooth coats are easy to maintain, requiring only occasional grooming to keep them looking sleek and healthy.


Temperament: The whippet breed is known for their gentle, affectionate, and calm nature. They are intelligent, adaptable, and sociable, making them well-suited for family life. Whippets are typically good with children and other animals, showing a keen interest in play and companionship. While they have a strong prey drive due to their heritage as sight hounds, they are also known for their gentle demeanor and sensitivity to their owner's emotions. Overall, whippets are loving, loyal, and easygoing dogs that thrive on human companionship and are happiest when included in daily activities with their families.

Size and Appearance

Graceful and elegant, this breed boasts a slender and athletic build. Standing around 18-22 inches tall at the shoulder, whippets typically weigh between 25-40 pounds. Their deep chest, arched loin, and long legs contribute to their agile appearance. Known for their distinctive lean physique, they have a sleek coat that comes in a variety of colors and patterns. With a gently tapering tail and expressive eyes, whippets showcase a striking combination of strength and refinement in their overall size and appearance.

Health and Lifespan

Whippets are generally a healthy breed with a lifespan averaging between 12 to 15 years. Common health issues in whippets include heart murmurs, eye problems such as cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy, as well as skin conditions like allergies and sensitivity to anesthesia. It's important for whippet owners to monitor their dog's weight to prevent obesity, which can exacerbate health problems. Regular vet check-ups, a balanced diet, and proper exercise are key to ensuring a whippet's health and longevity. Early detection and management of potential health issues can help whippets live a full and healthy life.

Family Compatibility

Known for their gentle nature and affectionate disposition, this breed excels in family settings. Their friendly demeanor makes them excellent companions for children, and they are often described as loving and loyal. Whippets are adaptable to various living situations and bond closely with their human family members. With proper socialization, they coexist harmoniously with other pets, including dogs and cats. Their moderate energy levels make them suitable for both active outdoor play and relaxed indoor lounging, making them an ideal choice for families seeking a versatile and loving canine companion.

Exercise Needs

Whippets are a breed that require regular exercise to maintain their overall health and happiness. They have moderate to high energy levels and benefit from daily walks, runs, or play sessions. Engaging in activities that allow them to stretch their legs and run freely, such as lure coursing or agility training, can help them release excess energy. Providing mental stimulation through training exercises or interactive toys is also important to keep them mentally sharp. Ensuring they receive sufficient exercise helps prevent behavioral issues that may arise from boredom or pent-up energy, ultimately contributing to a well-rounded and contented companion.

Diet and Feeding

Whippets have a moderate appetite and should be fed a high-quality diet with lean protein for muscle maintenance. Avoid overfeeding to prevent obesity, a common issue in this breed. It's recommended to feed whippets twice a day to prevent bloat and maintain steady energy levels. Some whippets may have food sensitivities, so it's important to monitor their reactions to different ingredients. Fresh water should always be available, especially after exercise to prevent dehydration. Consulting with a veterinarian or a canine nutritionist can help tailor a diet plan specific to a whippet's individual needs for optimal health and well-being.
Whippet Dog Breed Information and Pictures

Living Environment

Known for their love of lounging, these sighthounds thrive in a comfortable indoor setting, preferring a cozy bed or sofa to relax on. While they enjoy regular walks and playtime outside, they are mostly content to be indoors with their human family. Due to their thin coats and lean physique, they are sensitive to extreme weather conditions and do best in moderate climates. Apartment living can suit them well as long as they receive enough exercise to prevent boredom. Providing a secure backyard for them to stretch their legs and run freely is ideal for meeting their exercise needs.


Grooming a whippet is relatively easy due to their short, smooth coat. Weekly brushing with a soft bristle brush helps minimize shedding and keeps their coat shiny. They are naturally clean dogs and do not have a strong doggy odor, so baths are only needed occasionally. Regular teeth brushing, nail trimming, and ear cleaning are important for overall grooming maintenance. Pay special attention to their paws, keeping them clean and trimmed. A healthy diet, regular exercise, and proper grooming practices will help keep a whippet looking and feeling their best.

Training and Intelligence

Training a whippet is a rewarding experience due to their intelligence and eagerness to learn. They excel in obedience and agility training, often picking up commands quickly with their sharp minds. Positive reinforcement methods work best with whippets, as they respond well to praise and treats. Consistency is key in their training to avoid boredom or stubbornness. These dogs thrive on mental stimulation, so engaging training sessions that challenge their intelligence are highly beneficial. With the right approach, whippets can be trained to a high level of obedience and excel in various activities.

Exercise and Activity Requirements

Exercise and Activity Requirements: The breed is known for its love of running and high energy levels, requiring frequent exercise to maintain physical and mental well-being. They excel in activities like lure coursing and agility trials, showcasing their speed, agility, and enthusiasm for movement. Daily walks, play sessions, and opportunities to sprint in a safely enclosed area are essential for fulfilling their exercise needs. Failure to provide adequate physical activity can lead to restlessness and potential behavioral issues. Engaging in interactive games and exercises that stimulate their natural instincts as sighthounds is key to keeping them happy and healthy.


Socialization is crucial for this breed to develop into well-rounded and confident companions. Early exposure to various people, animals, environments, and situations is key to preventing shyness or aggression. Positive interactions during the critical socialization period, generally between 3 to 12 weeks of age, help shape their temperaments positively. Consistent exposure throughout their lives is also important to maintain good behavior. Engaging in puppy classes, regular outings, and supervised play with other dogs can help them learn appropriate social skills. Well-socialized dogs are more adaptable, less fearful, and establish stronger bonds with their families.


Whippets have a relatively long lifespan compared to other dog breeds, typically living between 12 to 15 years. However, like all breeds, individual health and genetics play a significant role in determining how long a whippet may live. Proper care, nutrition, regular exercise, and routine veterinary check-ups are essential factors in ensuring a whippet reaches its full life expectancy. With their relatively long lifespan, whippets can bring joy and companionship to their families for many years, making them a beloved breed for those seeking a loyal and loving canine companion.

Common Behavioral Issues

Common behavioral issues in this breed include separation anxiety due to their sensitive nature, so they should not be left alone for extended periods. Whippets are prone to chasing small animals due to their strong prey drive, requiring secure fencing to prevent escapes. They can be reserved or timid around strangers, necessitating proper socialization from a young age to prevent fear-based aggression. Some whippets may exhibit resource guarding tendencies, which can be managed through positive reinforcement training. It's essential to provide mental stimulation and regular exercise to prevent boredom-related behaviors like excessive barking or destructive chewing.
Whippet Dog Breed Information and Pictures

Special Considerations

Due to their thin skin and low body fat, this breed is sensitive to extreme temperatures and is prone to chills in cold weather. It is important to provide adequate protection in colder climates, such as jackets and sweaters. Additionally, their slender build makes them more susceptible to injuries, so proper supervision during exercise and play is crucial to prevent accidents. It's also essential to provide mental stimulation and exercise to prevent boredom and potential destructive behaviors. Regular veterinary check-ups are recommended to monitor their overall health and ensure early detection of any potential issues.

Guardian Instincts

Whippets possess a milder guardian instinct compared to some other breeds, as they are more known for their gentle and affectionate nature towards their family members. While they may alert their owners by barking at unfamiliar sounds or visitors, they are generally not aggressive. However, their keen sight and speed make them good at detecting any potential threats. Whippets are more likely to chase and catch intruders rather than engage in physical confrontation, relying on their speed rather than aggression as a means of protection. Overall, while they may not be the most traditional guard dogs, their alertness and speed still make them good watchdogs.

Allergies and Shedding

Whippets are considered a low-shedding breed, making them a good choice for allergy sufferers. Their short, smooth coat requires minimal grooming to keep shedding under control. However, it's important to note that no dog breed is completely hypoallergenic, as all dogs produce dander and saliva that can trigger allergies in sensitive individuals. Regular grooming, including weekly brushing, can help reduce the amount of loose hair in the home and minimize allergen exposure. Additionally, keeping up with routine bathing can further help alleviate potential allergic reactions caused by dander present on the dog's coat.

Cost of Ownership

The cost of owning a whippet includes initial expenses such as purchasing the dog from a reputable breeder, which can range from $800 to $2,000, depending on pedigree and breeder reputation. Other upfront costs may involve spaying/neutering, vaccinations, and microchipping, totaling around $200 to $300. Annual expenses like food, grooming, toys, and routine veterinary care amount to approximately $500 to $1,000. Emergency veterinary care and unexpected expenses should also be factored in, potentially adding several hundred to thousands of dollars to the overall cost of owning this breed.

Availability and Adoption

Whippets are available for adoption from breed-specific rescues, animal shelters, and online platforms dedicated to rehoming dogs. Prospective adopters should research the specific needs of this breed before committing to ensuring a compatible match. As a popular breed in some regions, whippets can be adopted relatively easily, but patience may be required to find the perfect fit. Potential owners should be prepared to provide ample exercise, mental stimulation, and a loving home environment for their new furry companion. Adoption fees may vary but typically cover initial vaccinations, spaying/neutering, and other medical expenses.

Famous Examples

Famous Examples: The world of entertainment and popular culture has featured the whippet in various notable ways. For instance, famous singer and actress Madonna is known to be a proud owner of several whippets, showcasing the breed's popularity among celebrities. Additionally, the iconic American artist Norman Rockwell prominently featured whippets in his paintings, further cementing their place in history. The breed has also made appearances in popular films and TV shows, such as "Best in Show" and "Greyhound." Overall, the whippet's graceful demeanor and elegant appearance have captured the hearts of many, leading to its recognition in various high-profile settings.
Subscribe now!
Unlimited pet listings!
Business profile!
Anywhere in the World!
Guaranteed visibility!
Monthly. Cancel anytime!