The Whippet was once considered the poor man’s greyhound. Today they are loyal dogs that are also used as show dogs. They make great pets, and are not as fragile as they appear. Although extremely slender, this dog has a lot of energy and is very strong.

Appearance
Whippets have a short smooth coat. They come in all colours, such as solid black, white, red or fawn. They may also be broken white with or without a brindle. Whippets have a slightly different shape from greyhounds. They have a long, lean head and are graceful with curves.

Temperament
Whippets are gentle, easy going dogs. They are just as happy chasing a leaf on a breeze as they are curled up next to you in front of the television. They are completely nonaggressive, and will even get along with cats. They make a great watch dog as they will bark at strangers, but they are more likely to lick them than bite them.

Care Requirements
There are not many special care requirements for the Whippet. This dog is very low maintenance. Since it has a short haired coat, it does not need a bath that often because it likes to keep itself clean, much like a cat. The most important thing to remember about a Whippet is that they have thin skin and a short coat, so they get cold in the winter time. You can alleviate this by getting them a sweater to wear. You should make sure that the sweater you buy is made especially for Whippets so that they are made to fit the curve of the dog. You should also trim the toenails every one to two weeks, and care for your dog’s teeth. Whippets are sturdy animals with no hereditary health issues, and live to be about fifteen years old as long as you care for them well.

History
These sight hounds were bred to be a shorter, faster version of the greyhound. They were often used for hunting rabbits and other fast animals that lived and hid in enclosed spaces. The smaller dog was preferable for these hunting excursions. By the end of the eighteenth century these dogs were raced as well, and were well known as the poor man’s greyhound. The dogs were often treated better than family as long as they earned their keep in the races. Only the best bitches would be used to breed, and only the fastest dogs were used to stud. This created a handsome and very athletic breed.

Health
The Whippet is generally a healthy and hardy breed. Possible health conditions include sensitivity to anesthesia, allergies or heart problems. Acquiring a Whippet from a reputable breeder will help prevent genetic health conditions.

This breed is fairly long-lived and has an average lifespan of 13-15 years.