Whippet – Fast and Beautiful!

Featured image by © bigstockphoto.com / Anna-av

What is a Whippet?

The Whippet, also known as the Snap Dog is a medium sized dog breed that originated in England. They are a sighthound breed that are descended from Greyhounds. Whippets denote elegance and fitness and were bred to hunt in open areas by sight, coursing game at high speeds. Mentions of the breed’s first written use of the word “whippet” was around 1610. In England in the 19th century, whippet racing was a national sport and overall extremely popular. By 1890, the English Kennel Club granted the breed official recognition.  The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1888. Thanks to their extraordinary versatility as a racing, hunting, and companion dog, the Whippet soon became one of the most popular of the sight hound breeds.

Pros and Cons

Appearance and Size

Height: 17 – 20 inches

Weight25 – 40 pounds


Whippets come in a wide variety of colors and patterns, everything from solid black to solid white, with red, fawn, brindle, blue, or cream. They have all kinds of spots, patches and markings. Its not uncommon to find wide diversity in all in the same litter.

Whippet portrait © bigstockphoto.com / Svetlana Shadow
Whippet portrait © bigstockphoto.com / Svetlana Shadow

Whippet Temperament

These little speedsters have outstanding temperaments. They are generally beautiful quiet, gentle, friendly, affectionate and easy-going. Additionally, they are known to be very sensitive to the mood of their owners, and will behave accordingly. They love to chase things so small fluffy animals that resemble rabbits may be in for a surprise with a Whippet on the loose! They are totally content with spending much of the day relaxing indoors, but definitely would enjoy a large fenced in yard to burn off some energy. They are fantastic with children and the elderly and have also been used as therapy and companion dogs.  Whippets grow very attached to their owner. They will bark when strangers arrive but are really not suited to being guard dogs, as they are much too friendly. Whippets are generally not very cat friendly, and tend to attack cats that stray into their territory. They seem to be ok with cats of the same household that they grew up with. 


The Whippet requires very little grooming. An occasional brush, with regular bathing and trimming of their nails is recommended.


Generally very healthy dogs and if given proper nutrition, exercise, and veterinary care, most whippets live up to 15 years. They are generally healthy, and are not prone to the frequent ear infections, skin allergies, or digestive problems that can afflict other breeds. Things to look out for include Anesthesia sensitivity, deafness, eye defects and von Willebrand’s disease

Beautiful Whippet Running In The Park © bigstockphoto.com / Pfotenweltfoto
Beautiful Whippet Running In The Park © bigstockphoto.com / Pfotenweltfoto

Life Expectancy

Whippets typically live for 12-15 years. 

5 Fun Facts About Whippets


The speedy, sleek and quiet Whippet makes a great companion.  There is nothing macho about these sweet and friendly dogs. If you are looking for a dog that is totally safe with the kids, and will be an adoring member of the family, then you simply can’t go wrong with a Whippet as they are ideally-suited to most situations; retirees, families with children, or young couples. Like any other dog, daily walks are recommended if you live in an apartment, or have a small yard, because these dogs love to run and have energy to spare. A large fenced in yard is ideal, so they may run free. When walking your dog, please take care with whippets on the street as they lack any sort of traffic sense. Whippets are not well-suited for outdoor kennel living as they are very sensitive to cold temperatures. Additionally, they have a natural attachment to people, and are at their happiest when kept indoors, on your lap, or beside you on the couch.  


Looking to add a Whippet to your family? Consider rescuing one instead.