The Whippet is a breed of dog, specifically a member of the sighthound family. They are active and playful and are physically similar to a small greyhound. Their popularity has led to the reuse of the Whippet name on a large number of things, from cars to cookies. more...
Because color is considered immaterial in judging Whippets, they come in a wide variety of colors and marking patterns, everything from solid black to solid white, with red, fawn, brindle, blue, or cream. All manner of spots and blazes and patches are seen, sometimes all in the same litter. Whippets are a medium-size dog ranging from 25 to 40 lbs (11-18 kg), with a maximum height of 22 inches (56 cm).
There are dogs who have been referred to as "long-haired Whippets", but it is the opinion of the American Kennel Club and the American Whippet Club that these dogs are actually mixed breeds. They are not recognized by the AKC or by any other major canine registry, and cannot compete in events such a racing or coursing.
Whippets are generally quiet and gentle dogs, content to spend much of the day sleeping. They are not generally aggressive with other animals, and although especially attached to their owners, they are friendly to visitors. They are not prone to snapping, so they are good with young children. They may or may not bark when strangers arrive, and are not suited to be guard dogs due to their trusting and unsuspicious nature. Outside, however, particularly when they are racing or lure coursing, they demonstrate their superb athletic skills and will pursue their âquarryâ (even when it is an artificial lure) with the heart of a lion.
Unlike many other breeds, the males are as easy to housebreak, and no more aggressive than females. Both sexes make excellent pets. Males tend to be slightly more loyal and enjoy repetitive play. Females can be a little more complex and strong-willed, but are equally devoted to their owners. Males tend to run one to two inches taller, and three to six pounds heavier, than females.
Whippets are not well adapted for living in a kennel or as outside dogs. Their coats do not provide the insulation to withstand prolonged periods of exposure to the cold. Their natural attachment to people makes them happiest when kept as housepets. The quiet Whippet is well suited to apartment life, although they do need regular exercise. Care should be taken with Whippets on the street as it is difficult to instil any sort of traffic sense into them.
Whippets, as their heritage would suggest, are outstanding running dogs and are top competitors in lure coursing, straight racing, and oval track racing. In these events, a temporary track and lure system is set up. The lure is usually a white plastic trash bag. With new methods of motivational obedience training being used, Whippets are becoming successful obedience dogs. Many enjoy flyball and agility. The elegance and ease of grooming of the Whippet have made it a popular show dog, but to be successful at this sport, you must purchase a puppy who is considered by its breeder to be show quality.
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