Whippet – Full Breed Profile

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
Whippets are great family dogs, but is this the best breed for you? Read on and learn about the breed's history, personality traits, and grooming needs. Read on.
Dog Breed Group:
Hound Dogs
18 to 22 inches tall at the shoulder
18 to 48 pounds
Life Span:
12 to 15 years

Breed Characteristics:

Apartment Friendly


How well will this breed adapt to apartment living? Is the apartment size the most important factor when it comes to proper living conditions? Is the breed suitable for apartment living?

Good For First-Time Owners


Some dogs aren't suitable for first-time dog owners. Is this breed a good match for someone with no dog experience? Can training help them be on their best behavior with owners with no dog experience? Are they suitable to be handled by someone who is just entering the canine world?

Overall Sensitivity


Some dogs are sensitive. Certain breeds are rough on the outside, while having the softest heart on the inside. In other words, some dogs are 'thick-skinned' while some are 'easygoing.' Is this breed prone to sensitivity?

Tolerates Being Alone


Separation anxiety in dogs is a serious condition that can affect a dog's life quality. Is this breed prone to this condition? Can you leave him alone for hours? How destructive this breed can become when bored, neglected, or not loved enough?

Affectionate With Family


How affectionate this breed will be around his humans? Will he welcome new family friends easily or he will choose to be shy? Some breeds can be clingy with owners, while others don't attach a lot. Will this breed act as the family's best friend?



Some dogs will tolerate children, while others will adore well-behaved ones. Dogs and children should always be supervised, no matter how well trained the dog might be. Will this breed act as a nanny dog or he will stay away from children?

Friendly Toward Other Dogs


Some dog breeds cannot wait to run to the dog park and run with others. Others prefer to be with their humans, and not to be a part of a multi-pet household. Is this breed dog lover or not? How friendly this breed will be toward other dogs?

Friendly Toward Strangers


Some dog breeds tend to be reserved toward strangers and highly suspicious. Others are fast to walk away with them easily. How welcoming this breed is toward strangers?

Drooling Level


If you love to clean all the time drooling level in dogs is a trait that you should mind. Is this breed less likely to drool, or you will always need a towel on hand?

Easy To Groom


Heavier shedding during the shedding season is something that every dog needs to go through. However, some dogs shed just a bit all year round. Is this breed one of them? How often should you groom this dog?

Overall Health


What can you expect from this breed in terms of health? Are there any genetic conditions to vary about? Is obesity a major issue in this breed? By knowing more about the dog's health, you are learning how to help him live a longer and healthier life.

Prone To Obesity


Treats are a great addition to training sessions. Dogs love sweet bites of dog treats but they should be served in moderation. Treats can lead to obesity, next to poor nutrition. Can this breed gain extra weight from treats? How prone to obesity this breed actually is?

Trainability Level


Training some dogs is easier than others. How easy this dog will be to train? What can you expect? Some dogs are huge people pleasers and they will master commands easily, while others will try to outsmart you.

Intelligence Level


Dogs are smart beings. We do our best to train them, but they do still end up training us to adapt to their needs. How intelligent is this breed? Will he try to outsmart you? Or he will need multiple training sessions to master basic commands?

Prey Drive


Dogs were bred for a specific purpose. Those who were bred to hunt have natural instincts to hunt, even today. This is why many dogs, like Terriers, will chase other animals. They will also have a hard time concentrating on your commands when there is something small moving. Is this breed prone to following his prey instincts?

Barking Level


How vocal this breed is? Can you expect neighbors to ring you often to calm your dog? Or you can sleep without worries of hearing your Fido bark? Some breeds are highly vocal, others have unusual sounds, and some are silent. Is this breed prone to barking?

Energy Level


Low-energy dogs are happy with regular walks and indoor chill times. High-energy dogs are always ready for action. Is this breed a couch potato, energetic dog, or somewhere in between?

Exercise Needs


Some dogs are more than happy with a slow stroll down the street. Others need hours of active time to stay happy and fit. Is this breed demanding in terms of exercise? How much exercise this breed needs to stay happy and healthy?

Playfulness Level


Some dogs never lose that puppy spirit, not even in their senior years. Others are more serious and prefer having a job to do. Is this breed demanding in terms of playfulness? Can you expect playfulness in their senior years as well?

Whippet is an elegant dog of medium size. This is a sighthound breed originally from England.

Historically, they are descended from Gerehounds, which is noticeable on first look.

Today, this breed is a common choice for families, because Whippets are great around children of any age.

Their nature is soft and their temperament is calm and chill.

Whippets might do slightly better in families with older children, but this doesn’t mean that they won’t do well with toddlers, as well.

They just might need more space where they share space with smaller children. Still, no matter how calm this breed is it’s important not to leave children and vulnerable adults alone with a dog of any size, or breed.

Whippets are known for their obedience and love toward cuddling. They love spending time with their humans doing nothing or being outside active.

All in all, they thrive on human companionship. However, this affection and love are strictly reserved for family members, as they aren’t social canines toward strangers.

They may do well on their own, and aren’t prone to developing separation anxiety.

They can be left alone and be comfortable with it. Still, do not leave them alone for too long, because dogs are social beings after all.

Quick Facts

Real name: Whippet
Other names: English Whippet, Snap dog
Origin: England
Breed type: Hound Dogs
Weight: 18 to 48 pounds
Height: 18 to 22 inches tall at the shoulder
Lifespan: 12 to 15 years
Litter Size: 1 – 10 puppies
Color: Any color is accepted; in the UK any color is accepted but merle
Coat: Fine, dense, short coat

Whippet Personality

Whippets are sensitive and non-aggressive dogs.

They thrive on human companionship, and nothing excites them like good training and nice treats.

Whippets may be great apartment dogs as long as you provide enough exercise. Otherwise, they may become bored and even destructive.

Running for a long time is what makes this breed happy. Another thing that makes them super happy is being a couch potato after a nice run.

If your home is blessed with a feline as well, they will respect them. Still, the best-case scenario would be if they would be raised with cats from puppyhood.

Whippets won’t be scared to bark at strangers. Overall, these dogs are sensitive and they tend to attach to their family members easily.

Whippet Training

The best way to train Whippet is to keep training sessions short, but consistent.

Dogs can master basic commands from their puppyhood, which means that it’s up to you to train them.

They can master basic commands as of eight weeks of age.

This is a period of early socialization during which a young Whippet should learn:

  • How to behave inside the house
  • To come when called
  • To drop or leave an item whenever hears a ‘no’ command
  • To know house rules
  • To know how to behave around house visitors
  • To know where he can sleep
  • To know which home areas are forbidden for him
  • To know how to walk on a leash
  • To know how to behave in the backyard

Once your veterinarian gives you a green light, your Whippet can go to the dog park and learn how to behave around other dogs.

If your home is already a multi-pet place, make sure that you introduce dogs slowly and in a safe environment with other dogs and pets.

A Whippet is a smart and intelligent dog who loves to be goofy from time to time.

These dogs are active and they will prefer training sessions that are fun and intense. Always reward him a nice treat afterward.

The best way to train your Whippet is to only use reward-based methods.

Whippets are sensitive dogs, which is why they need more time to learn tricks. This is why you should have enough patience, and create only reward-based training sessions.

Whippet Exercise Needs

Whippet may seem gentle and elegant, but this is a true beast energy-wise.

Suited for only experienced dog owners, Whippets should have a minimum of an hour of exercise every day.

You don’t have to force an entire 60 minutes in a single run, but you can split it into a few activities throughout the day.

In practice, this means that you can provide more intense walks. Off-leash runs in a well-secured area and runs in a dog park are welcome.

How Do You Keep A Whippet Entertained?

Providing regular walks and off-leash running sessions in a secure area should be enough to keep your Whippet physically satisfied.

However, dogs love diversity and different activities, so mix it up a bit.

For some diversity, include some of the following activities:

  • Racing
  • Agility
  • Obedience
  • Flyball
  • Dock diving
  • Tracking

Whippet Grooming

  • Is it hard to groom Whippets?
  • Do they shed?
  • Do they smell?
  • How often should you brush this dog?
  • Do they love grooming?

These and many other questions will start popping out as soon as you bring your Whippet home.

Dogs are creatures of habits and massive people-pleasers, which means that if you reward them after every grooming session they will find a way in their hearts to tolerate it.

Some Whippets may not be big fans of regular bathing, but they may survive being cleaned with wet cloths, or dry shampoo.

It all depends on how well trained he is and how well did the socialization go.

Still one is for sure – Whipppets love being brushed. Get a high-quality grooming mitt and you will have a hard time stopping brushing your Whippet because he will enjoy it tremendously.

Whippets are short-haired dogs but they will still need brushing twice a week.

The rest is basic care that should be conducted weekly or monthly. Weekly you should check eyes for any sign of eye discharge and gums.

Clean ears when needed and trim or grind nails monthly. Bathe when needed or recommended, and brush him weekly.

Whippet Health

Are you thinking of buying a puppy? If so, you should know that dealing only with responsible dog breeders, will get you a healthy Whippet.

Finding a good breeder will maybe take extra research and time investment, but it will be worth it.

How can you know for sure that you are dealing with a reputable dog breeder?

A person who stands in front of a puppy mill will just give you the dog without any papers and the opportunity to see the facilities.

In the other hand, reputable breeders will provide the following:

  • Medical documentation on the puppy
  • Give you a fast tour on the facilities
  • Show you the bitch if not both parents
  • Ask you a lot of questions to make sure that you are a responsible dog owner
  • Ask you a lot of questions to find you the puppy that fits your temperament and lifestyle the best
  • Inform you on dog’s temperament, healthy conditions, and if there is anything that you shoudl be worried about

If you decide to adopt, you will also get a health record on the dog and an honest review on the go.

Once you get a dog you should still take it to your veterinarian for a full check-up. This is the only way to know 100% how healthy your dog is.

Once you get your Whippet, you are directly responsible for his weight. This means that you should know how much to feed your Whippet and when.

They should do fine on high-quality food and a proper exercise regime.

With the right care, best nutrition, and regular exercise next to veterinary care, your Whippet should easily reach a maximum of his living years.

Whippet Nutrition

When it comes to having a healthy Whippet, you need to be mindful when it comes to nutrition.

These dogs should do fine on high-quality food and regular exercise.

Nutrition and exercise are the most important factors when it comes to having a healthy dog.

Know how much you should feed your Whippet, based on his age, sex, activity level, and overall health.

Learn how to read dog food labels and always choose food that is rich in proteins and fiber.

Dogs need food with fibers and vegetables to support their overall strengths and health.

Always serve food specially designed for dogs’ ages. This means that you should never feed a puppy with senior food and the opposite.

This way they won’t get nutrients that should serve their health.

Avoid feeding dogs after an intense workout, learn here why.

Also, learn which human foods are safe to share with your Whippet, and which is a big no-no.

For example, human chocolate and garlic are items highly dangerous for dogs, while a cucumber can be a great summer treat.

Is Whippet For You?

Whippets are gentle and friendly dogs who thrive in a positive environment.

They are great when it comes to dog sport competitions and running performance specifically. They are a bit docile but also athletic and playful.

When outdoors they will be first to start a good run, while indoors they will love being couch potatoes.

These dogs thrive on regular walks and additional exercise – if this sounds like too much work, this is the breed for you. On the other hand, if you have experience as a dog owner, and you want a racy breed this is the breed to consider having.

If you want a medium-sized Greyhound, or elegant stand, love toward the outdoors, and who is graceful, then this breed should be at the tip of your list.

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