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Whippet Training and Breed Information

The Whippet can certainly be the ideal pet for anyone seeking a true companion dog. They are incredibly friendly and attach themselves to their owners almost immediately. Although they love to run, they also really enjoy their quiet time sleeping on the couch. Whippets are friendly and loving to those that treat them well and they bond forever.

These are great dogs for any family as they are happy in an apartment if they get regular walks, or on a big estate where they can run for hours. Although they are an athletic breed, they cannot be kept outdoors as they can't withstand extreme cold or hot temperatures.

NOTE: I will say upfront that I have my own beautiful Whippet called "Pocky". So if you detect any bias in this breed profile you will understand why!

Jump straight down to Whippet training information.

Whippet training
In Full Flight a Whippet is a Beautiful Sight

History of the Whippet

There are two theories that are constantly debated among Whippet owners regarding their history. Both have facts to back them up so in all honesty, you have to choose the one that you think is most believable.

First, is that the Whippet was pictured in ancient statues, paintings and on pottery. There are also tapestries featuring a Whippet-like canine. Some people believe that Whippets are one of the oldest of all domesticated dog breeds.

The other theory is that the breed was developed in Lancashire and Yorkshire, England in the 18th Century. Greyhounds were crossed with long-legged terriers. The result was a small, super-fast dog. These canines were used to hunt small game, especially rabbits.

It quickly became a popular sport for men to compete with these dogs. They would race them to see who had the fastest dog or which dog could catch the most rabbits. This eventually evolved into rag racing. Rag races were more humane as the dogs would chase a rag that was attached to a string, rather than a live rabbit.

During this time, the wealthier people worked on improving the appearance of the breed by adding the Italian Greyhound to the mix. The working class of people continued to encourage the athleticism and drive to hunt. These dedicated breed developers helped make the Whippet the beautiful and quick sighthounds that they are today.

In 1891, the Whippet was accepted as a recognized breed in the English Kennel Club. Seven years later, the Whippet was accepted as a breed by the American Kennel Club.

Appearance of the Whippet

The Whippet is an elegant dog with regard to its appearance. It should be well-muscled as he was bred to be an athlete. His outline should show symmetry. The gait of the Whippet must be strong, sound and determined.

These sighthounds range from 18 to 22 inches in height. The length should be the same as the height. Although a variance of half an inch or more doesn't matter for the average pet owner, in the show ring it is cause for instant disqualification.

Considering the Whippet is a sighthound, he should have large, dark eyes for spotting prey. He should appear to be alert and intelligent. He should be a strong, powerful, muscular dog even with minimal exercise.

Whippets come in a variety of colors and any color or variety of color is acceptable. However, the eyes must be brown or black. Blue eyes or different colored eyes are unacceptable for the breed ring. However, eye color makes no difference in the Whippet's ability to be a great pet.

The Whippet's short and smooth coat is easy to maintain. A quick, weekly brushing with a stiff brush will clean debris out of the coat and make your pet shiny. Bathing is only necessary when he is dirty.


The Typical Whippet Temperament

Whippets are usually very quiet dogs that have lovely a gentle nature. They quickly become attached to their family and are generally friendly with calm visitors. Because they are so gentle, they make ideal pets for families with children.

Whippets are playful. They enjoy racing through the yard in search of the elusive Frisbee or tennis ball. Kids love to play fetch with them. It is important to teach children to be respectful of the Whippet as they rarely enjoy rough play. They do not appreciate any rough and tumble play activities.

They are trusting dogs by nature and are not going to be great guard dogs. Some Whippets will bark to announce visitors while others will not. This will depend upon the individual dog and whether or not they are encouraged to bark at certain times. They warm up to all gentle people quite quickly.

When the Whippet is on the hunt and chasing down its prey, it seems like a completely different dog. He is no longer the pet that spends his days napping on the couch. He is immediately transformed into a determined athlete who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. This is why they do so well in lure coursing.

Whippet Health Problems

Whippets are rather healthy dogs if maintained in the house and given proper nutrition. There have been rare eye problems but they are now nearly wiped out of the breed.

They usually live between twelve and fifteen years so a long term commitment is needed to own a Whippet.

Training Your Whippet

Because the Whippet is highly intelligent, they are generally easy to train. Puppies are usually easy to crate train as they do not appreciate having to sleep in a dirty bed. Crate training makes it so much simpler to housebreak a Whippet. It is a known fact that most are very clean pets.

Whippets love to please their families, which is why they excel in obedience training. They can be taught basic tricks with ease. They also do well in formal obedience competitions.

Most Whippets love to go lure coursing and the training is minimal as this is what they were bred to do. Just about any dog sport, such as agility or fly-ball is taken too with much enthusiasm and skill by a Whippet.

Because Whippets can be on the sensitive side, I strongly recommend clicker training for them. If you intend to train basic obedience (sit, down, stay, come etc.) or tricks then you should look no further than clicker training.

One problem that many Whippet owners experience is puppy chewing. Whippets do love to chew, especially when they are young. Check out this article for some tips to help stop your Whippet from inapropriate chewing.

Take a look at these beautiful Whippet Pictures

Whippets Make Great Family Pets

These dogs are such wonderful and loving pets that they would be suitable for both apartment dwellers and homeowners. They love napping on the bed just as much as they enjoy chasing a bunny out of the yard.

Whippets love people that are gentle natured and caring. They can become stressed out if people yell or are too loud around them. In a happy, healthy home, the Whippet can be the perfect pet. I can tell you, from experience, that the Whippet is a wonderful dog breed. They are special companion dogs.




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Please consult the services of a Professional Dog Trainer, Behaviorist or Veterinarian before implementing any of the advice contained on this site.