Raising a Whippet
A whippet is a dog breed that is part of the sighthound family, although they often are mistaken for greyhounds. They are very slender and have a light gait. The dogs are playful and friendly, and they have grown in popularity over the last several years. Whippets can range from about 25 to 40 pounds and have a wide variety of colors and patterns. Unlike dogs such as German Shepherds, their markings are not significant to the breed, so their looks will vary. Generally they will be friendly to visitors, but are not very fond of cats that come onto their territory unless the cat is already a member of the family.
- Dog Breed Info
- The Good and Bad of Whippets
- Colors of Whippets
- Comprehensive Information
- How to Identify a Whippet
Whippets are very gentle dogs with a good nature. They are friendly with children and most visitors, and often pose little problems. They are easily adaptable as both indoor and outdoor dogs. In the past, these dogs have been bred for racing, and some people still race them today. They are very athletic dogs and enjoy catching and retrieving balls, and have a high energy level. Overall, whippets make excellent family dogs and are a good choice for active families.
The origin of whippets is not known, but there have been paintings showing very similar dogs as far back as ancient Rome. The English originally bred them to hunt small game, and soon their popularity took off as a racing dog. Many believe the dogs come from the nation of France. In 1888, the dogs were recognized in America by the American Kennel Club, and they have become a much more well-known breed in the 20th century. Today, these dogs are a beloved breed that are owned by animal lovers all over the world.
Most whippets live anywhere from twelve to fifteen years old. Some dogs may experience eye problems later in life, but overall the breed is not prone to other problems such as digestive or bone issues. Ensuring that the whippet gets enough room to play and run is very important, since exercise is in its nature. A lean diet is also essential with little to no excess fat. Some dogs may experience irregular heartbeats, so a regular check up with the veterinarian is suggested. Whippets are much like any other breed in terms of basic care such as food, water, and shelter needs.
Because the whippet has been known as a racing dog, many people have opted to adopt dogs that were once used for the sport. Some people feel like dog racing is immoral, so they opt to adopt an older whippet that has been “retired” from racing. While people can find the dogs from official AKC registered breeders, they can also be found at local shelters, and from private sellers.