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Whippet Overview

This slender, gentle breed has an interesting build, which is similar to a Greyhound but smaller. Their shape can best be described as the letter “S”, with legs. Whippets have a low-hanging chest, tiny waist, a long neck and a tiny, long face. Their wispy but sturdy legs make them light and agile on their paws. Despite their chill demeanour, Whippets do need to get their energy out, and love to sprint about in a fenced-in yard. Whippets can alternate between high bursts of energy and lounging for hours. Their slight build and size, however, also make them compatible for condo living. Whippets rarely bark too, which makes them ideal for apartments or other noise-sensitive living arrangements. 

The Whippets’ history can be traced back to Victorian England. Coal miners at the time loved racing dogs, but couldn’t afford the maintenance of a Greyhound, a prime racing breed, and didn’t have the space to properly sprint them. They started breeding smaller Greyhounds, though it’s unclear which other breeds were used. In this way, a star was born. Whippets are a natural sprinter that could reach speeds over 55 km/hr. Their name is said to be derived from “whappet”, a dated word that means “a small dog that yaps”...even though that’s not part of the breed’s character. 

Did you know?

The Whippet breed used to be referred to as the “Poor Man’s Racehorse” and the “Lightning Rag Dog”

Whippet Stats

  • Kid-Friendly Kid-Friendly

  • Good with other animals Good with other animals

Popularity ranking**
18-22 in / 25-40 lbs (M)
Average lifespan
12-15 years
Activity level
Little to none
Barking level
Little to none
Coat length

Caring for your breed

Daily serving

Daily kibble serving

1-2 cups

Daily exercise

Daily exercise

2 hours


Grooming frequency

Brushed Regularly

Dog Food

Feeding your Whippet

The Whippet should be fed a high-quality dog food appropriate to its age, whether puppy, adult or senior.  Be careful of your Whippet’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be great incentive in training, but be aware of how many you feed them, as too many can lead to obesity. Refrain from sharing table scraps and especially avoid cooked bones and foods with high fat content. Learn more about what human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. It’s important to talk to your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Always make sure your Whippet has fresh, clean water available. 


*Contrary to popular belief, there are no 100% hypoallergenic dogs. There are breeds, however, that have non-shedding coats and are suited well to allergy sufferers.
**The breed popularity ranking is based on the most current ranking of the American Kennel Club (AKC)

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