Whippet Dog Breed – Facts and Personality Traits

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Each month we will be highlighting different dog breeds in our series, Dog breed of the month. Next we look at small and fast whippets.

“Whippets make wonderful companions thanks to their gentle and affectionate nature. While they enjoy relaxing at home, they also need up to an hour of exercise a day to meet their needs,” said Kennel Club spokesman Bill Lambert Country Life.

Read on for everything you need to know about whippets…



What were whippets originally bred for?

“A small and fast greyhound, whippets were originally bred to hunt rabbits in Victorian times until this was banned,” Bill tells us. “The breed is now popular both as a calm and affectionate family companion and in the show ring, having won Best in Show at Crufts three times (and being Reserve Best in Show three more times!)”

Are Whippets Good Pets?

Whippets are natural family pets that are known to get along well with both young children and other dogs.

“Their affectionate nature makes them great family pets, and they’re good with children and other dogs,” adds Bill. “Thanks to their hare-hunting history, they’re a breed that will enjoy activities like agility and flyball, but has also been very successful in the dog show hobby, having most recently won Crufts Best in Show in 2018.”

Do whippets have health problems?

According to the PDSA, some of the health conditions that whippets may struggle with can include:

  • eye problems
  • Progressive retinal atrophy – gradual loss of vision over several months or years
  • Mitral valve disease – a heart condition in which the valve is weakened, allowing blood to flow back into the heart
  • Immune-mediated problems – where the body reacts against its own cells
  • They are sensitive dogs that can cut their skin on thorns, twigs, and other sharp objects
  • They can damage their bones if they walk on uneven ground, so be sure to check the ground they walk on for potential hazards
    black male whippet three year old dog on the beach

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    Are whippets noisy dogs?

    It’s normal for dogs to bark, but whippets aren’t known for being particularly vocal puppies. The PDSA explains: “In fact, they are known as silent hunters (originally bred for hunting). Your Whippet will probably only bark when he is unhappy or bored. If you have a problem with excessive noise we recommend seeking the advice of an accredited behaviorist.”

    What are the best owners for whippets?

    Affectionate and affectionate, Whippets are great for a whole range of owners, including first-time pet parents.

    “Whippets are adaptable and gentle dogs, making them ideal for both rural and urban owners,” explains Bill. “If they live in an apartment, they still need access to ample green space where they can run and stretch their legs, with a recommended hour of exercise per day. They tend to be low on energy indoors, but become overactive when their exercise needs aren’t being met.”

    Need more help finding the right puppy for adoption? Take a look at our expert-approved guides below:

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