The Whippet Dogs
Description: The name of the whippet dogs comes from "whip it", meaning to move quickly. The whippet surely looks like a hound, but it is one of the gentliest of all.
... well, not for everybody! Its other name is "snapdog" and this is no reassurance for the small game, cats and mice. With only one bite, it can kill small animals. But otherwise, the whippet is the docile, calm and quiet companion every family would love. Bred for racing, the whippet dogs originate in England and they were recognized by the English kennel Club at the end of 19th century. But nowadays, even if they are used for work and take part in agility contests, their main "function" is as the perfect companion.
Height: Dogs 19-22 inches (47cm). Bitches 17-21 inches (44cm)
Weight: Dogs 18-28 pounds (8-12kg). Bitches 12-20 pounds (5-9 kg)
Temperament: Even if the whippet dogs are hounds that do well as hounds, chasing and even killing small and fast prey, they are shy, sensitive, polite dogs, with a wonderful disposition. They love fun and running and this characteristic is highly used in their training.
The dog has an independent personality, that's why it does not suffer too much when left home alone. Anyhow, it tends to get bored quickly and even if it is not a loud dog that claims attention, the whippet needs a family member to train, walk and exercise it daily, as it is a small energetic greyhound.
Health: The whippet is a generally healthy dog. It has though a sensitive stomach, as the dog, even if it is not a greedy eater, requires good quality and easily digested food.
Another health problem of the whippet dogs is due to the fact that they are not equipped for cold weather, so that they need a wind and waterproof coat.
Another so called problem found in the breed is the slow pace and the irregularity of the heart beats when the dog is resting, thing that make the novice owner to take it to the vet. In fact, this is a characteristic of the breed and, when exercised properly, the heart rate increases and becomes regular.
Maintenance/Grooming: Very easy, as their coat is very short, they do neither smell, nor shed heavily. Full grooming interval might be of 8-10 weeks, and maintenance interval, twice monthly. Bath, every six months.
Training: The whippet dogs are intelligent and docile, yet independent. That's why rough methods of training wouldn't work. They learn quickly, but they are never that keen to follow your rules, as they have a set of their own, as well as a mind of their own.
The warmer and gentler the trainer is, the better results he/she can get. To keep the whippets interested, it is highly recommended to change the method of training frequently and to use games and running to reward them.
Breeding, puppies: 2 to 10 puppies each litter, with an average of 5-8 pups.
Varieties: The coat must be "short, close, smooth and firm in texture". Any other coat shall be a disqualification. The color is another matter. The whippet dogs can have almost any color, with no disqualification: brindle, black, red, fawn, tigered white or slate blue, beige, roan, black, black and white, or white with streaked or yellow patches either solid-colored or mixed.
Famous dogs: Vivi the lost whippet. You can read more about her story here.
For whippet art paintings and photos, click here.
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