All About Whippets

Whippets are not simply small greyhounds! Whippets are closely related to greyhounds, and they're both in the sighthound family, but whippets have their unique charm. They were created by crossing greyhounds with smaller terriers, and later with Italian greyhounds. Learn more about these lil doggos with our fun facts about whippets.

Fun facts about whippets

  1. The earliest instance of the word "whippet" written in English is from 1610.
  2. The word "whippet" is derived from the early seventeenth-century word that meant "to move briskly."
  3. Talk about moving briskly – whippets have the highest running speed of any breed of its weight and may have the fastest acceleration speed of any dog! Ever! Woah! Talk about quick stix. 
  4. Whippet coats can be solid or patterned. They can be black or white or have red, fawn, brindle, blue or cream patches.
  5. Like greyhounds, whippets are capable of double suspension gallop, which means all four legs raise off the ground, extend and tuck under the body within each stride. 
  6. Whippets can run up to 56km/h.
  7. Most whippets choose their words wisely! They'll usually only bark to alert you to something. So, while they're generally quiet pets, they can pass for watchdogs to alarm you to something out of the ordinary but won't attack.
  8. Whippets can be shy to strangers but form a devoted bond with their owners.
  9. They like to sprint and play throughout the day but are happy resting for most of the day as long as they're getting enough bursts of exercise.
  10. A well-looked-after whippet can live for 12 to 15 years.
  11. A whippet's natural heart rate can be irregular, but funnily enough, they can level out when these doggos run full speed!

Living with a whippet

A few things to know about whippet ownership:

  • Low shedding.
  • No to minimal drooling.
  • Adaptable to apartment living so long as they're given enough time to run outside.
  • Whippets are indoor dogs. Their short coats don't shed too much inside (perk!), and they cannot keep themselves sufficiently warm outside. They're great couch companions.
  • Early socialisation is great for your whippet's temperament. Exposure to sights, sounds and smells will help keep them more agreeable; this should be easy to find on your walks. Whippets can be wonderful with children, but please always supervise dogs around children and teach kids how to approach your whippet safely.
  • Some whippets can cohabitate with cats, but it takes a lot of supervision and training from a young age. It's typically best not to introduce whippets to small, fluffy animals.
  • Your yard should have a five- to six-foot fence. An electronic fence won't cut it – a whippet will cop a shock in favour of giving chase.
  • Keep a good eye on your lil doggo’s skin and coat. Their short hair and thin skin mean they can easily get nicks or cuts, which you'll want to treat or have looked at by a vet to avoid infection.
  • Give your whippet lots of praise while you groom them, especially while checking their paws (they’re not big fans of this!).
  • Whippets can get along with other dogs, so you're in luck if you're keen on a multi-doggo household.
  • Whippets aren't a good match for a 'no dog on the furniture' kind of household. They love to cuddle and keep warm on couches and beds. 
  • Your whippet will need shirts all year round to keep warm. Check out our Whippet Hound-Tees for fun prints and easy dressing!
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