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Characteristics, History, and Health


Whippets, often referred to as "the poor man's racehorse," originated in England during the 18th and 19th centuries. They were developed by crossing small Greyhounds with various terriers for their speed and tenacity. They were primarily used by working-class people for racing and rabbit hunting due to their high speed and keen sight. Contrary to your statement, the Whippet is not also known as the Italian Pointer; the Italian Greyhound is a separate breed entirely and is smaller than the Whippet.

Main Info
Alternate Names
Poor Man's Racehorse
Life Expectancy
12-15 years
Average Male Height
19-22 inches
Average Female Height
18-21 inches
Average Male Weight
25-40 pounds
Average Female Weight
25-40 pounds
Coat Length
Coat Type
Coat Colors
Black, Blue Fawn, Blue, Blue Brindle, Cream, Fawn, Fawn Brindle, Red, Red Brindle, Sable, White, White & Black, White & Fawn, White & Red, White & Sable, Seal, Black Brindle, White & Blue, White & Blue Brindle, White & Blue Fawn, White & Red Brindle, White & Fawn Brindle
Coat Pattern
White Markings, Black Mask, Blue Mask, Black Saddle, White Markings & Black Mask

Genetic Predispositions and Health

Whippets have thin and slight frames, so weight management is important since the breed is prone to orthopedic issues. They are sensitive to barbiturate anesthesia, can suffer from eye defects, deafness, and skin lacerations. Genetic testing for degenerative myelopathy, glycogen storage disease VII, Phosphofructokinase (PFK) deficiency, and myostatin deficiency can assist veterinarians with diagnosis and proactive care, as well as help breeders identify affected and carrier dogs.

Personality and Behavior

Whippets are known for their affectionate and calm nature. They are generally good with children and other dogs. They are quiet and docile in the home but love to chase and can be very fast when they get moving. This breed is intelligent and trainable but can be independent and stubborn at times. Whippets are sensitive dogs and respond best to positive reinforcement training methods.

Fun Facts

Whippets are incredibly fast and can reach speeds of up to 35 miles per hour, making them one of the fastest dog breeds.

Despite their racing background, Whippets are often referred to as "the ultimate couch potato" because they love to snuggle and sleep in comfortable places when they're not running around.

A Whippet named "Ashley Whippet" was the first disc dog and was a three-time winner of the Canine Frisbee Disc World Championship in the 1970s.