The Whippet – Dog Breed Information and Pictures

The Whippet was developed through crossbreeding of the Greyhound, the Terrier and the Italian Greyhound. Its name is related to its ability to move extremely rapidly. It was bred as a racing dog and can reach very high speeds in a short space of time. These dogs were used extensively as a form of entertainment. The lower English classes frequently participated in gambling over the racing of these dogs.

The Whippet still resembles its ancestor the Greyhound but is much smaller in stature. It is as sleek and graceful as the Greyhound but is hardier. The Whippet can be found in many different colours. These are black, white, red, brindle, slate blue and fawn. They can be both single colour and mixed. The short coat of the Whippet is simple to groom and care for. It is not necessary to bathe regularly and the dog may be simply wiped with a damp cloth in most cases. They are unusual in that they are virtually odourless. They shed an average amount of hair throughout the year. They have small ears and an arched neck and their back is both long and broad. They have a retracted abdomen, which adds to their slender appearance, and their tails are pointed.

This is an intelligent breed of dog and they are both lively and affectionate. They will become an extremely devoted companion to humans and are much quieter and less active indoors than many breeds. This has increased their popularity as a pet. They are good with children but need to be with children who are more gentle and do not tease. They are sensitive dogs and should be handled gently both physically and mentally. They are renown for their cleanliness and odour is rare so they are very easy to care for and can easily adapt to smaller living spaces. They can live happily with other pets but, due to their natural desire to hunt and kill small animals, it is best to limit integration to pets they have been raised with.

Although the Whippet should be handled and trained gently, it is important that they are also handled firmly. As long as the owner clearly asserts himself or herself as the leader, this will ensure that there are no future problems with Small Dog Syndrome where a dog can display undesirable behaviour if it believes it is in charge.

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The Whippet has a higher life expectancy than some dogs. It commonly lives for around 12 to 15 years. They are a very healthy and hardy breed and have fewer common ailments than most. They are prone to stomach upsets and can suffer from skin problems. They are also very sensitive to cold and may often need to wear a dog coat for exercise in cold weather. The heart of the Whippet is something that may cause anxiety to its owner or be mistaken for an illness. It is unusually large and beats more slowly than normal and may even seem to beat intermittently when inactive. A regular heartbeat should be detected during exercise however.

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