A whippet is a member of the greyhound family. Like the greyhound, they are said to be descendants of dogs brought to Britain by the Romans.
Whippets are similar to a small greyhound. They can run fast. They were popular in UK as racing dogs, being trained to chase rabbits for a bet, and later lures. They were known as "the working man's racehorse." Small dogs are cheaper to keep than racehorses, (or big dogs for that matter!)
They were popular in the north of England where the coalminers would use them to hunt rabbits for the pot. They also used to have fun holding rag races where one person would throw the whippet forward towards its owner at the start of the race. The owner would stand at the end of the course waving a rag at his dog to catch his attention and encourage him on. The hunting instinct remains strong in the dogs of today. Whippets are pack dogs – they love being with their own kind, although having said this, they also live well enough together with other breeds. They are far-sighted and quick to spot other whippets.
Whippets are very healthy dogs and do not suffer from any of the hereditary diseases from which so many of the other breeds suffer. You are more likely to incur veterinary bills from cuts and scrapes suffered when they race around playing ‘rabbit’. This is a game the youngsters love to play, but by the time they reach the age of about three, they have settled and tend to become couch potatoes, occasionally bestirring themselves to race down to the gate and bark at other dogs passing by. They are by no means yappers, however, and once they have had their say, they return to their places on the couches where they nap happily until feeding time.
Whippets have competed in agility and flyball with great
A whippet has a narrow head, long neck, and lean body. The back is arched. The tail is long and thin. The coat is short and smooth, needing no grooming.
Height at shoulder: males 47- 51 cm, females 44 -47 cm.