AKC Hound Group


Photo copyright © Cook PhoDOGraphy. All rights reserved.

Photo copyright © Cook PhoDOGraphy. All rights reserved.

This elegant small hound was developed by crossing greyhounds with Italian greyhounds and terriers. Racing these dogs was an entertaining form of gambling for the lower classes in England. They also helped in poaching endeavors. The Whippet is an outstanding track racer over short distances, reaching speeds of up to 37 miles per hour in seconds. The Whippet’s sweet personality makes him a fine companion dog.


The Whippet looks like a small Greyhound. He is graceful and slender, but is actually quite hardy. The head and muzzle are long, with scarcely perceptible stop. The eyes are large, and round to oval in shape. The rose ears fold gracefully back when the dog is at rest, and are often semi-pricked when the dog is alert. The dog gives a very curvaceous impression, with his deep chest and tucked abdomen, and arched neck, back, and loins. The tail is long and carried low. The short, sleek coat comes in many colors: black, fawn, blue, red, and brindled, all with or without white.

Key Facts

  • Height:  19 to 22 in. (male); 18 to 21 in. (female)
  • Size:  Medium
  • Weight:  20 to 35 lbs.
  • Availability:  May take some effort to find
  • Talents:  Hunting by sight, watchdog, racing, agility, obedience, and lure coursing


Sensitive to the cold. The skin can tear easily. A clean dog, easy to care for and easy to travel with. Deafness is a problem, particularly in predominantly white dogs.


Elegant and lively. Very affectionate and sweet, to the point of being clingy. Quiet and calm at home. Can be high-strung and timid. The most obedient of the sighthounds. The Whippet should never be roughly trained, for he is very sensitive.


  • Children:  Best with older, considerate children
  • Friendliness:  Reserved with strangers
  • Trainability:  Slightly difficult to train
  • Independence:  Moderately dependent on people
  • Dominance:  Low
  • Other Pets:  Generally good with other dogs; do not trust with non-canine pets
  • Combativeness:  Friendly with other dogs
  • Noise:  Not a barker
  • Indoors:  Relatively inactive indoors
  • Owner:  Good for novice owners


  • Grooming:  Very little grooming needed
  • Trimming and Stripping:  No trimming or stripping needed
  • Coat:  Short coat
  • Shedding:  Average shedder
  • Exercise:  Needs lots of exercise
  • Jogging:  An excellent jogging companion
  • Apartments:  Will be OK in an apartment if sufficiently exercised
  • Outdoor Space:  A small yard is sufficient
  • Climate:  Prefers warm climates
  • Longevity:  Moderately long-lived (12 to 15 years)

Useful Links

AKC® Whippet Breed Standard


Whippet Breed Club


Search for a Breeder


Rescue Organizations


Books about the Whippet


Whippet Gifts