ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What's a Whippet?

Updated on December 11, 2014
tillsontitan profile image

Dogs are man's best friend. Mary has been around dogs all her life and loves every breed she's met. You can never go wrong with a dog.

Running Whippets
Running Whippets | Source
Daisy as a puppy getting ready to go to her new home.
Daisy as a puppy getting ready to go to her new home. | Source
Daisy's mom.
Daisy's mom. | Source

Where the Whippet Started

What's a Whippet? It's not a dance but a Whippet dog breed. A Whippet is a medium sized sight hound (a breed bred to hunt by sight) that looks like a miniature greyhound. Actually the American Kennel Club calls the Whippet an English Greyhound in miniature. says the Whippet is similar to it's cousin the Greyhound. The Whippet is smaller than a Greyhound but larger than an Italian Greyhound. Back in the 1800's the Greyhound was a popular breed but most ordinary people could not afford a Greyhound. It is said this is when the Whippet was bred with smaller terriers. The Whippet breed was recognized by the American Kennel in 1888.

Whippets originated in England and were first brought to America in 1891 for racing. Massachusetts was once the center of Whippet racing. Why racing? Well, the Whippet can reach speeds of up to 35 m.p.h. If you've ever seen a Whippet run, you'll easily see how people would want this dog to race. Grace and speed in motion! However, its easy going temperament led to its desire as a companion dog. They shed very little and tend to have a love of upholstered furniture.

Daisy | Source
Wendy the bully Whippet
Wendy the bully Whippet | Source

;Whippets offer a Lot of Variety

Unlike many breeds, Whippets come in a variety of colors, you can find blue Whippets, black Whippets, white Whippets and brindle Whippets. There are also white Whippets with different spot patterns. Obviously this dog offers a lot of variety. There are also long haired Whippets! Every dog owner has his preference and I understand there are different breeds and different varieties to suit us all but I have to admit I have a hard time with the Bully Whippet.

The only thing I can think of when I see a Bully Whippet is the Hound of the Baskervilles. It is unfair as I understand they are just as docile and loving as a regular Whippet and at the mercy of missing genes. The bully whippet is evidently a mutation. It seems dogs lacking a protein/gene called myostatin windup with an unusual body type and its condition is sometimes referred to as "the Bully Whippet Syndrome". It is also said if the dog has one copy of the gene he is super fast but if he has two copies of the gene he is not. Also due to their size they don't don't live as long as regular Whippets. The picture of Wendy that I have included is all over the Internet. It seems every article I read about Bully Whippets included a picture of Wendy. The last and saddest thing I learned is this mutation may be caused by inbreeding. An article on The Tech Museum states that many Bully Whippets are put to sleep at birth because they don't conform to the Whippet standard. That would account for why we've not seen many of these dogs around. The Whippet isn't among the most common dogs in the neighborhood to begin with. FYI this gene has the same effect in people and was used in the TV series "The Incredible Hulk", though of course fictionalized and highly exaggerated.

Back to the regular, normal Whippet. The best thing about Whippets, though is their temperament. They are gentle dogs, sometimes shy. They are docile and not prone to snapping which makes them very good with children. Of course it's important to make sure children don't hurt the Whippet. Though they love to run they can actually do without excessive exercise. However, it is good to take them for a run occasionally or provide a space where they can run like a large, fenced in backyard, although they like nothing better than to lay around all day. They are very loyal to their owners but are not known to be aggressive - so they really don't make good watch dogs. According to the American Whippet Club this is one species where the animal's sex might matter. It appears males tend to be more loyal and playful but in the long run it might be difficult to tell.

Except for the long haired variety, Whippets don't do well in the cold and really aren't suited to be outside dogs. When walking them or letting them out in cold weather it would better suit them to have a coat.

Dogs looking for a treat; Daisy's in there too!
Dogs looking for a treat; Daisy's in there too! | Source

A Whippet in Our Family

We have a Whippet in our family, Daisy. Daisy is a doll. Very easy going and stays to herself a lot. We had the chance to dog sit recently and she was no trouble at all. Though my daughter brought Daisy's bed, Daisy decided my loveseat was much more comfortable. She greeted me in the morning when I got up by just coming over and looking at me with those big sad eyes. When it was time to eat and I got her dish out she would again just stand and look at me.

Outside is when you see the Whippet come out. She's not too fond of stairs and walks them with caution and a bit timidly but once she hits the ground she's a whole other dog. One of the times I let her out I had a camera in my hand to take her picture but she spotted a squirrel and was gone before I could even turn the camera on. She sprinted across my yard in three leaps! To date she has caught, killed, and buried three squirrels that I know of. I don't know about you but when squirrels take off, I'm impressed how fast they run, so knowing Daisy caught them just adds to my admiration of her speed and grace.

I can truly say this is a wonderful house dog that will give you years of devotion and loyalty. As with purchasing any dog, remember to check animal rescue. There are many Whippet Rescues out there.

Copyright Tillsontitan - All Rights Reserved

Did you know about Whippets before reading this article?

See results


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      That's really interesting UnnamedHarald...I never knew that!

    • UnnamedHarald profile image

      David Hunt 

      6 years ago from Cedar Rapids, Iowa

      I came across "whippets" when researching my hub about the Whippet World War I tank. Now I know why the Mark A tank was called the "Whippet"-- it was much smaller and much faster than the other tanks-- it could go more than 8 miles an hour!!! Voted up and interesting.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Thanks Sunhail. They are so very graceful and it was nice of you to think of my hub!

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 

      6 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      Just wanted to share this. Today as I came out of my office for lunch, I saw this gentleman with his whippet hurrying along. It was a beautiful site. The whippet, with his characteristic lowered head and elegant trot, was looking impressive. I immediately thought about this hub.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Peggy, thanks for reading.

      Bob, I would imagine your Kennel Club book is correct!

      Sunhail, they really have a wonderful temperament and are basically quiet too.

      Maddie, the only health issues can sometimes be issues with their eyes but it is not really common, otherwise they are one of the healthiest purebreds!

      Tara, we all do!

      Effie, funny you should say that, Bullys have been called the Arnold Schwartzenagger of dogs!

      Pseudo, so glad you enjoy reading about dogs. I do too and of course I like writing about them too!

    • pseudo-scripto14 profile image


      6 years ago from Philippines

      Great topic! I love story especially if it's about dogs!I"ve heard of it in animal planet and they really are resemble to a greyhound! They look so proud and the way they run, wow ! who wants to compete with them! Glad that hubber writing about dogs are incresing! Wish that canine writers here thrive! Good info coupled with visual and descriptive illustrations! Thumbs up!

    • fpherj48 profile image


      6 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Tilly....actually a friend of mine has two of these dogs. She adores them. I found them to be very friendly & lovable....just one question....When does Wendy compete in the Body Building Championship?! Looks like she's related to Arnold Schwartzenagger! Up++

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      great story! love my daisy!

    • Maddie Ruud profile image

      Maddie Ruud 

      6 years ago from Oakland, CA

      Whippets are adorable, and in my experience very sweet. I wonder, though, does the breed have any particular health issues?

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 

      6 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      Thank you for this hub. Gave you a thumbs up! I love dogs, but had not known much about this kind of dog. learning more is wonderful! You always write good hubs and I am sorry I don't comment very much.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 

      6 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      A breed I used to love watch compete in organized dog races when I was growing up. They were called poor men's Greyhounds. I may end up owning one when I am older, because of their calm and friendly nature.

    • diogenes profile image


      6 years ago from UK and Mexico

      They were a top breed once here in the UK but have gone out of favor. People used they for coursing hares and is an excellent ratter! We also had whippet races.

      My American Kennel book says it was created by crossing the Italian Greyhound with ancient terrier breeds in the 17 and 1800's. They are faster than a Greyhound for the first 20 meters or so.


    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Interesting hub about the whippet dog breed. I know folks who have adopted quite a few greyhounds and they seem to have similar temperments. Thanks for this interesting hub.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)