Whippets are an incredibly popular breed of dog, though they are often confused for greyhounds. Admittedly, the two look very similar, but whippets have their own unique attributes that set them far apart from their greyhound cousins. In fact, there is a lot that many people simply don’t know about the whippet. Continue reading for seven fast and fun facts about this spectacular breed.
They’ll Sleep on the Furniture
Whippets are known for hating hard surfaces, especially when lying down, so expect to see your canine companion dozing on the couch or bed.
They’re Not Fond of the Cold
Whippets are thin pups, standing at around 20 inches tall and averaging about 30 pounds in weight. Their fur is also very short, making them not exactly suited to ice-cold temperatures.
They are Couch Potatoes that Love to Run
There are two things in the world that delight whippets more than anything – sleeping and running at full speed. Whippets are often bred for the purpose of coursing or racing, but once they are tuckered out, they will sleep for hours!
They’re Great Additions to Families
Whippets are notoriously even-tempered and calm. Many of these dogs happily live with children, cats and other animals without incident, though they may take to chasing the cat around the house – just for fun, of course.
They are Not Great Protection Dogs, However
These dogs are not aggressive and are very clingy to the few people that they live with. If you’re looking for a dog that will lunge and bite, you might want to look at a breed other than a whippet. The only damage these dogs are likely to inflict is a welt caused by the rapid-fire wagging of their tails.
Their 18th Century Nickname is “The Poor Man’s Racehorse”
In Great Britain in the 18th century, whippets were popular for races involving the snapping up of rabbits, also known as “snap dog contests.” During the Industrial Revolution these races became a bit more refined, with the dogs chasing a flag down a runway. This is when the whippet earned the nickname of “the poor man’s racehorse.”
They Can EAT
Though the whippet is a slender breed, they can put food away like nobody’s business. Make sure to keep any food you don’t want them having completely out of reach. Otherwise, they will find a way to get it!
All in all, whippets are incredibly fun family dogs that will make anybody feel grateful for their existence. Their mild-mannered nature and love of snuggling up to people make them great for cozy days in the house, while their fondness of running means that they are exceptional racing dogs.
Whippet puppies, like puppies of any other breed, require a lot of care, responsibility, training and routine to be raised into happy and well-adjusted adults. As your pup grows up, you’ll want to take these tips into account to ensure that they are their happiest in your home.
Routine Grooming of Your Whippet
Whippets have very short fur that is quite velvety to the touch, so they are remarkably easy to keep clean and fresh. Unless they get into something sticky or otherwise stubborn to remove, a quick once-over with a damp chamois will keep their fur and skin in great shape. If they have gotten into something that they shouldn’t have and can’t be removed from their fur with a chamois alone, only then should they be given a bath.
Brushing your whippet is a simple matter of using a firm bristle brush. Most whippet owners do not need to have extensive grooming supplies (like different brushes) due to the short length of their dog’s fur.
Keep an eye on your whippet’s nails, as they can grow too long and cause problems when they walk or if their nails get stuck on something.
Where to Keep Your Whippet
Whippets are not ideal outdoor dogs, not by a long shot. While they will certainly love a good sprint through the yard or a field, their ideal place to be is snuggled up on the couch with their humans. Their skin is remarkably thin and since they do not have a thick layer of fur to protect their bodies, they can become injured rather easily. Minimize this risk by having them inside when not exercising.
Their thin skin and short fur also contribute to the whippet’s hatred of cold temperatures and rain. When the weather is inclement, keeping your whippet inside is the best course of action.
Exercising Your Whippet
Though whippets should be spending most of their days indoors, they benefit greatly from short periods of time where they can expel their energy outside. 40 minutes at a time, about twice a day, should be suitable for getting your whippet some much-needed exercise. As sight hounds, they love to give chase to an object, so any kind of play that could facilitate this impulse is ideal.
Because whippets love to chase, it’s best to avoid having them run where they have access to roads. Whippets can be vulnerable to getting hit by cars because it is in their nature to go after them.