The Whippet: thinking of getting a Whippet?
Last Updated: 12/10/2023
Whippets are friendly, elegant dogs. They have a great deal of energy but are also couch potatoes when they’re indoors.
Let’s take a closer look at the Whippet.
Place of origin: Northern England
Whippet life Expectancy: 12 – 15 years
How big do Whippets get? 45 – 56cm
How heavy are Whippets? 7 – 14kg
Colour: Black, Brindle, Farm, White, Blue, Red
Please note: A dog’s exercise, training/stimulation and grooming requirements can depend on several factors such as age and health. The same goes for ongoing costs of ownership. For advice on one specific dog, we always advise chatting with a vet.
How much exercise does a Whippet need?
Whippets are high-energy creatures and will need a minimum of 2 lengthy walks every day. If a Whippet is under-exercised, they’re prone to destructive behaviour, so it’s important for your Whippet to get the right amount of exercise – for your furniture’s sake!
Originally bred to hunt rabbits, a Whippet may be distracted by anything they mistake for prey, so take care to keep your Whippet on the lead until you reach a secure or remote area.
Whippets are streamline, elegant creatures with very thin fur. Make sure you treat them to a warm coat in the winter and a comfy bed to rest their thin bodies on at home.
Training: how to train a Whippet
Whippets are typically quick learners and easy enough to train. They can be independent-minded and more sensitive to scolding than most, so while it’s important not to scold any dog – especially when training – this is particularly the case for Whippets.
Begin training when your Whippet is young, ideally as soon as you bring them home. With plenty of positive reinforcement, your Whippet will be a well-trained member of the household in no time.
Whippets don’t shed a great deal and they don’t need too much grooming. One thorough brushing a week will suffice, although you may wish to do this more often as Whippets love to be brushed, especially with a grooming mitt.
Bathe your Whippet only when they’re dirty; in most cases, you’ll get away with wiping them with a damp cloth.
Because a Whippet’s coat is so thin, they can be prone to cuts and scrapes so it’s good to get into the habit of routinely checking your Whippet’s skin every day. Complete your Whippet’s grooming routine with regular tooth brushing, nail clips and ear checks.
Whippets are calm-natured companions, ideally suited to young families who love to explore the great outdoors. They need a fair amount of exercise, so if you’re keen to get out walking every day, they may just be the perfect furry friend for you.
They may mistake smaller pets – both in the house and those they encounter while out walking – for prey, so a Whippet may not be your ideal companion if you have a house full of small furries. That said, if you expose your Whippet to lots of animals, people, sights and smells from a young age, they should grow up to be perfectly sociable.
When you’re considering the lifetime cost of owning a Whippet, remember to take into account:
- Breed-specific food
- Veterinary care
- Pet insurance
- Kennels or dog sitters
- Grooming costs
- Toys and equipment
Need more info?
For more info on finding the best dog breed for you and your lifestyle, have a chat with your vet.