HISTORY: his name originates probably from the English whip which means move quickly. And, as a matter of fact, the whippet is certainly the quickest dog on short journeys (150-200 meters) since he is a racing car which can reach the 70 km/hour in a few tens seconds. In XIX century the breed spread in England in the wild rabbit and hare-hunt. Then it was the turn of the racings in the greyhound tracks, a practice that still today thrills a lot of dog-lovers. In more recent times he has been finally appreciated as a company and show dog. The whippet is an elegant dog in his shapes, endowed with great balance and muscular strength, reaching at the most 51 centimetres height. The coat (all colours are allowed) is short-haired. Short historical view. His history is not ancient; as a matter of fact, the official birth of the Whippet occurred in 1891, when the English Kennel Club admitted the breed. It is not known exactly which breeds contributed to his building, we can only dare some hypothesis, since there is nothing written and precise. It is supposed, that the Italian Greyhound has got a prevailing role in the Whippet’s creation. The North England miners, would have used him to increase the speed of their Fox, Manchester and mainly Old White Terriers today extinguished; to hunt hare and wild rabbits: It is likely, that also the Greyhound has been used for the Whippet’s creation, even if the latter could only belong to the historical lords, which organised big shooting parties with their grey. However, the dogs resulting from these crosses, called precisely Whippet, achieved a great reputation of hunters, silent and very quick. Meanwhile known all over England, he was nicknamed “the horse of the poor”. It seems impossible, that from a little bit fortuitous “mix” a breed stands out looking like the dog-shaped perfection! Today the whippet is a dog which can live quite well at home as a companion dog and at the same time hunting or racing in the greyhound tracks, that’s why he is described as the ideal sighthound!
CHARACTERISTICS: One should admit, that the Whippet is the ideal sighthound, since he can live at home; the reduced size, (cm 44/47 for the bitches, cm 47/51 for the dogs) makes him, along with his good nature and the easiness of the care, an ideal companion for the family. His short hair is easily kept clean and bright with a simple quick brush. Further, he is also a good guardian, warning, in case of need, of the arrival of strangers. At home this dog will choose a high place for himself, from which he will be able to observe his owner; he needs a lot of love and he will come continuously to ask for strokes just to show him his affection. The Whippet always wishes the heat and in summer he uses to lie down under the sunshine, whereas in winter he prefers to lie on bed and, as soon as he can, he slips under the covers. He makes easily friends with other Whippets as well as with dogs of other breeds. He loves so much the house where he lives, that you could leave him for some time even alone, without any problem. He likes walking so much and it is enough to show him the leash to make him happy, but if he understands that he cannot go out with owners, he will assume such a sad expression, that he will conquer an even short walk. During the walk, even if in the town, the dog may be kept free from the leash, as he will not go away from his owner.
Free in a meadow he will run and play with the other dogs, invigorating his muscles and training his lungs. But be careful: as a real sighthound, the Whippet will run after all what is moving, hence one should avoid to meet eventual cats in freedom, whereas if they have to live together the problem doesn’t exist. When he will have finished his healthy training, the Whippet will go back home with his owner.