The Whippet: A Complete Guide

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Are you looking for a dog that is the true speedster of the dog world? A dog that has an elegant look yet is also a great choice for families? Great for people with an active lifestyle?

The Whippet might just be the dog you were looking for.

Once used to help hunters by chasing rabbits, this dog is today one of the favorites in dog show rings, but his friendly personality also makes it an ideal pet.

And, he is also a great companion for people who live an active, sporty life, as he can easily keep up with any tempo you set.

However, if you do decide to become a Whippet owner, finding a high-quality puppy can be hard. Mostly because of the breed’s popularity and the fact that many “breeders” want a piece of the cake.

There are so many things you should be aware of before making the final choice when it comes to from which breeder to buy the puppy from.

So, to help you out, we have made this Whippet guide. If you keep reading, you will get familiar with the breed and know what to pay attention to before, and during the visit to a breeder.

Also, you will find out how to properly take care of your puppy, as well as what to expect as it grows up.

But, let’s start with the most important things you should know before buying a puppy.

The Whippet Puppies – Before You Buy…

A white Whippet lying in bed
The Whippet doesn’t get along well with other small animals.

Before you decide that the Whippet is the breed you want to welcome into your home, there are 3 important questions you should ask yourself.

What price are the Whippet puppies?

Having in mind that the Whippet is a purebred dog, you are probably expecting a high price tag, aren’t you?

Well, we are happy to tell you that they aren’t as pricey as you might have expected.

They are considered to be mid-range when it comes to the price range that the puppies from a reputable breeder are sold for.

On average, the price ranges from some $800 and can go up to $1500, depending on the quality and if it’s meant to be a family pet or a dog show winner.

How to find reputable Whippet breeders?

When you are looking for a reputable Whippet breeder, there are a few things you should keep in mind so that you make sure you don’t buy a puppy from a backyard breeder or a puppy mill.

Both options (puppy mills and backyard breeders) are a bad choice and you should avoid them at all costs. You will end up with a sick puppy that will suffer and spend more time at the vet’s Clinique than in your home.

So, here are the things you should pay attention to when choosing a breeder:

  • Always a huge number of available for sale puppies – Puppy mill
  • No medical history and health tests clearances – Puppy mills and in many cases backyard breeders
  • The origin of the puppies not mentioned in the sale ad – Backyard breeders and puppy mills
  • Lack of knowledge about the breed when meeting potential buyers – Backyard breeder
  • No advice on how to take care of the puppy – Backyard breeder and puppy mills
  • Seems like the breeder is just interested in the money and doesn’t care if his puppy is going to a right home or not – Backyard breeder

These are the red flags you should pay attention to and abort the purchase if they pop out during your search or the meeting with the breeder.

On the other hand, you will recognize a reputable, experienced breeder if he is the opposite of the upper mentioned.

For example, if he offers you a complete medical history and has the proof that the pup’s parents were health tested and cleared, he is a serious breeder who knows what he is doing.

Also, if the breeder knows everything about the breed and even gives you advice on how to take care of the pup and how and with what to feed it, you should consider buying your pup from that person.

3 Little-known facts about the Whippet puppies

A light brown Whippet resting its head
The Whippets are not suited for large families with many kids.

We have reached the part where you get to discover some little-known facts about the Whippet puppies and get a better idea if you are up to the task when it comes to living with one.

  • They are followers

Whippets are the type of dogs that gets attached to you quite fast and follow you wherever you go.

So, be prepared to not have a moment of privacy and to have him jump in your lap for cuddle time every time you sit down on the couch.

  • They are not that cat-friendly

Despite the socialization, Whippets don’t seem to get along well with cats and might even hurt them.

So, if you already own a cat, make sure your puppy is around it a lot so that he gets used to it right from the start, or you might have a problem when he grows up.

  • They love kids but aren’t that tolerant to rough play

Whippets can, and in most cases, are great with kids. But, if you have small kids (toddlers), make sure you don’t let them play alone.

Kids aren’t aware of their strength and that they are hurting the dog with rough play, ad the dog might react instinctively and bite the child in self-defense.

Physical Traits of the Whippet

After learning the price for a pup and how to find a reputable breeder, as well as what to expect from a life together, it’s time to “get physical”.

How big is a full-grown Whippet?

When their size is concerned, the height range you can expect from a Whippet goes from some 20 to 22 inches and around 34 pounds of weight for males.

For females, the height range is a bit lower and goes from 18 to 20 inches and some 30 pounds of weight.

What is the life expectancy of the Whippet?

If you are wondering how long a Whippet can live, let us tell you that you will have plenty of time for many funny moments in the upcoming years if you decide to buy a puppy of this breed.

Their life expectancy goes from some 12 to 15 years, if you provide health proper care, a healthy diet, and plenty of exercise.

Intelligence, Temperament and Personality Traits of the Whippet

A grey and white Whippet lying on grass
The Whippet is a great companion for people who live an active life.

The Whippets are quiet, friendly, and gentle towards their family and kids. However, when it comes to chasing a cat, or an RC Car, they are intense.

Therefore, unless you want him running like crazy down the street every time he sees a cat or something fast-moving, you should keep your Whippet on a leash until you get to a safely fenced dog park.

Another interesting thing about this dog is that he is not much of a barker, which makes him not such a good guard dog. His friendly, non-aggressive nature makes him one of the worst home protectors ever.

Speaking of the Whippets nature, these dogs, in most cases, are curious about new people and in most cases like to approach them, hoping they will get some playtime with their “new friend”.

Of course, their temperament depends on many factors, such as socialization, training, and genes, but in general, they are very friendly.

Therefore, assuming that you are not planning to have your Whippet guard your home, but have him as a playful pet and a companion, we recommend choosing the most friendly-looking pup from the litter.

The one that first comes to meet you and wants you to take him in your hands, is the one that you should take.

When it comes to training, they are really easy to train and thanks to their intelligence, they pick up commands quite quickly.

But, since they are sensitive, the training shouldn’t be harsh. Otherwise, your Whippet can get stressed out so much that he can even get psychologically hurt. Yes, they are that sensitive.

Therefore, when training your Whippet, take a very positive approach and praise him as much as you can.

And, to be honest, as soon as you start training him, you will notice how well he responds and that there isn’t an actual need for harsh training, just gentle consistency.

However, this sensitive side doesn’t mean they can’t get bossy with other animals. Okay… other animals smaller than them.

Whippets aren’t ideal for homes that already have another pet. For example a cat, a rabbit, or a parrot. Their super-strong prey drive usually means the other pet will get hurt as soon as you leave them alone.

The Whippets are a “just me” type of pets, and when taken out for a walk, they should always be on a leash so that they don’t get hurt while chasing cats or birds.

Another thing you should know is that, even though they are not messy by nature, if you do find your home in a mess after leaving your Whippet alone, it means that he is not getting enough exercise.

So, make sure he is getting enough running sessions during the day, so that you can leave him at home, alone. If his running needs are satisfied, the Whippet will probably sleep through the periods you are out of the house.

All in all, Whippets can be great pets if you allow them to run enough and burn off their energy so that they can be calm and relaxed inside the house.

Also, they are a better match for people who live alone or families that don’t have more than one child because they tend to get stressed out and have anxiety attacks if there are too much action and loud noises around them (sibling rivalry and screaming and crying).

Whippet Diet

Having in mind that the Whippet is a dog that has a medium size, they can pretty much eat any dog food. It doesn’t have to be specifically small or big dog food.

This makes finding the proper diet and proper health care process less complicated.

Also, while they are puppies, Whippets can eat any type of puppy dog food, as long as it’s high-quality.

Consult the breeder and the vet about the food brands and when would be the best time to switch from puppy to adult dog food.

In most cases, it’s around the time they reach their full-grown size, which is somewhere between the 6th and the 8th month of life.

How much Exercise does a Whippet need?

As you might have guessed by now, the Whippets need regular daily running sessions to burn off their need for chasing prey.

But, this doesn’t mean that you have to run with him or that he will run a marathon each day.

No, just a few bursts in the yard or a few laps in the park will be just fine. And, your Whippet will soon want to walk back home and take his place on the sofa and have a nice, long, relaxing nap.

The Whippet Health and Conditions

In general, the Whippets are a healthy breed and they don’t suffer from many health issues. But, just like any other breed, there are certain health problems that won’t skip them.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that every Whippet will have these problems, but it’s good to be informed and monitor your dog’s health state just in case.

The health issues that you should be aware of include the Von Willebrand’s Disease, deafness, sensitivity to anesthesia, and certain eye problems.

My final thoughts on the WhippetA small Whippet looking up

With the health section, you have reached the end of our guide.

We hope that the information we provided, gave you a much better insight into the breed and that now you can make an informed decision.

In case you are still uncertain if you should or shouldn’t get a Whippet, here is a summary of all the important Whippet facts, so that you can make the right final choice.

This is a sweet, athletic, and playful breed that will be happy to curl up with you under the blanket and sleep through the day.

But, once you are out in the yard or a park, he will turn on his Turbo mode and sprint like crazy.

Training wise, the Whippets are extremely easy to train as they are easy-going and very intelligent.

There won’t be a need for a harsh approach as these dogs pick up commands quite fast, and they are sensitive and easily scared by a harsh voice.

But, even though they are smart and easy-going, they are not suited for large families with many kids as too many people and noises can make them stressed and anxious.

Also, they are meant to be the only pet in the home and don’t quite get along with other small animals.

So, what do you think about this breed now? Have you decided to become a Whippet owner?

If so, we are glad if our guide helped you make the decision and if you think that more people should realize how great this breed is, feel free to share this guide on social media.

Thanks for reading!

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