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Meet the breed: Whippet

Choosing to add a furry friend to your growing household is a long-term commitment, and picking a breed that fits your lifestyle presents the key to a happy home. With over 160 American Kennel Club-recognized breeds, that decision can seem overwhelming. We’re here to help you meet the breed that’s right for you. If you’re looking for a fast, quiet and loyal companion to add to the brood, find out everything you need to know about the Whippet.


  • Smart
  • Docile
  • Quiet
  • Devoted
  • Fast


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A cousin to the Greyhound, the Whippet gets his name from the phrase “to whip it” due to his fast pace. Running at speeds of up to 37 mph, the Whippet is a born hunter and racer. Referred to as “the poor man’s racehorse” in early England, this breed is not only fast, but intelligent and loyal.

Breed standards

  • AKC group: Hound
  • UKC group: Sighthound
  • Average lifespan: 12 – 15 years
  • Average size: 20 – 40 pounds
  • Coat appearance: Short, smooth and fine
  • Coloration: Brindle, black, red, white, blue
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Other identifiers: A medium-sized thin and long body similar to the Greyhound, long slender head shape, with a long muzzle and tapered black or blue nose, darks eyes in an oval shape, short ears folded back, long and lean straight legs, and long tail that curves upward.
  • Possible alterations: Color may be mixed variations of Brindle, black, red, white, and blue

Is this breed right for you?

Great with children that do not play rough, the Whippet is a devoted and quiet family dog. Docile and easy to maintain, these pets are awesome to travel with and take care of. Best suited for warmer climates, the Whippet will need a coat if taken out in a cold climate. Sensitive, they’re on the easier side to housebreak and are OK for apartment living if taken out for regular exercise. Trained and prone to hunting, these dogs only do well with cats if raised with them. They do best living in a home with a small yard and as an inside pup.

whippet breed characteristics

A dream day in the life of a Whippet

Waking up ready for affection from his owner, the Whippet will loyally watch the house once you leave for the day. Going out occasionally for a run around the yard and a sniff for any animal intruders, he’ll spend most of the day tucked away indoors. A loving pat from the kids and a reserved glance at the neighbors and he’ll keep himself entertained. After his best friend arrives home, he’ll be ready and waiting for his daily run. Once home, he’ll loyally sleep at your feet until you both hit the hay.

Other breeds you might like

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Meet the breed: Greyhound
Meet the breed: Borzoi

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