Features of the breed
History of Origin
The homeland of the Whippet, or the English Whippet, is officially Great Britain, but there is a lot of controversy. There is an opinion among researchers that Whippets were brought to England many centuries ago. For example, on the territory of the Roman Empire, archaeologists found statuettes of small greyhounds. Diana, the Roman goddess of plant and animal life, was depicted more than once with a small dog similar to the modern Whippet. Moreover, in the Louvre, there is a sculpture – an exact copy of the Whippet breed dog, dated by the IV-V century B.C. Anyway, the name “Whippet” was first used only in 1610. A relative of the Whippet is the greyhound.
In the Middle Ages, Whippets were the favorites of English and French nobility. The dogs reached the peak of their popularity by the 18th century. At that time, dogs were used as hunting dogs. The entertainment of the time was rabbit-baiting competitions with Whippets. The dogs competed with each other: which of them would catch the hare the fastest. People watched this spectacle with binoculars.
Over time, a furry cloth was used as bait and pulled across the field. The townspeople loved these events because it was a way to relax and have a lot of fun. Outside of competitions, the Whippet hunted rats at home and small game. In America, the English Whippet was officially recognized by the Kennel Club in 1888 and Great Britain in 1891. The Whippet is in 55th place in the ranking of popular breeds.
Appearance: height, weight, fur, color
The English Whippet’s anatomy allows it to reach a high speed, which is 56 km/hour. The dog has a well-proportioned and muscular build. Minimum fat and maximum muscle are what make the Whippet a talented runner. The dog’s skin is thin: you can see the outlines of the muscular frame and bones. The limbs are long, and the tail has a curl at the tip. The Whippet’s waist is rounded, which gives the impression that the dog’s back is uneven. The chest is broad and protrudes forward, and the abdomen is flat and compressed.
The head is wedge-shaped, tapering toward the black nose. The eyes are wide-set and unusually shaped, allowing the dog to see its future prey. The ears are large enough to fit snugly against the head while running. The Whippet has a powerful jaw. The coat of dogs of various colors, the presence of several colors and spots are allowed.
Whippet dogs are pretty calm and reserved. They enjoy spending time with their owners and are very loyal pets. Even though the Whippet is a relatively independent dog, it still misses its family when separated. The Whippet is friendly to children and loves to play with them.
The Whippet is a pet, ideal for apartment living. Dogs behave well in the apartment if the owner gives them a long walk. After physical exertion, the Whippet will lie quietly on your couch for the rest of the day and rest.
The English Whippet has not lost the instincts of a hunting dog – you never know when they will come out. That’s why you don’t need to let her off the leash while walking. If the dog decides to give chase, there are no more obstacles for him. The Whippet is a very vigilant pet and will be able to raise a ruckus in case of danger. You should not rely on the Whippet as a guard dog, as the dog is very good-natured.
The English Whippet is unpretentious in its care. During shedding, the dog should be combed out with a brush so that the hairs do not remain on your clothes. Regular check-ups and brushing are an essential part of a whippet’s care. Because the dog has a small subcutaneous fat layer, it needs to be insulated during cold weather. The Whippet likes comfortable living conditions, from a warm cozy corner in the form of a cushion or couch to its closet. It is not a dog that can survive in an aviary: it is doomed to disease and even death.
The Whippet is an intelligent but touchy dog. He must be handled with sensitivity. The Whippet is recognized as the easiest dog in the greyhound group to train. Cruelty to the dog during training will not bring success. Nevertheless, you should not indulge the Whippet, as you risk raising a spoiled and destructive animal. Owners should get used to the fact that the dog will not respond to commands the first time and not even the second. The English Whippet has a good memory so that it can learn basic commands. It is recommended not to let the dog off the leash until he learns that if the owner insists, he must go back.
There are not many diseases to which the Whippet breed is prone. Common diseases of the English Whippet:
- congenital deafness;
- eyelid twisting/eversion;
- von Willebrand’s disease.
A Whippet’s diet should include lean meat, by-products, cereals, and vegetables. The size of one portion, on average, does not exceed 10% of the total body weight. Feed two to five times per day, depending on the age of the dog.