More and more urban residents seek to get a pet, namely a dog. It is quite difficult to choose a breed of dog that would meet the requirements for living in an apartment in a multi-family home. However, there is a breed that is ideal for living in the city – the Whippet.
The Whippet is the most common English greyhound breed among dog breeders. This breed has gained its popularity thanks to devotion to the owner, calmness and obedience. At its core, this is a versatile dog that will suit any dog breeder with different requirements.
To better understand the Whippet, you need to familiarize yourself with the history of this breed., whose roots go back to England, back in 1610. At this time, Greyhounds were very popular in the British Isles. This large beautiful dog was considered a luxury item, as it required a lot of attention, food and complex care. Only very wealthy people could keep such a pet.
For dog lovers, who were not allowed to keep Greyhounds on low incomes, it was necessary to develop a new budget breed. Breeders from northern England came to their aid, who began to select the smallest representatives of the noble breed and cross them with others. Thanks to these efforts, now in the outlines of a whippet, you can see the features of a greyhound, a terrier, and even a dachshund.
All this was done in order to obtain the optimal breed of dogs for the middle and lower class of the population of England. The result was a small greyhound capable of developing very high speed. Its speed can be compared to the blow of a whip.
Hence the name of the breed of dogs (from the English word “Whip” – “whip”). From that moment on, all small greyhounds in England began to be called “whippet”.
Already in the 19th century, most of the population of England moved to live in cities, but many of them remained craving for pets. Little greyhound whippets were perfect for life in cramped urban environments. In addition, dog racing is becoming very popular in England at this time. Possessing high speed, this breed quickly gained great popularity among fans of this hobby.
Like any dog, the Whippet has always been a hunter by nature. And not a bad earner. This has become another reason for the popularity of this breed among the population. In fact, this breed became the main source of income due to dog racing and the first food earner due to hunting qualities.
At that time, the Whippet had little resemblance to the modern image of the breed. His appearance was more like a cur and was completely devoid of elegance and aristocracy. It was dominated by the external features of terriers, and they did not at all resemble purebred dogs.
Due to its great popularity among the common people, this breed was of interest to representatives of the high society of England. During these times, dog shows are very popular. Their goal is to develop and breed new breeds of dogs.
Thanks to the selection work carried out by English breeders, the whippet begins to acquire noble features and refinement. The breed was officially recognized by the English Kennel Club in 1891. It is from this moment that the official reckoning of this breed is conducted.
Due to the fact that the goal of English breeders was to create a breed similar to the Greyhound, only smaller, this breed has an external outline similar to the Greyhound. Despite its excessive lean build, the Whippet is a very muscular dog., which, combined with long legs, gives her the ability to develop high speed when running. To keep balance and maneuver easily at high speeds, dogs of this breed have a long, thin tail that tapers at the end.
The growth at the withers of an average male is 47-51 cm, females – 44-47 cm. Due to the small size and well-developed muscles of the limbs, the whippet has great jumping ability.
In 1903, the breed standard was adopted, according to which the Whippet should look a certain way.
- A long skull, flattened from top to bottom, in which the front part tapers towards the tip of the nose. Wide distance between the eye sockets. The upper part of the skull is rounded and smoothly passes into the withers.
- The nose can have a different color depending on the color of the dog. However, the color should be uniform, without partial pigmentation and inclusions.
- Powerful dry jaws with white teeth have a clear outline. Full dentition with straight teeth form a scissor bite. The upper row of incisors must necessarily cover the lower one.
- Oval small eyes, slightly raised at the outer corners. A distinctive feature of the breed is an attentive and expressive look.
- Ears set high with an open auricle, slightly raised on the cartilage. Soft to the touch.
- The imposing nature of the breed is given by the bend of the dog’s neck. Despite the fact that it is long and dry, the presence of strong and developed muscles enhances hunting skills. The head is planted almost at 90 degrees relative to the neck, which gives the dog a royal look.
- At first glance, the body of the dog seems thin. Ideally, it should be dry and long, and an elegant arch should be clearly visible in the lumbar region. The body of the dog should be muscular, strong, with a long back, which allows you to develop a large amplitude when running. Despite such data, the appearance of the dog should not be like a “humpback dog”.
- In order for the Whippet to get enough air at maximum running speed, it must have large lungs. This requires a well-defined deep chest, with a taut abdomen.
- In order for a dog to meet the breed standard, it must have even long legs with developed strong muscles. Particular attention is paid to the hind limbs. They should have pronounced large muscles that will provide the dog with sufficient power when running and jumping. The paws are oval in shape with strong pads on the toes.
- The whip-like long tail hangs calmly, with the tip slightly upturned. In the excited state of the dog, it rises no higher than the level of the back.
- The weight of an adult individual can reach 14 kilograms. However, the ideal weight is around 10 kilograms.
The whole appearance of the dog suggests that it is an excellent sprinter and an indispensable assistant in the hunt. Its speed characteristics are among the best among greyhound dog breeds. Thanks to its body structure and developed muscles, it can pursue game for a long time, while maneuvering sharply. A feature of the whippets is that they orient themselves not like all dogs with the help of smell, but with the help of vision. This is due to the peculiarities of the sense of smell of this breed.
Such a fast dog is characterized by a short, soft coat. It fits snugly to the body and does not cause discomfort when running. There is also a long-haired whippet, but it does not meet the breed standard. There are no big requirements for the color of this breed. There can be both single and mixed colors. The following coat colors of whippets are distinguished:
Also, white in combination with any of the above colors forms a spotted suit.
Pros and cons of the breed
Like all dogs, the Whippet has its advantages and disadvantages. Each breeder, of course, wants to choose a pet according to his taste and character. TSo, animals of this breed have their own advantages over other dogs.
- With such a developed musculature, the whippet is a frisky and energetic athlete, able to endure any physical exertion. His tirelessness and playfulness distinguish him from other breeds. If you are a fan of a sports lifestyle and outdoor activities, this dog will become your faithful companion and helper.
- Whippets are also indispensable for hunting. These are very adventurous and dexterous hunters. Due to the peculiarities of the structure of their body, they easily and without problems pursue game, while developing a maximum speed of up to 60 km / h. Despite such a high speed, they are easy to maneuver and can change direction abruptly.
- Dogs of this breed are distinguished by perseverance and perseverance. They are accustomed to carry out the tasks assigned to them to the end. You just have to remember to praise the pet after the execution of your command.
- Whippet is considered a domestic, family dog. Possessing boundless kindness and affection, they are devoted to their owners “to the tip of the tail.” The dog quickly and absolutely without any problems gets used to his master and becomes his faithful companion. Thanks to this quality, the Whippet learns quickly and lends itself well to training.
There are practically no significant shortcomings of the dog of this breed. There are only minor negative character traits that are easily corrected by training and education.
- The Whippet is very shy by nature. Sometimes it even develops into fear and cowardice. Early socialization and training will help to eradicate this deficiency.
- Some dogs may not tolerate noise and screaming. When exposed to them, the whippet can become nervous, restless, or withdraw into itself. When raising such dogs, it is necessary to refrain from a raised tone in communicating with a pet, as well as from family scandals in the presence of a dog.
- Sometimes the Whippet’s stubbornness turns into stupid stubbornness. To prevent this from happening, it is necessary to praise the dog more often after a correctly executed command.
You need to remember only one thing: all shortcomings can be corrected by raising and training a dog, as well as developing its best qualities in it.
The character of the Whippet corresponds to its graceful appearance. The dog has a very refined nature. But despite this, she can behave in completely different ways in different situations and environments.
So, being on the hunt, the animal is able to pursue prey furiously and energetically, quickly overcome long distances and not experience any difficulties. And while on vacation or a walk, the whippet can behave imposingly and stately. But everything will change dramatically if you decide to just play with him.
The dog turns into a playful and naughty child, able to have fun for hours, frolic to the joy of the owner.
The dog behaves quite differently at home. She will do everything possible so that you do not notice her presence in the house, she will become calm, kind, affectionate. Her devotion is the envy of all dogs of other breeds. Whippet is devoted to absolutely all family members, regardless of gender and age.
Dogs of this breed are absolutely harmless. Therefore, it is necessary to ensure that during walks or games the dog is not hurt. Whippet will never harm a child, so he can safely be allowed to play in the company of children.
Thanks to his calmness, the dog easily contacts and gets along with all animals. However, you need to be more careful if there are cats or rabbits in the house.
Because of their hunting skills, the Whippet may mistake them for prey. Therefore, to begin with, it will be necessary to conduct training with the dog and educational work.
Possessing a good mind, the whippet quickly learns the task assigned to him and is easy to educate. Sometimes there can be problems with excessive stubbornness and perseverance. You need to show patience and affection to the dog.
In no case should you resort to forceful methods, screaming and violence. This will only make the situation worse. The pet can withdraw into itself or become even more stubborn and stubborn. It is necessary to show affection and love for the dog, and she will respond in kind, especially since the love of the whippet for the owner is boundless.
Of course, all the watchdog qualities of this dog are practically reduced to zero, but it still remains an animal with its own reflexes.
There is no need to be afraid of the whippet’s wary and unfriendly look at a stranger or at some things. Due to its natural fearfulness and suspicion, this dog will never show aggression unnecessarily.
Conditions for keeping
The Whippet breed was originally created as a kind of dog, unpretentious in content and does not require complex care. After all, as you know, it was intended for the middle class of citizens who do not have large incomes. So keeping and caring for this breed will not be difficult even for a novice dog breeder.
The structure of the body, the presence of a short pile of wool and the absence of undercoat made it impossible to keep the Whippet on the street. Dogs freeze quickly and cannot tolerate even small drops in temperature. Therefore, the Whippet is classified as a domestic dog, and it is better to keep them in closed heated rooms, and not in open aviaries.
If you decide to get yourself such a dog, you must read and comply with the federal law “On the responsible treatment of animals” in the future, in order to avoid conflicts with neighbors and not cause discomfort to the dog.
To begin with, determine the place in the house of the dog, where he will be. The dog should be comfortable and familiar in this place. It is necessary to immediately accustom the whippet to its place. It’s easy to do.
Put a small rug on the chosen place. It is desirable that a removable fabric cover be put on it. This will give you the opportunity to periodically remove the cover to wash it, as well as clean the rug from dust and animal hair. This must be done for sanitary and hygienic purposes.
You need to choose a place with such a condition that the dog does not interfere with the rest of the inhabitants of the house and that no one disturbs it.
Check that there are no heaters, refrigerators, gas stoves nearby. Also, the chosen place should have a sufficient amount of natural light. Its deficiency can lead to whippet eye disease.
Do not place your pet on or near the main thoroughfares of your home. For example, at the front door, in the aisles, in the kitchen. This will create discomfort for you and the dog. The ideal place is to separate a small corner in the living room. Whippet quickly adapts due to its nature.
Dogs of this breed are quite clean. Therefore, the selected room should be clean and well ventilated. The fact that an animal will live in it does not mean that it should be a barn or barn.
Of course, the room will have the smell of an animal and hairs of wool, this is all natural. But the Whippet is quite strict about his own hygiene and spends quite a lot of time on it. Therefore, you will have to match your pet and keep the house clean so as not to cause discomfort to the dog and yourself.
In no case do not keep the whippet in the house on a leash. This, firstly, is inhumane and unethical in relation to the greyhound breed. Secondly, a dog with such a bright temperament and desire to run can experience a moral shock, which will lead to a nervous breakdown and disobedience to the owner.
Otherwise, the conditions for keeping whippets are no different from those for other domestic dogs. Therefore, they require additional attention and effort.
What to feed?
All dog breeders know that There are three ways to feed your pets:
- dry food or canned food;
- natural products;
- mixed nutrition with natural products and prepared feed.
It is necessary to immediately decide on the type of dog feeding, since at the age of 3 to 5 months your pet will form a taste and habits for certain foods.
After that, switching to another type of food will be very problematic.
The first type includes dry food and canned food. This way of eating appeared relatively recently and immediately gained great popularity among dog breeders. The main advantages of this method of nutrition are the following factors:
- feed and canned food are ideally balanced in terms of their nutrients and useful substances;
- they are convenient and easy to use;
- a large abundance of special diets depending on the age of the dog and its breed;
- the possibility of getting low-quality products into the dog’s diet is practically excluded.
The main disadvantages of this type of food include some monotony in the dog’s diet.
Many breeders solve this problem with canned food or by-products. Currently, there is a whole line of such delicacies for the whippet, which are based on beef intestines, lips, tripe, ears, tracheas.
Although the appearance of these products is not very attractive, they are simply necessary for the health of the dog. They contribute to the hygiene of the pet’s oral cavity, preventing the formation of tartar, and also distract his attention from the furniture, owner’s shoes and interior items. Before choosing dry food, consult the seller, but rather trust the taste of your pet.
Feeding natural foods is the most common way to feed the Whippet. After all, every dog owner wants to please his pet:
- varied diet;
- high palatability of food;
- easily digestible food;
- favorite natural products.
The most popular natural food is meat. It can be given to a dog either raw or cooked. The required daily allowance for an adult dog is 25-35 grams per 1 kilogram of weight. Raw meat is digested by 90%, and boiled – by 60%.
The meat of fish and poultry must be boiled and all bones removed, only after that it is suitable for feeding the whippet. Poultry meat is less nutritious than fish meat, so it needs more in the pet’s diet. A universal product for feeding any dog is eggs. The presence of boiled eggs in the diet makes it 100% digestible.
Of all the cereals, the Whippet prefers rice or buckwheat. Variants with boiled vegetables are possible. Do not throw away the decoction of vegetables, use it in your dog’s diet. This decoction is rich in nutrients, minerals and vitamins. Boiled vegetables contribute to good bowel function and cleansing it of toxins.
Be sure to include fermented milk products and vegetable oil in your pet’s menu. Such products have a good effect on the condition of the animal’s coat. You can experiment with natural products as you like, but you must remember that the Whippet’s diet should consist of 75% protein and 25% cereals with boiled vegetables.
A mixed type of food is the best option for feeding the Whippet. With this type of nutrition, the best moments from the two types of dog feeding remain. With a proportion when 2/3 of the menu is dry food and 1/3 is natural products, the pet receives all the necessary ingredients for growth, development and life.
What kind of diet to choose for a dog, the pet itself and its well-being will tell. You can respond to the condition of the whippet by changing the composition of natural products in the dog’s menu. Increase the protein component or, conversely, plant foods. To make your pet feel great, provide him with quality nutrition.
At different stages of development, feeding the Whippet differs in the number of servings and the frequency of feeding. Up to 2 months, puppies are fed 6 times a day every 3 hours. From 2 to 2 months they switch to 5 meals a day. 5-month-old puppies already eat 4 times a day, and by 7 months they switch to 3 meals a day.
By the age of one year, the dog switches to 2 meals a day and remains on it.
How to care?
Whippet care does not require much effort and time. The dog has a short coat, the undercoat is practically absent, so it is enough to gently comb the pet once a week. When carrying out this procedure, one should not be very zealous so as not to cause damage to the skin of the dog. The process should bring pleasure to the pet.
Whippets shed in spring and autumn. It is at this time that the amount of wool increases, but remains the same minimal, compared to other breeds. The absence of the characteristic smell of a dog makes it possible to rarely bathe a pet.
The required number of water procedures for this breed is once every 2 months. The rest of the time, it will be enough to simply wipe the paws with a damp cloth after walking.
In addition, do not forget about simple ways to maintain dog hygiene. Puppies, as usual, must go through all stages of vaccination. It is also important to regularly clean the ears and inspect them for the presence of mites and other parasites.
It is necessary to trim and file the claws on the dog’s paws every 2 weeks to prevent the accumulation of harmful bacteria under the claws. Regularly inspect and brush your dog’s teeth, also check the oral cavity for abrasions and damage. The most vulnerable places are the elbows on the paws of the whippets. They often dry out, so you need to regularly lubricate them with nourishing creams.
Dogs of this breed are not at all adapted to the winter cold. They do not tolerate low temperatures very well. Therefore, it is worthwhile in advance, before the onset of cold weather, to take care of clothes for your beloved pet. Such clothes are sold in specialized stores. For the Whippet, who is committed to a sporting lifestyle and hunting, grooming is a little more difficult due to the presence of training and training methods.
Education and training
When training a Whippet, it should be remembered that all commands should be given in a friendly manner, in a calm tone. Dogs of this breed are very touchy and vulnerable and will simply refuse to follow your commands if you talk to them in an unfriendly tone.
The workouts last quite a long time and are replete with great physical exertion. They can include both simple jogging and circus jumping tricks.
Due to the nature of the dog, training is best done in a playful way, and if you have patience and show tact and respect for the pet, then the result will not be long in coming.
Among the large number of reviews about dogs of this breed, you will not find any negative ones. All dog breeders agree that the breed is almost ideal for keeping in an urban environment, and the upbringing of dogs is compared with the upbringing of children.
All breeders of this breed are captivated by devotion, love and caress of the Whippet. Many even believe that these dogs contribute to the improvement of the character of their owners, exerting a good influence on them.
Due to the unpretentious care of this breed, breeders often give birth to several whippets. And no one complained that it was hard, although in some cases the number of dogs reaches 10 individuals.
All about the Whippet dog breed, see below.