Whippet13 July 2023
Let's talk about... Whippets: what are they?
- Whippets are elegant and athletic dogs that belong to the sighthound family.
- They were originally bred in England for hunting small game, particularly rabbits.
- They have a slender body and a short, smooth coat that comes in various colours and patterns.
- They can reach speeds of up to 35 miles per hour (56 km/h)!
- Whippets have a sleek and muscular build, with an average height of 44-51 cm and a weight ranging from 9-18 kg.
- Whippets have a life expectancy of around 12-15 years.
What is the temperament of Whippets like?
- Whippets have a gentle and affectionate nature.
- They are known for their calm and quiet demeanour indoors, making them excellent companions for families and individuals alike.
- They are generally good with children and get along well with other dogs.
- Whippets have a strong prey drive, so it's important to supervise them around small pets such as rabbits or cats, and they may not be the ideal breed for those with those other pets.
- They are intelligent and eager to please, although they can be independent at times. With proper socialisation and positive reinforcement training,
- Whippets can become well-mannered and obedient pets.
How much exercise do Whippets need?
- Whippets are active dogs that require regular exercise to stay happy and healthy.
- They need at least 1-2 hours of exercise per day to meet their physical and mental stimulation needs.
- A combination of daily walks, playtime in a secure area, and off-leash running in a safely enclosed space will help fulfil their exercise requirements.
- Whippets are built for speed, so they enjoy the opportunity to stretch their legs and have a good run.
- It's important to note that individual exercise needs may vary based on age, health, and energy levels, so it's always best to consult with your vet to tailor an exercise plan suitable for your Whippet.
- Whippet puppies have plenty of energy and need adequate exercise to support their growth and development.
- However, their bones and joints are still developing, so it's important to provide controlled exercise to avoid injuries.
- Puppies should have several short play and exercise sessions throughout the day, totalling around 15-30 minutes.
- These sessions can include gentle indoor play, short walks, and age-appropriate mental stimulation activities.
- As they grow older and their bones strengthen, the duration and intensity of exercise can gradually increase. It's best to avoid excessive jumping or strenuous activities until they reach skeletal maturity, which is usually around 12-18 months.
- Your vet can advise on the exercise needs of your individual pooch.
Do Whippets need a lot of grooming?
- Whippets have a short and smooth coat that is easy to maintain. They have minimal grooming needs compared to some other breeds.
- Regular brushing with a soft-bristle brush or a grooming mitt will help remove any loose hair and keep their coat looking sleek.
- Whippets are a clean breed and usually don't have a strong odour. They only require occasional baths when necessary.
- Like any dog, regular tooth brushing with a dog-specific toothpaste twice daily is ideal. If you can’t manage that often, just do it as often as you can.
Are Whippets easy to train?
- Whippets are intelligent dogs that can be moderately easy to train.
- They respond well to positive reinforcement methods.
- Training sessions should be kept short, fun, and engaging to hold their attention.
- Early socialisation and puppy training classes are highly recommended to help them become well-socialised and obedient dogs.
- With patience, consistency, and positive rewards, Whippets can excel in obedience, agility, and other activities.
What do Whippets eat?
- A balanced and nutritious diet is important for the overall health and well-being of Whippets.
- High-quality commercial dog food that is appropriate for their age, size, and activity level should be provided.
- The feeding amount depends on factors such as metabolism, age, and individual needs.
- Most do well being fed twice daily.
- Puppies have specific dietary requirements for growth, and they should be fed a specially formulated puppy food until they reach their full adult size, usually around 12-18 months.
- Puppies should be fed 3-4 times daily until 6 months old, when this should be reduced to twice daily.
- It's important to avoid overfeeding and monitor their weight to prevent obesity.
- Treats can be given in moderation and incorporated into their overall daily calorie intake.
- It's always best to consult with your vet to determine the right food, feeding schedule and portion sizes for your Whippet.
Are Whippets healthy?
Whippets are generally a healthy breed, but they may be prone to certain health conditions. Some of the health concerns that can affect Whippets include:
- Sensitivity to anaesthesia - Whippets may have a higher sensitivity to anaesthesia compared to other breeds
- Cataracts - a common cause of blindness due to a clouding of the lens of the eye
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) - this is when the retina of the eye breaks down, leading to blindness
- Mitral Valve Disease (MVD) - a common heart condition in small breed dogs that affects the heart's valves, leading to progressive heart failure.
- Hypothyroidism - a condition where your dog does not produce enough thyroid hormone
This list is by no means comprehensive, if you have any concerns about the health of your dog, or if you want to discuss further if a Whippet is right for you, consult with your vet.
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Information on this page should never replace advice given by your veterinarian. Potential health issues presented are given as a guide only and are not meant to be comprehensive. If you ever have any concerns about your dog's health, contact your local vet.
Sighthound Dog Breeds
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