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A popular breed, the Whippet is often compared physically to a Greyhound, which is no surprise really. It was developed towards the end of the 19th century through the crossing of the Greyhound, Italian Greyhound and the Terrier. Just like the Greyhound they are incredibly quick, reaching speeds of about 37mph in a matter of seconds. This means that they are often used as a racing dog, but also hunting, sighting and watchdogging are tasks that the breed can carry out successfully. Its versatility has meant that the Whippet has become the most popular dog in the Sighthound family.
The Whippet looks very similar to a small Greyhound. They stand between eighteen and twenty-two inches, weighing approximately twenty five to forty pounds. Their coat is very fine and the most common colours are black, red, fawn, white and brindle. Just like the Greyhound, their chest is very deep and this makes the back look narrow. Other similarities between the two dogs are the muzzle, which is long and the legs which give the image of strength. All in all, the Whippet, just like the Greyhound, is not only a powerful and fast dog but also one that looks highly elegant.
The Whippet is often described as a perfect companion dog. They are loyal and affectionate but are still independent. As stated above, they can be used as watchdogs and this means that they remain reserved whenever they come across a stranger. Any potential owner who is planning to accompany a Whippet with another dog shouldn’t have any real concerns, as on the whole they get along fine with other canine friends. As for other pets, well owners may wish to be wary if they already have a cat as the Whippet has a strong dislike of them and will often chase to kill. Although it’s thought that if the breed is brought up with a cat it should be fine, this is something that cannot be taken for certain. As long as children do not tease the breed, they should be fine to live together as well.
The Whippet has a relatively long lifespan, often living between twelve and fifteen years. Unlike the majority of dogs, hip dysplasia is rare in this breed and the only health issues that owners should be wary of are various skin problems and stomach upsets. A lot of owners also start to worry when they feel the heart beat of this breed, as it often appears slow when resting. However, this seems common in the breed, although as always a visit to the veterinarian is still recommended just in case.
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