Miniature Whippet – A Calm, Vibrant Companion

Miniature WhippetThe miniature whippet resembles a smaller version of a traditional greyhound and was consider the “poor man’s racehorse.” Today, this hound dog breed provides families with kind and gentle companionship in the home and an energetic prey-like playmate outdoors.

History of the Miniature Whippet

The small agile breed is believed to have been cross-bred with an English terrier and greyhound as a cheaper alternative to the upper-class full-size greyhound. Workmen in the late 1700s used whippets as hunting dogs to catch rabbits and other small game. Once they realized the breeds resounding speed and their willingness to chase anything moving, workers began to race whippets for gambling.

Later, the miniature whippet would be refined by upper-class dog owners by adding the Italian greyhound to the bloodline. This accentuated their slender, s-shaped physique while keeping their hunting and racing instinct intact.

Personality

When not in the pursuit of prey, the miniature whippet is calm and friendly. They even welcome strangers with ease and are playful yet tender with children. Their accepting nature and unwillingness to bark does not make them an efficient guard dog. However, they remain alert and can still be adequate for surveillance.

Probably due to their small statue, whippets can be sensitive to sounds, lights, and unexpected touch. So, a soft verbal warning would help get their attention first without startling them. This sensitivity also applies to their need for warmth, which also makes them great for cuddling. Outdoor time is for running, then it is back to the cozy comfort of their soft bed.

When outside of the yard and home, whippets must be kept on a leash as they will ignore your stay command if a small animal is spotted. They have been known to never give up on a prey, so once a chase begins, it does not end. Avoid a lost pup by being safe rather than sorry. A fenced-in area like a dog park is perfect for this breed as they get along with other dogs and need to be socialized at an early age.

Size and Physical Characteristics

Similar to greyhounds, whippets are lean, short-haired dogs that follow the classic s-shape model with low, strong hind legs and broad shoulders. They display a variety of coat colors from solid shades to two-toned large spots.

Their size can also vary greatly depending on the purity of their bloodline. Males can range from 19 to 22 inches tall and an average of 34 pounds. Females are smaller, ranging from 18 to 21 inches tall and an average of 29 pounds.

Health

As with any purebred, be aware of any genetic diseases by ensuring you buy from a respectable breeder. However, there are many rescue centers that you can adopt racing dogs who may have health histories available.

This breed is relatively healthy other than the uncommon occurrences and natural complications like deafness and blindness as old age persists. They do have a sensitivity to anesthesia that is most likely due to their low levels of body fat. So, be sure to tell your veterinarian and avoid anesthesia when at all possible.

Grooming

The good news is that this breed’s short, silky coat does not shed often and requires only weekly brushing to keep it smooth. The bad news is that their skin is thin and sensitive. It can be prone to scratches and cuts. This also means that whippets hate the cold. So, a sweater or protective cover will suit both needs all year.

Feeding

Whippets rarely gain too much weight, so overeating is not a concern. Feed your pup twice a day of 1 to 1.5 cups of quality dry dog food. Of course, portions rely upon your dog’s level of activity, so adjust your feeding based on exercise and metabolism.

Exercise

Although calm indoors, this racing breed can let out a bolt of energy outdoors, so do not let their calmness fool you. Allow them to get plenty of exercise or else it will build up and come out in mischievous forms. About 20-30 minutes twice a day of walking on a leash, or better yet, playing in a fenced-in area, will make your pup happy and obedient.

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