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Considering a Whippet?

chaerclio.jpg

Chaser and Clio
portrait by Yvonne Sovereign

The most important decision you'll make in getting a dog is the choice of breed. Many dogs end up returned to the breeder or dropped at a shelter simply because not enough thought was put into whether the breed was suitable for the home. Be very sure you want a whippet before getting one. They're great dogs but no breed is suitable for everyone!

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The whippet is the mid-sized version of the three greyhound-type breeds. Smallest is the Italian Greyhound, a toy dog, and the largest is the well-known greyhound. The American Whippet Club describes the breed as "A medium size sighthound giving the appearance of elegance and fitness, denoting great speed, power and balance without coarseness....Should convey an impression of beautifully balanced muscular power and strength, combined with great elegance and grace of outline."

The whippet is 18" to 22" at the shoulder, and generally weighs between 25-35 pounds, with females at the smaller end of the range. Their coats are short and close, requiring little grooming, but they do shed as much as any other dog.

Good breeders choose dogs to carry on the genes according to the "standard," sort of a blueprint established by the American Whippet Club. It offers a detailed description of what the ideal whippet should look like, from size of eyes and ears to length of the tail. The standard is available on theAmerican Whippet Club website and on the AKC site.