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Whippet Facts

Origin: United Kingdom
Lifespan: 12-15 years
Breed Group: Hound
Coat Type: Short and smooth
Coat Colours: Various Colours including fawn, brindle, blue, and more
Temperament: Gentle, Affectionate, Agile
Height: 45-56 cm (18-22 inches)
Weight: 9-19 kg (20-42 lbs)

Introduction

Whippet for Sale Ireland

The Whippet, a graceful and highly athletic breed, belongs to the Hound category and is known for its friendly and gentle nature. Resembling a miniature greyhound, this medium-sized purebred hunting dog has a rich history dating back to ancient times when it was bred for racing and hunting, a legacy it still upholds today. While its racing prowess and remarkable acceleration, reaching speeds of up to 35 mph, set it apart, indoors, the Whippet transforms into a quiet and dignified companion, often found lounging or sleeping.

Though typically calm and not inclined to bark, an immature or bored Whippet may engage in playful mischief. Affectionate yet touch-sensitive, they prefer not to be hugged. Their slender frame and unique double suspension gallop make them running machines, ideally designed for speed. While generally friendly toward other animals, they possess a strong prey drive, necessitating leash control when encountering potential targets. This agile and fast-moving breed thrives in an active lifestyle, enjoying activities like running, hiking, swimming, and engaging in various canine sports with their human companions.

A Brief History

Whippets trace their lineage back to the 18th century in England when they were initially bred as a smaller version of the Greyhound to hunt small game like rabbits. They quickly became popular among the working class, thanks to their ability to chase prey and their manageable size. Over time, Whippets made their way to Ireland, where they found a home in both rural and urban areas.

Historical Origins

The Whippet, known for its prowess in racing, traces its ancestry back to ancient Egypt, where its close relatives adorned the palaces of Pharaohs. In Medieval England, these small “greyhound” types were adept at rat-catching. Believed to have evolved from English Greyhounds deemed too diminutive for stag hunting within vast forests, these dogs were sent back to their peasant breeders. Due to Forest laws during William the Conqueror’s reign, which restricted hunting dogs to the aristocracy, returned dogs were often cruelly disabled, typically by toe removal or tendon cutting. However, instead of being destroyed, peasant breeders retained these smaller dogs, giving rise to their continued breeding.

Rise of the “Rabbit” Dog

During the 19th century, Whippet racing gained explosive popularity in mining areas of Wales and northern England. Referred to as “rabbit” dogs, the term “whippet” initially described any small, fast-moving dog. Before receiving an official name, these dogs were instrumental in the sport of hare coursing, which involved chasing hares by sight. Racing became even more popular than Greyhound racing, with early racing dogs being exported worldwide.

Whippet Racing

The earliest form of Whippet racing, known as “ragging,” began in the mid-19th century. Dogs trained for this sport were held on a leash by a “slip,” who would release them at the right moment. Owners stood at the end of the track, waving towels to attract their dogs. “Whippet rags” became a beloved Sunday pastime in the UK and Australia, with events like “Gurney’s Paddock” featuring over 300 Whippets.

Categorization of Racing Dogs

As Whippet racing evolved, racing dogs were categorized into four groups: those chasing hares, those trained to the rag, those pursuing mechanical lures (lure coursing), and those hunting rabbits.

Recognition and Associations

In 1891, the elegant Whippet gained recognition by The Kennel Club in the United Kingdom, making its debut in conformation dog shows. In 1967, the British Whippet Racing Association was established to standardize racing rules. Subsequently, the Whippet Club Racing Association emerged to cater specifically to purebred racers.

Modern Whippet

Today, the Whippet remains a prominent racing dog, a skilled hunting hound, and an elegant companion for those willing to provide the required daily exercise. Recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1888 and the United Kennel Club (UKC) in 1935, this athletic and friendly breed possesses a placid temperament, making it a cherished pet.

Whippets: Did You Know?

  • Also known as the “English Whippet,” “Snap Dog,” and “Poor Man’s Racehorse.”
  • “Starline’s Chanel” was named Show Dog of the Year in the Hound category by the Westminster Kennel Club in 2011.
  • The Whippet is highly popular in the United Kingdom, boasting over eleven breed clubs.
  • Whippet racing was a significant sport during the 19th century.

Whippet Puppies

Finding Whippet Puppies in Ireland

If you’re on the lookout for Whippet puppies in Ireland, you’ll be pleased to know that this breed is relatively common across the country. Start your search by checking reputable breeders in various Irish counties like Dublin, Cork, Galway, and Kerry. Additionally, consider adopting from rescue organizations or checking classified ads from responsible breeders on platforms like our very own Irish dog classifieds.

Raising a Whippet Puppy

Whippet puppies are known for their playful and affectionate nature. When bringing a Whippet puppy into your home, ensure you provide a safe and loving environment. Early socialization and consistent training are essential to help them grow into well-behaved adults. Whippet puppies require a balanced diet, regular exercise, and routine veterinary care to thrive.

Size and Weight

The Whippet’s size and weight are important factors to consider, especially if you’re planning to accommodate them in your Irish home.

Height

  • Average Height: 45-51 cm (18-20 inches)
  • Whippets in Ireland often fit well in homes of various sizes, from city apartments to countryside cottages.

Weight

  • Average Weight: 13-15 kg (28-34 lbs)
  • Their compact build and moderate weight make them an ideal choice for families or individuals in Ireland seeking a versatile and manageable breed.

Coat & Colors

Whippets boast a sleek, short coat that is easy to care for, making them well-suited to the Irish climate.

Coat

  • Whippets have a smooth and fine coat that requires minimal grooming.
  • Their coat provides just enough protection to keep them comfortable during mild Irish winters without overheating during the rare hot summer days.

Colours

Whippets come in a variety of coat colours, including:

  • Fawn
  • Brindle
  • Blue
  • Black
  • White
  • Cream
  • Red

Solid Colours

  • Fawn: Fawn Whippets boast coats ranging from pale cream to deep reddish-brown, often with a darker face mask.
  • White: White Whippets primarily feature a crisp, predominantly white coat, sometimes adorned with small patches or markings of other colours.
  • Black: Black Whippets sport sleek and elegant solid black coats, accentuating their athletic physique.
  • Blue: Blue Whippets exhibit bluish-grey coats, often a dilution of black, resulting in a soft and subtle shade.

Patterned Colours

  • Brindle: Brindle Whippets possess a base coat with distinctive dark, vertical stripes or streaks overlaying colours like fawn, red, or blue, creating a captivating pattern.
  • Black & White: Black & White Whippets showcase a blend of black and white markings in varying proportions, from mostly black with white markings to mostly white with black spots.
  • Red & White: Red & White Whippets feature a coat combining shades of red and white, with white markings typically found on the chest, paws, and other body areas.

Other Colour Combinations

  • Whippets can exhibit an array of unique colour combinations, including fawn & white, blue & white, or various combinations of the solid colours and patterns mentioned above. These combinations result in individual and distinctive appearances for each Whippet.

Temperament

Whippets are renowned for their charming temperament, making them excellent companions for households across Ireland.

Gentle and Affectionate

  • Whippets are gentle and affectionate dogs that thrive on human companionship.
  • They form strong bonds with their owners and often enjoy cuddling on the couch after a day of play.

Athletic and Energetic

  • Despite their elegant appearance, Whippets are highly energetic and agile.
  • They love to chase and run, making them a common sight at Irish dog parks and racing tracks.

Good with Children

  • Whippets are generally good with children, making them suitable for families in Ireland.
  • However, supervision is always recommended to ensure the safety of both the dog and the child.

Pros of Whippet Ownership

  • Loyalty and Protection: Whippets are loyal and protective, making them devoted companions.
  • Intelligence and Love: They are intelligent and loving, fostering strong bonds with their owners.
  • Canine Sports: Proficient in various canine sports, they provide excellent opportunities for active engagement.
  • Racing Prowess: Whippets excel in racing, showcasing their agility and speed.
  • High Energy and Trainability: Highly energetic and eager to learn, making them trainable and responsive.
  • Suitable for All Ages: Whippets are good with children and seniors, adapting well to various household members.
  • Social Nature: They are social dogs and tend to get along with other dogs and pets when properly socialized.
  • First-Time Owners: Whippets may be a suitable choice for first-time dog owners due to their manageable temperament.

Cons of Whippet Ownership

  • High Exercise Needs: Whippets are very active and athletic, requiring substantial daily exercise or mental stimulation to maintain their physical and mental health.
  • Shedding: They are shedding dogs, which may not be suitable for individuals with allergies.
  • Escape Artists: Whippets can be talented escape artists, necessitating secure confinement.
  • Loneliness Issues: Leaving them alone for extended periods is not advisable, as their intelligence and high prey drive can lead to destructive behaviours like chewing, barking, whining, howling, digging, or escape attempts.
  • Need for Running Space: Whippets love to run and hunt and should have daily opportunities to run safely in a spacious environment.

Whippet for Sale Ireland

Are you ready to welcome a Whippet into your Irish home? There are several avenues you can explore when looking for a Whippet for sale in Ireland:

DogsIreland.ie

  • Check the ads on DogsIreland.ie.
  • Ensure that the sellers are responsible and provide proper health documentation for their Whippets.

Reputable Breeders

  • Research reputable Whippet breeders in your area or nearby counties.
  • Ask for recommendations from local dog clubs or veterinarians to find breeders who prioritize the health and well-being of their dogs.

Rescue Organizations

  • Consider adopting a Whippet from a rescue organization or shelter in Ireland.
  • These dogs are often in need of loving homes and offer a rewarding experience for those looking to provide a second chance to a deserving dog.

Living with a Whippet in Ireland

Living conditions in Ireland can be well-suited to the Whippet’s temperament. These dogs are generally peaceful indoors, making them suitable for smaller homes or apartments. However, to ensure their happiness and health, it’s essential to provide them with ample daily exercise.

In Irish counties like Dublin, Cork, or Galway, Whippet owners should aim to meet their pet’s exercise needs, both mentally and physically. This entails disciplined walks and engaging in canine sports. A typical day for a fully grown Whippet should involve at least three 30-minute to one-hour walks. Additionally, they should have opportunities for off-leash activities such as agility, Flyball, swimming, ball or Frisbee chasing, or even pursuing lures on tracks.

These intelligent and friendly dogs thrive when actively involved in the family’s activities. They enjoy going with you wherever possible, which helps socialize them and keeps their minds engaged, preventing boredom. Leaving a Whippet, a breed known for being highly active, loving, and affectionate, alone for extended periods could lead to undesirable behaviours such as counter surfing, sofa cushion destruction, or excessive barking and howling.

So, in Irish homes and counties across the nation, ensuring that a Whippet receives the right balance of exercise, mental stimulation, and companionship is key to a harmonious life with this breed.