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24 Aug 2000

Dog of the Week

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Name of breed: Whippet
Class: Hound
Recognized: AKC, ANKC, CKC, FCI, KC (GB), KUSA.
Size: Height: dogs 47-51cm (18.5-20in), bitches 44-47cm (17.5-18.5in).
Weight: about 12.5 kg (28lb)

Coat: Short, fine and close.
Colors: Any color or mixture of colors. 

The Whippet looks like a Greyhound in miniature, and the Greyhound undoubtedly played a part in its mix-up. It is uncertain whether the Pharaoh Hound, as seems likely, or some other imported hound or terriers, was the other half of the cross. The Whippet was bred expressly as a racing dog, and is the fastest breed in the world. It has been timed at 8.4 seconds over a standard 137m (150yd) straight course (58.76km/h, 36.52mph). Known as the "poor man's racehorse", it became the sporting pet of miners in the north of England, where Whippet racing is still very popular. It has spread to other countries as well. Originally, the dogs raced after live rabbits but now artificial lures are used instead.
The Whippet was recognized by the Kennel Club in Britain in 1902, having been exhibited in 1897 at Crufts Dog Show in London. It is also popular in the United States, where a slightly larger dog is preferred.

Character and care

The Whippet is a gentle dog, which is good with children and makes a fine pet and show dog, and a splendid watchdog. While it can adapt to domestic life, this powerful runner needs plenty of exercise. It's short coat requires little other than brush and rub-down, but it does mean that the dog is better housed indoors year round rather that kenneled outside.



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