Whippets are a member of the ‘Hound’ breed group. The Hound group include breeds originally used for hunting either by scent or sight. They require a substantial amount of exercise and are considered to be aloof but trustworthy dogs.
Whippets are very gentle, calm, friendly dogs. As with all breeds, training, along with socialisation, is very important at a young age in order for them to grow up into confident, sociable dogs. For more information on socialisation and training using reward-based techniques, take a look at our dog behaviour page.
Whippets are very affectionate dogs that love people. They are better suited to families with older children as young children may handle them a little roughly. They get along with other pets, given the right socialisation as a puppy.
Breed-related health problems:
Owners are, understandably, upset when their dog develops a health problem linked to its breed. Often they wish they’d known what problems the breed was prone to have. The potential health problems that Whippets are prone to include:
- Progressive retinal atrophy – gradual deterioration of the retina of the eye. Symptoms can start with night blindness and progress to total blindness.
- Hypothyroidism – a condition in which there’s a decrease in thyroid hormone production.
- Cushing's syndrome (Hyperadrenocorticism) – hormonal disorder which results in the production off too much cortisol.
- Cervical disc disease – an extremely painful condition in which a disc ruptures in the neck.
For some conditions, there are screening programmes available through the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and the Kennel Club. The Canine Health Schemes allow breeders to screen for a range of inherited diseases, so it’s a good idea to check the parents of any puppy you’re looking to rehome have been screened under these schemes. We’d also recommend discussing the medical history of your potential puppy’s parents and grandparents, and think very carefully before taking on a dog with any of the health conditions listed above evident in the family line.
You can find out more about the Canine Health Schemes on the BVA's website.
Exercise and grooming requirements:
Around an hour of exercise is needed daily. Coat care is minimal with grooming just once a week all that’s needed to keep the coat in tip-top condition.
Estimated lifetime cost:
The likely lifetime costs for a Whippet are based on estimates calculated using current market prices and include:
- Initial costs of the purchase of the pet
- First vaccinations and booster vaccinations
- Pet insurance
- Flea treatments
The list above does not include veterinary costs if your pet becomes sick or injured, so these average lifetime costs could be even higher.
Insure your Whippet with PDSA:
1 in 3 pets need vet treatment each year and vet bills can come to hundreds of pounds. PDSA Pet Insurance can give you peace of mind when your pet is poorly, especially for breeds like Whippets that are prone to certain conditions. PDSA Pet Insurance offers:
- 5 Star Pet Insurance* - from the vet experts
- 4 levels of cover to suit you
- Monthly payment at no extra cost
*Defaqto 5 Star rating applies to our Plus and Premier policies only. Defaqto’s Star Ratings provide an independent assessment of the quality of financial products.
By insuring your Whippet with PDSA you’ll also be helping to provide vet care to some of the UK’s neediest pets.