Breed Standard

The whippet is a fantastic, versatile, medium sighthound capable of being both a great family member and a canine athlete.

From the Canadian Kennel Club:

  • Origin
    The Whippet and the Greyhound stem from common stock. However, it is generally conceded that the Whippet was bred to his present form in Britain, where he was known as “the poor man’s racehorse.” Whippet racing became a popular sport with the working class in the north of England. At first, Whippets were slipped to chase live rabbits in an enclosure, but when this sport was outlawed as cruel, lure or ‘rag’ racing came into vogue. The dogs were held on handicap marks by ‘slippers’ who would turn them loose at the starter’s pistol to race 200 yards to their owners, who would wave towels and shout encouragement. Whippets were first brought to this continent by Lancashire textile workers who came to work in New England mills. Here, they continued to provide racing and lure coursing excitement.
  • Temperament
    The Whippet is gentle, friendly, calm and amiable. He prefers being treated as a member of the family.
  • Activity Level
    Capable of great intensity and keenness when in a sporting mode, the Whippet is dignified and quiet in the home. The breed should have regular outdoor exercise and the occasional good run.
  • Height/Weight
    Males measure 19-22 in (48-56 cm) with females standing 18-21 in (46-53 cm).
  • Coat
    The coat is close, smooth and firm.
  • Colour
    The coat may be any colour or combination of colours.
  • Grooming
    Gentle brushing is all the grooming required.

For the full CKC breed standard, click here.

Is a whippet the right dog for you? The American Kennel Club has a breed comparison tool which can be found here and a dog breed selector here (you’ll have to make up a ZIP code for the second tool).

How should I find a whippet? Attending shows and other events is often the best way to get to know other fanciers and find a breeder that is right for you. Adopting a whippet from a rescue is also a great way to go. You can contact the Whippet Club of British Columbia for assistance in finding a reputable breeder or rescue.

Very few whippets end up in rescue in Canada but we have a reliable Whippet rescue team coordinated through the Whippet National Club of Canada. Information can be obtained at this website:

WCOBC members who are reliable and conscientious whippet Breeders: