Do Whippets Make Good House Pets?

whippet dog breed

The whippet dog breed was known as the hunter’s best friend, who speedily goes after small furry animals like rabbits. In today’s time, this breed is popularly used to compete in flyball, agility, rally, lure coursing, and obedience and as a loving therapy dog. If you want to know what are whippets and everything about them, then this post is for you.

Whippets are purebred dogs; however, they somehow still end up in rescue centers and care shelters. This dog breed is known for its friendly and unique personality and stylish look, which makes them a great family companion. 

These make great apartment pets, and love being left home alone for four long hours. However, they need a lot of exercises to burn off high energy, so do not forget to take them out on a walk.

This post has discussed everything you need to know about whippets and how they are different from greyhounds. 

What Are Whippets?

Whippets are a medium-sized dog breed that originated in England, where they descended from greyhounds. As they belong to the hound group, whippets come with few health problems like arrhythmia. They are also a common participant in dog sports. 

Although greyhounds and whippets are descendent, they both have their share of differences. Let; ‘s find out how Greyhounds are different from Whippet dog breeds.

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Greyhound vs. Whippet history

There are not many dog breeds with as rich a history as greyhounds. In your history books, you can read about this breed dating back to ancient Egyptian times from the Middle East and North Africa. 

British and Spanish colonists brought the dogs to America who used them to chase coyotes and jackrabbits. In 1886 greyhounds were officially used as racing dog breeds.

One major reason why a whippet dog resembles a greyhound is that they are descendants of Greyhound and were bred with long-legged and fast Terriers in the 1700s.

Whippets are a young breed comparatively dating back to only a few hundred years. They first became popular in Northern England, where they were used for hunting rabbits. 


Greyhounds are among the fastest dog breed, which can run with a speed of 40-45 miles per hour. Whippet, also known as Arabian Greyhound, is also one of the racing dog breeds which can run at a speed of 35 miles per hour.


Both these racing dog breeds are misunderstood for being high energy; however, this is not true. These are sprinters rather than long-distance runners, so as long as you take them on daily walks two times a day, these dogs are happy to cuddle with you.

Whippets and greyhounds make amazing apartment pets and are, in fact, couch potatoes. They love to run but enjoy short energy bursts rather than endless play. Due to their strong hunting instincts, they tend to hunt furry, small size animals. So when you take them out on a walk, be careful as they can sniff rabbits and get out of control.

Both these racing dog breeds are social and suit multi-dog houses really well. They make a great pet; if you are looking to add a new family member, make sure you do not have cats or rabbits around.

Greyhounds have a friendly, calm, and loving demeanor. They are good with children and make affectionate pets. These can also be intelligent and independently driven like a cat. Greyhounds tend to act aloof around strangers, so make sure to familiarize yourself with different places, situations, and people from an early age. 

Like greyhounds, whippet dogs are also amiable, friendly, quiet, and gentle. Whippets need the same amount of socialization as greyhounds, or they tend to become timid. They are also super sensitive to touch and may act startled when unexpectedly petted. None of these breeds make a good guard dog because they do not like to bark much; instead, they will greet the burglar.


Whippets are the miniature version of Greyhound. Both dog breeds have long, narrow heads with long legs and large round eyes. 

Greyhound ears are folded and stand on ends when they are excited. A whippet has small rose-colored ears with fine texture. Both dogs have long, thin tails tapered and curved upwards.

coloring and Size

Greyhounds are lean and sleek in shape with an aerodynamic build. These dogs have long legs, narrow heads with muscular rear ends. There are two types of Greyhounds-Racing and Show. Racing Greyhounds are 64-76 cm tall, whereas Show Greyhounds are 66-76 cm in height. 

Whippets are medium-sized hounds and are smaller than greyhounds but larger than Italian Greyhounds. Male whippets are 48-56 cm tall, whereas female whippets are 45-53 cm tall. 

Greyhounds can range from fawn, black, and red with brindle or white markings. These have striped patterns in several colors. Whippets also have similar color combinations mixed with blazes, spots, and patches in varied colors. 

coats and grooming

If you do not have enough time for the maintenance of your pet, then Greyhounds make the best choice. These running dog breeds are low maintenance and boast short, smooth coats. They shed like other dog breeds, so make sure to brush regularly if you wish to keep their coat healthy. Short coats also mean they cannot survive extreme cold weather. Get your Greyhound a warm jacket when it’s snowing or raining outside. 

Whippets have smooth and short coats like greyhounds which are low maintenance when it comes to grooming needs. These dogs do not require frequent baths unless they get super stinky.

Both these hound breeds have thin skin, which makes them prone to getting scrapes and nicks. So make sure to check them regularly, especially after wood and walk or run. Getting a warm jacket for your whippet during cold months is necessary. 

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Greyhounds have an average life expectancy of 10-12 years, whereas a Whippet can live for 12-15 years. 

Whippet dogs tend to be healthy; however, they may suffer from eye or ear problems and Willebrand’s Disease. Greyhounds can suffer from hypothyroidism, hip dysplasia, and osteosarcoma.

Both whippets and greyhounds are sensitive to anesthesia, so be sure to check with your vet. These running dog breeds tend to suffer from poor dental health and require regular brushing to stay healthy. 


  • Whippets make a great pet for apartment living if given access to a fenced area to run around. They tend to have low energy levels indoors and love spending time alone. If not given proper exercise and walk, they can become destructive and overactive. 
  • Whippets, if not socialized since a young age, can become stressed and timid in social situations. A socialized whippet is undemanding and polite with strangers and other dogs. 
  • Whippets do not make good watchdogs because they rarely bark and get friendly towards anyone they meet.
  • They require daily exercise and enjoy running, romping around in fenced areas, or even leashes.
  • Do not allow a whippet to run when on a leash during walks.
  • They have a strong prey drive and can pursue small animals for miles.
  • Whippets do not shed a lot. Weekly brushing is enough to keep loose hair off furniture and clothes.
  • Whippets have thin skin vulnerable to tears, nicks, and scrapes.
  • Whippets are not outdoor dogs. They stay happy living with other people at home. 
  • They tend to suffer from separation anxiety and can become destructive. Spend as much time as possible with your whippet and allow him the freedom to follow you or sniggle under your feet.
  • If you have small pets at home, then be careful. They need to be socialized at an early age, or they can injure your other pets if not trained. 
  • Whippets are great with kids. Still, it is important to teach your kids how to interact with dogs properly.
  • Whippets get cold really quick. Get a warm coat or sweater when it is raining or snowing outside. 

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Final Words:

Whippets are the old-age descendants of greyhounds. They are one of the fastest running dog breeds in the world, which is why they are used to participating in various dog sports. Although they have high energy levels, whippets make a great apartment pet and are great around kids. However, you need to train and socialize them from a young age or become timid in social situations. 

Now that you know everything about whippets and how they are different from greyhounds, which one do you prefer?

A Greyhound or a Whippet? Share your favorite breed with us in the comments below!


Hey There! I am A Makeup Artist turned into a Content writer. Intrigued by the world of digital marketing, I am currently working as an SEO Content Writer. Being a fashion enthusiast I enjoy writing blogs on Beauty, Fashion and Fitness Trends.