• Overview

    Whippets are bred for racing and hunting. They are athletic, alert dogs outdoors who make sensitive, gentle companions indoors.

    The Whippet should give an appearance of fitness and elegance. He does not require an extensive amount of grooming, but care should be taken in training and in handling not to damage the Whippet's self-esteem.

  • Personality

    Whippets are fast. They love to race around in a fenced-in yard and go for as many brusque walks a day as possible. Their forceful back legs make them powerful runners, but it also means they are skilled jumpers. Make sure they have a safe, fenced-in area to play and exercise. Whippets are energized and active outdoors, but they are usually calm and relaxed indoors with their owners. Whippets are well-mannered and curious, especially around new people.

    Whippets are sensitive, both emotionally and physically. They will become nervous and timid with harsh treatment. They also appreciate a soft place to lie down and rest. Generally, whippets are undemanding in their need for affection, but they can be very loving and will seek out their owners if they get lonely. They are gentle with people, but they can be timid with strangers if they are not socialized at a young age. Whippets also have a strong instinct to chase and capture prey, so they do not make good companions for cats or smaller pets.

  • Coat Care

    The Whippet's coat is short and smooth. It lies close to the body and comes in all varieties of black, white, brindle, fawn and tan. Whippets do not shed excessively. These sleek, curvaceous dogs are long and lean, which makes them somewhat delicate. Their skin is susceptible to cuts and tears, so make sure that your Whippet does not wander off into dangerous terrain or hurt himself while playing.

Brushing

Their coats do not need more than a weekly brushing with a grooming mitt or a rubber brush to remove dead hair and keep their skin healthy.

Bathing

Whippets have sensitive skin, so use a gentle dog shampoo.

Hair Clipping

Clipping or trimming your dog’s coat is far easier than you would ever imagine. With the right clipper, trimmer and scissors, giving your dog a haircut is easy on your wallet and your schedule.

Dogs with smooth coats generally only require trims and tidying up in areas of excessive hair growth using a trimmer or blunt scissors. It's always wise to take a dog for a short walk or exercise to calm them down before trimming. Remember to brush the coat first to remove any tangles and mats. Don't forget to trim around the paws, pads, tail, chest and sanitary areas, as needed. The coat should lay flat and smooth against the body when finished.

Nails

Many dog owners are apprehensive about trimming their dog’s nails because they are nervous about cutting into the quick. But with the right conditioning and careful cutting, nail clipping can be a simple, stress-free activity for you and your dog.

Provide your dog with plenty of positive reinforcement and even treats to help associate nail clipping with a positive experience.  As you start to clip, gently press on your dog’s paws to help him become accustomed to the feeling of having his nails clipped. Then, work gradually, shaving down just a thin portion of the nail at first to make sure you don’t reach the quick. Clip one nail, reward your dog with a treat, and stop to give him some positive reinforcement before moving on. Gradually increase the number of nails you clip in one sitting to help your dog get used to the process. Never trim extremely long nails down to a short nail in one sitting, because this is an excellent way to accidently quick the dog’s nail. Instead, work gradually, shaving small portions of your dog’s nails off each time.

You can tell if you’re getting close to the quick by the texture of your dog’s nail. The nail is hard closer to the surface and becomes softer as you get closer to the quick. If your dog’s nail starts to feel softer, that’s a good indication that you’re getting close to the quick.

Eyes / Ears

Not all breeds and coat styles require routine trimming in and around the eyes and ears but all should undergo regular inspection and cleaning around these sensitive areas. Doing so will help prevent the development of infections that could seriously damage these amazing organs.

It is always important to routinely clean your dog's eyes and ears, and examine for potential infections. Some smooth-coated dogs, like Basenjis and Boxers, and dogs with large ears, like Weimaraners and Great Danes, have sensitive ears that should be checked  weekly for infection and cleaned with a cotton ball. Gently wipe a cotton ball moistened with mineral oil, olive oil or witch hazel in your dog's ear, being careful to avoid the ear canal. Never use a Q-Tip, which could cause damage to the inner ear if your dog suddenly shakes or jerks his head. Bushy hair growth within the ear can be thinned with tweezers or blunt scissors. Use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around the eyes, ears and face. If you have a small dog, like an Italian Greyhound, take special care to  clean around their eyes with a cotton ball or soft cloth and use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around their eyes to make sure they are comfortable. Dogs with facial wrinkles, like French Bulldogs and Boston Terriers, should have their faces wiped down at least weekly to prevent infection.

Teeth

Many owners do not realize how important it is to brush your pet’s teeth on a regular basis. Some dogs are prone to dental problems and sensitive teeth, especially small dogs with tiny teeth and dogs with special diets. These problems can be easily combatted with frequent brushing.

Cavities are rare with dogs but gum disease caused by tartar buildup is not, which is why they require regular brushing with toothpaste and a toothbrush formulated specifically for dogs. While daily brushing is ideal, doing so on a weekly basis will be a big help in avoiding the need to bring your dog to a veterinarian for a cleaning, which usually has to be done under sedation.