Whippets are a sighthound breed that’s smaller than their Greyhound counterparts. With a loving personality and natural desire to be gentle around children, Whippets can make wonderful family pets as well as skilled hunting companions. They even require less exercise than you might expect.
Keep reading to learn more about the Whippet’s unique traits and whether getting a Brindle Whippet is right for your lifestyle!
In This Article:
What’s a Brindle Whippet?
A Brindle Whippet is similar to a Greyhound in appearance, only smaller. They’re often referred to as the poor man’s Greyhounds.
They’re lean and incredibly fast, loving to chase anything and everything. Whippets are often seen in dog shows because they carry themselves so well.
Whippets make great hunting dogs and are a top choice for family dogs because of their relaxed personalities.
They do particularly well with children, even when kids are very young. Because they’re so friendly, they don’t make very great watchdogs.
|Lifespan||12 to 15 years|
|Weight||25 to 40 pounds|
|Height||18 to 22 inches at the shoulder|
|Suitable for||Families, children, hunting, small homes, and apartments|
|Grooming concerns||Minimal, given their light coat|
|Temperament||Friendly, calm, relaxed, heightened prey drive|
A Whippet’s coat is varied, but there are several that are seen the most often.
Because their personality is so flexible, Whippets are one of the most popular sighthound breeds in the United States and rank as the 59th most popular dog breed overall.
For more on brindle dogs, stop by our Best Brindle Dog Breeds guide!
Characteristics of a Brindle Whippet
All dogs have their own unique personalities, but they still usually conform to breed standards when it comes to overall personality aspects and needs. You can bet that almost all hounds have keen hunting instincts, while labs are great bets for family pets.
When considering a dog’s characteristics, there are a few different areas to be mindful of. These will help give you an overall sense of the type of dog you will end up with. They will also ensure you can properly take care of his or her needs. These areas are:
- Compatibility with your family
- Exercise needs
- Grooming and shedding
- Health and medical concerns
Your lifestyle should be compatible with your dog so they are as happy and healthy as they can be.
Whippets are notoriously laid-back and relaxed dogs, greatly preferring lounging around to most anything else. They are cuddly and loving, commonly found snoozing close to their human family.
As you would expect, they’re quiet dogs. You won’t have to worry about a lot of barking, though this does mean that they don’t make very good guard dogs.
They love hunting and chasing anything. You should take care to keep your Whippet leashed when out in public. If they go running after something, they’re extremely speedy and hard to catch again. They love the chase so much that even the most well-behaved Whippet may not come back if you command it.
They carry themselves elegantly and are smart enough to learn a myriad of tricks. For this reason, they’re often in dog shows and do pretty well for themselves.
Whippets have the highest rating for family life and positive interactions with children. They’re even recommended for young children because of their innate gentleness.
They’re known to be extremely gentle and careful with babies and toddlers since they view them as puppies. Since they’re prone to forming extremely tight bonds with their human family, a Whippet will grow up cherishing your baby!
As with any dog, though, this doesn’t mean that you should leave your dog and young children unsupervised. You should still observe common-sense safety measures with them and make sure that your child isn’t unintentionally torturing your dog. Even the best of dogs can eventually run out of patience.
Because of their strong prey drive, Whippets tend to have a hard time with smaller animals.
These would include:
- Farm animals, especially poultry
This doesn’t mean that they can’t get along with a smaller animal like a cat with enough training, but even if they get along, you should not leave a Whippet unsupervised with any small animal.
Sometimes, instinct is just too strong to ignore and you don’t want to set your pooch up for failure.
Whippets need far less exercise than you would think, especially for hunting dogs. They do well with short, fast bursts of exercise that involve lots of sprinting.
There are several ways to achieve this:
- Playing fetch
- Taking them jogging or biking
- Going to an enclosed dog park
- Playtime in a fenced-in backyard
Whippets also do very well with organized activities with other dogs, whether they are informal doggie play dates or organized competition games. They can learn simple games such as racing and others that cater to their hunting and chasing instincts.
When they’re not exercising, they’re extraordinarily calm and enjoy lounging. Because of this, they do great in smaller spaces such as apartments, so long as you have somewhere nearby for some daily running around.
Grooming and Shedding
Whippets are clean dogs and don’t have much of the typical dog smell. They really only need baths periodically or when they get dirty from an activity. Beyond that, just keeping their nails properly trimmed is all you really need to do.
With their light coats, shedding is also not much of a concern. If you work in a professional environment or have a formal event, it would be good to keep a lint roller on hand for emergencies.
Show Whippets often get regular grooming done by professional groomers, but this isn’t necessary for average Whippets. They easily stay clean with at-home measures.
Health and Medical Concerns
Brindle Whippets are pretty healthy on average. However, as with most breeds, Brindle Whippets do have some potential issues to watch out for.
The biggest threat to their health is obesity since they don’t carry extra weight well. Compared to other breeds, they are more likely to see negative effects on their health if they are overweight.
If you notice that your Whippet is gaining some extra weight, this should be handled right away with a veterinarian-approved diet and exercise regimen.
Bully Whippet Syndrome is a condition that only affects Whippets and makes their muscles abnormally large. Their hearts have a hard time keeping up with the added muscle mass and can lead to cardiac conditions or heart failure.
Whippets are also sensitive to anesthesia, which your vet should be aware of. Additionally, Whippets have a low risk of deafness and problems with their eyes. Further, if your Whippet gets involved in a fight or falls, check their skin carefully because it’s so thin that it can accumulate cuts and bruises very easily.
While this list of ailments can be alarming, Whippets are overall healthy dogs when properly taken care of. Realistically, they should live a very healthy life.
If your dog falls deaf, you can always teach him sign language! We wrote a quick guide where you can learn How to Teach Your Dog Sign Language, here.
There are a few different considerations for the environment a Whippet will need to stay happy and healthy. These include the following:
- Whippets don’t do well in the cold. This is primarily because of their lean bodies and light fur. If you live in the north, you should plan to get your pup a coat and/or some doggie booties to keep them toasty.
- They will do well in apartments. You would just have to make sure that they are taken somewhere daily to run around for a little bit.
- Whippets are pack animals and can easily get lonely. If your home is empty of people during the workday, consider getting a second dog to keep him or her company. They are prone to severe separation anxiety when left alone too much.
- Invisible fences won’t work for them. A Whippet won’t think twice about running through the shock if it sees something tempting to chase. To them, the prey is worth the punishment.
- They can jump fences. They’re so agile that only the tall fences will work to keep them contained, especially if they are determined to get out.
As long as you respect their heritage and hunting instincts, providing a safe and happy hope for a Whippet isn’t difficult. Just give them plenty of love, room to run, and of course, all of the boops!
How to Find a Brindle Whippet
Whippets are relatively easy to find since they are one of the most popular sighthound breeds, though a brindle can be a bit trickier. It may take some time before you find one with this coloring.
The AKC Marketplace can help match you to a reputable breeder who is close to you. This is a particularly helpful tool since it protects you from backyard breeders and puppy mills.
If you are going through a breeder, you can expect to pay anything from $1,000 to $2,500 for your new fur baby. This amount is based on a number of factors, such as these below:
- Supply and demand
- Reputation of the breeder
- Lineage and registration
You may also want to consider rescuing a Whippet. Depending on your area, you may be able to find one in a shelter near you who needs a loving home.
As an added bonus, shelter prices are much lower than breeder fees. Websites such as PetFinder can help with this! This site almost always has pictures of each dog available for adoption, so you can see their coat color and ensure you’re adopting a Brindle Whippet.
First-Time Dog Owners
Whippets are fantastic pets for first-time dog owners. As a matter of fact, they are fourth on our list of best breeds for first-time owners!
There are several reasons for this:
- Their easy-going nature
- Their lack of significant grooming needs
- Their laid-back and family-oriented personalities
- Ease of training
There are only two things that might prove slightly more difficult for a first-time pet owner. The first is respecting a Whippet’s hunting tendencies and providing a safe environment that prevents escape.
The second is understanding that they tend to get destructive if they get too lonely. Whippets are social creatures and need to have plenty of mental stimulation to stay happy.
If you can handle both of these, you’re ready for a Whippet puppy!
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