This graceful dog goes from sporting events to people's laps to outdoor playtime without missing a beat. Though bred to be rabbit chasers, Whippets were not the dogs of lords and ladies. Instead, coal miners in northern England developed the sport of running their dogs in a straight 200-yard race; thus, the Whippet took on the nickname of the Poor Man's Race Horse.
Whippets are the fastest domestic animals of their size. They can reach speeds of 35 miles per hour. But they are also quiet and well-behaved in the house. They are smart, loving, hardy little dogs who can live in the city. They can be any color. Eyes should be large and dark.
Excerpts from the Standard
General Appearance: Elegant, fit, fast, sleek, and graceful. Eyes should have a keen, alert expression.
Size, Proportion, and Substance: Height--males, 19 to 22 inches; females, 18 to 21 inches.
So fast is the Whippet, and such a popular coursing (racing) dog, that in England he was nicknamed "the poor man's race horse." It was English mill workers who brought the dog to America and popularized Whippet racing in north central Massachusetts. From there, the sport and the breed spread. Whippet owners today enjoy participating in lure coursing events to see their quiet, dignified companions tear up the race course.
Excerpted from The Complete Dog Book For Kids © 1996, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.