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01 What is a Whippet?




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This article is from the Whippet Breed FAQ, written by nancyb@ignet.com (Nancy Bennett).

01 What is a Whippet?

A Whippet is a medium-sized sighthound--a group of dogs which includes
the Greyhound, Borzoi, Irish Wolfhound, Pharoah Hound, Afghan Hound,
Saluki, and others. These dogs were bred to hunt by sight, coursing
game in open areas at high speeds. Although one can find numerous
representations of small Greyhound-like hounds in art dating back to
Roman times, the modern whippet was created by working-class people
of northern England by crossing Greyhounds with several other breeds,
including the Italian Greyhound and a now-extinct long-legged
terrier. These small coursing hounds were cheaper to feed and house
than Greyhounds, but very handy at providing rabbits for the pot.
They also were used to provide sport on non-working days as their
owners enjoyed racing them against each other. The modern look of the
breed was created by upper-class English dog fanciers, who bought the
best-looking Whippets and bred them selectively to appear most
similar to a "Greyhound in miniature". Because color is considered
"immaterial" in juding Whippets, they come in the widest variety of
color and marking patterns of any breed -- everything from solid
black to solid white, with red, fawn, brindle, blue, cream. And all
manner of spots and blazes and patches are seen--sometimes all in the
same litter!

 

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