There can be few breeds with more delightful charm than the dainty Whippet. Size tends to vary in different countries, although the standard requires an animal standing around the 51-centimetre (20-inch) mark, but no matter the size, the essence is in the balance of muscularity with neatness, power with elegance. Carrying a short, fine coat, cleanliness is the Whippet’s hallmark and it is easy to get him tidy enough for the house within a very short time after returning from a country walk in winter.
The description of his temperament in the official standard – ‘gentle’ and ‘affectionate’ – is a considerable understatement; he loves the company of mankind and is equally at home in castle or cottage. Light enough to pick up when necessary, but spirited enough to spend a day on exercise, with a tremendous turn of speed over short distances, he represents one of the most deservingly popular of all the sporting dogs.
Many have found great pleasure in owning racing Whippets, especially in the northeast of England. As races often had to be in alleyways between the houses, the dogs developed into ‘straight racers’. Some could cover just over 180 metres (200 yards) in as little as 12 seconds.