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Whippet |England|

Whippet |England|

Whippets are charismatic and highly intelligent dogs that make great companions and are suitable for homes with other pets and children as long as they get the right introduction, socialization, and supervision. Whippets are active dogs that thrive on interacting with their families; they make good agility dogs, love to go jogging with their owners, and are very obedient with correct and sensitive training. They are sight hounds, though, and will naturally chase small, furry things that move. One of the biggest causes of fatality in the breed is being hit by cars, so it is essential to provide a properly enclosed area for their exercise.

History

The exact origin of the Whippet is unknown, although other small dogs of this type trace back to ancient times. The modern history of the Whippet begins in the nineteenth century in northern England where the small, sporty dogs became popular with factory workers and miners. Sometimes called “the poor man’s Greyhound,” Whippets were cheaper and easier to keep, but just as fun to race. Poachers also favored Whippets for catching their ill-gotten gains, and could hide the dogs in their coats if necessary. An early blood sport was testing how many rabbits a Whippet could “snap up” and kill in an enclosure; this led to the breed’s nickname “snap dogs.” Whippet racing became popular too, with the dogs encouraged by their owners waving pieces of rag, earning them the nickname “rag dogs.” Whippets came to the United States with immigrants, particularly mill operators in the Massachusetts area, but the dog’s popularity quickly spread to Baltimore, Maryland—home of the prestigious Green Spring Valley racing track. The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1888, but the Whippet was not accepted by the British Kennel Club until 1891.

Whippets exercise often but in energetic bursts, characteristically running around their owners in wide circles at tremendous speed. Although they are very much built for speed, they also enjoy comfort and, with sufficient exercise, will happily curl up and sleep for much of the day.

As well as being adorable, Whippet puppies are really smart and learn quickly.

Whippet |England| Whippet |England| Whippet |England| Whippet |England| Whippet |England| Whippet |England|
From Dogs Unleashed, Copyright by Tamsin Pickeral, licensed through ContentOro, Inc and used by arrangement with Thunder Bay Press

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