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History of the breed
Experts still have not come to a consensus either about the origin of the Whippets, or about the origin of the name of the breed..
- Whippet can be translated from English as “fast movement” or “fast run”, which may well characterize these dogs. The word originated in Britain in the 13th century. Various derivatives of the word were called small, fast dogs intended for baiting rabbits..
- According to another version – the name of the breed is related to another English word: “whip”. The whippet moves as fast as the swing of the whip. In addition, the dog’s tail resembles this object, and the animal moves it very energetically. If a dog rejoicing at the meeting touches its owner with its tail, the comparison will be quite justified.
There are also several versions of the birth of the breed, and all of them are not without grounds..
- Dogs similar to modern Whippets were introduced to Britain by the Romans in the first century BC. Animals descended from Pharaoh dogs. It is believed that the Whippets served as a base for breeding the Greyhound and Italian Greyhound.
- According to another version, whippets are obtained from a mixture of small greyhounds and terriers, and their purpose was not the most romantic – the new breed served as an object for baiting large greyhounds. The constant struggle for life played a decisive role in the development of the main qualities of the Whippets – speed and endurance. They rarely caught up.
- The third version is not so believable from a historical point of view. According to her, the breed appeared only in the 19th century, in Great Britain, and miners and workers bred it for hunting and participating in dog races. In fact, the breeding of racing dogs and the development of new breeds was available only to the aristocracy – an expensive occupation required a huge number of dogs of different breeds, and Greyhounds were best suited for sports. Poor people had alternative entertainments: “rag” races, where animals chased not after live game, but after a handkerchief – “reg”. Stamina, speed and unwavering fighting spirit were required of the dogs. The ancestors of the Whippets, thus, became the aristocratic Greyhound and various representatives of the terriers..
It is unlikely that it will be possible to find out which version is closest to the truth, but it is obvious that Whippets and Terriers are related. The presence of common features both in the exterior and in character leaves no doubt about it.
Also, there is no doubt that the closest relatives of the Whippets are Greyhounds. In contrast, Whippets have a more explosive temperament and a more developed distrust of strangers – which again suggests a relationship with terriers.
In Great Britain the nickname “Bull Terrier among Greyhounds” has stuck to the breed. The genes of these dogs have indeed become the starting material for several types of terriers, including the Bull Terrier and Bedlington Terrier.
Whippets can often be found at exhibitions and are noted for their resemblance to Greyhounds and Italian Greyhounds. All these breeds are characterized by sophistication, grace and amazing ease of movement..
Description of the breed
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Whippet is a small greyhound of English descent, in which impetuosity and strength are bizarrely combined with refinement, grace and elegance.
The purpose of the breed is a fast, long run, therefore the breed standards prescribe a symmetrical body build, proud posture and relief muscles.
The structure of the dog is maximally balanced, so any “improvement” of its qualities is harmful. So, the hind legs of the breed are brought far under the body – for a sharp acceleration and greater jump power. The animal’s movements are natural, and any attempt to change the representatives of the breed leads to failures in gait – short, sharp steps, high elevation of the paws, the difficulty of bending them replace natural grace.
- Height at withers – males: about 47 centimeters, bitches: about 44.5 centimeters. If the dog’s body is proportional and the other criteria are normal, the difference in height is not considered as strictly.
- Head – Elongated, dry, with a strong taper towards the muzzle and a flat forehead. There is a fairly large distance between the eyes. The jaws are strong and dry. The main color of the nose is black, but other colors are allowed, depending on the general color. The ears are covered with hair, small. Eyes – dark.
- Neck – long, with developed muscles, with a beautiful natural bend.
- Chest – deep, wide, with bulging muscles.
- Small of the back – curved, but does not create the feeling of a hump, rather, it speaks of the strength and power of the dog.
- Front limbs – straight, not widely spaced. Shoulders – powerful, slanting. Flexible, powerful pasterns. Elbows close to chest, pointing back.
- Hind limbs – while running, they are placed very deep under the body, which gives additional strength to the movements. The thighs are broad and strong. The knee and hock joints are low. Feet – nicely contoured with strong cushions.
- Tail – tapers towards the end, without dewlap. When moving, directed up, but does not rise above the back.
- Wool – short, smooth, skin-tight.
- Color – no limits.
Possible disadvantages of the breed:
- underdeveloped pasterns and legs,
- elbows deviated from the “back” position,
- undeveloped or overdeveloped shoulders,
- abnormal development of the shoulder blades,
- insufficient bulge or excessive tightness of the chest,
- short muzzle,
- wide or pointed ears,
- short torso, tendency of the dog to hunch over,
- too large dorsal arch, the beginning of the arch just behind the shoulder blades,
- small or too large loin,
- straight knees,
- underdeveloped limb muscles,
- paws that are too long, flat or spread apart,
- curled, too short or cropped tail,
- brittle or too coarse coat,
- thick skin.
There are no special problems with keeping the dog: the small size and smooth, short coat allow you to keep the Whippet even in a small apartment. There is no specific smell from animals, they do not cause allergic reactions, they are clean.
You can see the assumptions about the nature of the exercise for the breed, which differ from each other. Somewhere emphasis is placed on elegance and grace, conclusions are drawn about poor health and fragility. Others argue that sporting dogs need long walks and extra stress.
As for health, this breed is in perfect order: a visit to the veterinarian is necessary only for injuries of the limbs. Such injuries are usually received by dogs on rough terrain, while hunting. Whippet care is not original – everything is the same as for other dogs. Special attention should be paid to nutrition only.
The food of any greyhounds has its own characteristics:
- Balance – for joint and bone health.
- You can use both a natural method of feeding, as well as artificial or mixed. But the choice made cannot be changed – changing the diet is difficult for the pet.
- Feeding portions are determined based on the age, amount of exercise and general condition of the dog. Puppies need to eat 3 to 6 times a day, adult animals need two feedings. It is necessary to give food in the same place, strictly in time.
- Greyhounds only need quality food and fresh water. No leftovers, smoked meats, sweets, beans.
The Whippet is considered the most controlled of the greyhounds. But only if you find an approach to him and establish contact. The dog categorically does not accept rudeness and the use of physical force – in response to such actions, it will refuse to train and obey.
A dog in the process of training requires serious physical activity and play.
The breed is very obedient and learns quickly. The Whippet can also be learned in unusual tricks. The dog will happily learn to walk on its hind legs, overcome obstacles, jump inside the hoop and even pronounce simple words very similarly.
An increased propensity for communication and friendliness towards people does not interfere with the training of Whippets as guard dogs. Unlike the primordial guard dogs, the weight of the “athletes” is small, and the structure of the jaws is different, but the speed is impressive. The dog will not tightly grab a person encroaching on property, but many bites from different sides will force the thief to retreat.
Representatives of the breed are able to study at the ZKS course. Their behavior is different from Rottweilers or Shepherds – they lack the mass and strength of the jaws. But whippets can easily attack several people at once, switching from one to another, inflicting many bites and avoiding retaliatory attacks.
Whippets are athletic dogs capable of running at speed, passing obstacle courses, but this does not prevent them from being successful hunters. Even show specimens successfully catch hares, and working dogs will not experience difficulties with a fox.
They need an active owner. The dog is capable of accelerating over 60 kilometers per hour, jumps and maneuvers perfectly. Walking on a leash is not enough for an energetic animal. Maintaining physical skills and shedding energy is essential.
The dog completely adjusts his daily routine to the owner – he lies down and gets up with him, is ready to readjust the internal clock to dine at a convenient time for him, he will accompany him on walks, and participate in entertainment.
Representatives of the breed have a rare friendliness to others, they are not afraid of strangers. On the walk, he allows himself to iron and feed strangers. But he does not like strangers on his territory. The old good-naturedness was gone. Only in such situations does the dog give a voice – usually there are no unnecessary sounds from the pet.
If you do not pay enough attention to the whippet and do not give him time to throw out his energy, he is capable of hooliganism: spoiled furniture, wallpaper, interior items will release the dog’s energy. Not out of malice, but because of an excess of energy.
The breed is remarkably healthy, does not have a tendency to allergic reactions, and does not have dysplasia of the joints. It resists infections well. But breed features are still present:
- Eye diseases.
- Deafness, often congenital.
- Blood clotting and bleeding disorders.
During the active development of the breed, weak specimens were discarded, not spreading genes that did not meet standards further. The absence of joint dysplasia in the hound surprises even leading breeders.
We should also note the poor tolerance of anesthesia – due to the small amount of subcutaneous fat. Anesthesia during surgery, which any other dog can tolerate painlessly, can be fatal for the Whippet. Therefore, the choice of a doctor for a dog must be taken with responsibility and make sure that he knows about this feature.
Routine vaccinations are required, as is the treatment of the animal from parasites and worms. For prevention purposes, it is recommended to visit the vet annually..
Choosing a puppy
There are many details to consider when choosing a puppy from a litter.
Puppies are weaned between 6 and 9 weeks of age. Such babies are energetic, playful, with clean eyes and ears, shiny hair and “brutal” appetite. If these signs are not present, it is most likely that something is wrong with the puppies.
The presence of documents confirming the pure origin is required. At a young age – a puppy card, later – a pedigree.
If the baby is more than 60 days old, the breeder must present a certificate of vaccination – these are mandatory procedures that protect the puppy from serious illnesses.
Young whippets are more like a bull terrier or stafford – the muzzles have not yet extended, the ears have not acquired a characteristic shape, and the pigment of the nose and eyelids may not yet form in light-colored puppies.
Experienced breeders recommend taking a puppy with the longest head possible. But it should not be disproportionate or too large.
The transition from forehead to muzzle should be subtle.
The shape of the eyes and their cut should be characteristic of the breed.
Even in puppies, the tail is long, up to the hock and even larger. No dewlap, straight tail.
It is worth paying attention to all the puppies in the litter – they should be about the same size. If there are too large and too small puppies in a particular breed line, this is a sign of possible problems.
Whippets with malocclusion are very rare, but it doesn’t hurt to check.
The color of the representatives of the breed is not regulated, so you can choose a puppy of your favorite color.
The main quality, which should be guided in the choice, is character. Training and education can bring the traits to perfection, but the foundations have already been laid. It is worth watching the behavior of the baby you like: how he plays, how he behaves with people, how he treats other puppies.
Depending on the purity of the breed, age and characteristics of the puppy, pedigree, the cost can range from 10,000 to 45,000 rubles.
List of nurseries
Whippet breeding nurseries:
1) EDELEN Vilyuchinsk – edelengreyhounds.mirbb.com/
2) Krasnaya Arrow, Moscow – whippet.borda.ru/?1-16-0-00000165-000-0
3) Kotmarian, Novorossiysk – vk.com/club89826579
4) Arkas Aruna Ozersk – pitomez.ru/ru/club/show/2478/
5) From the Volga Serenade of Samara – www.hochusobaku.ru/kennel/854/