Whippet vs Greyhound What’s the Difference

Whippet vs Greyhound

Whippets and Greyhounds are very similar dog breeds. In fact, oftentimes, people mistake Whippets for small Greyhounds!

But make no mistake, they are two entirely different breeds, and thus, it’s important to consider the key differences between them before making the choice to adopt one.

So, if you’re looking for your next dog, you’re in luck! We’ll break down the similarities and differences between these two breeds, so you can make an informed decision. Read along for more!

Whippet vs English Greyhound Comparison Table

  Whippet  Greyhound
Size 45-56” tall 27-30” tall
Weight 15-42 lbs 55-88 lbs
Color Many colors, ranging from white to black, red, blue, or cream.  White, blue, red, tan, black, or brindle (tiger-stripe).
Trainability Easy to train Easy to train 
Intelligence Average Intelligent
Friendliness with strangers Affectionate with everyone Usually friendly with everyone
Friendliness with other dogs Very good with other dogs Normally good with other dogs
Exercise needs High energy. Will need plenty of exercise. High energy, but can also sleep the majority of the day.
Lifespan 12-14 years 10-14 years
Whippet vs English Greyhound Comparison Table

Whippet vs Greyhound: History

While they look similar, these two dog breeds come from entirely different places. Let’s take a quick look at their history to better understand the breeds.

Whippet History

The Whippet is a relatively new breed of dog, likely originating no more than a few hundred years ago. 

While their exact history isn’t clear, the Greyhound was most likely developed in Northern England in the 18th century by crossing Greyhounds and long-leg terriers.

The result of this successful crossing was a small but speedy dog, perfect for sight-hunting rabbits and other small rodents. 

While the Whippet spent most of its history as a working dog for hunters, it began to gain popularity among the upper-class thanks to its unique look, and soon became a companion animal for many. 

Mill operators from England began bringing their Whippet dogs over to the US, and in 1888, the American Kennel Club officially recognized the breed. 

Greyhound History 

While Whippets are a relatively new breed, Greyhounds most certainly are not. The breed is ancient, being traced back to at least four thousand years ago in the Middle East.

The dog has a long history of being admired by different cultures. They appear in Greek ancient texts, and Egyptian art, and are the only dog breed mentioned in the Bible. 

Once brought to America from Europe, the Greyhound was used to hunt jackrabbits and coyotes. The Greyhound was one of the first dog breeds to participate in American dog talent shows. 

Whippet vs Greyhound: Temperament

It’s important to know what to expect when it comes to your future dog’s personality. Let’s look at the differences in personality between the Greyhound and Whippet. 

Whippet Temperament

Whippets, though small, can be destructive if they don’t get enough exercise every day. If they’re given enough stimulation and walks, however, they tend to be quite calm.

Even though they’re known for having high energy, they also enjoy resting and can spend most of the day doing so. 

Whippet Dog Breed
Whippet Dog Breed

They make great companion dogs for this reason.

Whippets are very affectionate and attached to their owners, and thus often develop separation anxiety and may be destructive when left alone for a long time. 

Greyhound Temperament

Greyhounds, in general, are very social dogs and need a good amount of exercise. However, they’re not as high-energy as some people believe. They only need a sufficient amount of exercise per day to make them quiet and calm.

Generally, a fully-grown Greyhound can sleep up to 18 hours a day and are relatively calm. 

They’re also very affectionate and get easily attached to their owners.

Whippet vs Greyhound: Grooming

Both of these dogs have low-maintenance coats, which is great for people with allergies or who don’t like brushing hair off of their furniture. 

Whippet Grooming 

Whippets have a short coat that doesn’t need much grooming. You can brush them once per week, and bathe them as needed when they get dirty. 

Since they have thin coats, their skin isn’t very protected, and they can easily get scrapes and cuts while playing. 

It’s also recommended to brush their teeth at least two to three times per week. 

Greyhound Grooming 

Greyhounds tend to need more grooming than Whippets. Their coat does shed, if only a little, and you’ll need to brush them at least once every other day to keep it manageable. 

Keep their ears clean with a cotton ball to prevent infections, and take special care to brush their teeth often; Greyhounds tend to suffer from poor dental health. 

Whippet vs Greyhound: Training

Both of these dogs have similar prey drives and independent minds. But which one is harder to train?

Whippet Training

Whippets tend to be calm dogs. They prefer to conserve their energy for quick bursts of speed when hunting prey. 

This means you need to be very careful when socializing Whippets; never let a Whippet off the leash, except when in a fenced-in area! Even a well-trained Whippet won’t be able to resist its prey instinct and will dart off to chase squirrels and rabbits on sight.

Whippets need a lot of praise, patience, and positive reinforcement to be trained properly, which makes them a challenge for inexperienced owners. 

We recommend puppy training classes for Whippets. 

Greyhound Training

Training a Greyhound isn’t a feat for an inexperienced dog owner. Doing so can be a frustrating process, as Greyhounds were bred specifically to find and hunt down prey on their own; this has given them a genetic sense of independence. 

Greyhound Dog Breed
Greyhound Dog Breed

In short, Greyhounds aren’t fond of doing things unless they see the benefit in it for them. 

Greyhounds should be socialized at a young age, especially with dogs, in order to make them less likely to chase smaller dogs and cats. 

Greyhounds get bored easily, so keep your training sessions short and productive. Before adopting a dog, it’s important to know what kind of vet visits you’ll have to make. Let’s take a look at the health of these two breeds. 

Greyhounds, like Whippets, need gentle and positive reinforcement-focused training. 

Whippet vs Greyhound: Health

While Whippets tend to live two years longer on average than Greyhounds, both breeds are healthy with very few common health problems.

Whippet Health 

The Whippet is generally a very healthy dog. However, their frame is not meant to carry much weight; that’s why it’s important not to overfeed or under-exercise them. While they may appear ‘skinny’, they are naturally thin and should be kept at a healthy weight to avoid health problems. 

Rarely, Whippets can suffer from genetic eye problems. Make sure your breeder screens their stock for eye problems as well as heart conditions. 

Greyhound Health

Greyhounds are also very healthy dogs in general. However, unlike Whippets, they can be prone to bloating. 

Greyhounds also have little body fat and fur, which can lead to skin injuries. If you live in a climate with very hot or very cold weather, dress your Greyhound accordingly, and don’t leave them outside for very long.

Also, to prevent skin sores, your Greyhound should sleep on a soft surface, like a couch or their own bed, rather than a hard surface like the floor.

Conclusion: Whippets vs Greyhounds

Overall, these are two very similar dogs, bred for similar purposes. They both make great companion pets, but owners should be aware of their high prey drive and independent disposition.

Whippets may look like they’re just small Greyhounds, but there are some key differences that set them apart.

For example, the Whippet generally tends to live about two years longer, on average. Additionally, they need slightly less energy than Greyhounds, though both dogs enjoy plenty of exercise.

We hope this article has helped you learn the differences between Whippets and Greyhounds.