Home Breed The Hounds of the Baskervilles: How to Tell a Greyhound from a Whippet

The Hounds of the Baskervilles: How to Tell a Greyhound from a Whippet

by Vetic Editorial

If you are a dog lover, you might have encountered the dilemma of distinguishing a Greyhound from a Whippet. The Greyhound and Whippet breeds are so similar in appearance and temperament that they could easily pass as siblings. However, there are some subtle and not-so-subtle differences between them that you should know if you are considering adopting one of them as your furry companion.

A Tale of Two Hounds: The Greyhound and Whippet

The Greyhound and Whippet are both members of the sighthound family, which means they hunt by sight rather than by scent. They are also among the fastest dogs in the world, capable of reaching speeds of up to 45 mph and 35 mph respectively. They have long, slender bodies, long legs, narrow heads, and short coats that come in a variety of colours and patterns.

The Greyhound is one of the oldest known breeds, dating back to ancient times. They were used for hunting and racing, and were favoured by royalty and nobility. The Whippet, on the other hand, is a relatively new breed, originating in Victorian England. They were bred by crossing Greyhounds with long-legged Terriers, and were used by working-class people for hunting small game and racing for sport.

Like Two Peas in a Pod

The greyhound and whippet may confuse many thanks to their common body shape, behavioural traits and even coat colours. However, this is a blue-grey greyhound - blue is a shade only recognized in greyhounds and not among whippets according to the AKC breed standards. The greyhound is a male adult standing in a farmland, looking at a distance. he has a silver chain around his neck, and tail tucked between his hind legs

Despite their different origins, the Greyhound and the Whippet share many traits that make them wonderful pets. They are both independent, affectionate, and gentle dogs, who love to cuddle with their owners and enjoy a good nap. They are also intelligent, loyal, and easy to train, as long as you use positive reinforcement and avoid harsh methods. They are generally quiet and well-behaved indoors, and do not require much grooming or maintenance.

Both breeds are also very adaptable and can live in various environments, as long as they have a comfortable place to sleep and enough exercise. They are not suitable for cold weather, however, as they have thin coats and low body fat. They also need to wear a leash or a harness when outdoors, as they have a strong prey drive and can chase anything that moves. They are not aggressive, but they may not get along well with cats or other small animals.

One of the most amusing aspects of these dogs is their ability to contort themselves into various positions, often referred to as “roaching” or “splooting”. They can curl up into a ball, stretch out like a sausage, or lie on their backs with their legs in the air. They can also fit into the smallest spaces, such as under the bed, behind the sofa, or in a laundry basket. They are always ready to surprise you with their antics and charm you with their expressions.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Park

Before we delve into the nitty-gritty details, here’s a tale to tickle your funny bone:

Imagine this – you’re at the dog park, and there’s a blur of fur zooming past you at breakneck speed. You squint, desperately trying to discern whether it’s a Whippet or a Greyhound. In your quest for clarity, you approach the owner, only to hear them say, “Oh, meet Rocket – our Whippound mix!”

Yes, you read that right – a Whippound. Now, whether it’s a stroke of genius or a case of doggy identity theft, we may never know. But it perfectly captures the delightful confusion that often surrounds these two breeds.

Now, let’s unravel the mystery and get down to business – comparing Greyhounds and Whippets.

a detailed comparison chart of the greyhound and whippet. the covered traits are mentioned as whippet vs. greyhound, and they include - Height Stands at 19 – 22 inches Measures between 27 – 30 inches Weight Weighs between 11.3 to 18.1 kg Exhibits a weight range of 27.2 to 45.4 kg Coat type Possesses a short, fine coat closer to skin Features a short, silky coat Colours Displays colours like Fawn, Blue, Cream, Red, White, and Black Comes in various shades including Fawn, Blue, Gray, Red, White, and Black Temperament Demonstrates high activity levels and may experience separation anxiety Characterised by a social nature, non-aggressiveness, and wariness of strangers Trainability Tends to be fairly easy to train Responds well to gentle training and a reward-based approach Life Expectancy Enjoys a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years Typically lives between 12 to 14 years Health Problems Prone to bacterial and viral illnesses Susceptible to health issues such as bloating, cancer, and heart conditions

Pitting The Hounds Against Each Other: Greyhound vs. Whippet 

As you can see from this story, the Greyhound and the Whippet are very similar, but they also have some differences that make them unique. Here are some of the main ones:

Size: The Greyhound is much larger than the Whippet. The average height of a Greyhound is 27 to 30 inches, and the average weight is 60 to 70 pounds. The average height of a Whippet is 18 to 22 inches, and the average weight is 25 to 40 pounds12.

Speed: The Greyhound is faster than the Whippet. The Greyhound can reach speeds of up to 45 mph, while the Whippet can reach speeds of up to 35 mph12. However, the Whippet is said to be the world’s fastest-accelerating dog, meaning that it can reach its top speed faster than the Greyhound2.

Energy: The Greyhound needs more exercise and mental stimulation than the Whippet. The Greyhound is a high-energy dog that needs at least an hour of vigorous exercise per day, as well as regular mental challenges and enrichment. The Whippet is a moderate-energy dog that needs about 30 minutes of exercise per day, and can be content with a few toys and games12.

Popularity: The Whippet is more popular as a family pet than the Greyhound. According to the American Kennel Club, the Whippet is the 54th most popular breed in America as of 2022, while the Greyhound is the 145th most popular breed12. This may be due to the fact that the Whippet is smaller, cheaper, and easier to care for than the Greyhound.

Price: The Greyhound is more expensive than the Whippet. The average price of a Greyhound puppy is between $1,500 and $2,000, while the average price of a Whippet puppy is between $800 and $1,50012. This may be due to the fact that the Greyhound is rarer, more prestigious, and more in demand than the Whippet.

Lifespan: The Whippet has a longer life expectancy than the Greyhound. The average lifespan of a Whippet is 12 to 15 years, while the average lifespan of a Greyhound is 10 to 13 years12. This may be due to the fact that the Whippet is healthier, more resilient, and less prone to genetic diseases than the Greyhound.

The Greyhound and Whippet: Choosing The Best-Suited Pup For Your Homea brindle whippet standing outdoors wearing a blue thick collar and a golden name tag. the greyhound and whippet can be difficult to tell apart, unless they are both adults - this whippet adult has short fur closer to their body and somewhat floppy ears.

So, who is the perfect potential pet parent for a Greyhound, and who is the perfect potential pet parent for a Whippet? The answer depends on your lifestyle, preferences, and expectations. Here are some general guidelines to help you decide:

You can adopt a greyhound if:

  • You have a large, fenced yard or access to a safe, open space where your dog can run freely and safely.
  • You are an active person who enjoys jogging, biking, hiking, or other outdoor activities with your dog.
  • You are looking for a loyal, noble, and independent dog who will respect your authority and follow your commands.
  • You are willing to spend more money and time on your dog’s care, grooming, training, and health.
  • You are interested in adopting a retired racing Greyhound who needs a loving home.

You can adopt a Whippet if:

  • You live in an apartment, condo, or small house with limited space and no yard.
  • You are a busy person who works long hours or travels frequently, and need a low-maintenance dog who can stay alone for a few hours.
  • You are looking for a calm, affectionate, and playful dog who will cuddle with you on the couch and entertain you with their antics.
  • You are looking for a cheaper and easier dog to own, feed, groom, and train.
  • You are interested in participating in dog sports or shows with your dog, such as agility, lure coursing, or obedience.

Of course, these are not hard and fast rules, and there are exceptions to every case. The most important thing is to do your research, meet the dogs in person, and choose the one that best suits your personality and needs. Remember that every dog is an individual, and that you are making a lifelong commitment to your furry friend.

Should You Adopt a Greyhound or a Whippet Pup?

The Greyhound and Whippet are two amazing breeds that have a lot in common, but also some differences that make them unique. They are both fast, elegant, and loving dogs, who can adapt to various lifestyles and environments. They are also both very entertaining and amusing, with their quirky personalities and funny poses.

If you are looking for a dog that can keep up with your active lifestyle, impress you with their speed and grace, and respect your authority and independence, you might want to consider a Greyhound. If you are looking for a dog that can fit into your small space, cuddle with you on the couch, and charm you with their affection and playfulness, you might want to consider a Whippet.

Whatever you choose, you will not regret it. You will have a loyal, devoted, and wonderful friend for life. And you will never get bored of trying to tell them apart from their cousins.

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