Obviously it goes without saying The Whippet is a ‘Sight Hound’ and like most hounds can at times be quite independent in nature due to the jobs they were intended and bred to do, A dog bred for catching rabbits like the Whippet needs to be able to work on his own ability and think for himself as well as being quick and nimble - this is why they are used for racing and coursing, Being a Sight Hound they almost have a split personality when they are out on a walk and constantly keeping watch for something to chase, if something catches their eye they simply have to give chase and here is no distracting them, because of this more Whippets are killed in road accidents than any other breed.. . It is essential that if you are going to let your Whippet off the lead that it is trained to recall before doing so.. even then there is no guarantee they will come back straight away if in ‘Chase mode’ and once this mode is engaged they will ignore your commands, fences hedges or any obstacle preventing them from catching ‘their prey’ but they do need that off lead time to play and chase in a safe environment.
Whippets are the most intelligent of the sight hounds and love to play and like to be the clown, they are always thinking up ingenious ways to get your attention and will do anything to get and keep it, from grabbing pens out of your hand when you are trying to write to sitting and whining at you if your attention is elsewhere. They can be very vocal and 'talkative' and tend to howl and whine more than bark. They can be prolific chewers and this is usually a result of not getting the attention they asked for or just boredom and needing a good run. They like to be warm and like to be where you are. No where is off limits to a Whippet - be it the sofa, in your bed, or on your lap. All visitors are strictly there for one purpose only and that is to see the Whippet. They are often referred to as 'Velcro' Dogs' as they simply have to be with you. For these reasons they can suffer terribly with separation anxiety and need to 'taught' how to be alone and settle themselves from a early age.
Whippets are on the whole a easy dog to have around as long as they get the attention they need and at least one good off lead exercise session a day and most owners find that they can be quite lazy dogs - preferring to spend their time curled up in a bed or on the sofa sleeping. They make excellent family dogs as they are always pleased to be involved in whatever is going on and happy to meet and do whatever comes along. Due to their very high prey drive they do tend to not be good with small animals.
The size of a Whippet varies from 17" to 21" for a bitch and 18" to 22" for a male. Also whether a Whippet descends from working or show lines has a impact on their prey drive and the way they look.