Whippets vs. Greyhounds: What’s the Difference

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Whippets and Greyhounds are both wonderful dog breeds, but also ones that commonly get confused for each other.

It’s easy to understand why as they share many basic characteristics, but once you get into the details their differences become more apparent.

Both are wonderful breeds, and you are sure to get a lot of joy out of owning either.

However, understanding the differences in terms of build, temperament, and history are important factors when making the decision between them.

After all, you want to make sure you are getting the right dog for your family.

Physical Characteristics

Both the greyhound and the whippet are known as sighthounds, which means that they hunt by using their sight and speed as opposed to their nose and endurance.

There are some differences between the two breeds – most notably in size which means they would need different types of dog food.

Greyhounds can be as tall as 30 inches weigh as much as 88 pounds.

They have long legs to help increase their speed while running as well as a long and narrow skull as emphasized by their elongated muzzles.

There are over thirty recognized colors for greyhound coats. Additionally, their coats have short hair that is very easy to maintain.

The whippet is much smaller, weighing as much as 20kg and usually being no taller than 51cm.

However, in America and Canada whippets can be as tall as 57cm.

They come in a wide range of colors and have a short, close, coat that is very similar to the greyhound.

They have a long and narrow skull but are also the fastest dog of their weight as well as exceptionally agile.

Whippets and Greyhounds are both wonderful dog breeds that are often confused for each other. Learn the difference between them!
Whippet Dog Breed

Temperament and Health

Greyhounds are affectionate dogs with their owners, although they can be quite aloof when meeting strangers.

They are not naturally aggressive dogs towards humans or other dogs and actually have a very docile and laid-back nature.

They might be fast, but they are definite couch potatoes that love a good balance of exercise and lounging around with their owners, and are prone to separation anxiety.

Whippets are a very quiet and calm dog, and it is rare to hear them bark.

They are gentle dogs that love to exercise but will also spend most of the day resting quietly.

Like Greyhounds, they were often bred for racing but maintain that same docile attitude despite their incredible speed.

They love to cuddle, but they are touch-sensitive and will jump when touched unexpectedly.

Both breeds are fairly easy to train, although you may find that they can be stubborn at times.

They respond best to positive reinforcement but you may also find that they become bored with too much repetition.

Greyhound dog


The greyhound was first introduced as a hunting breed and was seen as a noble companion.

In modern times, they gained notoriety as a racing dog for their high speeds and excellent sight-driven prey drive.

However, as people started to realize the cruelty behind the greyhound racing industry, more and more tracks closed leading to them being valued as a family pet.

Like the greyhound, the whippet was used as a hunting dog.

They were loved for their high-speed hunts on open ground, and are depicted as far back as Ancient Egypt.

Later, they were used for racing just like greyhounds – their small size and fast speeds a popular aspect.

As racing ended, they started to become beloved family pets and their gentle nature was revealed.

To Conclude

Greyhounds and whippets are both wonderful breeds that are loved across the world.

They have not always had the easiest life, especially those used for racing, but their docile natures and calm disposition mean that they are becoming increasingly popular as a family pet.

While they share some similarities, they are also different in both their build and some aspects of their personality.

They both make fantastic companions, so no matter which one you pick it’s a good choice.

Do you have a Whippet or a Greyhound? Share your thoughts and experiences below!

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