Greyhounds and Whippets both make wonderful pets, there’s no doubt about it. You often find the owners of both breeds absolutely adore them, and despite the common belief they’re super active, they’re both very easy pets to keep.
The purpose of this quick guide is to help you decide if a Greyhound or Whippet is right for you, and we’ll discuss the subtle differences between the two breeds.
Both breeds of dogs are beautiful but which breed is right for you and your lifestyle?
What do Greyhounds and Whippets have in common?
Greyhounds and Whippets come from the same family, which means they have a great deal in common. Both are known for their high energy and sprinting, and with both breeds you’ll find they have incredible bursts of energy for short periods of time (when you take them to the park), but the rest of the day will curl up in bed.
Both breeds are wonderfully loving, calm, and make a great addition to a home whether you’re single, in a couple, or have a family.
One aspect worth noting, which I discuss more in this post on how to adopt a Greyhound (or Whippet) in Australia, is any ex race dog will have a natural instinct to chase a lure. Whereas you won’t find lures in your local dog park, keep in mind a toy belonging to another dog or child, such as a teddy bear (or teddy rabbit) might bring out that instinct in your adopted dog.
The differences in appearance between Greyhounds and Whippets
The most notable difference between a Whippet and Greyhound is the size. You’re probably well aware of this already, but I’m adding it here for the sake of completeness.
A Whippets is basically a mini version of a Greyhound, with smaller and finer ears. The key benefit of owning a Whippet over a Greyhound is they eat less, and decent dog food is expensive these days (if you want them to be healthy).
The Greyhound is generally 76cm and the whippet is around 56cm in height.
Greyhounds vs Whippets: Temperament
Both are known for being sleepers most of the day but super active when they are not snoozing. You’ll find both breeds will make insane dashes around a park, seemingly random and directionless, until they wear themselves out.
People say both Greyhounds and Whippets make great apartment pets, but if you are planning on them living in a small space, make sure you walk them twice daily. Preferable to a decent sized park or dog beach where they have a large area to run around in.
When it comes to temperament, you’ll find they’re very much like for like while at home, but will notice subtle differences when at the park – such as speed and running style.
Which is faster, a Greyhound or Whippet?
I bet you’re thinking a Greyhound is quicker than a Whippet, and you’d be right. As the larger of the two breeds they have a faster top speed, which is why they’re used in dog races more commonly than Whippets.
Whippet’s are the faster accelerators.
Both breeds enjoy running after rabbits and small rodents, and when adopting either breed keep that in mind at all times. Most dogs have a natural instinct to chase prey, but no other breeds will leave your side at such a rapid rate.
As an interesting side note, a reason dogs chase prey so keenly (as well as being a natural instinct to eat and survive), is because their poorer eyesight and blurry vision is geared more to detecting movement than colour. That means a dog will register a moving animal far quicker than for us.
Why do Whippets cost more than Greyhounds?
You will see alot of older greyhounds up for adoption because once the dog racing trainers have no use out of the dog anymore due to old age or injury they are no longer wanted.
Whippets on the other hand are not used for this purpose, being mostly bred solely as pets. Because of this, the average price for a Whippet is higher than a Greyhound, and you will also find they are harder to find at a shelter for adoption.
In Australia, most Whippets tend to be bought from breeders as puppies, whereas Greyhounds are more commonly adopted as ex-race dogs.
Related: Adopting a Greyhound in Australia.
Do you own a Greyhound or Whippet? Spill the beans in the comments section below!
Gina & Maisy