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Whippet vs. Italian Greyhound

A Whippet running in a field

My love for dogs has led me to do lots of research about different dog breeds. I’m by no means an expert, but I think I can give you some great starting advice. If you are looking for a new forever family member, a Whippet or Italian Greyhound might be worth looking into. If you like long slender breeds, learning more about a Whippet & Italian Greyhound is a must. Getting a new canine friend for life is a very important decision that you shouldn’t go into lightly. That’s why I will go over what owning a Whippet vs. Italian Greyhound means to a dog owner.

When looking at Whippet vs. Italian Greyhound, the first difference that many people notice is the size. The Italian Greyhound is a toy breed size, and the Whippet is medium in stature. A Whippet is about 25-40lbs, and the Italian Greyhound is about 8-14 lbs. They are both descendants of the greyhound. They both have similar energy and health, which is about average.

However, the lifespans are a little different. As you probably know, a smaller dog typically has a longer lifespan, which seems to be the case here as well, but not by much. The Italian Greyhound has a lifespan of 14-15 years, and the Whippet is 12-15.

The History of Whippets and Italian Greyhounds

The Whippet is also called the poor man’s greyhound as they are less pricey overall. They were designed to have the looks and qualities of the greyhound but a smaller stature and were believed to be developed in the last few centuries of Victorian England. The greyhound is the world’s fastest dog. However, don’t let the Whippet fool you. It can reach up to 35 mph and is perfect for chasing rabbits, which the breed is intended for. They first came to the US in the early 20th century and now are one of the top 100 breeds in the US.

The Italian Greyhound was originally from the Mediterranean area and was bred about 2000 years ago. Miniature dog breeds were a sign of wealth in the 16th century. Because of this, their popularity grew exponentially during that time. They were registered with the American Kennel Club in 1886. During the World Wars, this breed almost went extinct. However, having them in the US actually ended up saving the breed. While they too were bred for hunting originally, most of the time these days, you will find them as family companions and holding down the couch.

Do Either Breeds Bark A Lot?

Both the Whippet and Italian Greyhound are known for being fairly quiet dogs. They are not the type that will go barking at a leaf passing by. Because of this, they are a smaller dog that isn’t considered a yapper, which helps to increase their popularity. They are both very gentle and considered excellent dogs for those with children. While these dogs are great with children, the family must also teach the children how to behave around a small dog. As both of these dogs have small bone structures that can easily break bones if not handled properly and with care. Typically they are timid around strangers than some other breeds as well. There, at times, can be some separation anxiety that will go along with being left for long periods of time.

For the most part, they are pretty relaxed dogs that are good at just hanging out around the home. However, they do get a burst of energy from time to time. This burst of energy is known as the “zoomies” in the canine world. When that happens, they run full speed through the house, bumping into anything in their way. Because of this, you probably shouldn’t leave any breakables in areas that will break when the zoomies hit. There is no warning on zoomies. They just come out of nowhere!

Warning, They Are Sighthounds!

With their long and lengthy stature, they can scale fences with ease. Be forewarned they can, and will, escape fencing. It is recommended that they be on a lead at all times when out in public as well. They are sighthounds, which means that they are scanning looking for small animals. Remember, they were bred to be hunting dogs, and that is still in them, even though they are simply your best friend. When out and they see something such as a squirrel or rabbit, they will take off. There isn’t a question about it. They were bred to chase. It’s simply in their genes.

However, if you have a cat, they tend to leave them alone, unlike their relatives, the greyhound. If you are a small pet owner of a rabbit or guinea pig, be forewarned, they will want to chase them. The small pets should be kept away from them as they could go after and kill them as well. Again, this is in their DNA, and it is very hard to train out.

Training Whippets and Italian GreyHounds

Speaking of training, these guys are both a little difficult to train. They are stubborn and independent and don’t have the time or energy to want to learn. Some dog breeds love learning new things, but these guys are more into watching movies on the couch than expending energy. While they are bred for hunting and running, they really are pretty lazy overall. Try to make training fun and in short intervals to keep their attention if you want to teach them some basic commands.

Let’s talk about their energy levels. While they were trained to be hunters and their speed, many people think they are high energy. Ha..  That’s not the case at all. In fact, they are lazy dogs. They love to lounge around. Some are medium-energy dogs, meaning they are lazy but need a walk to let out some steam and get out of the house. You can also take them to a dog park so they can make friends, as they are social too. In a fenced yard, where the fence is high enough to allow them to stay safely inside, they will zoom around happily for short bursts of time as well.

Which Breed Should I Choose?

This should be the beginning of your research, not the end. You need to look at your lifestyle and make sure that your dog will fit within it, or that you are willing to make adjustments. Most importantly, always make sure you get your dog from a reputable breeder if you are after a certain breed.

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Kevin F.

Hey guys! I'm Kevin and I'm the Founder of My Dog Reviews. I made this site to share my very own dog's reviews of food, treats, toys, and more. I also have become fascinated with dog breeds and I'm sharing my knowledge with the world. Have a breed, treat, or something you want me to write about? Just let me know!

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