The Longhaired Whippet: Everything You Need to Know

The Longhaired Whippet, also known as the Silken Windsprite, is a beautiful and elegant breed that has been gaining popularity in recent years. In this article, we will explore everything you need to know about this amazing dog, from their history to their temperament to their grooming needs.

History of the Longhaired Whippet

The Longhaired Whippet is a relatively new breed that was developed in the 20th century as a result of breeding between Whippets and other longhaired breeds. Here are some key facts about their history:

Origins of the Whippet

The Whippet is a breed that hails from England and has a rich history dating back to the 18th century. Originating from the Greyhound, Whippets were bred specifically for racing and hunting purposes. Their small size and agility made them ideal for chasing small game and their sleek physique allowed them to reach incredible speeds. Due to their ability to catch rats and rabbits, the breed quickly became popular among working-class individuals. However, with time, Whippets became a favorite of the aristocrats resulting in a shift from a working-class dog to a companion animal. Today, Whippets are loved for their speed, graceful appearance and gentle demeanor.

Breeding with Other Longhaired Breeds

The Longhaired Whippet was created by crossing Whippets with other longhaired dog breeds, such as the Shetland Sheepdog and the Borzoi. This was done to achieve a dog with a longer, silkier coat than the Whippet's short coat, while still maintaining the breed's elegant and athletic build. Over time, breeders refined the Longhaired Whippet's characteristics, resulting in a dog that is not only beautiful but also intelligent and affectionate. Today, the breed is recognized by various canine organizations and continues to attract dog lovers all over the world thanks to their unique appearance and loving nature.

Development of the Longhaired Whippet

The development of the Longhaired Whippet was a fascinating process involving selective breeding between Whippets and other longhaired breeds. Early in the 20th century, breeders sought to create a whippet with a luxurious coat for colder climates. To achieve this, they crossed their Whippets with breeds such as the Afghan Hound and Borzoi, which had long, silky coats. By selectively breeding the offspring for certain traits, they eventually created a Whippet with a long, silky coat that retained the breed's lean, muscular build and speed. This new breed was originally called the Silken Windhound and was recognized by the American Rare Breed Association in 2001. Today, the Longhaired Whippet, as it is now known, continues to attract admirers with its graceful appearance and gentle temperament.

Physical Characteristics of the Longhaired Whippet

The Longhaired Whippet is an elegant and graceful breed that has some distinctive physical features. Here are some of the most notable characteristics:

Size and Weight

The Longhaired Whippet, also known as the Silken Windsprite, is a medium-sized breed with a lean and athletic frame. They stand around 18-22 inches at the shoulder, and typically weigh between 25-55 pounds. The Longhaired Whippet's long and sleek coat flows beautifully with their movements, adding an extra element of grace to their already elegant appearance. Given their slender build, it's not surprising that this breed is incredibly agile and quick on their feet. Although they are not as fast as their short-haired counterparts, Longhaired Whippets are still able to outrun most dogs their size. Overall, the Longhaired Whippet is a truly stunning breed with a unique combination of grace, speed, and agility.

Coat and Color

The Longhaired Whippet's coat is long, silky, and flowing, which sets it apart from the standard Whippet's short and smooth coat. This luxurious coat is slightly wavy and feels soft to the touch. The breed comes in a wide variety of colors, including black, blue, fawn, red, and white. Some Longhaired Whippets may also exhibit unique markings, such as brindle or sable. With a dazzling array of shades and patterns to choose from, the Longhaired Whippet is a stunning addition to any household. As with any longhaired breed, their coat requires regular grooming to keep it clean, healthy, and tangle-free.

Facial Features

The facial features of the Longhaired Whippet are truly remarkable. With a long and narrow muzzle, these dogs boast a prominent nose that sits atop their sleek, yet muscular, frame. Their eyes are typically almond-shaped and dark, adding to the beauty of their overall appearance. One of the most interesting features of this breed is the fringed hair that often hangs over their forehead, giving them a distinctive and regal appearance. In contrast to their longer hair, they have ears that are smooth and can be folded back and flattened against their head. Overall, the Longhaired Whippet's facial features are nothing short of stunning, making them an ideal dog for anyone who values both beauty and grace in their furry companions.

Body Structure

The body structure of the Longhaired Whippet is both agile and athletic. They have a long, slender neck that flows into a deep and broad chest. Their front legs are straight and powerful, while their hind legs are slightly angled, giving them an extra burst of speed when they run. The breed's short back is complemented by a sloping croup that leads to their long, tapering tail. With their flowing coat that comes in a range of colors, this breed is an absolute stunner. Overall, the Longhaired Whippet is a balanced and graceful dog that exudes elegance and poise.

Personality and Temperament of the Longhaired Whippet

The Longhaired Whippet is a gentle and affectionate breed that is known for their loyal and sensitive nature. Here are some key traits of their personality and temperament:

Loyalty and Affection

One of the most striking characteristics of the Longhaired Whippet is their unwavering loyalty and affectionate nature. These dogs thrive on human companionship and will form deep bonds with their families. They are known for their gentle and kind personalities, making them wonderful companions for children and adults alike. With their sensitive nature, they are attuned to their owner's emotions and will often offer comfort and support when needed. The Longhaired Whippet will lavish attention on their loved ones, always seeking to be close and enjoy quality time. They make excellent watchdogs, fiercely protecting their family without being aggressive. Overall, their loyalty and affectionate nature make the Longhaired Whippet an exceptional companion for those seeking a devoted and loving furry friend.


The Longhaired Whippet is a breed that exhibits an exceptional level of sensitivity. They are attuned to their owner's emotions and have a remarkable ability to pick up on subtle cues. These gentle dogs are highly empathic and can become quite distressed if their owners are upset or stressed. This sensitivity makes them great therapy dogs and perfect emotional support animals, as they can provide a calming presence to those in need. However, it is important to note that their sensitivity also means that they can be easily hurt if they feel they have done something wrong. Longhaired Whippets thrive on positive reinforcement and gentle correction, as harsh training methods can leave a lasting impact on their sensitive nature.

Intelligence and Trainability

The Longhaired Whippet is not only gentle and affectionate, but also highly intelligent and trainable. They are a breed that thrives on learning and are capable of utilizing a diverse vocabulary. These dogs are quick learners and respond well to positive reinforcement training methods. They are known for their eagerness to please their owners and their ability to quickly pick up new commands. With patience and consistency, the Longhaired Whippet can master a wide range of obedience commands and even excel in dog sports such as agility. Their sharp mind and trainability make them a great choice for a variety of owners, from experienced dog trainers to first time dog owners looking for a companion that is easy to train.

Energy Levels

When it comes to energy levels, the Longhaired Whippet is definitely an active breed. However, they are not hyperactive or overly excitable like some other breeds. These dogs have a moderate energy level that requires daily exercise and mental stimulation. They enjoy going for walks, jog, or runs with their owners and playing games like fetch or hide-and-seek. If their energy needs are not met, they can become restless or even destructive. However, they are also content to curl up on the couch with their loved ones and relax. Overall, the Longhaired Whippet is a balanced breed that can adapt to both active and quiet lifestyles.

Training and Exercise Needs of the Longhaired Whippet

The Longhaired Whippet is an active and athletic breed that needs regular exercise and mental stimulation. Here are some tips for training and exercising your Longhaired Whippet:

Training Tips

When it comes to training your Longhaired Whippet, it's important to utilize a diverse vocabulary to keep them engaged and interested. Avoid using the same commands repeatedly and switch up your language to keep things fresh. For example, use words like "come," "heel," and "stay" along with less commonly used commands like "spin," "crawl," and "find it." Regular exercise is also important for this active breed, so make sure to provide them with daily opportunities to burn off energy. Take them on long walks or runs, play fetch in the backyard, or sign them up for agility training classes. Mental stimulation is just as important as physical exercise, so consider incorporating puzzle toys, scent work, and training games into their daily routine. By providing varied activities and using diverse language in your training, your Longhaired Whippet will stay engaged, focused, and fulfilled.

Exercise Requirements

The Longhaired Whippet is a breed that thrives on physical activity and exploration. To keep your furry friend in good shape, it's necessary to provide daily exercise that incorporates both physical and mental stimulation. Taking your Longhaired Whippet to a spacious park or countryside trail for long walks or runs is a great start. A fun game of fetch or hide-and-seek can do wonders for improving their speed and agility. Consider signing up for dog sports like agility, flyball, or lure coursing to challenge your dog's endurance and agility. Regularly engaging in exercise routines that offer variety and challenge can prevent boredom and lethargy, which can be unhealthy for your fuzzy companion.

Activities to Try

There are plenty of activities you can try with your Longhaired Whippet to keep them stimulated and engaged both physically and mentally. One great way to make training more fun is to utilize a diverse vocabulary. For example, instead of just saying "sit" or "stay," try using words like "perch" or "hold." You should also mix up your training routine to prevent boredom. For exercises, you can take your Longhaired Whippet on runs or brisk walks, and also incorporate activities like fetch or agility courses. Just be sure not to repeat the same verb too often, as this can make the paragraph monotonous. With these tips, you can keep your Longhaired Whippet active and engaged, and build a strong bond along the way.

Grooming and Care for the Longhaired Whippet

The Longhaired Whippet has a beautiful and silky coat that requires regular grooming and care. Here are some tips for taking care of your Longhaired Whippet's coat and overall health:

Coat Care

In order to maintain the Longhaired Whippet's luscious coat, regular grooming is essential. Begin by brushing your dog's hair at least once a week to remove any tangles and prevent matting. Use a pin brush or slicker brush to gently work through any knots or snarls, being careful not to pull or yank on the hair. Additionally, make sure to bathe your Longhaired Whippet regularly but not too frequently, as too much soap can strip natural oils from their skin. Use a mild dog shampoo and conditioner to keep their coat soft and shiny. Finally, trim any excess hair around their ears, paw pads, and anus to prevent matting and irritation. By following these simple steps, you can keep your Longhaired Whippet's coat looking healthy and beautiful.

Bathing and Brushing

Bathing and brushing are key components of Longhaired Whippet grooming and care. When it comes to bathing, it's important to use a high-quality shampoo that won't dry out their delicate skin. A good rule of thumb is to bathe your Longhaired Whippet no more than once a month to avoid stripping their coat of natural oils. After washing, make sure to towel dry thoroughly and avoid using a blow dryer, as the hot air can damage their hair. Additionally, brushing is essential for keeping their coat free of tangles and matting. Use a slicker brush to gently remove any knots, working from the roots to the tips of their hair. Aim to brush your Longhaired Whippet at least once a week to keep their coat looking beautiful and healthy.

Nail Care

Keeping your Longhaired Whippet's nails trimmed is an important aspect of their overall health and well-being. Regular nail care can prevent painful breaks and splits, as well as potential infections. It's important to use the right tools for the job, such as a high-quality nail clipper or grinder. Take care not to trim the nails too short, as this can be painful and even cause bleeding. If your Longhaired Whippet is nervous about getting their nails trimmed, try acclimating them by introducing the tools gradually and offering plenty of tasty treats and praise. With a little bit of patience and care, your Longhaired Whippet's nails will stay healthy and strong.

Ear and Teeth Care

Proper ear and teeth care cannot be overstated in the longhaired Whippet's overall health and wellbeing. Regular cleaning of the ears is essential to prevent infections and keep them free from debris. It is important to check your Whippet's ears frequently for signs of redness, swelling, or discharge. Cleaning can be done with a soft cotton ball and a gentle ear cleaning solution. Teeth care is equally important, as dental issues can lead to serious health problems. Brushing your Whippet's teeth regularly and providing them with appropriate dental chews and toys can help keep their teeth and gums healthy. Regular visits to the vet for professional teeth cleaning should also be incorporated into their overall care routine. By ensuring proper ear and teeth care for your Longhaired Whippet, you can help maintain their overall health and happiness for years to come.

Health Concerns to Watch Out For

Just like all dog breeds, the Longhaired Whippet is prone to some health concerns that every owner should be aware of. Keeping a close eye on these issues can help you detect problems early and seek treatment if needed. One of the most common health concerns for the Longhaired Whippet is hip dysplasia, a condition where the hip joint does not develop properly, leading to pain and arthritis. Another issue to be aware of is eye problems such as cataracts or progressive retinal atrophy, which can lead to blindness. Additionally, Longhaired Whippets may be prone to certain heart conditions that can cause fainting or other symptoms. Regular veterinary visits, a balanced diet, and plenty of exercise can help keep your Longhaired Whippet healthy and happy for years to come.


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