Are Whippets Good Sprinters?

are whippets good sprinters?

Cross country runners can really go the distance. They run and run and run some more. They train for this sport by…..running!

Athletes that compete in track and field run in the 100 meters, 200 meters and more, excelling at short, fast races.

When I was in high school, I was on the track team. I definitely was no medal winner! I was not cut out for cross country, not having enough energy and stamina for the long haul.

Whippets love to run, but are whippets good sprinters? Yes! They are the best sprinters in the world, being able to sprint at up to speeds of 35mph with ease.

If you are a runner wondering if your whippet can be your running buddy, check out the information below to find out if your whippet can jog along with you.

Are Whippets Good Running Companions?

You love to run, in fact, without your daily run your day is just not complete.

You also take your dear whippet for walks, but often there isn’t enough time for both and then you wonder, are whippets good running companions?

Yes, they are great runners and what could be more fun, plus a way of increasing your endurance and your whippets than by inviting along a running partner?

This is a pal that would always be happy and eager, never bail out on running and push you a little farther to up your game.

Not every breed of dog can be your running buddy, but if your pal is a whippet then you’re lucky enough to have the breed that is number two on a list of dogs that make the best running partners.

They are joined by the Saluki and greyhound, who along with the whippet are sprinters. They are followed by breeds that are not as fast, but do have some endurance;

The Labrador retriever, Jack Russel terrier, Dalmatian and border collie. Lastly, dogs that are cross country-rock stars with high endurance for distance running; the Alaskan malamute, Siberian husky, Weimaraner and Rhodesian ridgeback.

Even though your whippet may only weigh between sixteen and forty-two pounds, and seem at times scrawny, they are super speedy. Just like a car they can go from 0 to 40 mph in seconds and are faster than any other breed in the world.

They do make excellent running companions but are more suited to sprinting. They can jog along with you but not if you jog for very long distances.

Just a little tip about sprinters. For humans, it’s better than jogging in many ways. It builds more lean muscle, burns more fat, improves your metabolism and gives you more of the “feel-good” hormone, oxytocin, which brightens your mood.

Do Whippets Enjoy Sprinting?

Asking if a whippet enjoys sprinting is like asking most people if they love chocolate! Yes; whippets do enjoy sprinting.

Whippets are sighthounds and were bred to locate their prey using their excellent vision and then chasing down their prey.

Rabbits, squirrels etc, are pretty quick animals but your whippet is super fast and they can quickly reach a top speed of 35mph.

They are also not sloppy looking runners like some lumbering breeds and even human joggers. With those long legs, they are quite graceful while running.

Whippets love running games and they love to sprint. These games as well as sprinting should be exercised in a fenced-in area unless your whippet has been trained to always return to you when called or by the use of a clicker.

Always remember that because of their instinct to run, chase and hunt, they will always pick up on any moving prey in the distance or even with their peripheral vision. Use caution because once they spot movement, they may bolt and this could put their safety at risk.

Running Is Great For You And Your Whippet

Whippets don’t need to run miles daily for exercise, but for their health and to release pent up energy, a walk around the block just won’t cut it.

If you are a jogger, your whippet can easily go along for an hour jog. Your whippet is not as delicate as they look. Gradually work up to this unless they run or walk daily and can go quite far.

You don’t want to go halfway and then find your whippet to tired to return. If you’ve been a jogger for years, you’ve started somewhere and not by going miles from the beginning. You trained and worked up to where you are today.

Again, whippets are great sprinters and this can benefit your whippet and you by improving health and stamina.

are whippets good sprinters?
Image: bbartlomiej

I am not a jogger but when Bonnie and I take walks, I have certain places where I will break into sprints for a few yards. I will admit that I do not have the stamina for jogging but do enjoy these short bursts.

They get my heart pumping and Bonnie absolutely loves it. She loves it so much that I can tell by her body language that she anticipates exactly when we’re going to sprint because we do it in the same areas every time.

Just be aware for jogging or sprinting to use a good collar or harness and leash, so your dog never wiggles free from their collar or harness, nor pulls the leash out of your hand.

Retractable leashes are an option, but a word to the wise: once they go running and hit the end of the cord, you may find yourself on the ground if they catch you by surprise.

This has happened to me in the past, although with a weightier breed and not my darling Bonnier, who is feather-light in comparison.

Getting Your Whippet Fit For Running

If you plan on jogging and running with your whippet, they need to be fit and healthy. Here are a few tips so both you and your whippet can be fast running buddies.

Rest

Make sure that your whippet always gets plenty of rest. This shouldn’t be a problem as they are known quite well to have “couch potato” syndrome, especially if you are on the couch as well.

Don’t work your whippet too hard. Gradually work up to your end goal and take time off for a day of rest now and then, substituting some walking instead. These rules also apply to you.

High Quality Diet

Your whippet needs good quality dog food with plenty of protein and good carbohydrates for energy. Steer clear of foods with lots of grains, fillers and additives.

Do not feed your whippet right before exercising as they can develop bloat. They do need energy to run but wait at least sixty minutes or longer before exercising and if you feed them after strenuous activity, wait for one to two hours after so there are no digestion issues.

Play And Training

Walking is a good place to start if you want your sweet-faced whippet to be your new running pal. Step by step you can increase the length of walks and the pace.

Quickening your pace will lead up to jogging. They will easily fall into step and enjoy every minute.

If sprinting is more to your liking and this is a favourite of your whippet’s, use a fenced area, such as a ballfield or even a track used for track and field competitions, and go sprint with your whippet.

Another racing idea is to check out a local dog or whippet club and see if they offer lure coursing. This would allow your whippet to chase a lure that is mechanical in a controlled area. This is a sport that would really be right on target for your whippet.

Enjoyment

Always remember to keep any training sessions and running endeavours fun.

Sure, running and sprinting are wonderful for your health and your whippet but never lose sight of the fact that any exercise should be one you like and always be pleasurable and enjoyable for you both.

Other Considerations

When you are out in inclement weather, make sure your whippet wears a sweater, coat or waterproof jacket. Whippets are very susceptible to the cold.

They don’t like to be chilled and even shiver. If the weather is too bad with ice and snow, forgo your runs in favour of some indoor play.

Keep in mind also, that dogs, even whippets. don’t do well in heat and humidity. Don’t run in hot sun and humidity. Stick to cooler times of day; early morning or when the sun starts to set.

Always use good judgement especially for yourself and your whippet. and stay well hydrated in both cold and hot weather.

Final Thoughts

So, are whippets good sprinters? Yes, whippets are excellent sprinters that are capable of running incredibly fast. Gradually work up to running and take a cue from your whippet. If they want to continue, fine, but if they seem pooped, call it a day.

This can open a whole new fun world of exercise and enjoyment for you and your new running pal.

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