How Fast Can Whippets Run?

Whippets are excellent working and show dogs. Their high willingness to please, calmness, and charming personality make them the best couch potato for your apartment.

But don’t mistake them for slow or lazy dogs; the whippets speed is simply breathtaking, and a pleasure to see in the flesh.

Most people have varying reasons for wanting to know how fast can whippets run. Some just want to know for the knowledge purpose, while others want to find the best running companion or best competition dog.

Today, dog races are diverse and common globally, and the fastest racers in dog family are whippets. Most people usually aren’t aware of the exact average speed whippets can run, why they run like that, and what it takes for their whippets to be the best sprinters.

So how fast can whippets run? This article aims at helping you discover how fast whippets can run and how to help your whippet be a better sprinter.

So How Fast Are Whippets?

Whippets are the swiftest tamed animal for their size. Their average speed is roughly 37 miles (56km) per hour. Therefore, whippets are excellent hunting and racing dogs. Since whippets are also sighthounds, they can use their speed and eyesight for hunting efficiently, making them great working dogs.

Whippet speed is something that these dogs are generally born with thanks to their athletic build and determination.

Whippets are naturally competitive; they always want to come first in everything, whether they are with other dogs or their masters.

Why Are Whippets So Fast?

Originally, whippets were bred to hunt and race. To produce whippets, English greyhounds and terriers were first cross-bred, which were later bred again with Italian greyhounds to give them their sleek and adorable skin.

Greyhounds are faster than any other dog type on the planet; therefore, it’s no surprise whippets have the same trait.

However, this is not the only reason why whippets are swift; several factors come into play. Some of the common reasons why whippets are fast include;

Large Muscles

A whippet’s naturally large muscles enable them to sprint easily and quickly. Their large and strong back and front leg muscles allow them to have more power and grip to easily launch off and run with their full-speed in seconds.

Genetic Mutation

Research shows that gene mutation can influence how fast whippets can run, their masculinity, and their strength in more significant ways.

The myostatin gene can affect a whippets speed and cause muscle changes. If both parents of a whippet have a mutant myostatin gene, it will produce a bully whippet.

Bully whippets are those whippets with myostatin deficiency that makes them look heavily- muscled and strong with broad chests. This complication affects humans too.

Many individuals usually find it hard to differentiate a fast whippet from a bully one. For your whippet to be quick and not a bully, it should have only one myostatin gene; having two of them makes it a bully.

Most bully whippets usually have a rough time since many people don’t prefer them because of their extra size. They’re just as amazing as normal whippets only look much larger and almost HULK-like.

Lightweight Frame

Whippets are naturally slim and lightweight. Such bodies enable them to make lightning-fast sprints and maneuver easily. An average whippet weighs about 10kgs, combine this lightweight frame with large leg muscles and you can see why they are so fast.

Unique Running Style

If you’ve watched most dogs running, you can quickly notice whippets’ running style is different; they run more as cheetahs than dogs. This running style is common to most greyhounds. Whippets utilise their stout and powerful legs to run by lifting all their legs from the ground at once.

This form of running enables them to jump while running, thus the high speed.

Racing Heritage

The main reason why whippets were created was to hunt and race by carefully selecting parents with better racing genes, the English greyhound. The name whippet was deduced from the phrase ‘whip it’, meaning going swiftly.

Can Whippets Run Long Distances Too?

As much as whippets are fast athletes, they can’t run for more extended periods, just short bursts. This factor makes them excellent sprinters and poor marathon runners. If you really love to run with your whippet dog, you have to train it well for that task.

It’ll take some time and commitment, but it will be worthwhile because running with your furry buddy is really exciting and can significantly enhance the bond you have with your dog.

How To Train Your Whippet To Run With You

Whippets have light and muscular bodies; therefore, you can teach them to run with you without getting tired. First, you need to teach it endurance since they can’t run for long. The trick is starting slowly and gradually increase difficulty until your dog adapts.

You can start by walks before gradually moving to runs. During the walks, train your dog to walk beside you without a leash. It’s not going to be easy because whippets get distracted fast, but with time they will learn.

During the first days of walking, put your dog on-leash until he fully masters how to walk without one. Doing this will make it easy to run with him after he adapts.

It’s easier to work with your dog if he has learned obedience. You start obedience training your dog as early as eight weeks. Using treats is the easiest way to make your dog learn obedience cues and oblige.

Is A Whippet Faster Than A Labrador?

Yes, whippets are faster and can leave labradors on in the dust. Labradors have short legs, wider chests, a long neck, and a large head. They can run for approximately 14-18 miles per hour, while whippets can run for 35 miles per hour.

Labradors take advantage of the larger bodies by having a greater endurance when chasing prey and as a safety tool when running. They are considered better long-distance runners than whippets due to their high stamina.

Nonetheless, whippets are faster than Labradors; their lightweight bodies and strong muscles make them a lot faster runners than Labradors. They also have great reflexes; therefore, they can easily avoid injuries and are more agile and nimble.


So how fast can whippets run? Around 35mph at top speed, and they can accelerate to that speed very quickly.

Understanding how fast a whippet can run will enable you to understand your dog better and decide if you want your pet to be a running companion or an athlete. Their unbeaten speed is due to their racing heritage, lightweight and slim bodies, and strong muscles.

If you wish your whippet to be a better runner, you should train it. Not all whippets are bred for working. Some are more comfortable cuddling and indulging in non-strenuous activities.

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