How To Measure A Whippet

If you are having any concerns with understanding how to measure a whippet or are finding this task difficult, then this article will explain how to measure the different parts of your Whippet’s body for different purposes.

To measure your whippet’s height, place your measuring tape from the top of your dog’s withers to the floor and measure the length in between.

To measure your whippet’s neck girth, run the measuring tape around your dog’s neck, a few inches down from the head, and measure the circumference of it.

To measure the chest, loop the measuring tape from the spine to just behind your dog’s legs, and measure the distance around.

To measure the length of the back, place the measuring tape from the base of the neck to the start of the tail.

As for the shoe size, make sure your whippet’s paw is splayed and measure both the length and width, from the tallest and widest point of his foot.

There are many reasons why an owner might take their dog’s measurements. Whatever the reason, taking accurate measurements is important, as choosing a collar or any other item just by guessing can often come much smaller or larger than expected.

There is a vast variety of dog breeds, all of which come in different sizes, heights, and different fur lengths. For this reason, every dog will have different body measurements.

When it comes to Whippets, these dogs will especially need specific measurements taken as a result of their own unique slim build, slim neck, and broad chest.

Read along to find out why you might need to measure your Whippet, how to measure your Whippet, as well as all other factors relating to measuring your dog.

Why Would You Ever Measure Your Whippet?

For A Collar

When buying your Whippet a new collar, you will need to take a measure of his neck circumference to ensure it fits properly. A collar that doesn’t have a good fit will either result in it being too loose or too tight.

Of course, a loose collar serves no good purpose, as your Whippet can easily slip his head through it with his narrow neck and escape. This is especially dangerous when walking him in busy areas with a lot of cars and other dogs.

On the other hand, a tight collar can squeeze around your dog’s neck tightly and put pressure on it, or choke him when you tug at his leash while out walking.

It is especially important to buy a collar that isn’t too tight for your Whippet, as this breed has a very thin and easily damaged neck.

In fact, Whippets often need to have special collars designed specifically for sighthound breeds. Typical collars are not always suitable for the way the slim neck of the Whippet is built.


Whippets are dogs with very little body fat, thin skin, and short fur throughout their entire body. These attributes don’t offer them much protection from the cold, and in winter months a Whippet can shake and tremble as the temperatures drop.

For this reason, a coat is always a good thing to provide for your Whippet to keep him warm while outside. However, before buying a coat, you will need to take your Whippet’s proper body measurements to allow for a good fit.

This includes taking the measurements of your Whippet’s neck, chest, and back length. The same measurements go for when you are buying your Whippet a raincoat, harness, or a pet life jacket.


Another reason you will need to get your Whippet’s measurements for is for buying dog shoes.

Shoes can be used for walking on snow and ice to prevent frostbite (snow boots), and on very hot days when the ground has heated up to an extreme degree.

They can also be used for walking on rough terrain, or in the case where your dog has an injury to his foot.

Taking measurements to pick out the right size of shoes for your Whippet will involve measuring both the length and width of his foot.

Steps To Measure Your Whippet

Measuring The General Height Of Your Whippet

How to measure a Whippet in relation to his height? To take the height of your Whippet, get him to stand on a table or against a wall, and ensure he stands straight.

Use a measuring tape to measure from the floor up to his withers, which is located above the shoulder and at the tallest point of your dog’s body (apart from his head).

The withers are usually easily found due to the Whippet’s thin skin and short hair.

Measuring Your Whippets Neck Girth For A Collar

To be able to buy your Whippet a collar that fits ideally, you will need to measure his neck girth, otherwise known as neck circumference. Use a measuring tape to measure around your Whippet’s neck, a few inches down from the head.

The measuring tape should not be held tightly around your Whippet’s neck – you should be able to put at least two fingers underneath it.

This will ensure that when you are buying a collar, it will have at least two inches (5 cm) of space between it and your dog’s neck.

Measuring Your Whippets Neck, Chest And Back Length For A Coat

If buying your Whippet a coat (or a harness, life jacket etc) you will need to take the right measurements of his neck, chest, and back length.

For your dog’s neck length, use the measurements you took for his collar. To measure the chest girth of your Whippet, wrap the measuring tape from just behind your dog’s front legs all the way to the spine.

Again, ensure you are able to place two fingers under the tape, to test if the coat, harness, or life jacket will not be too tight for your dog.

Lastly, measure the back length of your Whippet. To do this, place your measuring tape at the base of the neck (where his collar sits) to the starting point of his tail.

Measuring Your Whippets Shoe Size

To take your Whippet’s shoe size, spread his paw on a piece of paper so that he puts gentle pressure on it. Measure both the length and the width of his paw and mark the points.

For the length, place the measuring tape or stick at the highest point of your dog’s paw. For the width, measure from the widest part of his paw.

Taking Into Account Their Age And Potential Growth

A Whippet usually stops growing when he turns one year old, though it is possible for some Whippets to continue to grow for a few months after.

At 1.5 years of age, it is the best and most accurate time to take permanent measurements.

A collar, coat, harness, or shoes bought at that age will last a lifetime. However, of course, a Whippet will need a collar and a few other items before that time.

When buying a collar for a 2-month puppy, it may last him up until he is around 4 to 6 months old. At that age, it may be too small for him and he will need a new one.

Again, a collar bought at 6 months might be slightly too small by the time he is 1 year old.

This is not often the case, however, due to the fact that a lot of dogs grow very slowly or hardly at all from 6 months of age, and your Whippet’s neck girth will likely not increase much from that time.

For this reason, there may be no need of buying a new collar, especially if it is an adjustable collar.

The same goes for coats. A puppy will most likely outgrow his coat by the time he is 6 months, but it may still fit after that age as your Whippet will not grow very much.

When it comes to dog harnesses, the majority of these are adjustable, so while a puppy may need a new harness by the time he is 6 months old, he will most likely not need another one again after that.

More On Measuring A Whippet

When measuring a Whippet, always ensure that you can put two fingers underneath the measuring tape, or count around two inches (5 cm) of space between the measuring tape and your dog’s body.

This is especially important for taking measurements of your Whippet’s collar, as a tight collar will only damage the fragile neck of this dog.

Due to the Whippet being a medium-sized dog, two inches is the perfect amount of space to leave between the collar.

If buying an adjustable collar, make sure it is within a few inches of your dog’s neck girth range.

Other Considerations

Another thing to consider when buying a dog coat or any other type of wear is to choose one which is shorter than the back length of your Whippet if he is a male.

This is basically to avoid your dog peeing on it unconsciously. Some coats or dog wear may already have a shorter length on the part which goes over your dog’s underbelly, but if not, ensure the outfit is a few inches shorter than your dog.

Final Thoughts

There are a few special considerations you must take before buying either a new collar, coat, harness, or any other type of wear for your Whippet.

Taking the right measurements of your Whippet doesn’t have to take a lot of time, and it will ensure you can buy the right sizes for your dog which are suitable for his slim neck and frame.

In the end, it will avoid the unnecessary nuisance of choosing things for your Whippet based on pure estimating, which often results in the outfit coming in the wrong size.

It will further prevent the chance of a new collar not being suited to your Whippet’s neck and being either easy to escape or too tight.

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