While having a charming, gentle, and affectionate dog is exceptionally thrilling, sometimes a pup’s compactness can significantly maximise the joy you get from owning it. Smaller dogs are easy to transport, cuddle with, dress, feed, groom, and tend to have longer lifespans.
If you’re a whippet lover and strongly consider having a small dog, a miniature whippet can be an excellent choice for you. But what really is a miniature whippet? Is it a good family dog? What are its needs? And how does it usually behave?
These questions are among the many doubts that may cross your mind when thinking of getting a smaller whippet version. This article aims to provide you with extensive details about the miniature whippet.
Kindly read on to discover how miniature whippets are produced, their appearance, temperament, health, and care requirements to know if they the suitable pups for you and the best way to raise them.
What Is A Miniature Whippet?
Miniature whippets are smaller whippets versions. Breeders have several ways to produce this kind of whippets, including adding dwarfism genes, interbreeding, and breeding whippets with runts.
All these methods have their strengths and drawbacks. It’s essential that breeders highly consider the health outcomes of these methods to avoid producing pups that are susceptible to many health issues.
Before we dive deeper into miniature whippets, let’s first look at the appearance and temperament of average whippets.
The Purebred Whippet
Also called the Snap Dog or ‘The Poor Man’s Racehorse,’ the whippet has one of the most exciting histories in the canine family. It was initially produced to race and hunt. A whippet is one of the fastest pooches globally, running for about 57km/hr.
Whippets first came from England during the 1800s, and they’re the descendants of greyhounds. They look like a smaller greyhound version, with slim and short-furred bodies. Today, whippets are still the swiftest dogs globally and compete in various dog games like flyball and rallies.
Most people are falling for the whippet mixes today, and it’s easy to see why. Whippets are generally friendly, friendly, elegant, affectionate, gentle, medium-sized, and playful pups. Their sleek, stylish coats and sweet faces qualify them as among the most adorable dogs today.
A standard healthy whippet can weigh about 25-40 pounds, standing approximately 18-22 inches in height. The typical coat colours for whippets are black, red, blue, cream, white, fawn, brindle colours.
They also come in other colour combinations, which can be blazed, spotted, or patched. Regardless of the wide coat appearance variation, colour is usually considered immaterial when rating/judging whippets.
Production Of Miniature Whippets
There are various effective ways to produce smaller whippets, and they all have their pros and cons. Here are three ways of making miniature whippets.
Interbreeding Whippets With Other Petite Dogs
Breeding a whippet with a miniature canine breed is the best way to produce smaller whippet versions. The best canine breeds to mix with whippets are Chihuahuas, Poodles, Italian Greyhounds, Dachshunds, miniature schnauzers, and more.
Below are four best examples of whippet mixes that can result in smaller whippet versions;
Whipoodles/whipoos are pups produced by crossbreeding whippets and poodles. For more compact whipoos, it’s best to breed whippets with toy poodles, which usually weigh 6-9 pounds with a height of around 10 inches.
Mixtures of whippets and miniature poodles can also produce small-sized pups. Miniature poodles usually weigh about 15-17 pounds standing at about 11-12 inches in height. An average whipoodle can weigh 4-40 pounds.
Chiwhips are a mixture of whippets and chihuahuas and among the smallest whippet mixes existing today. Average chihuahuas weigh approximately 2-6 pounds and not more than seven pounds.
A whippet and chihuahua mix can stand at about 8-18 inches and weigh around 6-40 pounds.
Interbreeding whippets and Dachshunds results in pups called the whiphunds. These pups are generally small, standing at a 12-18 inches height, weighing about 18-35 pounds. For more petite puppies, it’s best to breed whippets with miniature dachshunds instead of the standard ones.
Miniature dachshunds generally weigh about 8-11 pounds and stand approximately 5-7 inches in height.
A Whippig is a mixture of a whippet and an Italian greyhound. These pups behave and look more like their parents since whippets and Italian greyhounds share a similar descendant, the greyhound. Whippets are generally medium-sized, while the Italian greyhounds are toy dogs.
An average whippig can weigh approximately 7-40 pounds, with a height of around 15-18 inches.
Adding The Dwarfism Gene To The Gene Pool
Breeding a whippet with a dog that carries the dwarfism gene can result in small-sized pups. Some of the dogs with this gene are corgis, dachshunds, Spitz, basset hounds, and German shepherds. For the puppy to be petite, the dwarfism gene functions by making the pup’s legs shorter.
While this method is practical, it’s associated with several health issues that may adversely affect the puppy’s wellbeing and lifespan. Some of these health conditions are stunted growth, arthritis, enlarged joints, bent forelegs, and spinal deviation.
Breeding Whippet Runts
A runt describes the smallest pup in a litter. In most cases, runts don’t grow to be more prominent as the rest of its litter members, even when they’re fully grown. Crossing two whippet runts can result in a small-sized whippet.
This method can produce smaller whippets that may hinder you from showing them off or taking them to competitions. Whippets measuring 0.5+ inches below the required breed standard height can get disqualified from shows.
Since most runts tend to be weaker and less healthy, you should ensure to procure your whippet from a reputable breeder or rescue center that prioritises the dog’s health.
You should always avoid buying puppies from puppy mills, especially crossbreed dogs.
Miniature Whippet Temperament
Your pup’s behavior and personality can be significantly affected by its parents’ natural traits. It may behave more like the whippet or the other dog crossbred with the whippet.
It would be best to be very keen when selecting the breed you want to cross with the whippet to get a healthy and highly adaptable pooch.
Usually, the intended purpose for wanting a whippet mix and how you want it to look will determine the dog breed to cross with a whippet. Most miniature whippets are usually charming, playful, loving, affectionate, gentle, and love cuddling.
They may also have a higher prey drive and may be unsuitable for houses with smaller pets like rabbits. You should consider training your whippet to control its prey drive if you have smaller pets.
Miniature Whippet Appearance
Your miniature appearance can vary depending on how it was produced. Usually, miniature whippets developed by breeding whippets and other purebred dogs can have varying coat colours and sizes based on the parent dogs’ appearances.
For example, crossbreeding whippets with chihuahuas may result in pups with different sizes, coat colours, patterns, and densities than when you breed whippets with dachshunds or poodles. Your miniature whippet can assume bold or brindle colours depending on its parents.
Some dogs come in toy, miniature, and standard versions. For more petite pups, it’s best to breed whippets with the toy and miniature dogs.
A standard whippet usually weighs about 25-40 pounds and has a height of approximately 18-22 inches. A miniature whippet’s size and weight should be less than a standard whippet for maximum compactness.
Miniature Whippet Health
Whippets are naturally strong dogs. However, they can be susceptible to various ailments like eye and ear problems, cataracts, hip, and elbow dysplasia.
Your miniature whippet can suffer from these ailments, plus other potential health issues associated with the other parent that was crossbred with the whippet parent.
It’s advisable to procure a carefully selected and bred pup to ensure you’re getting a healthy furry companion.
The AWC (American Whippet Club) advises breeders and dog owners to conduct these health tests on their dogs; cardiac examination, ophthalmologist examination, and BAER testing to warrant their overall health.
Caring For A Miniature Whippet
All dogs require proper care and maintenance to be happy, comfortable and live longer. Your miniature whippet needs adequate exercising, food, training, grooming, and socialisation. The level of these requirements may vary based on your whippet’s age, activity and energy level, and health.
Most miniature whippets will be playful and full of life. You’ll need to involve him in various dog activities and games to burn out the excess energy and stay mentally stable. As small dogs, you should avoid indulging them in highly strenuous activities to avoid hurting their bones.
Whippets are usually low shedders; hence they don’t require lots of grooming and brushing. However, if your furry friend was produced by interbreeding a whippet with a highly shedding canine breed, you may expect frequent shedding, especially in specific periods of the year.
For example, Chihuahuas shed more during fall and spring.
Proper feeding is crucial too. Your pup requires adequate and correct food amount and type. If you have trouble knowing the right food for your dog, your vet can guide you on the best food type and quantity for him.
Obedience training and housebreaking are also pivotal if you want a compliant and fun dog.
Is A Miniature Whippet Suitable For You?
Having a miniature whippet has many advantages. You’ll have a highly charming, loving, and adorable canine you can carry anywhere you go. Smaller dogs are generally easy to feed and take small residing space than larger dog breeds.
Miniature whippets are excellent furry buddies for anyone looking for agile, enthusiastic, loyal, and uniquely beautiful pups with small sizes. However, you should ensure to get one from a reputable and trustworthy breeder to ensure you’re procuring a healthy dog.
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Hello. I’m Luke- the founder of WhippetCentral. I’m somewhat of a whippet nut and have been for most of my life. In that time, I’ve owned and raised numerous whippets. Bonnie is my latest girl; she is currently eight years old and keeps me very busy! Understanding the need for whippet-specific content, I decided to create this blog to share what I have learned and to share my expertise regarding owning and raising whippets – the right way!