What Is A Show Whippet?

I’m sitting on the couch while Bonnie, my sweet “couch potato” is lounging next to me. I’m thinking about the time I told my friend I was thinking about showing Bonnie.

She said, What are you going to show her?” I said, “I’m not showing her anything. I’m thinking of training her as a show whippet.” So, exactly what is a show whippet?

Well, it’s not a whippet that can do a little soft shoe or sings a song, although if you have a whippet that does those things you can probably make some big bucks!

In the following article you’ll find out what a show whippet is and no one is required to sing or dance!

What Does Show Whippet Mean?

In the Merriam Webster dictionary, the definition of show dog is, “a dog that competes in dog shows.” The easy definition of a show whippet, of course, is, ” a whippet that competes in dog shows.”

I can see now that the light bulb went on and perhaps you’re thinking how easy it sounds and that you and your whippet might just make a few bucks to boot! Well, hold the bus and calm down.

Being a show whippet involves a lot more than just you and your whippet prancing around a ring to the sounds of cheers and applause.

The meaning of a show whippet is showing your whippet in dog show competitions, but it also means time, training and a lot of hard work for both you and your whippet.

What Do Show Whippets Do?

What your whippet is going to do when competing in a dog show competition is show the very best of themselves as a whippet. Sure, dog shows always have different breeds competing against each other, but it’s a long road to reach “best in show.” Whippets first need to compete against other whippets to determine which dog will represent the whippet breed.

When your whippet is displaying what they’ve got, judges have a certain criteria of qualities to follow. Those qualities are listed below.

  • Size, proportion, balance and substance – This includes ideal height, weight and ensures their proportions are balanced.
  • Head and skull shape and expression of alertness
  • Eyes – shape, size and colour
  • Ears – position, length and shape For whippets, ears should be folded over, never erect.
  • Nose – proper colouring and uniformly pigmented
  • Muzzle – length and shape
  • Teeth
  • Neck, shoulders, body
  • Tail
  • Forequarters, forelegs, hindquarter
  • Coat – imperfections and scars noted, healthy skin and coat
  • Colour – accepted whippet colours
  • Gait
  • Temperament

Judges know exactly what they’re looking for and what is the standard for each particular breed. Your whippet will be put through the paces and checked all over. Any imperfections that do not show the best of the breed is call for a disqualification.

Show Bred Whippets

Many breeders breed their dogs for certain jobs or occupations and the whippet is no exception. Whippets from a reputable breeder are considered pedigree, which shows that they are a purebred dog.

I will call upon the Merriam Webster dictionary once again for two definitions of pedigree. One is, “a register recording a line of ancestry,” and the other, “the recorded purity of breed of an individual or strain.” So, in essence, your whippet’s breeder is guaranteeing that your pup is a purebred with excellent genes.

Things then get a little trickier after that because all breeds can be bred to display certain desirable traits. Whippets can be bred for either racing or show.

Racing whippets develop from parents that have athletic ability and speed, but appearance usually doesn’t come into play too much here.

Show whippets are bred for the looks and standards that are needed for showing. How fast or athletic these whippets are is not usually a significant factor.

Some breeders combine both traits, racing and showing. This blending can give you the best of both worlds.

Every whippet from each type of breeding is an individual first and foremost, so keep that in mind. They can have different personalities just as people do, such as laid back, timid, anxious, etc.

Whippets Are Excellent Show Dogs

If you decide to show your whippet it can be a rewarding experience for both you and your whippet. Working and training towards this goal can strengthen the relationship you already have with your whippet as well as creating a strong bond.

Because whippets are so well-behaved, well-mannered and patient, they make excellent show dogs.

what is a show whippet?
Image: Michael Mangold

Many times at dog shows there is a lot of free time and standing around waiting. Your whippet won’t mind at all, being quite a composed pup, and will probably revel in all of the fuss and attention they will receive. Your whippet will also be very happy just to be with you.

Since your whippet is the most adorable pup you’ve ever seen, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t show them off. With their elegant and sleek silhouette, they are awesome competitors.

To show your whippet they do need to be registered and they cannot be spayed or neutered. Some other requirements for showing your whippet are listed below.

  • Housebroken – Your whippet needs to be housebroken and able to hold it for quite a while.
  • Socialization – Your whippet needs to be a social dog and do very well around people and other dogs.
  • Training – Training is essential for a well-behaved dog that is obedient and follows commands.
  • Temperament – A calm, even temperament is the best, being around many people, dogs and noise.
  • Eligibility – Each dog show competition may have different requirements to be eligible.
  • Vaccinations – Your whippet needs to be in good health and up to date on all vaccinations.
  • Grooming – Being a show dog means plenty of grooming for a neat appearance.

Whippets are one of the easiest dogs to train to show. They have such a calm and laid back personality and they charm easily. Very quick to train and learn, they are cooperative and are a very pleasing sight to see in the show ring.

Other Useful Show Whippet Information

Here’s a few things to consider if you think you’d like your whippet to be a show whippet.

Show or Pet?

Reputable breeders strive for perfection in their dogs, but no one is perfect and neither is every dog. In some whippets, there isn’t much difference in a whippet that’s a pet and a show whippet. It is ultimately at the pet show when the judge is considering breed standards that flaws can be found. Don’t be upset, be happy your whippet has found a loving home. They are not flawed to you.

Not All Whippets Can Be Show Whippets

When seeking a breeder, even if they breed show whippets, if you’re going to give the show life a try, and are a newbie, they will not be giving you their best of the best. This does not mean you won’t be able to show or have luck with your whippet.


Many breeders will only allow whippets that are bred to show to only go to a home that is going to have them compete in dog shows.

They do not want you buying them just as a pet and companion. You may even have to sign a contract stating that your whippet will be shown.


Even if you get a whippet from a show breeder doesn’t mean you’ll be able to take your pup right on over and enter. A lot of work is involved.

Both you and your whippet need to learn how to help them become a show dog. They need to learn how to have just the right gait for going around the ring, learn commands, be social, groomed, etc. A show dog needs to be made.


Waiting is involved in two ways in the showing process. You may need to wait to even buy your whippet from the breeder. Other people want the same thing you do and there are only so many puppies to go around.

Waiting around at the dog show is a constant thing and can be tedious. You and your pup only have a few minutes to strut your stuff and impress. The rest of the time will be spent waiting.


If you decide to show your whippet because you are seeing dollar signs; think again. Chances are, you will put far more money into this venture then you will ever get out. If you and you whippet are happy doing it, let enjoyment be your reward.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully your question, “what is a show whippet?” was answered in this article and you aren’t discouraged. Whippets do make excellent show dogs, having such a calm demeanour. If you want to move forward with this new adventure, do it for enjoyment and love.

A piece of good news that came out of the recent AKC National Championship in Orlando, Florida was that a whippet named Bourbon won “Best In Show” and took home $50,000! Wow! Now don’t be getting any ideas by naming your whippet Jack Daniels or Johnnie Walker!

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