With the numerous dog breeds in the universe today, it’s pretty common to fall in love with more than two canine species. You may love one for its personality and the other for something else, like appearance or vigor.
Among the most loved dogs are whippets and Italian greyhounds. These two dogs have a lot to share, but they’re distinctive in various ways. Their mixes are also quite interesting; they’re playful, energetic, and still unbelievably loving, cuddly, and sensitive.
If you want to bring a whippet Italian greyhound mix to your home, but you know very little about them, or you’re not sure if it’s a suitable canine for you, then you’re at the correct place.
This article covers all the essential details you should know about this whippet mix, including its origin, personality, and needs.
After you finish reading this post, you’ll already know if a whippet and Italian greyhound cross is the best furry companion for you and the best way to take care of one.
What Is A Whippet Italian Greyhound Mix?
Commonly referred to as whippigs, whippet Italian greyhound mixes are dogs created by interbreeding purebred whippets and Italian greyhounds. With the greyhound’s quirkiness and whippet’s tranquillity, a whippig has unique features and traits that will delight you.
Whippigs are usually energetic and animated, but they also love cuddling with their owners. Whippet and Italian greyhound crosses are extremely fast and can take off whenever they get the chance.
Their energetic bodies require ample exercising and mental stimulation to stay fit and mentally stable.
Whippigs are also very predacious since their parents are both sighthounds. Hence, they may not be the right choice for homes with small pets like rabbits and guinea fowls.
As a relatively new breed, less is known about the whippigs. To learn more about the whippigs, you should have a brief overview of their parents’ history.
Below is brief information about the origin of whippets and Italian greyhounds.
The Whippet And Italian Greyhound History
Both these dogs have lengthy and fascinating histories and have been in existence for thousands of years. Italian greyhounds (IGs) are said to have come from Turkey and Greece.
They later spread to southern Europe, where the Italian aristocrats mostly loved them as lap dogs, and that’s where they also got their famous name.
There are paintings and skeletons from the middle ages with greyhound-looking dogs. Italian greyhounds were tamed for two main tasks; hunting and providing company to people, which is more sensible considering their predacious yet sweet nature.
On the other hand, whippets’ origin can be traced back to England during the 1800s. The primary purpose of developing whippets was to hunt and race.
They were created by crossing terriers and greyhounds and later mixed with Italian greyhounds for a sleeker and stylish look.
Whippets are excellent working and show dogs. They have a sweet personality and are usually lively, which has made them a preferred pet for most people today.
The AKC first registered the IGs in 1886 and the whippets in 1888. Popularity-wise, whippets take the 61st position and the IGs 72nd position out of the 193 dogs ranked by the AKC.
Appearance Of The Whippet Italian Greyhound Mix
The whippig is a perfect example of a miniature whippet. Both whippets and IGs have small bodies, but the whippets are usually slightly more prominent. An average whippet can stand at around 18-22 inches in height and an Italian greyhound at about 13-15 inches.
Whippets usually weigh approximately 18-48 pounds, but the IGs’ weight is about 7-14 pounds. Therefore, your whippig can measure around 15-20 inches with a weight of 7-40 pounds when fully grown.
Other features in whippets and IGs are similar. They both have deer-like limbs, narrow faces, arching backs, swan-shaped necks, big round eyes, little rose-shaped ears, broad chests, with dark eyes, nose, and rims. Their mixes also tend to inherit almost these features.
Their hindquarters are naturally powerful for maximum running speed and to quickly take off. They also have short coats like their parents, but sometimes they can be long, although it’s infrequent. Whippigs can assume the vast coat colours and patterns of their parents.
Temperament Of A Whippet Italian Greyhound Mix
Whippigs parents are naturally friendly, loving, and gentle dogs. They love snuggling with people and also being engaged in numerous activities and games. Whippet Italian greyhound mixes inherit all these traits.
Their playful energy and gentle nature make them perfect canines for households with kids. Although they’re affectionate to their owners and immediate family members, whippigs can be aloof with strangers.
Like their parents, whippigs don’t like to be left alone for many hours, and they’re more likely to have separation anxiety. While sighthounds are generally independent thinkers, whippigs are always willful, outgoing, and obedient.
They are relatively sensitive dogs that need constant love and proper care. When you love and take care of your pup correctly, it will be your best friend in every way.
For security purposes and peace of mind, ensure your home is well-fenced and have your dog on a leash when outdoors. Whippigs have high prey drives like whippets and IGs; they can chase prey whenever they get the opportunity.
Health Of A Whippet Italian Greyhound Mix
Since they share an identical descendant, whippets and Italian greyhounds can suffer similar health problems, which may also affect their mixes. Due to their thin skins, whippigs are also vulnerable to hypothermia and frostbites, especially during harsh seasons like winters.
Whippets and IGs are also susceptible to different health issues. Whippets tend to ail from anesthesia sensitivity, eye issues, cancer, von Willebrand’s disease, and deafness. IGs are most likely to suffer from allergies, cataracts, hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, and hypothyroidism.
The ailments mentioned above can affect a whippet Italian greyhound mix. But regular vet check-ups, timely immunisations, and buying a healthy pup can minimise the chances of the issues occurring.
The Whippet National Breed Club advises dog owners to have their whippets undergo the following test; BAER test, cardiac evaluation, ophthalmologist evaluation, and thyroid examination to ensure your pup is healthy.
If you properly care for your whippig, it can live for about 11-15 years.
Caring For A Whippet Italian Greyhound Mix
If you want your pup to live longer and fully enjoy your time with it, proper care is imperative. Your whippig requires adequate food, training, exercise, grooming, sleep, and timely healthcare to be comfortable, happy, and healthy.
Below is a detailed guide on how to care for your whippet italian greyhound mix:
Grooming Your Whippig
Due to their short, smooth coats, whippigs are generally easy and fats to groom. They’re both low-shedders and will only need brushing and bathing occasionally. You can brush your whippig once a week and wash it once every 60 days (2 months).
You should avoid washing it more frequently as it will dry its skin. It’s easy for your pup’s thin skin to get injured. Therefore, you should watch out for wounds and pests during grooming and take the best possible measures.
They also need routine dental care as their arrow jaws make them susceptible to dental issues. Hence, you should obtain the correct toothbrush and toothpaste for this purpose. It will help keep their teeth healthy and their breaths fresh.
Feeding A Whippig
Your whippig’s diet and food amount may vary with age, health, and the level of activities it does. If your pup helps you in more field and strenuous activities, he’ll require more food than a canine that spends most of its day on the couch.
Either way, you should ensure you give your dog a balanced diet and the correct amount of food. Your whippig can snack the whole day. Therefore, you should ensure to remove food bowls after every meal. Overfeeding your puppy can make it obese, making it vulnerable to diseases.
Exercising Your Whippig
whippings originate from racing and hunting dogs. Therefore, they’re naturally active energetic. However, they can’t indulge in exercises and activities for long hours. They need brief but very engaging and fun exercise sessions.
Your whippig will require about 40-60 minutes of daily exercise. It will love to accompany you to those morning walks, short runs, hikes, and play exciting dog games.
Training Your Whippig
All dogs need proper and early training to be disciplined and obedient little fellas. You should teach your basic obedient cues, potty train, and socialise him early to live comfortably with other pets and people. Whippigs can be quite stubborn and independent. Hence, training won’t be that easy.
You’re advised to make the training sessions short and enjoyable to get the full attention of your pup. Using positive reinforcements and praising your dog will make the training effective and achieve results faster.
Is A Whippet Italian Greyhound Mix Right For You?
A whippig is an excellent choice for you if you want an energetic, playful small-sized dog that’s incredibly gentle and loving. This dog has the speed, sweet nature, and unique personalities of its sighthound parents.
It’s not an excellent dog for someone who can’t give it the exercise and love it needs. A whippet Italian greyhound mix thrives mostly on its owner’s company and affection, and it won’t appreciate being alone for extended periods.
With proper grooming, feeding, training, exercising, and care, whippigs are one of the best dogs for most homes, especially those with children.
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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!