Whippets are up there with the fastest dogs in the world, and because of this, they are wanted in everything from racing to hunting.
But, what makes them so fast?
We are going to take a look at the full picture today when it comes to whippet speed.
From their anatomy to genetics and even breed history! So stick around if you want to learn everything there is about whippet speed and what makes this breed so fast.
Let’s get into it…
What Is A Whippets Top Speed?
The whippet has a top speed of 35-40mph which is very impressive for a dog of their size.
To put this in perspective, Labradors, Golden Retrievers, and German Shepherds all average around 25-30mph.
This also means that they are the fastest breed of dog on average when compared to other popular breeds.
The whippet’s lightning-fast speed is second on the globe, only to that of their larger cousin the Greyhound.
However, the whippet’s lighter bodyweight gives it a faster take-off, meaning whippets are the fastest accelerating dogs on the planet.
If you’ve ever witnessed a whippet running at full speed, then you’ll understand that it’s a spectacle and simply breathtaking.
It’s hard to comprehend that your little love ball is capable of running at such speed!
How Are Whippets Able To Run so Fast?
But how are whippets able to run so fast? Well, there are a few reasons.
Whippets have long, deep chests and slim bodies with thin skin and fine coats which allow them to run more efficiently.
The better their running efficiency is, the faster they can travel!
Their deep chest also allows for an increase in lung capacity thus allowing the whippet to inhale more oxygen than most other dogs.
This gives them an advantage over other breeds who may tire out sooner.
Their slim body is able to cut through the air with ease, thus allowing them to run with less resistance.
This also contributes to their more efficient running ability which allows them to run faster for longer periods of time.
Whippets are also incredibly lightweight dogs. They weigh on average between 8-10kg, which is less than most other dog breeds.
Due to this, they are able to run at top speed for longer periods of time.
They also don’t have to exert as much effort when running due to the amount of force required to move their body being significantly lesser than that of larger dogs (greater mass = more force needed).
Another reason whippets are able to run so fast is their large powerful legs, they are bred to sprint after their prey (small animals/birds) and run them down.
As they are hunting dogs, whippets are able to move incredible distances in a short amount of time at high speeds.
Whippets also have a long line of sight which allows them to see obstacles ahead of them on the track allowing for smoother movements around these obstacles.
This allows them to cover more ground faster than many other breeds because, although the stride count (the number of steps they take per second) is similar to other dogs.
The length of their stride allows them to cover more ground, allowing them to gain more speed.
Acceleration vs Distance
As we’ve now established, whippets are the fastest accelerating dogs on the planet, and for good reason.
But how do they fair up when it comes to running long distances? Well, you would be surprised at just how long they can carry on.
For example, the whippets competing at the highest level of racing train by running 24 miles (39km) per day.
Now that might sound like a lot, but if you break up that into twenty or so sprints (100-200 yards each), you’re looking at some serious speed endurance.
Whippets are more than capable of running long distances as they have a body that is perfectly designed for it.
This means they are the perfect dogs for those that like to take long walks with their dog in the countryside.
I walk for hours and hours with Bonnie and although she is a little older now she’s still more than fit enough to keep up and enjoys the time out.
The Worlds Fastest Whippets
As mentioned above, there are some whippets that are capable of reaching 40mph!
Davy the whippet is a dog that catches Frisbee’s with its owner and can comfortably reach 40mph whilst doing so.
Another superstar whippet that I would like to mention is Kuiper the whippet, this dog comes from a long line of athletes and is incredibly fast.
Kuiper was the fastest dog in 2018 being able to run at speeds of 37.6mph but is now the third-fastest dog in the world.
These dogs are ridiculously fast, it’s hard to believe dogs can run so fast when you see them at full speed in person.
What Determines How Fast A Whippet Will Be
Not all whippets are cut out to be exceptionally fast dogs, there are a lot of variables that will affect how fast a whippet can run.
The most important factor of speed is training, if you train with your dog and take them out running then you’ll notice that they get faster.
These dogs were bred to be hunting dogs and chasing down rabbits doesn’t require much effort for a whippet.
Here are some other factors that will play a part in a whippets speed:
As I’m sure you can imagine, a 12-year-old whippet will certainly not be able to run at the same speed as a young spritely 2-year-old.
Age plays a huge factor in how fast your whippet is going to be, but it is only a factor.
They will never be as fast as a young whippet, but they can still run pretty quickly all things considered.
The overall health of your whippet will play a role in their speed too, this is why many racing and working whippets undergo regular health checks to ensure they are in tip-top shape before competing.
A dogs health will affect their speed, they need healthy lungs, muscles, and heart to be able to run at full capacity.
The level of exercise your whippet gets will play a big part in how fast they are able to run.
A whippet that is kept in the house and only taken out for walks will never be as fast as a whippet that has been regularly jogged alongside its owner.
The more exercise your dog gets, the fitter it will become.
Many racing whippets are offered professional training from a young age to ensure they can meet the physical demands of racing.
Whippets only come in one breed and therefore all whippets will be fast, but some will be faster than others; this is down to genetics.
A whippet who was born with a good stride and muscular build will naturally outrun other whippets.
There will also be a whippet with a poorer stride who will naturally struggle to keep up, regardless of how much they are trained or exercised.
A whippet’s fitness has more effect on their speed than any other factor discussed here!
This is because it is down to genetics whether your dog will have the ability to run faster.
Another aspect to keep in mind is the weather conditions your whippet is running in.
You may have one of the fastest whippets in the world but if the turf is wet, muddy, and slippery then they will not be able to run as fast.
Likewise, a whippet may be able to run fast on the dry but if the turf is incredibly soft then it will tire them out a lot more.
Turf conditions can have a large impact on how fast your dog runs and should always be taken into consideration when running your dog at any distance.
A whippet’s diet plays a large role in how quickly a whippet will be able to run.
A healthy diet with the correct amount of nutrients and no nutritional deficiencies is essential when it comes to running your dog faster.
The wrong type or amount of food can cause long-term damage that you could never undo which would lead to much slower speeds in the future.
Not only that, but a diet that isn’t adequate will even slow your whippet down.
If your dog is top shape and on a diet that’s not right for whippets, they may be slowed down and perform poorly even if they’re still at peak fitness.
Whippets are dogs, so keeping them in shape is important if you want to keep running your dog fast.
If you’re not careful, your whippet can become overweight which will lead to slower speeds.
It’s important to keep in mind that there are a number of other factors that can cause your whippet to run slower as well.
For example, an injury or illness could also slow down your dog’s speed.
In addition, if you’re running your dogs too much they’ll start to lose their speed as well. If you think there may be something wrong with your whippet then it’s crucial that you take them to the vet and figure out what’s wrong with them.
Not all whippets are going to be incredibly fast like some mentioned above, however, with the right training, you could be able to make a whippet faster.
If you keep this in mind and focus on the right aspects, then it’s possible for your dog to become faster with time.
There are also some smaller factors that will slow down your whippet’s speed as well, such as overfeeding them or not exercising enough.
In conclusion, whippets are one of the fastest dogs on the planet and are certainly the fastest accelerating dogs.
These lovable balls of fur will blow you away with their speed and determination.
They’ll keep you on your toes while they’re at it too!
Their extremely fast, agile, and overall lovely canines will do anything to please their owners.
Thanks for taking the time to read this post about whippet speed, hopefully, you’ve learned a thing or two about this wonderful breed today.
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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!