Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Whippet--Dogs: series of 48 no. 10 (circa 1934-1939) Gallaher Ltd.

Whippet 9--Mills Cigarettes, Dogs, a series of 25 (circa 1957-1958)

Whippet 49--Wills's Cigarettes, DOGS a series of 50 (circa 1934-1939)

Whippet 50--Hignett's Cigarettes, Dogs a series of 50 (circa 1933-1939)

Whippet 27--Chairman Cigarettes, DOGS: A series of 50 (circa 1922-1927) R.J. Lea Ltd

Time Magazine, April 29, 1928

ITALY: Whippets

Romans have thrilled to all manner of races--chariot races, horse races, automobile races, airplane races. But last week Romans saw their first whippet (dog)races. Six of the fleetest whippets raced were owned by the Contessa Dentice Di Frasso, once Miss Dorothy Taylor of Manhattan. Present were the U.S. Ambassador and Mrs. Henry Prather Fletcher.

CH Manorley Maori -- "Best Dogs of Their Breed" Card #13 of 50

CH Manorley Maori

Information about CH Manorley Maori, DOB: 4/25/1902, can be found in The Whippet Archives.

CH Manorley Maori -- Ogden's Polo Brand Cigarettes Card #13 of 50

Friday, April 24, 2009

Whippets in Love--Shakespeare

"Love is merely a madness, and I tell you deserves as well a dark house and a whip as madmen do, and the reason why they are not so punished and cured is that the lunacy is so ordinary that the whippers are in love too."

The Racing Dog -- New York Tribune July 10, 1904

Go to this address to view the PDF of the page of the newspaper: http://www.loc.gov/chroniclingamerica/lccn/sn83030214/1904-07-10/ed-1/seq-50

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The show dog By Harry Woodworth Huntington 1901

Mr. J. W. Booth's (61 Willow St., Bloomfield, N.J.)


Origin.—On account of it being but little else than a small English Greyhound its origin is traced to that breed, by which standard it is judged.

Uses.—Occasionally for coursing rabbits but chiefly for trials of speed at short distances, chiefly 200 yards. The dogs are run in couples, the waving of a handkerchief or other cloth being the incentive to run.


As these little dogs are used solely for running it is readily understood that in order to make a good showing they should be well built and on true Greyhound lines. When being prepared for a race they are handled the same way as their larger brothers, and subjected to an equally severe strain, so if the dog is not possessed of sterling qualities his success is not likely to be a very brilliant one, however well he is handled or conditioned. Good and well-placed legs are essential, well-sprung ribs a sine qua non, and a stout heart as necessary as in a racehorse. Without these qualities fully developed it is useless to expect much sport from your dogs. As a rule 15 lbs. is taken as a basis of handicaps, an allowance always being made to the smaller dog.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Whippet Sketch 1945

Sketchbook of Dogs 1945 First Edition by Felice Worden

A Dogs' Dinner Party in Paris - Harper's Weekly. Circa 1870

Just posting this for interest. There are one or two whippet looking dogs in this engraving from Harper's Weekly circa 1870.

Stonehenge 1872 & 1878

I looked at two editions of "The dogs of the British Islands" By John Henry Walsh (Stonehenge). In the 1872 version there was no mention of whippets. However in the 1878 version they were clearly listed as such.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Whippet

The whippet speeds with ease and grace.
Few dogs can whippet in a race.
And it would make a wondrous pet,
Although I haven't caught one yet. ...

by Douglas Florian

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Whippet Racing Reference

Speaking of the eager groups of artisans who could be seen discussing political questions forty years ago, Thomas Cooper remarks, with bitterness, in his autobiography: " Now you will see no such groups in Lancashire. But you will hear well-dressed working men talking, as they walk with their hands in their pockets, of ' co-ops.,' and their shares in them, or in building societies. And you will see others, like idiots, leading small greyhound dogs, covered with cloth, in a string ! They are about to race, and they are betting money as they go! And yonder comes another clamorous dozen of men, cursing and swearing, and betting upon a few pigeons they are about to let fly! As for their betting on horses—like their masters !—it is perfect madness. . . Working men had ceased to think, and wanted to hear no thoughtful talk; at least, it was so with the greater number of them." p. 229

Lectures on the Industrial Revolution of the 18th Century in England: Popular Addresses, Notes and Other Fragments
By Arnold Toynbee, Benjamin Jowett
Edition: 2
Published by Rivingtons, 1887

Somer, Anne of Denmark, 1617

Here is an interesting reference. In the 1864 edition, there is reference to Anne of Denmark's dogs as "miniature greyhounds, a size larger than the Italian greyhound." p. 345. In the 1851 edition, they are referred to as "dwarf greyhounds." p. 159. Needless to say, they do have the appearance and size characteristics of whippets.

Somer, Anne of Denmark, 1617

The queen's little dogs wear ornamented collars, round which are embossed, in gold, the letters "A. R.;" they are miniature greyhounds, a size larger than Italian greyhounds. These little creatures, we think, were at that time used for hunting hares. The queen holds a crimson cord in her hand, to which two of these dogs are linked; it is long enough to allow them to run in the leash, by her side, when on horseback. A very small greyhound is begging, by putting its paws against her green cut-velvet farthingale, as if jealous of her attention. The whole composition of this historical portrait recalls, in strong caricature, the elegant lines of Dryden :

"The graceful guddess was arrayed in green;
About her feet were little beagles seen,
Who watched, with upward eyes, the movements of their queen."

The building seen in the picture behind the queen's left shoulder, represents the lower court of Hampton Court Palace, before the trees had grown up by the wall bounding the green, or the gate was altered by Charles II. It has been said the scene was Theobalds, (the queen's favourite hunting-palace, now defunct;) but many of the features still coincide with the court of Hampton Palace, nearest the river. The queen appears to have stood on the pretty triangular plain, fronting the royal stables, which now appertain to the Toy Hotel. This plain, in the eras of the Tudors and Stuarts, (and perhaps of the Plantagenets,) was the tilting place, and indeed the grand play-ground of the adjoining palace. Here used to be set up movable fences, made of net-work, called toils, or tois, used in those games in which barriers were needed, from whence the name of the stately hostel on the green is derived.

The queen was standing on this green, ready to mount, when Van Somers drew this picture. Her negro, or black-a-moor groom, had just led from under the noble arch of the royal stables, (which may be supposed opposite to the queen,) her tame fat hunter, accoutred with the high pommelled crimson velvet side-saddle, and rich red housings fringed with gold. Surely when mounted on such a hunter, and in such a hunting garb, her majesty of Great Britain was a sight to be seen. Her painter, Van Somers, has added this notation at the left corner of the picture, on which he has, with Dutch quaintness, imitated a scrap of white paper, stuck on with two red wafers—" Anna R. Dei Gratia Magna Brit., France, Hibernia. AEtatis 43." (pp. 345-346)

Lives of the Queens of England, from the Norman Conquest: With Anecdotes of Their Courts, Now First Published from Official Records and Other Authentic Documents, Private as Well as Public, volume VI
By Agnes Strickland, Elizabeth Strickland
Published by Taggard & Thompson, 29 Cornhill, Boston, 1864

Lives of the queens of England, from the Norman conquest. By A. [and E.] Strickland, Volume 5 of 8
By Agnes Strickland, Elizabeth Strickland
London, 1851 (publisher and address are otherwise unreadable)


Here is the listing for "snap" which includes under the examples "snap-dog." Dates are listed for usage as 1877 and 1891. However there are many earlier works that I have posted previously with references to "snap-dog."

1. a. With ns. (also forming derivatives), as snap action used attrib., as snap action gun (see quot. 1884); also to designate switches and relays that make and break contact rapidly, independently of the speed of the actuating mechanism; so snap-actioned ppl. a.; snap-apple (see quot. 1823); snap-bag, = SNAPSACK; snap-bean U.S. (see SNAP n. 18); snap-beetle, a click-beetle (cf. CLICK n.1 4); snap-block Naut. (see quot. 1884); snap-brim, used attrib. to designate a type of hat for men with a brim which may be arranged in different ways; also absol.; hence snap-brimmed a.; snap-bug, = snap-beetle; snap-cap (see quot. 1876); snap-dog, local, a lurcher; snap-dyke Sc. (see quots.); snap-fig, = BECCAFICO; snap-flask (see quot. 1875); snap gauge Mech., a form of caliper gauge that can be used to check that a component is neither too large nor too small within stated tolerances; snap-jack, dial. the stitchwort; snap-plough, local (see quots.); snap-rod (see quot.); snap-sound Path., a snapping sound heard in auscultation; snap-thought attrib., used for noting ideas as they occur; snap-tree, -weed (see quots.); snap-willow, local, the brittle or crack willow, Salix fragilis; snapwood (see quot.).
Other examples of this type occur in recent use, esp. dial. or U.S. Similar formations are also employed in Dutch and German.

1877 N.W. Linc. Gloss. 230 *Snap-dog, a half-bred greyhound. 1891 Pall Mall G. 23 Dec. 6/3 Rabbit Coursing Sweep~stakes for so many ‘snap-dogs’.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Miller [Millar] -- 1799

No, not a whippet in any sense. This is the greyhound owned and coursed by the author of the quote in the previous post.

Reverend Henry Bate Dudley's Greyhound 'The Miller', 1799, a painting by Henry Bernard Chalon. [1st-Art-Gallery]

Reference to Three Sizes of "Greyhound" 1816

Most of the books that I have come across, written prior to the 1860s, do not differentiate sighthounds as distinct breeds. Rather they reference of the sighthounds as greyhounds. On top of that they may make some distinctions. regarding types of greyhound. i.e. Scotch Greyhound, Irish Greyhound, Persian Greyhound, etc. In this text, the author refers to several varieties of sighthound with references to coat, "The coarse rough haired greyhound," and size, small, medium and large. With specific mentions of size and coarse haired (wirehaired) dogs all identified as "greyhounds," with the "medium size" greyhound as a preference, it seems that the small greyhounds could very well be whippets or whippet type dogs.

This quote is attributed to Sir H. B. Dudley, owner of a greyhound named Millar (or Miller), 1799:

I may, perhaps, in the opinion of some sportsmen, entertain an erroneous idea, but I cannot subscribe to that of the small greyhound being equal to one of a larger size. The medium is, in fact, the height to be desired, and I consider the superiority to be decided on mathematical principles :—A given length must cover a given space of ground, and the short small greyhound must necessarily make more strokes than a larger one to cover the same space of ground, and consequently must be sooner fatigued. The great overgrown dog I equally exclude. The bulk there counteracts itself, and the extreme length cannot recover itself to repeat the stroke, so that the ground covered by the length is then lost by a failure in the repetition of the stroke. On these principles I have seen small greyhounds, that I received out of Yorkshire, regularly beaten by my own.


from the collection of pamphlets:

Abraham John Valpy, ed. 1817. The Pamphleteer; RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED TO BOTH HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT. London: Printed By A. J. Valpy Tooke's Court, Chancery Lane. vol. IX. no. XVII.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Les Whippets -- Animaux de sport CH3 (en Francais)


POPULARITÉ DES L,a première réunion notoire où des courses COURSES EN piates de whippets aient été disputées eut LIGNE DROITE f. s „ , „. , ,. , 0 lieu a Kensel Rise, le 30 decembre 1893, paraît-il; la deuxième le 29 janvier 1894.

Aujourd'hui ces courses passionnent le populaire et attirent des foules immenses de spectateurs. Sur les Grounds Bury de Wigan, et dans plusieurs autres localités du Nord, mais surtout à Higginshaw ou à Borough, près de Oldham, sur les Moorfield Recreation Grounds de Failsworth et sur les Snipe Inn Grounds, à Audenshaw, on voit très souvent les épreuves importantes réunir jusqu'à trois cents engagements. Les éliminatoires se courent généralement un samedi, jour de demi-repos pour les ouvriers, et les finales le samedi suivant. Pourquoi le whippeting reste-t-il un sport uniquement populaire ? Pourquoi ces courses si sportives, si passionnantes, si faciles à organiser, ne jouissent-elles d'aucune vogue dans les classes plus relevées de la société ? On a tenté de les répandre et de les généraliser. Il y a une quinzaine d'années, on en organisa sur le terrain du Ranelagh Club, à Barn Elms ; la famille royale accorda son patronage à cette tentative, et le prince et la princesse de Galles, Edouard et Alexandra, y vinrent assister ; pourtant le succès ne répondit pas aux espérances des organisateurs. C'est que les courses de whippets en ligne droite, pas plus que le rabbit coursing, n'ont une très bonne réputation. On y joue gros jeu en effet ; les paris mon

Whippets -- Animals of Sport CH2


RACE WITH RABBIT Formerly the whippet was used only for AND RACE IN rabbit coursine, i.e. one nel' employed qu has courre the rabbit. Aujourd harmed the rabbit coursings are much less frequent and the vogue is with the races in straight line, excel sport which impassions the people, in certain regions of England, at this point which one could call the whippet: the greyhound of poor '. However the rabbit coursing did not disappear, far from it.

***The RABBIT the race with rabbit is from time immemorial. We have COURSING quotes a pasturage of the Dictionary of hunting and pesche which explains us how one had fun on our premises, to the xvme century, with releasing “small English greyhounds” in the wild rabbits. The fox terriers were much used and are used still for this sport in England; and from there so much of crossings between greyhounds and burrows of all kinds, by which have endeavoured to increase qualities of each race by those of the other. The whippet is par excellence the dog of the rabbit coursing, and it is only at one rather recent time that one employed it with the races in straight line about which we will speak presently.

i. See an excellent article of Mr. Jacques Lussigny in the famous universal Sport, January 39 iqn.

The race with rabbit is always done in closed ground, and usually in a field of a poor surface; moreover, even in full shift, main Janot would never be likely least to escape its adversaries, infinitely faster than him, if it did not find some burrow where to take refuge.

The payment of this sport is not as complicated as that of the coursing of the greyhounds; it is even of a remarkable simplicity since it holds about in this only principle: gaining each match is that of the two dogs which takes rabbit.

The game is brought out of boxes and the whippets continue it by couples. The rabbit usually receives 55 meters in advance. At the exact moment where one poses it with ground at the fixed point, the slipper coward the two dogs which it retained by the skin of the neck. Very often, the whippets are if vites that the game is taken before to have been able to make only one hook. In the important contests, each handle disputes sometimes in several tests and comprises the continuation of several rabbits, 5 usually; in this case, of the two dogs, gaining it is that which killed three times or more. In the particular matches between two considered runners, the advance granted to game varies like the number of the races; sometimes one makes run to the same dogs to 31 rabbits with five minutes rest between each test: in this case, gaining it is that which gained sixteen times or more the victory.

Because of the difference in size and weight which often the whippets offer, the public tests of rabbit-coursing, in the same way with the remainder as the tests in straight line, are always handicaps. In the Newcastle-one-Tyne, one handicaps the competitors according to their size, measured with the garrot; elsewhere according to their weight; but everywhere, naturally, account also of their quality is taken. The dog which one wants to handicap is released all alone one or more time, of more or less far, on a dead rabbit.

On the whole, the rabbit-coursing is not sporting interest comparable with that of the coursing of the greyhounds, it is necessary some! The game, drawn from its box at the time of the race, is not in a position to defend oneself; as well, the speed of rabbit is too much lower than that of the dogs so that it can fight, and one delivers it in an enclosure where under no circumstances would it find the least refuge. Generally, the test is reduced to a race in straight line on game, invariably followed death of rabbit; and although it does not take place of apitoyer there exaggeratedly on this very harmful animal and that it is necessary well to destroy, it nevertheless is allowed to consider this spectacle unnecessarily sanguinary since one can make run the dogs just as easily, and even better, without charms living. For this reason, in the populeuses regions where flowers today the sport of the whippet - i.e. in the great mining centers of England, like Lancashire, Yorkshire, Durham, Northumberland - the rabbit coursing is generally replaced by races punts, less cruel at the same time and more regular from the point of view of the sport.

Les Whippets -- Animaux de sport CH2 (en Francais)


COURSE AU LAPIN Autrefois le whippet ne servait qu'au ET COURSE EN rabbit coursine, c'est-à-dire qu'on nel'employait qu a courre le lapin. Aujourd nui les rabbit coursings sont beaucoup moins fréquents et la vogue est aux courses en ligne droite, excellent sport qui passionne le peuple, dans certaines contrées d'Angleterre, à ce point qu'on a pu appeler le whippet : le greyhound du pauvre '. Pourtant le rabbit coursing n'a pas disparu, tant s'en faut.
* * *
LE RABBIT La course au lapin est de tout temps. Nous avons COURSING cite un pacage du Dictionnaire de chasse et pesche qui nous explique comment on s'amusait chez nous, au xvme siècle, à lâcher des « petits lévriers anglais » dans les garennes. Les fox-terriers ont beaucoup servi et servent encore à ce sport en Angleterre ; et de là tant de croisements entre lévriers et terriers de toutes sortes, par lesquels ont s'est efforcé d'augmenter les qualités de chaque race par celles de l'autre. Le whippet est par excellence le chien du rabbit coursing, et ce n'est qu'à une époque assez récente qu'on l'a employé aux courses en ligne droite dont nous parlerons tout à l'heure.

i. Voir un excellent article de M. Jacques Lussigny dans le Sport universel illustre, 39 janvier iqn.

La course au lapin se fait toujours en terrain clos, et ordinairement dans un champ d'une superficie médiocre ; d'ailleurs, même en pleine campagne, maître Janot n'aurait jamais la moindre chance d'échapper à ses adversaires, infiniment plus rapides que lui, s'il ne trouvait quelque terrier où se réfugier.

Le règlement de ce sport n'est pas aussi compliqué que celui du coursing des greyhounds ; il est même d'une simplicité remarquable puisqu'il tient à peu près dans ce seul principe : le gagnant de chaque match est celui des deux chiens qui prend le lapin.

Le gibier est amené en boîtes et les whippets le poursuivent par couples. Le lapin reçoit ordinairement 55 mètres d'avance. Au moment exact où on le pose à terre au point fixé, le slipper lâche les deux chiens qu'il retenait par la peau du cou. Très souvent, les whippets sont si vites que le gibier est pris avant d'avoir pu faire un seul crochet. Dans les concours importants, chaque manche se dispute parfois en plusieurs épreuves et comporte la poursuite de plusieurs lapins, 5 à l'ordinaire ; en ce cas, des deux chiens, le gagnant est celui qui a tué trois fois ou plus. Dans les matches particuliers entre deux coureurs réputés, l'avance accordée au gibier varie comme le nombre des courses ; quelquefois on fait courir aux mêmes chiens jusqu'à 31 lapins avec repos de cinq minutes entre chaque épreuve : en ce cas, le gagnant est celui qui a remporté seize fois ou plus la victoire.

A cause de la différence de taille et de poids qu'offrent souvent les whippets, les épreuves publiques de rabbit-coursing, de même au reste que les épreuves en ligne droite, sont toujours des handicaps. A Newcastle-on-Tyne, on handicape les concurrents selon leur taille, mesurée au garrot ; ailleurs selon leur poids ; mais partout, naturellement, on tient compte aussi de leur qualité. Le chien qu'on veut désavantager est lâché tout seul une ou plusieurs fois, de plus ou moins loin, sur un lapin mort.
Au total, le rabbit-coursing n'est pas d'un intérêt sportif comparable à celui du coursing des greyhounds, il s'en faut ! Le gibier, tiré de sa boîte au moment de la course, n'est pas en état de se défendre ; aussi bien, la vitesse du lapin est trop inférieure à celle des chiens pour qu'il puisse lutter, et on le délivre dans un enclos où il ne saurait trouver le moindre refuge. Le plus souvent, l'épreuve se réduit à une course en ligne droite sur le gibier, invariablement suivie de la mort du lapin ; et bien qu'il n'y ait pas lieu de s'apitoyer exagérément sur cet animal très nuisible et qu'il faut bien détruire, il est néanmoins permis de juger ce spectacle inutilement sanguinaire puisqu'on peut faire courir les chiens tout aussi bien, et même mieux, sans appas vivant. Voilà pourquoi, dans les contrées populeuses où florit aujourd'hui le sport du whippet — c'est-à-dire dans les grands centres miniers de l'Angleterre, comme le Lancashire, le Yorkshire, le Durham, le Northumberland — le rabbit coursing se trouve le plus souvent remplacé par des courses plates, moins cruelles à la fois et plus régulières au point de vue du sport.

The Whippets -- Animals of Sport CH1 (English)



One said that the whippet or snap dog was a greyhound in miniature: that is not absolutely exact. There is in the general aspect of the dog, its paces, the expression of its aspect and all its body many points which point out the terrier.

Its origin is obscure, with remainder, and if it is quite certain that the whippet is the product of a crossing of the greyhound with the terrier, it is rather difficult to determine which greyhound and which terrier.

Mr. A. of Sauvenière declares that the race was created about 1870-1880 by an English amateur of fox terriers, Mr. John Hammond. This one would have crossed several of its bitches with a young greyhound of Italy, in order to give to its pupils a larger agility and to still make them more suited to the race of the rabbit (rabbit coursing). The products which it obtained from the kind succeeded with wonder and gained all the prices. Other stockbreeders imitated Mr. Hammond; one only organized races reserved for the whippets, or “snap dogs”, as they were called; and thus the race would have been formed.

But it is certain that it is much older. Mr. Angus Sutherland, of Acrington, reported 'that in 1845, with its knowledge

I.H. Dalziel. British dogs.

Mr. Sutcliffe Whittan, of Bumley, had a famous greyhound, named Saylor, which weighed approximately 29 kg. 500g. This dog covered a terrier bitch of Mr. Pickthall, rather high on legs and weighing approximately 9 kilograms. This crossing produced the famous standard Whippet Spring which weighed 11 kg. 800, was black like his father, and had conformation of a small greyhound. Spring was without rival; he covered a white and black bitch named Peevish; the latter had Barlick Fly, an animal which was almost never beaten, but Nettle (about who we will speak further) ends up eclipsing.

I believe, for my part, that the first appearance of the small whippet is quite earlier than the 19th century. From time immemorial, in France, there existed, beside the large greyhounds of hunting, dogs called little levrons, greyhounds of small size, which were rather companion dogs about which we quote Chapelle. In Great Britain, there was also in the 18th century a race of small greyhounds. Buffon mentioned in the Dictionary of Hunting and Fishing (1769) the following information describing the method used for coursing rabbits.

One often chooses the largest to run rabbit from a rabbit warren or some enclosed space; one holds them there on a leash near one of the especially made Pine Tree Barrier and which are away from the holes where the rabbits hide underground. If one wants to make the small Rabbit run, one hits the Pine Trees, the rabbit then leaves, it will go back to its hole, but it finds itself prevented and then is taken by the small greyhound.
(T.I, p. 86.)

It seems well that this “small greyhound of England” is true a whippet and that at all the times one crossed terriers and greyhounds of all kinds to obtain very tough puppies and very quick.
Moreover one saw recently, under the name of whippets, to often appear in the public tests of the animals which resembled much less the greyhound that with the deerhound, the bull-terrier and even with the collie; and these, which were sometimes among more quick, of what a qués crossings comph' did not result! The size and the weight of the competitors of these races are still more variable besides: some reach dimensions of small a greyhound, others are not much higher than a fox terrier: one takes account of all that in the handicaps which one establishes.

However, the race very clearly tended to be fixed. In 1892, Kennel Club opened its stud-book with whippets, and the classes were reserved to them in all the great English exposures; thus one saw them in Darlington and elsewhere. Today, there exists a special club, recognized by Kennel Club, it is the Whippet Club, whose secretary is Mr. B. Fitter. But the whippet, like the greyhound, is rather a dog of sport than a dog of exhibition (with which it is advisable for the remainder to be pleased); one rarely show the large ones and the small greyhounds of the breeds. There are hardly inscriptions of snap dogs to K.C. Stud Book, and the majority of them do not comprise any pedigree.

Undoubtedly, one will still mix the blood of the terrier with that of the whippet, sometimes as one did that of the mastiff to that of the greyhound, and for the same reason: to increase tenacity and the corrosive one. Nevertheless, the ideal model of the whippet is now well set. And what one meets almost everywhere in England, or in any case what one precedes today in the exposures under this name, it is a small greyhound with close-cropped hair, from 8 to approximately 12 kilogrammes, which is not identical, certainly, but which is extremely similar to the greyhound.


At the beginning, the snap dog or whippet was only intended for rabbit coursing like the greyhound courses hare; however gaining it with the rabbit coursing is, without different consideration,that which cramp the first the prey: from where one of the names of the small greyhound about which we speak here: snap dog, dog hap- fear. But as for its other name, quite malignant which could say with certainty from where it comes to him. Does it go received because it whip up the rabbit on which it was slipped, because it reaches it like a whiplash? Or because there is analogy between the thin strap which one makes claquer and his surprisingly flexible gallop, undulating and fast? The image would be in this case amusing and right. But nothing, absolutely nothing, once again, proves that this explanation of the name of the whippet is the good one.
POIN TS1DU Us are not fixed as absolutely as those of the Russian WHIPPET greyhound or the greyhound, for example; however it is possible to determine rather exactly what must be beautiful a whippet.

Cut, weight, dress. - The whippet is larger than the greyhound bitch of Italy and smaller than the sloughi; but its size varies much according to the individuals. One sees sometimes dogs of 5 kilogrammes measuring themselves in race against dogs of 15; but it is admitted that a whippet from 40 to approximately 50 centimetres, weighing from 8 to 10 kilogrammes, is that of which speed is largest relative with the weight and the size, and they are thus there the most desirable dimensions. As for the dress, it has the same nuances as that of the greyhound: there are reds, the blue ones, brindles, the black ones, the white ones, and of all these combined colors. Finally some dogs have the hard or almost hard hair, and one saw some, thus equipped, to gain good tests and to make watch of many qualities. But those form the exception; the whippet must have and almost always has the smooth and close-cropped hair, not less fine than that of the large English greyhound.

Head. - Pointed nose, but perhaps a little less long, relatively, than that of the greyhound. Jaws dry and solid; teeth all similar to those of the large English greyhound. The ears, planted quite back, must be small; when the animal is excited, they draw up sometimes all lines and without break, which gives to the dog a particular aspect; but the majority of the whippets have exactly the folded ear of the greyhound. The arch of the eye brows is sometimes a little projecting and the eyes can be of all the colors; but they must appear intelligent and full with heat.

Neck. - Similar to that of the greyhound.

Chest and forehand. - Similar to those of the greyhound. The chest not too broad, but deep, so that the heart and the lungs have all space necessary. The very oblique shoulder so that the legs can lengthen the ground parallel to and reach further in the tread.

Back and back-hand. - The whippet being especially a dog speed, can appear a little less dry than the greyhound; it often has the belly a little less raised and the less visible coasts. But its back is at least also arched, and the muscular mass of its kidneys, and especially of its thighs, is perhaps stronger still relative with the body.

Legs. - Similar to those of the greyhound: long to the wrist and with the bulge, short of the bulge and the wrist to the fingers. Legs of behind a little longer than those of front. Round and tight feet; the solid nails and the dense plate as it is appropriate for a dog intended to run sometimes in hard ground.

General appearance. - A small greyhound in miniature, extremely similar to the greyhound, but more “under oneself” in its balances; more animated, more mobile in its gestures, short less phlegmatic of aspect and less noble of attitudes. The paces also differ: with trot, the whippet “does not shave the carpet” as much as the greyhound (some whippets even completely have the piaffant trot of the greyhound bitch itaHenne); with the gallop on the contrary, being before a whole dog speed intended to run on linked tracks, the whippet lengthens even readier ground than the greyhound.

ITS CHARACTER Such is this charming small animal which links with the beauty of the greyhound all promptness of spirit and movements of the burrow. Because it is especially while thinking of him which one finds iniquitous on our premises the too widespread opinion that the greyhounds miss spirit. It is not only one cannot render comprehensible and that one cannot learn with a whippet, and one would draw up it more easily than the fox terrier with all the turns and exercises of the erudite dogs: I am astonished (and charmed) that the amateurs of these plays melancholic persons did not think of using it.

Dog of enthralling sport, the whippet is on the most delicious occasion of the house dogs. It with the proverbial fidelity of the greyhound and, having all the intelligence of the fox terrier, it does not have of it often excessive independence with the walk and too noisy turbulence at the house. Really, no friend of the dogs cannot resist this small so merry companion, if pretty and so affectionate; and, even in the working population, near the hard minors of England whose whippeting is the sport par excellence as the coursing is that of the upper classeses, one generally sees the whippet cherished and cherished like the child of the house.

Les Whippets -- Animaux de sport CH1 (en Francais)


ORIGINE DU On a dit que le whippet ou snap dog était un WHIPPET greyhound en miniature : cela n'est pas absolument exact. Il y a dans l'aspect général du chien, dans ses allures, dans l'expression de sa physionomie et de tout son corps bien des points qui rappellent le terrier.
Son origine est obscure, au reste, et s'il est bien certain que le whippet est le produit d'un croisement du lévrier avec le terrier, il est assez malaisé de déterminer quel lévrier et quel terrier.

M. A. de Sauvenière déclare que la race fut créée vers 1870-1880 par un amateur anglais de fox-terriers, M. John Hammond. Celui-ci aurait croisé plusieurs de ses chiennes avec un levron d'Italie, afin de donner à ses élèves une agilité plus grande et de les rendre plus aptes encore à la course du lapin (rabbit coursing). Les produits qu'il obtint de la sorte réussirent à merveille et gagnèrent tous les prix. D'autres éleveurs imitèrent M. Hammond ; on organisa des courses réservées aux seuls whippets, ou « snap dogs », comme on les appelait ; et c'est ainsi que la race se serait formée.

Mais il est certain qu'elle est beaucoup plus ancienne. M. Angus Sutherland, d'Acrington, rapportait ' qu'en 1845, à sa connaissance,

I. H. Dalziel. British dogs.

M. Sutcliffe Whittan, de Bumley, possédait un lévrier célèbre, nommé Saylor, qui pesait 29 kg. 500 environ. Ce chien saillit une chienne terrier de M. Pickthall, assez haute sur jambes et pesant environ 9 kilogrammes. Ce croisement produisit le fameux étalon Whippet Spring qui pesait u kg. 800, était noir comme son père, et avait la conformation d'un petit lévrier. Spring était sans rival ; il saillit une chienne blanche et noire nommée Peevish ; cette dernière eut Barlick Fly, animal qui ne fut presque jamais battu, mais que Nettle (dont nous parlerons plus loin) finit par éclipser. Je crois, pour ma part, que la première apparition du petit whippet est bien antérieure au x1xe siècle. De tout temps, en France, il a existé, à côté des grands lévriers de chasse, ce qu'on appelait des levrons, c'est-à-dire des lévriers de petite taille, qui étaient plutôt des chiens d'agrément et dont Chapelle parle dans des vers que nous avons cités plus haut. En Grande-Bretagne, il y avait également au xvme siècle une race de petits lévriers : Buffon la mentionne et le Dictionnaire de chasse et de pesche (1769) nous donne sur elle le renseignement suivant qui montre qu'on l'employait chez nous à courre le lapin :

Le petit lévrier d'Angleterre. On choisit les plus hauts pour courir le lapin dans une garenne ou dans quelque lieu clos; on les y tient en laisse proche une des épinières faites exprès et qui sont éloignées des trous où les lapins se retirent étant hors de terre. Si on veut faire courir le petit lévrier, on bat les épinières, le lapin sort, il veut regagner son trou, mais il se trouve barré et souvent pris parle lévrier. (T. I, p. 86.)

Il semble bien que ce « petit lévrier d'Angleterre » soit un véritable whippet et qu'à toutes les époques on ait croisé terriers et lévriers de toutes sortes pour obtenir des petits chiens très tenaces et très rapides.

D'ailleurs on voyait récemment, sous le nom de whippets, paraître souvent dans les épreuves publiques des animaux qui ressemblaient beaucoup moins au greyhound qu'au deerhound, au bull- terrier et même au collie ; et ceux-là, qui étaient quelquefois parmi les plus vites, de quels croisements comph'qués n'étaient-ils pas issus ! La taille et le poids des concurrents de ces courses sont d'ailleurs encore des plus variables : quelques-uns atteignent les dimensions d'un petit greyhound, d'autres ne sont pas beaucoup plus hauts qu'un fox-terrier : on tient compte de tout cela dans les handicaps qu'on établit.

Toutefois, la race tend très nettement à se fixer. En 1892, le Kennel Club a ouvert son stud-book aux whippets, et des classes leur ont été réservées dans toutes les grandes expositions anglaises ; c'est ainsi qu'on les a vus à Darlington et ailleurs. Aujourd'hui, il existe un club spécial, reconnu par le Kennel Club, c'est le Whippet Club, dont le secrétaire est M. B. Fitter. Mais le whippet, comme le greyhound, est plutôt un chien de sport qu'un chien d'exhibition (dont il convient au reste de se féliciter) ; on expose peu les grands et les petits lévriers de course. Il n'y a guère d'inscriptions de snap dogs au K. C. Stud Book, et la plupart d'entre elles ne comportent aucun pedigree.

Sans doute, on mélangera encore le sang du terrier à celui du whippet, comme on a fait parfois celui du dogue à celui du greyhound, et pour la même raison : pour augmenter la ténacité et le mordant. Néanmoins, le modèle idéal du whippet est maintenant bien arrêté. Et ce qu'on rencontre presque partout en Angleterre, ou en tout cas ce qu'on prime aujourd'hui dans les expositions sous ce nom, c'est un petit lévrier à poil ras, de 8 à 12 kilogrammes environ, qui n'est pas identique, certes, mais qui est fort semblable au greyhound.
ORIGINE Au début, le snap dog ou whippet était uniquement
PU NOM Destiné à courre le lapin comme le greyhound court le lièvre ; or le gagnant au rabbit coursing est, sans autre considération, celui qui happe le premier la proie : d'où l'un des noms du petit lévrier dont nous parlons ici : snap dog, chien hap- peur. Mais quant à son autre appellation, bien malin qui saurait dire avec certitude d'où elle lui vient. Va-t-il reçue parce qu'il whip up le lapin sur lequel il a été slippé, parce qu'il l'atteint comme un coup de fouet ? Ou parce qu'il y a de l'analogie entre la lanière qu'on fait claquer et son galop étonnamment souple, onduleux et rapide ? L'image serait en ce cas amusante et juste. Mals rien, absolument rien, encore une fois, ne prouve que cette explication du nom du whippet soit la bonne.
POIN TS1DU Us ne sont pas fixés aussi absolument que ceux du WHIPPET levrier russe ou du greyhound, par exemple; pourtant il est possible de déterminer assez exactement ce que doit être un beau whippet.
Taille, poids, robe. — Le whippet est plus grand que la levrette d'Italie et plus petit que le sloughi; mais sa taille varie beaucoup selon les individus. On voit parfois des chiens de 5 kilogrammes se mesurer en course contre des chiens de 15 ; mais on admet qu'un whippet de 40 à 50 centimètres environ, pesant de 8 à 10 kilogrammes, est celui dont la vitesse est la plus grande relativement au poids et à la taille, et ce sont donc là les dimensions les plus désirables. Quant à la robe, elle a les mêmes nuances que celle du greyhound : il y en a de rouges, de bleues, de bringées, de noires, de blanches, et de toutes ces couleurs combinées. Enfin quelques chiens ont le poil dur ou presque dur, et on en a vu, ainsi habillés, gagner de bonnes épreuves et faire montre de beaucoup de qualités. Mais ceux-ci forment l'exception ; le whippet doit avoir et a presque toujours le poil lisse et ras, non moins fin que celui du grand lévrier anglais.
Tête. — Le nez pointu, mais peut-être un peu moins long, relativement, que celui du greyhound. Mâchoires sèches et solides ; dents toutes semblables à celles du grand lévrier anglais. Les oreilles, plantées bien arrière, doivent être petites; quand l'animal est excité, elles se dressent parfois toutes droites et sans cassure, ce qui donne au chien une physionomie particulière ; mais la plupart des whippets ont exactement l'oreille pliée du greyhound. L'arcade sourcilière est parfois un peu saillante et les yeux peuvent être de toutes les couleurs ; mais ils doivent paraître intelligents et pleins d'ardeur.

Cou. — Semblable à celui du greyhound.
Poitrine et avant-main. — Semblables à celles du greyhound. La poitrine pas trop large, mais profonde, pour que le cœur et les poumons aient tout l'espace nécessaire. L'épaule très oblique afin que les pattes puissent s'allonger parallèlement au sol et atteindre plus loin dans la foulée.
Dos et arrière-main. — Le whippet étant surtout un chien de vitesse, peut paraître un peu moins sec que le greyhound ; il a souvent le ventre un peu moins relevé et les côtes moins visibles. Mais son dos est au moins aussi arqué, et la masse musculaire de ses reins, et surtout de ses cuisses, est peut-être plus forte encore relativement au corps.
Pattes. — Semblables à celles du greyhound : longues jusqu'au poignet et au jarret, courtes du jarret et du poignet aux doigts. Les pattes de derrière un peu plus longues que celles de devant. Les pieds ronds et serrés ; les ongles solides et la sole dense comme il convient à un chien destiné à courir parfois en terrain dur.
Apparence générale. — Un petit lévrier en miniature, fort semblable au greyhound, mais plus « sous soi » dans ses aplombs ; plus animé, plus mobile dans ses gestes, bref moins flegmatique d'aspect et moins noble d'attitudes. Les allures diffèrent aussi : au trot, le whippet ne « rase pas le tapis » autant que le greyhound (certains whippets ont même tout à fait le trot piaffant de la levrette itaHenne) ; au galop au contraire, étant avant tout un chien de vitesse destiné à courir sur des pistes unies, le whippet s'allonge encore plus prêt du sol que le greyhound.

* *
SON CARACTÈRE Tel est ce charmant petit animal qui unit à la beauté du greyhound toute la vivacité d'esprit et de mouvements du terrier. Car c'est surtout en songeant à lui qu'on trouve inique l'opinion trop répandue chez nous que les lévriers manquent d'esprit. Il n'est rien qu'on ne puisse faire comprendre et qu'on ne puisse apprendre à un whippet, et on le dresserait plus aisément que le fox-terrier à tous les tours et exercices des chiens savants : je suis étonné (et ravi) que les amateurs de ces jeux mélancoliques n'aient point songé à l'utiliser.

Chien de sport passionnant, le whippet est à l'occasion le plus délicieux des chiens d'appartement. Il a la fidélité proverbiale du lévrier et, possédant toute l'intelligence du fox-terrier, il n'en a pas l'indépendance souvent excessive à la promenade et la turbulence trop bruyante à la maison. Vraiment, nul ami des chiens ne peut résister à ce petit compagnon si gai, si joli et si affectueux ; et, même dans la population ouvrière, auprès des rudes mineurs d'Angleterre dont le whippeting est le sport par excellence comme le coursing est celui des hautes classes, on voit le plus souvent le whippet choyé et caressé comme l'enfant de la maison.

French Reference to "Small English Greyhound" 1769

First let me say that my French is very rusty. But I remembered enough to understand the gist of it. And when I read the following I was definitely intrigued. Since the traditional "English Greyhound" was so well known, I would hazard a guess that this may well refer to a whippet, or the dog that became the whippet that we know of today.

Buffon la mentionne et le Dictionnaire de chasse et de pesche (1769) nous donne sur elle le renseignement suivant qui montre qu'on l'employait chez nous à courre le lapin :
Le petit lévrier d'Angleterre. On choisit les plus hauts pour courir le lapin dans une garenne ou dans quelque lieu clos; on les y tient en laisse proche une des épinières faites exprès et qui sont éloignées des trous où les lapins se retirent étant hors de terre. Si on veut faire courir le petit lévrier, on bat les épinières, le lapin sort, il veut regagner son trou, mais il se trouve barré et souvent pris parle lévrier. (T. I, p. 86.)

Heather Jean Dansereau asked her neighbor who returned this translation:

Buffon mentioned the following information in the Dictionary of hunting and fishing (1769) on how one hunts rabbits at their location:

One often chooses the largest to run rabbit from a rabbit warren or some enclosed space; one holds them there on a leash near one of the especially made Pine Tree Barrier and which are away from the holes where the rabbits hide underground. If one wants to make the small Rabbit run, one hits the Pine Trees, the rabbit then leaves, it will go back to its hole, but it finds itself prevented and then is taken by the small greyhound.

Animaux de sport: lévries-taureaux-coqs
By Jacques Boulenger, Émile Henriot
Published by P. Lafitte & cie, 1912

In comparison to Fox Terriers--Speed 1895

With regard to the growing popularity of that undesirable modern addition to the ordinary duties of a fox terrier, viz., rabbit coursing, something must be said. Not content with him as a companion, either in town or country, some of his ill-advised admirers have endangered his good name by endeavouring to place him on a par with the " whippet," or snap dog, and utilising him for the chasing of rabbits in an enclosure. Nature never intended the fox terrier for a rabbit courser. Had she done so his form would have been much more slim than it actually is, and his lines built upon those of a greyhound in miniature rather than upon those of a sturdy terrier. p. 127

An ordinary fox terrier has not pace to compete successfully with a rabbit on its own ground, nor until the present time has any attempt been made to breed him for speed alone. Daniel, writing eighty years ago, said speed was not one of the peculiar properties of the terrier, although it possesses the power of keeping up the same pace for a considerable distance. He mentions a match which took place in 1794, when a very small terrier, for a very big wager, ran a mile in two minutes, and six miles in eighteen minutes. This is rather an extraordinary performance, and I do not know that there is a fox terrier to-day that can at all equal it. Anyhow, there are the little " snap-dogs " or " whippets" (and Daniel's dog might have been one of them), which can course rabbits, and run races better than any fox terrier. For such purposes they are kept in many parts of the north of England and elsewhere. Those who wish for rabbit coursing I would recommend to keep two or three of them, for what is worth doing at all is worth doing well, and I am pretty certain that even a moderate " snap dog" or "whippet" would give the best fox terrier ever slipped at a rabbit, twenty yards start out of forty, and beat him into the bargain. p. 130

A History and Description, with Reminiscences, of the Fox Terrier
By Rawdon B. Lee, Arthur Wardle
Edition: 3
Published by H. Cox, "The Field" Office, 1895

Whippet in "The Encyclopaedia of Sport"

Other Varieties.

Whippet—This is a dog originally produced by crossing with a terrier and greyhound, sometimes with the Italian greyhound. It is now a distinct variety, which breeds true to type, and in fact is a " pocket edition " of the ordinary greyhound. He may weigh anything between l0 lbs. and 25 Ibs., not larger than the latter weight, and any colour is allowable. The Whippet is much in request by the lower middle classes for running purposes, either to course rabbits, or to take part in short distance races, the usual course being 200 yards. The competitors are handicapped according to their height or weight. A dog 20 Ibs. weight has been known to cover the full distance of 200 yards in 12 1/2 seconds. The sport is very popular in Lancashire, Yorkshire, and in the north of England, but the attempts to bring it into prominence in the southern counties have not been altogether successful. The competitors run on a cinder path, and are started by a pistol. On the mark they are held by a friend of the trainer : the latter runs in front of the dog up the course dangling a pigeon's wing, a towel, or anything attractive to encourage the dog ; and the judge at the goal decides each race promptly and expeditiously. In coursing matches rabbits are used, twenty-one or thirty-one trials being run, the kill only scoring. In the large handicaps of this kind each dog runs from three to five rabbits with his opponent, and it will be seen that stamina as well as pace is required in a Whippet to be a champion at rabbit coursing. In some districts the Whippet is known as the Snap Dog.

... Fred Gresham

The Encyclopaedia of sport
By Henry Charles Howard Suffolk and Berkshire, Hedley Peek, Frederick George Aflalo
Published by Lawrence and Bullen, 1897

Snap dog 1837

" Monsieur, I have but littel in de vorld, yet I could not see poor half countryvomans starve. De man, dog-master—ven Monsieur Pierre Pike find dat goot snap dog, Brighte— run avay,—for fear oder peoples would come claim dere animals,—so,—she left in de last extremity." p. 116

Uncle Horace, by the author of 'Sketches of Irish character'.
By Anna Maria Hall
Published by , 1837

Whippet, Snapdog definitions

Snap-dog, sb. a dog employed by poachers in driving game.
" They perceived some nets by the side of the plantation; three men were near them, and two others -with a snap dog in the field, driving the game" (near Walton).—Leicester Advertiser, April 18, 1874.

WHIPPET. sb. A breed of dog of the lurcher kind.

A Glossary of Dialect & Archaic Words Used in the County of Gloucester By John Drummond Robertson, Henry Haughton Reynolds Moreton Published by Pub. for the English dialect society by K. Paul Trench, Trübner & co., 1890. (Snap-dog & Whippet)

Leicestershire Words, Phrases, and ProverbsBy Arthur Benoni Evans, Sebastian EvansPublished by Pub. for the English dialect society by Trübner & co., 1881 (Snap-dog)

1841 -- Thomas Penlington's Snap-dog

Below is an excerpt commenting upon a letter dated April 22, 1841 from the poacher Thomas Penlinton to the Rector of Barthomley. In his comments following the letter, Barthomley discusses Penlington's dogs, a Spaniel and a Snap-dog. The "snap-dog" clearly refers to a whippet type dog. It also definitely lends credence to whippets being used by poachers in hunting.

Two beautiful dogs were with him; one, a well-bred spaniel; the other, what he called 'a snap-dog,' a diminutive but well-formed greyhound, with part of its tail taken off, in order to evade the greyhound tax. The contents of his bag were hauled out, and strewed over the floor: a large partridge net, made of silk, 40 yards long, several gate nets, many meuse and rabbit nets, an abundance of snares, and one net, which astonished me not a little, for catching deer! the cord of which was of great strength, and the meshes large, and significantly marked with blood! I enquired, were you in the habit of 'killing deer?' 'Yes !' 'And where?' ' Chiefly, though not altogether, in Doddington Park. Here I used to come at dusk, carrying my air-gun in my hand like a walking stick, and accompanied by one or two of my gang, and my snap-dog; if a deer was near the road, I fired at him there, and if I chanced to kill him, I leapt into the park, cut the animal into pieces, placed them in a bag, and carried them away. If the herd was grazing at a distance, I waited till it was dark, and then planted my net in one of their runs, and set my snap-dog at them, and drove them into it." "Did you often do this?" " O no, Sir; I was too wise for that: one buck in a year from a park was enough for me; if I had taken more, there would have been the devil's own row, and danger!" This daring feat was, in his apinion, only poaching, and deer were placed by him in the game category with game. In several conversations after this, he told me that expert poachers will not go out on bright moonlight-nights, but in the darkest, and especially when it rains; that many respectable men, so-called, are their constant customers throughout the year; that in the Potteries, among that class, he had a regular market for any quantity of game; that more game was taken, habitually, by farmers and farmer's servants, than by any regular gang of poachers; that with servants he had habitual dealings, and, not unfrequently, with their masters; that the best way to preserve game was by bushing fields, and barring gates, and stopping meuses round the covers, and watching the farmers and their men.

Barthomley in Letters from a Former Rector to His Eldest Son. Edward Hinchliffe, M. &. N. Hanhart. Illustrated by Edward Hinchliffe, G L Halliday, Howard Vyse. Contributor M. &. N. Hanhart. Published by Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1856. pp. 162-163.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Whippet Standard -- 1881

Group of Mr. Walton's Performing Dogs -- 1878

(click picture to enlarge)
"Poodles and Whippet -- Group of Mr. Walton's Performing Dogs", is a full page illustration (wood engraving, 9"x7") from J. H. Walsh's The Dogs of the British Islands (London: 'The Field', 1878).

Whippet mention by Walsh, 1882 (1878)

The dogs of the British Islands, being a series of articles on the points of their various breeds, and the treatment of the diseases to which they are subject (1882)

Author: Walsh, J. H. (John Henry), 1810-1888 Publisher: London : "The Field" Office
[appears it may have previously been published is 1878 from other references]

The Italian greyhound, as now bred to a weight of 5lb. or 6lb., is wholly useless in any kind of chase ; but he was formerly sometimes slipped at rabbits, and I have seen a brace, belonging to a lady who was a well-known follower of the chase in Worcestershire thirty years ago, course and kill rabbits in very good style. But, though imported from Italy, they were about 10lb. or 12lb. in weight, and in these days would be classed as " whippets." This last named breed is extensively used at Manchester and in the Midland districts for rabbit coursing, and is a cross between the Italian and the English greyhound, or between the latter and the smooth English terrier. All these greyhound breeds are usually considered to be void of intelligence and fidelity ; but this is a mistake, and certainly the trick performed by


Mr. Walton's whippet, as shown in the engraving of the poodle published with the article on that dog in the Appendix, marks a high order of mental power, and a like degree of obedience, founded on love for his trainer, since no severity would lead to its execution. These whippets are so quick and clever as to cope with the short turns of the rabbit ; but they are not fast enough for the hare, and the sport for which they are bred is confined to the artisan and mining classes of the districts in which it is the fashion.

The White English Terrier -- in British Dogs, Dalziel 1881

p. 375

THE white English terrier, like many other breeds, has undergone considerable modification since public dog shows came into being. How the modern dog of that name was manufactured I do not pretend to say with certainty. Mr. James Eoocroft, Mr. Peter Swindells, and a few other Lancashire fanciers could throw light on the subject, but I shall not be very far out if I say a small dash of a light coloured and rather weedy fox terrier, a strong dash of bull terrier, and a double dash of whippet are about the proportions, and the correct ingredients used.

The Whippet Club -- England

The Whippet Club became a registered club with the Kennel Club on October 5th, 1899.

Beginning of dogshows and the Kennel Club

The Kennel Club A History and Record of Its Work By Edward William Jaquet, 1905

p. 1

INTRODUCTORY.--The need apparent for some paramount authority to control canine affairs.--First Dog Show held at Newcastle, 1859.--Dog Shows preceded Field Trials.--Early Field Trials Procedure.--The Kennel Club the outcome of the Early Crystal Palace Shows.--The Late Mr. Shirley and others arrange for a Dog Show at the Crystal Palace, 1870.--Early Crystal Palace Shows.--Committee Meetings held at the British Hotel.--Kennel Club Founded 1873.--The Club's First Show, June, 1873.--The Stud Book Compiled.--First General Meeting of Members of the Club, 1874.--The aims and objects of the Club defined.


The need for an authority to legislate in canine matters had become apparent owing to the increasing importance and popularity of Dog Shows and Field Trials. The first volume of the Kennel Club Stud Book, a work to which I shall have to refer at greater length presently, contains information concerning important Shows held between the years 1859 and 1873. The first Dog Show ever held took place in the Town Hall, Newcastle-on-Tyne, on the 28th and 29th June, 1859, and was organised by Messrs. Shorthose and Pape, at the suggestion of Mr. R. Brailsford. The exhibits were confined to Pointers and Setters, of which there were sixty entries, and three judges were appointed for each breed. As these gentlemen were the forerunners of a long line of successors, their names may be recorded. The classes for Pointers were judged by Messrs. J. Jobling. T. Robson and J. H. Walsh, and those for Setters by Messrs. F. Foulger, R. Brailsford and J. H. Walsh.

Dog Shows preceded Field Trials by six years. The first trial of dogs in the Field ever held took place on Tuesday, the 18th April, 1865, at Southill, Bedfordshire, over the estate of Mr. Samuel Whitbread, M.P. The judges were the Rev. T. Pearce, of Morden Vicarage, near Blandford, and Mr. Walker, of Halifax, Mr. Bailey— steward to Mr. Samuel Whitbread—-being the Steward of the Beat.

p. 4

On the 2nd February, 1869, the National Dog Club was started, a society whos.- first and only show was held in June of the same year ; the Show was not by any means a financial success, and the National Dog Club practically collapsed soon after that event. In these circumstances owing to the risk involved it was no easy matter to form a Committee who would undertake to run another exhibition in or near London. However, after some negotiations arrangements were made to hold a show at the Crystal Palace in June, 1870, the details of the Show were jointly arranged by Mr. Shirley and the la1r- Mr. J. H. Murchison. Besides these gentlemen the Committee consisted of the late Earl of Caledon, the Viscount Holmesdale. Mr. T. C. Mewick, M.P. (afterwards Sir Thomas Mewick), Rev. F. \V. Adye, Mr. J. H. Dawes, Mr. George Earl, Mr. Richard Garth, Q.C., Mr. S. Lang, Mr. J. Cumming Macdona (now M.P. for the Rother- hithe division of Southwark), Mr. R. J. L. Price, Mr. G. R. Rogerson and Mr. Whitehouse, with Mr. G. Nutt as Secretary and Manager The show was, as an exhibition, a good one, but financially was a failure, and the Committee had to bear a heavy loss. The following year several of the Members of the Committee of the previous Show declined to act again. However, a second exhibition was held, and on this occasion the loss sustained was much less than that of the previous year.

p. 5

The Kennel Club's first show took place at the Crystal Palace. Sydenham, on the 17th. 1Sth, 19th. and 2oth June, 1873. The number of entries was 975. The following gentlemen formed the Committee:—Mr. Shirley (Chairman), The Marquess of Huntly, Mr. G. Brewis, Mr.- J. W. Dawes, Mr. F. R. Hemming, Mr. S. Lang. Mr. Macdona, Mr. Murchison, and Mr. Whitehouse. The Manager was Mr. J. Douglas, and the Secretary of the show Mr. W. Roue.


Dalziel on studying the history of dogs--1881

This is from page 4 of British Dogs, 1881:

No book on dogs would be complete without some notice of the history and development of the various breeds, as far as it can be traced by direct testimony or fair inference, but we have not attempted that well-trodden ground which has hitherto proved so barren, and discussed the vexed question of the origin of the dog, which remains to the present time hopelessly obscure, and surrounded with the entanglements of contradictory opinions waiting to be unravelled by a Darwin or a Wallace.

In reference, however, to the origin of the very great number of varieties which exist, and are ever increasing, we may in many instances hazard a speculation which may be accepted or rejected at the reader's option.

We cannot accept the theory propounded by a recent writer that each country or district had a peculiar type of wild dog created for it from which the various breeds of domesticated dogs have sprung. Varieties can, we think, be accounted for more reasonably and more in accord with the result of modern research.

British Dogs--Dalziel 1881



Author of "The Diseases of Dogs" " The Diseases of Horses,” &c.



p. ii



p. v.

Dogs Used in Field Sports.
Including--The Greyhound, the Scotch Deerhound, the Irish Wolfhound, the Scotch Rough-haired Greyhound, the Lurcher, the Whippet, the Siberian Wolfhound, the Persian Greyhound 13-49

p. 9

The classification we shall adopt is as follows:

Group I. --Those that pursue and kill their game, depending entirely or mainly on sight and speed, and little or not at all on their scenting powers, with varieties bred directly from them : Greyhounds, deerhounds, whippets, lurchers, &c.

p. 13

The whole of this group is included in Cuvier's first division, "characterised by head more or less elongated, parietal bones insensibly approaching each other, and the condyles of the lower jaw placed in a horizontal line with the upper molar teeth." The general form is light and elegant, chest deep, with flank more or less tucked up, long and strong back, and great length from hip bone to hock joint; the whole appearance giving the impression of great swiftness, which is a distinguishing property of the whole group, although not possessed in an equal degree by each variety. All more or less show the characteristics of the Canes celeres of the ancients, and although not in every case running their game strictly by sight, that is also a leading characteristic of all.

p. 45



THE whippet, or snap dog, as he is also called, is a great favourite with workmen in Durham and other northern counties, and the Darlington Show never fails to bring together a large collection of them.

It is not, however, for the show bench, but the race ground that he is bred, where they are matched against each other for speed and for their superiority in rabbit coursing. I cannot describe them better than by saying they are a greyhound on a small scale with a dash of terrier.

An account of the dog racing for which these whippets or snap dogs are used, and which is so popular with the working classes in many parts of the north, will be interesting.

The dogs are handicapped according to their known performances, &c.,and the distance run is two hundred yards. They are entered as "Thomson's Eose, 19 1/2lb.," as the case may be, and the weight appears on the handicap card. Dogs are weighed in an hour before the time set for the first heat, and are allowed four ounces over the declared weight. The winner of the heat is weighed again immediately the heat is run. For the second heat eight ounces are allowed. For the final race additional extra weight is allowed, that being run on the following Saturday. The dog generally gets a light meal half a pigeon, or a chop, or piece of steak after running his second trial heat on the second Saturday ; so he weighs a bit heavier the second time of scaling. The modus operandi will be best illustrated by the following description of a race meeting recently held at Farnworth Recreation Grounds, near Bolton. There were sixty odd heats of three dogs. The course is a perfectly level path of twelve yards in width. The dogs are stripped and put on their marks, each being held by his owner, or a man for him, and the starter goes behind them with the pistol. Meanwhile a man the dog knows starts off in front of him, carrying a big piece of linen rag, or some conspicuous object, sometimes a big tuft of grass or a pigeon's wing ; and every now and then, as he runs up the course, he will turn round and "Hi" to the dog, at the same time waving the cloth up and down. When these runners up have got pretty


near the finish, the pistol is fired and the dogs are released. The runners up must then get over the ten-yard mark, beyond the finish line, and the dogs, running right on, snatch the cloth with their teeth and hang to it like grim death. Each dog has a piece of ribbon round his neck, according to his station red, white, or blue ; and the judge or referee, as he is called, holds up a flag of the winning colour to show which has won. The cloth is called "bait," and "live bait" is forbidden.

The following is a copy of rules in force at a number of racing grounds in the Manchester district, which will make the working of this popular pastime clear :

1. All dogs that have never run at these grounds must be entered in their real owner's name and residence, also the town or place in which

they are kept, or they will lose all claim in any handicap, and will be subject to inspection at the scales ; and no person will be allowed to run with live bait.
2. Any person objecting to a dog on the mark, that heat shall be postponed. The objector and owner shall stake in the hands of the handicapper or referee (pound) 1 each at the time of objection, which must be made into (pound) 5 each before the last heat is run. If it cannot be proved on the day of objection, the dog will run under protest. The person who owns the dog shall leave it with the proprietor or handicapper until the objection is proved right or wrong—if it is proved wrong the money to be paid to the objector ; but if not proved the money to be paid to the owner of the said dog.
3. In any case of running-up for a wrong dog, both the owner, the

p. 47

"runner," and the dog will be disqualified. They will be expelled from the grounds for twelve months, and will not be allowed to enter any handicap during that time. Their names will also be published in the sporting papers.
4. Any owner of dogs attempting to weigh, or sending any other person to weigh a wrong dog, both owner and dog shall be excluded from the grounds for twelve months.
5. If a dog be disqualified after running, the second dog in the heat shall be placed first, and if it is not possible to tell the second dog, all the dogs in the heat shall run again, except the one disqualified. All bets void on the heat.
6. Should the dogs go when the cap is fired, and not the shot, they shall run again in all cases ; and any dog slipped before the cap or shot is fired, shall forfeit all claim to the handicap, except all the dogs go, then it shall be a race.
7. Only one runner-up allowed with each dog. Any one not at the mark when the previous heat is over will be disqualified in any part of the race. The runners to be ten or fifteen yards over the mark, according to the rules of the ground, when the dogs finish, or the dogs they represent will be disqualified. In all heats dogs must start at their respective marks.
8. All bets stand whether the dogs run or not, excepting bets on heats, when backers must have a race for their money.
9. That entries for dog handicaps shall close on Saturdays (Monday morning's post in time) ; and no entries will be taken after Monday morning on any account. This rule applies only to handicaps run on two succeeding Saturdays ; when run on other days it will be subject to alteration as announced in bills.
10. If the proprietors and handicappers at any of these grounds make a mistake in a dog's start, and, not detecting it, allow any dog to run the first day, it shall not be disqualified through the handicapper having made a mistake in the start, and all bets must stand.
11. Any dog entered " old " and not over five years old will be disqualified in any part of the race, and lose all claim to bets or stakes. No age will be taken after eight months old.
12. FINAL HEAT.—All dogs in the final heat shall be subject to weighing and inspection. In weighing, they will be allowed 6oz. in
p. 48

addition to the usual allowance ; and anyone taking his dog off the course before the referee declares "All right," shall forfeit all claim to stakes and bets.

All disputes to be settled by the referee.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Another Manchester Reference

C.S.R. Blue Book of Dogdom, F. J. Skinner, compiler, 1911

Third Annual Volume of the Breeders' and Exhibitors' of Dogs Guide Book and Directory 1911

(Published by the Bulletin Company :: New York City)

There are two sizes of the Black and Tan—the Toy and the large Black and Tan. The latter weighs from ten to twenty pounds, and the other as small as It Is possible to breed them. He Is pre-eminently the rat dog of the Terriers, and his origin Is supposed to be a combination of the Whippet, Bull Terrier and White English Terrier. In England he was used in the Manchester district quite freely for rat-killing, as that was a favorite pastime for years among the residents of that section.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Manorley May

whelped 1899 --owned by Fred Bottomley 17" tall and 19 pounds chosen as the ideal whippet in Compton's 20th Century Dogs 1904. resource credit: "Gazehounds: The Search For Truth" Constance Miller author. Said by Bottomly, "Her body and legs are perfect, and she is framed for speed and work . . . has proved herself a very fast bitch in handicap races, as well as a great winner on the show bench."


The Complete Dog Book, 1921

The Complete Dog Book By William A. Bruette, 1921


This graceful breed is nothing more or less than a miniature Greyhound, and was originally known as a snap dog by the colliers and working men in the north of England, who originated the breed, and used them for rabbit coursing. In later years these dogs have been taught straight running. That is, they are held in leash at a given mark by an attendant while the owner or some other person standing at the other end of the track shakes a handkerchief at the dogs and encourages them to race for it. There is an official starter, and the dogs are liberated at the shot of a pistol and immediately make a dash, straining every nerve to get at the handkerchief. The usual course is two hundred yards, and the dogs are handicapped according to weight or previous performances.

The origin of the Whippet was probably obtained by a cross between the small Greyhound and the white English Terrier. They are keen little sportsmen, easily kept in condition, and of a most companionable disposition.

In selecting a Whippet puppy at from two to four months old, the points to look for are almost identical with those of the Greyhound, of which it is a miniature, except that less bone is required and probably a little more arch of loin, both of which


variations are calculated to give the Whippet a little more speed, if less "staying" power, speed only being the great desideratum in the Whippet.

The points of the Whippet may be briefly summed up by saying he should be an exact duplicate in miniature of the Greyhound.

The following is the description of the Whippet, as formulated by the Whippet Club:
Head.—Long and lean, rather wide between the eyes, and flat at the top; the jaw powerful, yet clearly cut; teeth level and white.
Eyes.—Bright and fiery.
Ears.—Small, fine in texture, and rose shape.
Neck.—Long and muscular, elegantly arched, and free from throatiness.
Shoulders.—Oblique and muscular.
Chest.—Deep and capacious.
Back.—Broad and square, rather long, and slightly arched over loin, which should be strong and powerful.
Forelegs.—Rather long, well set under dog, possessing fair amount of bone.
Hindquarters.—Strong and broad across, stifles well bent, thighs broad and muscular, hocks well let down.
Feet.—Round, well split up, with strong soles.
Tail.—Long, tapering, and nicely carried.
Coat.—Fine and close.
Color.—Black, red, white, brindle, fawn, blue, and the various mixtures of each.
Weight.—20 pounds.


Development of the Manchester Terrier

I was reading comments in some old dog books today. One was The Complete Dog Book By William A. Bruette, 1921. It makes a reference about the development of the Manchester Terrier from the Black and Tan Terrier. The reference was that John Hulme had bred his whippet to a terrier which served as the beginning of the Manchester variety. No dates were mentioned other than it was an accepted breed and Manchester was the breed hub by the 1860s. Supposedly, by 1827 a renowned example of Manchester Terrier was very successful in the rat pits. However a search indicated that possibly that was the Black and Tan Terrier bred to the whippet.

So it would seem that whippets were known as a breed or type prior to that date. Granted we all know how accurate breed histories can be... But I thought it was an interesting mention.

The Complete Dog Book By William A. Bruette, 1921

The Manchester district was a noted center for two "poor men's sports"--rat killing and rabbit coursing. A fancier by the name of John Hulme, with the idea of producing a dog that could be used at both contests, bred a whippet bitch to a celebrated rat-killing dog, a cross bred terrier dark brown in color. The result of this cross was very satisfactory, the dogs proved useful, and other fanciers in the neighborhood took to breeding them, and the


Manchester school of terriers was launched. They advanced in popularity rapidly and soon spread over the British Isles and were brought to this country in considerable numbers. The name Manchester was dropped as being too restricted in its designation, and they have since been known as the Black and Tan Terrier.


GENERAL APPEARANCE.-A Terrier calculated to take his own part in the rat pit, and not of the Whippet type.


Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Twentieth Century Dog 1904

The Twentieth Century Dog ... By Herbert Compton
The Twentieth Century Dog ...
By Herbert Compton
Published by G. Richards, 1904
Item notes: v.2




Norman Mayall & Co. photo



The whippet affords a remarkable illustration of the talent, not to say genius, of the dog-fancier, and his ability to manufacture new types of dogs. No one looking at the picture of Manorley May, which adorns this section, and bearing in mind her height, which is 17 inches, and her weight of 19 Ibs., could desire a more exquisitely proportioned four-footed creature, or one more instinct with the attributes of swiftness and virility made apparent. And yet this model of harmony and grace is, in its correlation of height and weight, outside the ordinary scheme of canine creation. To all intents and purposes it represents a new species of dog, as it represents a new feature of attractiveness in dog-fancying in one of the uses to which it is put.

Curiously enough, the whippet as a piece of canine art is the creation of the working-man. To the miners and mill-hands of the North,—heavy-limbed, huge-framed, grimy delvers in the bowels of the earth, or toilers in the busy factories,—we owe this dainty design in dog's flesh. The genesis of the breed may be traced to the love of sport and affection for dogs which are characteristics of the North, that has given us many contributions besides whippets to our canine classification—as, for instance, Airedale, Bedlington, Manchester, Yorkshire, and white English terriers, and also fostered in


their purity other older breeds which were, otherwhere, lapsing into a state bordering on mongrelism. The dog- world owes much to the triangle between the Mersey, the Humber, and the Tyne. Therein dwell a hardy, homely race of sportsmen, whose humble sphere of sport was confined chiefly to rabbiting; and it was to increase the speed of the terrier or " snap-dog," formerly used in this pursuit, that, some time in the 'Sixties, it is said, an out-cross with the Italian greyhound was resorted to ; others ascribe the creation to a cross between a greyhound and a Manchester terrier.

It was an alliance of swiftness and grace with pluck and tenacity, and the blend " came away good." In time, by judicious breeding, there was evolved an animal with the grit and staying powers of the working terrier, and the symmetry and speed of the aristocratic dog. No doubt at a later period greyhound blood filtered in, for there is a variation in the weight of the whippet inconsistent with a cross confined to the first two breeds only. But the terrier grit was maintained whilst the physical outline was gradually refined into closer harmony with the greyhound, until a perfect miniature of that breed was arrived at, only gifted with an improved character and mental capacity.

With its racing lines, with its racing speed, and with its tractability, a new vista opened out for this new breed of dog. I have no doubt the terrier intelligence it retained suggested the possibility of the purpose to which it was put. The whippet was a dog that could be trained to race without fur leading it— no easy task when you come to try it, but amazingly fascinating when accomplished. Horse - racing is a sport which appeals irresistibly to the natives of these islands, whilst only a few can personally enjoy it . But racing with dogs, and such dogs, was a form of com-


petition that came within the means of the poorest. The north countryman took to the idea with avidity ; the dog was bred more and more for speed ; there came " professional trainers" to educate it and fit it for its duties ; and in the course of a decade the " snap-dog " blossomed into a race-dog, and whippet-racing one of the most popular amusements of the miners and other sons of toil in Northumberland, Yorkshire, and the adjoining counties.

Whippet-racing is now a big business — quite a world of its own ; its rules and regulations are not germane to these pages ; but those who are interested in them may find all the information they need in a publication that deals with the subject at full length. Sufficient to say that the sport has been reduced to very exact lines, and the rigour with which it is legislated for and conducted is second to that of no other sporting code in the country. To the well-trained whippet the race alone is the thing. That it excites them almost as much as their masters is a fact capable of ocular proof at any meeting ; and the wholly innocent cause of that excitement contrasts pleasantly with other similar dog-diversions where praise for the prowess of the dog is qualified by pity for its victim. From a humanitarian point of view, the whippet, as a race-dog pure and simple, and one that can be excited to the greatest exertion without scent of blood or sight of fur, deserves popularity.

I have been so fortunate as to obtain the following contribution from Mr. J. R. Fothergill, the President of the Whippet Club, on the subject of whippet-racing, and although its inclusion extends this section beyond its allotted limits, I am sure all my readers interested in the breed will be glad to have a description of the sport from one so qualified to give it:—


Whippet-racing.—The whippet has often been called "the poor man's race-horse," but nevertheless it can also be the rich man's race-dog. It is true that, with a few exceptions, only working-men in England have ever attended to whippet-racing, but I shall endeavour to show that, although it is the cheapest form of sport, it is far from being the meanest.

Although whippet-racing finds its patrons amongst some of the narrowest intellects in England, there is no doubt that the simple miners and mill-hands of the North have a genius for the breeding, running, and educating of their dogs. I have visited Lancashire more than once, especially to investigate whippet-racing there, and have come away full of admiration for their scientific methods, their keenness and honesty.

The best racing-whippets are bred like race-horses, through a long line of winners. To be of any use the dog must begin its education very young. As soon as it has been weaned it is kept aloof from his fellow-puppies and other dogs. From this day forward it lives the life of a hermit, having no friends and no enemies. The reason for this is that the dog will have to do his racing unjockeyed, so to speak, over a 200 yards' course, and from the moment he leaves the " slipper's " hands he must never take his eyes off the " rag" which another man (the walker-up) has carried before him up to the end of the course. If, then, he has been in the habit of chiveying playmates, or fighting with strange dogs, there are ten chances to one he will prefer to indulge in these games up the course instead of honestly " running to the rag." If, on the contrary, he has never known the society of other dogs, it will rarely occur to a whippet to molest them. Those who turn out " slappers," as they are called, are useless for racing, as they will never run in front. At the first Lancashire whippet-race I attended a friend told me he was bringing out a whelp for the first time. It was twelve months old and had never run in company. I suggested it was a toss-up whether it would " run honest" or not, and he was quite surprised at my doubts. But the whelp turned neither to right nor to left, and in the company of five screaming dogs, and between some thousand onlookers, ran as straight as a line from start to rag.

During the first six months or year a puppy requires much attention and patience; he is generally, therefore, handed over to an experienced " walker," who, for two or three shillings a week, will keep and educate him. The puppy at once takes up his quarters in the man's kitchen and bedroom, where he plays and sleeps till his master has left work for the day, when he is taken



for a walk. It is comical to see a little puppy walking on a lead, muzzled and coated. They always muzzle whippets to prevent them picking up bad food when in training ; many of them even sleep in their muzzles.

The puppy is now encouraged to tear and worry rag and paper, even though he destroy, at times, some of his master's belongings. The taste for the rag once developed, he is held by one man in the proper slipping fashion, whilst another worries him with-a rag. He is let loose at it, and then, by increasing the distance from a yard to thirty yards or so, the puppy will dash at the rag with all the speed he can muster. Great care is taken not to give the puppy too much exertion, as this would damp his fire. He is taken to whippet-races, where he hears the people shout, accustoms himself to the starter's pistol and the noise of the dogs yelping. No dog shows more nerve than the racer; he is indifferent to everything save his rag, and afraid of nothing. The experiment was once tried, for a wager, of lighting a line of straw across the track ; the dogs ran through it quite blindly. I have been asked whether a dog was brought to such a pitch of keenness by starving him ; and again whether he was taught by the whip ! The reader will have already understood there is no need for such curious means to prick the courage ; nay rather, the dog, whatever be his offence, is never chastised. The fearlessness of the race-dog is due entirely to the fact that he has never known suppression or defeat from man or beast. He lives by rule, is daily given his runs and walks, and his only diversion is to witness a dog-race, or to visit the public-house of an evening in his master's arms or on the lead. Here he will attract a circle of whippeters, who will handle him and maul him about on the table, much to the satisfaction of the walker.

When the whelp is about ten months old he bids good-bye to his first keeper, and starts life with a trainer. Of course the greater number of dogs are brought up by their owners and trained by them, but most of these will spend six weeks, at some time, with a trainer. But the successful dogs, as a rule, are those that are under professional care, which is by no means expensive.
The dog is now walked regularly from 5 to 15 miles a day, according to his size, and does a 200-yards' course twice a-week, or even shorter distances. When he is quite hard, and his feet in condition to stand the cinder track, he runs his first race. It is impossible to lay down hard and fast rules for training, as trainers differ so much in method, and dogs in constitution ; but the chief points observed are these. The dog must have


enough slow work for hardening him to give him stamina, say, for three races in an afternoon, and enough running to develop his speed ; by observation and timing the trainer is able to see how much exercise, fast and slow, he needs. It is important, moreover, that the dog, when walking, should go on a lead at his trainer's pace, and that, when he runs, the distance shall never exceed 200 yards. As for feeding, the bantam's eggs, the first slice off a shoulder of lamb, old sherry, and other delicacies that one hears is the race-dog's bill of fare, these are vain imaginations! The dog usually gets a basin of broken bread, gravy, and pudding; very often tea and ale, and, in fact, has just what the family has. Meat he is not given until the last few days before a race. Of course if he has to run for a .£50 match he is somewhat more expensively fed for a week or so.

I have now considered the education and training of a race- dog. Before I come to the handicapping a word or two must be said of the "slipper" and " walker-up." For the race the dog is put into the hands of the slipper, who stands behind the starting mark, and the walker-up, who is generally the owner or trainer, or some one whom the dog knows, takes the rag, waves it in the face of the dog, and then, with frantic shouts or whistles, passes up the course with the other walkers-up, and does not stop till the "trig mark" is reached—that is, 15 yards behind the winning mark. The judge signals to the starter at the other end, who tells the slippers to " get ready." These take up their position, holding the dogs by a good handful of skin by the neck, and the tail firmly at the root. The starter, standing behind the dogs, fires the pistol, and with a lurch forward the dogs are all thrown into their stride, and before thirteen seconds they will have caught, every dog, his own rag, with all the grip of his jaws, be lifted into the air by his own momentum, and swing around his particular man like a fish on a line '

The first over the winning mark wins ; the walkers-up are careful to hold the rag at arm's length to the side, otherwise, when the dog comes at full speed to catch the rag, he would break his neck against the man's legs. A whippet, when at full speed, is going at the rate of somewhere between 36 and 40 miles an hour ! There are seldom more than three or four crack slippers in Oldham, for their business requires great skill. These men take from .£3 to £$ for slipping the winner of a handicap. So precisely can they tell how dogs are slipped that a slipper is commonly heard to say that he got his dog offthree or four inches better than another, or vice versa ! And seeing that in the finals


of a good handicap the six dogs can be " covered with a towel" when running over the winning mark, it is important to procure every possible inch by securing a good slipper. It is only by slipping some thirty dogs every Saturday afternoon that these men become such skilled performers.

The dogs are handicapped on a very elaborate and exact system. It is only just that a little dog should get a start from a big one, as the bigger has the more weight and muscle and a longer stride, and so a scale of weights and starts is made to establish a basis upon which to handicap any dog whose performances are not known. By closely observing the running of hundreds of dogs for forty years, and by striking the averages after every handicap, the folk in Lancashire have elaborated a scale which allows the best dog to win, and not the biggest. Ignorant people will make up a handicap, giving the dogs two yards to the pound, but this is rough and unscientific. It stands to reason that a pound to a dog weighing 9 Ibs. is more advantageous to him over a dog weighing 8 Ibs. than the pound would be to a 28-Ib. dog over one weighing 27 Ibs. With the little dogs a pound is worth more in proportion to their whole weight than with big dogs. This will be illustrated in the appended scale:—



Bitches, being three yards faster than dogs, have three yards less start and so if one has to make up the starts of a number of dogs one would employ this scale, and the dogs at the finish would be very close, unless they differed much in quality. It would then be a " classic race," in which the fastest dog would win. In the next handicap one would put the winner back two yards behind the last mark, and the second one a yard. If any dog ran particularly badly in its heat, he would be given a lift of a yard or so. It does not do to be too generous with the lifting. Good dogs are not encouraged, and bad ones are kept low until the owner complains to the handicapper, when he is told to "get a better dog !" I cannot but think with regret how many bad dogs are exterminated every year, but as the whippeter is a poor man he cannot afford to keep bad stock.

On the other hand, there are feelings almost romantic between the owner and a successful dog ; it is always the centre of love and affection in the family, and deserves to be when, perhaps, it has supported them from time to time by its winnings. And when it gets too old it lives for the rest of its life by the fire, and the family get another winner to run for them.

Of course betting is with the whippeters the sole aim of dog- racing. At the winning end of the course there is a stand erected for "dockers." These stand with watch in hand and time the winners of the first heats before they and their friends put down their money on the ultimate winner. The dog-timing watch is expensive, costing about £9 or £10 ; the hand travels round the dial once in two seconds. Thus a dog can be timed easily to a sixteenth of a second, which represents a yard. . , Twice a month all through the year there is a handicap of £25 or £40 at £are entered. After the first round one can generally get 6 to I or better on the field. Sums of £300 or £400 are frequently won at these handicaps, and I once saw a dog backed by its owner to win £3000, but he lost by a nose! Needless to say the owner was a well-to-do innkeeper.


betting on the others' dogs. This of course reduces the sport to robbery and absurdity. But if the stewards insist on fair starting, there are left fewer ingenious tricks in whippet-racing for cheating the betting public than there are in horse-racing ; for it is possible to see if a man has held his dog, however momentary the delay may have been, whilst it is never quite obvious that a jockey is pulling.

Personally the few whippet-races I have seen have always reminded me of a sight I was once witness to in an Indian jungle, where I was shooting, with a large body of beaters driving the game towards me. My station was in front of a small glade, the grass on which was cropped as short as the turf on the Downs by browsing deer. Suddenly across this little open space darted seven mouse-deer at full speed, frightened by the cries of the approaching beaters. They were tiny, grey, dotted things, with pipe-stem legs, just about the size of smallish whippets, and not at all unlike them in shape and form. Running extended, and low to earth, they cleared the glade and shot into the opposite jungle before you could say " Jack," much less " Robinson ! " I think it was the fleetest entrance and exit I ever saw in my life. And when I was present at my first whippet-race, the memory of that scene occurred to me, and the conviction to my mind that a mouse-deer was the proper quarry for a whippet.

The speed of a whippet is almost incredible. The record time, made by a 21^-lb. dog, named White Eye, was twelve seconds for 200 yards, which works out at a pace of a mile in 1- minutes. A 12-lb. dog has been known to cover the same distance (expressing it in the technical phraseology of the whippet-race course) in " 7 J yards inside 13 seconds." The racing pace of a whippet is reckoned at 16 yards per second— figures that will account for the acute excitement when these little creatures are competing with one another


with (what you might call) the speed of a telegraph message! In such " touch and go" affairs as these handicaps necessarily are, the rules controlling them have to be extra stringent, and the slipping of a dog before the report of the pistol is followed with disqualification for the whole meeting. Bank holidays and Saturday afternoons are devoted to whippet-racing by thousands of people in the North, and, needless to say, there is a great deal of gambling and wagering on the results of the races.

Rabbit-coursing is also conducted on the handicap principle. The rabbit is allowed an average start of 50 yards,—it may be more or less,—and the dogs are slipped from their handicap stations. There are no points allowed to count for the skill displayed in the course, as in greyhound-coursing, and each couple of competitors are matched for the most kills of from eleven to twenty-five rabbits.

It is an inexplicable thing why whippet-racing has never " caught on " in the South, notwithstanding that exhibitions have been given at some of the leading shows. Mr. Fothergill arranged two whippet handicaps, £20 and £2 5 stakes, at Lewes in 1901, under the management of a club formed by him ; but, though the racing was very good, over 100 dogs being entered in the second race, the venture proved a great loss. The breed, however, has decidedly increased in popularity. In 1899 a Whippet Club was formed, and through its exertions the breed received formal recognition and was accorded a place in the Registers three years later. It is, by its very nature, not a show-bench dog, but classes are fairly well filled, and at the Kennel Club shows in 1901-03 the entries averaged forty-five, though they sank below forty in the latter year. Of course this cannot be considered very satisfactory in a small breed of dogs, and


one which numbers its votaries by the thousands in the North. But it is pretty certain that the Whippet Club, -- which now has such names on its front page as Mr JR Fothergill, Lady Arthur Grosvenor, Mr Fred Bottomley, Mr Harding Cox, and Mr A Lamotte,-- will soon improve the status of the breed, and carry it into the position which the intrinsic merits and physical beauties of the little animal it has been founded to foster, right worthily deserve. The sport of whippet racing suitably conducted is one in which ladies might find a great delight; it offers the quintessence of excitement, crystallised into a few seconds; it is capable of being conducted within private enclosures and kept select, and it adds an attraction to dog-keeping which is not to be obtained in any other breed under the same innocent conditions. There is no blood shed, and there is lots of fun, and, I doubt not, as much joy in owning a winner as in the proprietorship of other “fleetest of their kind.” And for this reason alone the development of whippet-racing is a consummation which no one could object to.

The following are the notes I have received from my contributors in this section:--

MR JR FOTHERGILL (President of the Whippet Club)-- Nothing could be better as regards type, than many of the bitches now being shown, but the breed requires a few good dogs, a few good breeders, and a few good supporters The values of the points seem to me good, but in judging by points one can often go wide of the mark. More especially is this the case with whippets and greyhounds With these dogs individual points are of little importance, even if they have them all in equal perfection, without symmetry, balance and simplicity of construction. The whippet is intended for running only. Many a dog, with a row of bad points, is faster and handier than many a good-showing dog. The reason is that they have the above - mentioned qualities. Judge a whippet out of focus first and then adjust your sight for detail.


I like a whippet first as a race dog, a more interesting study for the subject of animal psychology is hard to find, but there is no need to expatiate upon this somewhat abstract subject here. Like all dogs, their characters are like those of their masters, and they are as easily impressionable, and taught, as any other dog I have had to do with. A thorough bred whippet can be taught retrieving and ratting, whilst he is naturally a better hand at rabbits than a terrier or a greyhound. I have four thorough bred whippets that will hunt the scent of a rabbit or any other scent for any distance. Each takes its own line and they are remarkably clever at casting and travel at a great speed. I have known them to hunt a hare entirely by its scent over the Downs for about a mile and a half. A lady looks better with a whippet than with most other dogs, they are so ornamental. Though if for this purpose a foil is required, a bulldog certainly serves best.

MR HARDING Cox — There is not much fault to find with the type of the breed as it exists to day, but breeders must keep up sufficient bone, and must be careful about close, strong, well arched, and well split up feet. I have always judged whippets on greyhound lines making due allowance for difference of type in hindquarters. Beyond the sport afforded by whippets in sprinting matches and coursing rabbits, I fancy there is little to recommend them as companions though they are lively and amiable as a rule.

MRS CHARLES CHAPMAN – I think there is a danger in breeding whippets fit for the bench only and losing sight of the qualities necessary for racing. The whippet is gifted with extraordinary speed and for the limited distance it races exceeds that of the greyhound. My bitch Ch Rosette of Radnage accomplished the feat of winning a championship at the Kennel Club Show of 1900, and winning the handicap promoted by the Whippet Club at the same show. Whippet racing, properly conducted, is a most charming sport and essentially suitable for ladies to interest themselves in, and I feel very sorry that the efforts made to popularise it seem to have been without result. Whippets, or more properly speaking race dogs, are capital house companions but their principal interest lies in the sport they afford. And for my ideal whippet, I see him held in the leash by his handler eager for the start. He is straining every nerve quivering with excitement and fairly screaming in his anxiety to be after the white rag to reach which is to the uninitiated the inexplicable cause of this mysterious racing. My


ideal is of brindle colour, about 15 or 16 Ibs in weight, so that he is well placed in the handicap. His head is long and lean, his mouth perfectly level, his ears small, and shoulders as sloping as possible. His body is well tucked up, with the brisket very deep, his back slightly arched, with a whip tail carried low but nicely curved. His hindquarters are very muscular, and his fore legs absolutely straight, with feet hard and close, and hind legs well turned with hocks bent under him, all the muscles induced by the thorough training he has undergone showing – he looks what he is – a perfect picture of a “race dog”

MR A LAMOTTE – The breed is making great strides in the right direction, viz a greyhound weighing about 20 Ibs. In the Standard of Points, great value should be laid on power in hindquarters and loin, good feet and legs, deep brisket with plenty of heart room. The whippet was made to race and gallop short distances at a great speed. To see these small pets fighting it out yard by yard on the track is wonderful. And how they love the sport. Unfortunate it is that it is not in better hands, but we must hope that this will improve in time. The whippet as a pet is a very charming animal and its affection for its owner is great. Watching them running about with their quick graceful movements is a joy to the eye

MR FRED BOTTOMLEY – The type of whippet to day is better than of late though there is still room for improvement in shoulders, weak pasterns, straight hocks, and size, which in my opinion should not exceed 20 Ibs. I am the oldest whippet exhibitor, and for the last ten years have made but few additions to my kennels, always showing my own strain which include Ch Manorley New Boy and Ch Manorley Model now withdrawn from the show bench. I have always found whippets the best of pals, very game dogs, and the fastest dog living for their size.

I take the following Standard of Points from the Whippet Club's publication. This institution has a strong committee. Mr Charles S Smith is the Honorary Secretary and the subscription is half a guinea annually. The club owns a challenge cup which is competed for every year at the Kennel Club Show.



HEAD Long and lean rather wide between the eyes and flat at the top. The jaw powerful yet clearly cut
TEETH Level and white
EYES Bright and fiery
EARS Small fine in texture and rose shaped
NECK Long and muscular elegantly arched and free from throatiness
SHOULDERS Oblique and muscular
CHEST Deep and capacious
BACK Broad and square rather long and slightly arched over the loin which should be strong and powerful
FORE LEGS Rather long well set under the dog possessing fair amount of bone
HINDQUARTERS Strong and broad across stifles well bent thighs broad and muscular hocks well let down
FEET Round well split up with strong soles
TAIL Tapering long and nicely carried COAT Fine and close
COLOUR Black red white brindle fawn blue and various mixtures of each
WEIGHT The ideal weight is 20 Ibs There are no points values published in this breed

The subject of my illustration is Mr Fred Bottomley's beautiful bitch Manorley May born in June 1899 by Fullerton ex Judy. She stands 17 inches at shoulder weighs 19 Ibs and is of a fawn colour. Mr Bottomley describes her as having a grand long lean head brown eyes semi erect ears small and fine in texture and beautiful neck and shoulders. Her body and legs are perfect and she is framed for speed and work. She possesses all the good points of a first class whippet and has proved herself a very fast bitch in handicap races as well as a great winner on the show bench. She won a championship at Brighton firsts every time shown and is the dam of winners.