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.