Sunday, March 1, 2009

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

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