Sunday, March 1, 2009

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.


  1. What is a 'burrow'?

  2. I havn't gone back and cleaned up the translation completely. I think in the context, it's probably referring to a terrier.