Whippet vs. Greyhound: What Are the Differences?

Whippet vs. Greyhound: What Are the Differences?

When it comes to comparing Whippets and Greyhounds, it’s important to understand the key differences between these two elegant dog breeds. While both Whippets and Greyhounds share a similar slim and athletic appearance, there are distinct variations in their size, temperament, and purpose. Whether you’re considering getting one of these breeds as a pet or simply curious about their unique characteristics, this article will delve into the details of Whippets and Greyhounds, helping you make an informed decision.

Physical Characteristics

Size and Weight

Whippets and Greyhounds may look similar at first glance, but there are some notable differences in their size and weight.

Whippets are generally smaller than Greyhounds, measuring between 18 to 22 inches in height at the shoulder. They typically weigh around 25 to 40 pounds. On the other hand, Greyhounds are larger, standing at 26 to 30 inches tall and weighing between 60 to 70 pounds.

Coat and Color

When it comes to their coats, Whippets and Greyhounds also have some distinctions. Whippets have a short and smooth coat that provides minimal protection against cold weather. Their coat comes in a variety of colors, including brindle, black, fawn, blue, and white. Greyhounds, on the other hand, have a thin and fine coat that is also short but slightly longer than that of Whippets. The Greyhound’s coat is more suitable for colder climates. They commonly come in colors such as black, white, fawn, brindle, blue, or a combination of these.

Build and Appearance

In terms of build and appearance, Whippets and Greyhounds have some noticeable differences. Whippets have a more compact and muscular build compared to the lean and slender Greyhounds. Whippets have a deep chest and a slim waist, giving them a well-defined athletic physique. Greyhounds, on the other hand, have a deep chest and a narrow body, making them appear more elongated and elegant. Their long and slender legs contribute to their remarkable speed and agility.

Overall, while both Whippets and Greyhounds share certain physical characteristics, such as their slim bodies and deep chests, there are distinctive differences in their size, weight, coat, and overall appearance. These unique features make each breed special in their own right.

Temperament and Personality

When it comes to comparing Whippets and Greyhounds, understanding their temperament and personality is essential. While both breeds share some similarities, there are distinct differences that set them apart.

Energy Level

Whippets are known for their moderate energy levels. They are generally more laid-back and are content with a daily walk or a short burst of exercise. On the other hand, Greyhounds have a higher energy level and require more physical activity. They are built for speed and endurance and thrive in environments where they can run freely.


When it comes to trainability, Whippets and Greyhounds differ in their approach. Whippets are generally eager to please and are quick learners. They respond well to positive reinforcement training techniques and enjoy the mental stimulation that training provides. On the contrary, Greyhounds have a more independent nature and may be less motivated by traditional training methods. They require patience, consistency, and a gentle yet firm approach to training.


Both Whippets and Greyhounds are known for their friendly and gentle nature. However, Whippets tend to be more sociable and outgoing towards strangers and other dogs. They thrive on human companionship and enjoy being a part of the family. Greyhounds, on the other hand, can be more reserved and aloof with strangers. They may take some time to warm up to new people and situations but are devoted and loyal to their families.

In conclusion, while Whippets and Greyhounds share some common traits, their differences in temperament and personality are evident. Whippets have a moderate energy level, are highly trainable, and are sociable by nature. Greyhounds, on the other hand, possess a higher energy level, require more specific training techniques, and can be reserved with strangers. Understanding these differences will help potential owners make an informed decision about which breed best suits their lifestyle and preferences.

Exercise and Activity Needs

Exercise Requirements

Whippets and Greyhounds are both breeds of sighthounds, which means they have a strong prey drive and love to chase after moving objects. However, when it comes to exercise requirements, there are some differences between the two.

Whippets are known for their bursts of energy and agility. They are more active than Greyhounds and generally require more exercise. A daily walk or two is essential for a Whippet to release its energy and maintain a healthy weight. They also enjoy participating in dog sports such as lure coursing or agility, which provide both physical and mental stimulation.

On the other hand, Greyhounds have a reputation for being couch potatoes. While they do need regular exercise to stay in shape, they are generally less demanding than Whippets. A daily walk and some off-leash running in a securely fenced area are usually sufficient for a Greyhound. They have short bursts of energy but are otherwise content with lounging around the house.

Mental Stimulation

Both Whippets and Greyhounds require mental stimulation in addition to physical exercise. Whippets have a curious nature and enjoy interactive toys and puzzles that challenge their minds. They are quick learners and benefit from obedience training and interactive play sessions.

Greyhounds, although less energetic, still need mental stimulation to prevent boredom. They enjoy activities that engage their senses, such as scent games or treat-dispensing toys. Training sessions that focus on obedience and tricks can also provide mental stimulation for Greyhounds.

Suitability for Different Lifestyles

The exercise and activity needs of Whippets and Greyhounds make them better suited for different lifestyles.

Whippets are ideal for active individuals or families who can provide them with plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. They thrive in homes with access to a securely fenced yard or nearby open spaces where they can run freely. Whippets also do well with structured exercise routines and enjoy participating in activities that challenge their agility and speed.

Greyhounds, on the other hand, are more suitable for people who have a more relaxed lifestyle. They are great companions for individuals who enjoy leisurely walks and spending quiet time at home. Greyhounds are often referred to as "40-mile-per-hour couch potatoes" because they have short bursts of energy but are generally calm and low-maintenance.

In conclusion, while both Whippets and Greyhounds have exercise and activity needs, Whippets require more physical and mental stimulation than Greyhounds. Understanding these differences can help potential owners choose the breed that best fits their lifestyle and ensure a happy and healthy life for their furry companion.

Health and Lifespan

Common Health Issues

When comparing Whippets and Greyhounds, it’s important to consider their common health issues. Both breeds are generally healthy, but they may be prone to certain conditions. Whippets are known to have a higher risk of developing heart murmurs, which can lead to heart diseases. On the other hand, Greyhounds are more susceptible to bloat, a potentially life-threatening condition where the stomach twists. Regular veterinary check-ups and proper care can help prevent and manage these health issues in both breeds.

Average Lifespan

The lifespan of Whippets and Greyhounds can vary, but they both generally live relatively long lives compared to other breeds. Whippets have an average lifespan of around 12 to 15 years, while Greyhounds tend to live slightly longer, averaging between 10 to 14 years. However, it’s important to note that individual factors like genetics, diet, exercise, and overall healthcare can significantly impact the lifespan of both breeds.

Medical Care and Maintenance

When it comes to medical care and maintenance, both Whippets and Greyhounds require regular veterinary check-ups, vaccinations, and preventive treatments. Due to their thin and sleek coats, they may be more prone to cold weather, so providing them with appropriate shelter and warm clothing during winter months is essential. Additionally, both breeds have low body fat and may require extra care during surgeries or medical procedures that require anesthesia. Proper nutrition, exercise, and regular grooming are also crucial aspects of their overall well-being.

In summary, Whippets and Greyhounds are generally healthy breeds, but they may have their own specific health concerns. While Whippets are more prone to heart murmurs, Greyhounds may be susceptible to bloat. Despite these potential issues, both breeds have relatively long lifespans. Regular veterinary care, proper nutrition, and appropriate maintenance are essential for ensuring the health and well-being of both Whippets and Greyhounds.

In conclusion, while both the Whippet and Greyhound may share similar physical attributes and a love for running, there are several key differences between these two breeds. The Whippet is known for its smaller size, agility, and versatility, making it an ideal choice for families or individuals with limited space. On the other hand, the Greyhound is larger, faster, and more focused on racing, making it a popular choice for professional racing enthusiasts. Overall, it is important to consider your lifestyle, preferences, and needs when deciding between these two magnificent breeds.