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Group: Hounds
Breed Family: Whippet

While the Whippet may appear to be a small version of the Greyhound, it is a separate breed that was developed in England in the latter part of the nineteenth century. The progenitors of the Whippet were evidently crosses between Greyhounds and a variety of Terriers, bred for coursing rabbits for sport. The Italian Greyhound was later used to enhance its appearance.

The breed was originally known as a "snap-dog" and sportsmen used them for the "snap-dog coursing.” "Participants encourage their dogs to ‘snap up” or catch the largest number of rabbits in a match. This was different from traditional coursing hare with Greyhounds, for in snap-up coursing, the rabbit has no chance whatsoever of escaping. Whippets were later used for the more orthodox straight racing, in which the standard course is about 200 yards. The breed is very fast, and individual dogs have been known to complete the course in as few as eleven and a half seconds.


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