Whippet Lurcher | A Complete Guide

by Sonya | Last Updated:   March 22, 2021
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Whippet Lurchers are sleek and beautiful dogs who are gentle and quiet. Their thin coats and slim body make them unsuited to living outdoors in the cold.

They are affectionate dogs and are bred for speed, strength, and endurance. They hunt by sight and are sparked to chase fast-moving objects.

If you are looking for a high energy, friendly, and easy to groom dog, then Whippet Lurchers are the perfect breed for you. 

We have come up with a comprehensive guide that details everything you need to know about these incredible dogs. Let’s have a look at Whippet Lurcher dog vital stats, breed characteristics, temperament, grooming, physical requirements and health concerns.

gray whippet lurcher in front of a blue sky

Vital Whippet Lurcher Stats

Whippet Lurcher is an intelligent and loyal pet with a high need for exercise. They convey an impression of beautifully balanced muscular power and strength along with elegance.

They are medium-sized dogs with a dense short and smooth coat that lies close to the body. The legs are long and slender with a slim body. They have rose ears that are small and fine in texture.

Whippet Lurchers come in a variety of colors and markings covering their body. You may find them in black, white, red, fawn, blue, cream, brindle, and various combinations of those colors.

Let’s have a look at vital stats of Whippet Lurchers:

StatsDescription
FamilyHound dogs
Overall Grooming NeedsLow
Coat LengthShort
Average Height18 to 22 inches tall at the shoulder
Average Weight Range18 to 48 pounds
Energy LevelHigh
Exercise requirementsGreater than 40 minutes per day
Social/Attention NeedsHigh
Tendency to BarkLow
Tendency to DigLow
Tendency to droolLow
Life ExpectancyAbout 12-15 years

Whippet Lurcher Breed History

Whippet Lurchers haven’t received any official recognition as a breed. However, they still have a deep history dating back hundreds of years. Whippet was developed in Northern England during the late 1700s. 

Whippet Lurcher’s ancestors helped poach rabbits and provided gambling entertainment. They were known as the “Poor Man’s Racehorse.” They were also known as ‘snap dogs’ for how quickly they would approach prey. In the 19th century, these dogs then progressed into racing dogs.

They were designed by crossing Greyhounds with fast, long-legged terriers.

Whippet Lurcher: Facts, Highlights, and Characteristics 

We have listed below Whippet Lurcher breed characteristics. This is meant to be a general guideline for Whippet Lurcher characteristics. 

  • Apartment dwellers: Whippet Lurchers adapt well to apartment living only if they have access to a fenced area to run and play. They become destructive if their exercise needs are not met.
  • Playful dogs: They are playful dogs. You can encourage their playful nature through activities like fetch, hiking, tracking, agility, and flyball.
  • Kid-friendly: Whippet Lurchers are kid-friendly dogs and are gentle with children. They are great companions for kids and are suitable for homes with children.
  • High exercise requirements: Whippet Lurchers need regular daily exercise to burn their pent up energy. They are good for outdoorsy and active people.
  • Fastidious and clean: Whippet Lurchers are fastidious and like to be clean. If you’re a neatnik, this dog is for you.
  • High prey drive: They have a high prey drive. These dogs must be kept on leash whenever they’re not in a securely fenced area. They can pursue other animals for several miles. If you’re fond of cats, however, the Whippet Lurcher may not be the best choice.
  • Low shedders: Whippets Lurchers don’t shed excessively and are easy to groom.
  • Can’t tolerate being alone: It’s important to spend time with your Whippet Lurcher. These dogs are prone to worry and can suffer from separation anxiety if left alone by the owner.
  • Low tolerance for cold climate: Whippet Lurchers get cold easily. This is because they have short coats with very little body fat. They should have a jacket or sweater for chilly walks. 
  • Low barking potential: Whippet Lurchers have low barking potential and are generally quiet dogs.
  • High speed: Whippets were originally used for hunting. They excel in speed based sports and can reach speeds of up to 35 mph. They are one of the fastest dogs of their size.
  • Healthy and hardy: Whippet Lurchers are extremely low-maintenance in terms of their health. However, they should still be checked frequently for signs of diseases and infections.
  • Not suitable as watchdogs: Whippet Lurchers aren’t very good watchdogs. This is because they rarely bark and are friendly toward everyone they meet.
  • High energy levels: They are highly energetic and are always ready and waiting for action. They need a significant amount of exercise and mental stimulation to burn their pent up energy.

Temperament and Personality 

Whippet Lurchers have the sweet and loving personality of the Sighthound. They make great pets once their exercise needs have been met. 

Whippet Lurchers share the following personalities:

Affectionate companions

Whippet Lurchers usually form close, loving bonds with their family. They usually appear less openly affectionate than other breeds. They love being around their human family members and are very loyal and devoted companions. These dogs will become depressed if left alone for long periods.

Relationship with other pets

Your Whippet Lurcher can form close bonds with other dogs, although toy dogs might trigger their hunting instincts if they act too much like fast-moving toys.

Intelligent

Whippet Lurcher is considered intelligent and highly trainable. They have a good memory and are able to read and react appropriately to human gestures commands.

Courageous

Whippet Lurchers are courageous in the hunt but are otherwise non-aggressive. They will do anything to protect their family if they feel like they are in danger.

Loyal

The Whippet Lurcher is extremely loyal to the family. No matter what happens in your life, this loyal and amazing dog will remain by your side.

Calm

Whippet Lurchers have a calm temperament. Although they are sporty, energetic, and love to have a job, they are usually calm and docile.

Gentle and obedient 

Whippet Lurchers are usually very respectful and obedient. They are gentle and thrive on quiet companionship.

Like every dog, Whippet Lurchers need early socialization. Whippet Lurcher puppies must see different people, sights, sounds, and experiences. This helps ensure that your puppy grow-up to be a well-rounded dog. 

Major Health Concerns of Whippet Lurcher

Whippet Lurcher is generally a healthy breed with fewer health issues. Buying from a responsible breeder will help ensure that you get a healthy dog.

There are certain conditions that may affect this breed.

Deafness: 

Loss of hearing has been reported in many Whippet Lurchers. At times, the deafness is due to degeneration of the nerves within the ear.

Deaf dogs have special training and communication needs. Some forms of deafness can be managed and treated with medication and surgery, but usually deafness cannot be cured.

Eye problems: 

Many eye problems for dogs can hit Whippet Lurchers. These eye problems include Cherry Eye, Cataracts, or Entropion. If they are not attended to early, they can lead to total blindness. 

von Willebrand’s Disease (vWD): 

This is a common hereditary blood clotting disorder in Whippet Lurchers. It can result in excessive bleeding, even from minor cuts. A dog with von Willebrand’s disease shows symptoms such as nosebleeds, bleeding gums, prolonged bleeding from a surgery, prolonged bleeding during heat cycles, and occasionally blood in the stool.

Although there’s no cure, it can be managed with various treatments.

Anaesthesia Sensitivity: 

Whippet Lurchers have a low level of body fat and are usually sensitive to anesthesia and certain other drugs.

It is important to get your Whippet Lurcher to the vet as soon as possible if you see these symptoms.

How to Take Care of Whippet Lurcher

Taking care of your Whippet Lurcher involves a lot of things including feeding, grooming, training, and dog exercises.

We are sharing some really useful information about Whippet Lurcher’s diet, grooming, exercise, and training requirements.

Feeding

Good diet and nutrition are important for your Whippet Lurcher’s health. To support their energy level, their diet should meet their nutritional requirements. You need to be mindful of what you choose to feed your dog. 

Here are some useful tips about diet and nutrition requirements of Whippet Lurchers.

  • Diet should be appropriate for your Whippet Lurcher’s age, gender, and activity level. 
  • They require a diet that is rich in protein, calories, essential minerals and vitamins.
  • It is always better to keep a feeding schedule.

Training

Whippet Lurchers are intelligent, highly energetic, and trainable dogs. Early socialization and puppy training are important in directing your Whippet Lurcher’s energy in a positive way. 

A well-trained Whippet Lurcher makes it easier to handle at places like parks and the vet. Start training your dog with basic commands like sit, stay, etc.

Here are some tips for Whippet Lurcher training: 

  • Begin training early: Early socialization and training are important in directing your Whippet Lurcher’s energy in a positive way.
  • Use positive reinforcement techniques: Whippet Lurchers respond well to positive reinforcement training. You must praise and reward them during training sessions.
  • Spend time with your dog: Try to spend extra time with your Whippet Lurcher beyond the training sessions.
  • Stay consistent: Be consistent with the rules you are setting for your Whippet Lurcher. 

Here are some of the training that you need to do with your Whippet Lurcher puppy:

  • Socialization with other people and pets
  • Leash training
  • Crate training
  • House training
  • Basic obedience training 

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Grooming 

Whippet Lurchers take pleasure in regular grooming. They usually have a short and smooth coat. Whippet Lurchers are low shedders and require moderate maintenance.

  • Brushing: Keep your Whippet’s coat shiny with weekly brushing. You can use a rubber curry brush or hound glove to remove what little hair the breed sheds. Regular brushing, once a week keeps the coat in good condition.
  • Bathing: Bathe your Whippet Lurcher when necessary with a good quality dog shampoo. Frequent baths are not recommended unless your furry pal gets dirty. Use clean and warm water, and then towel dry.
  • Ear cleaning: Ears should smell good with no exceptional amount of wax. Clean the ears as needed with a solution recommended by your vet.
  • Nail trimming: Trim the nails every couple of weeks or as needed. This will keep the dog’s feet in good condition. Start trimming your Whippet Lurcher’s nails when your dog is very young so that it becomes used to it.
  • Teeth brushing: Inspect your Whippet Lurchers teeth and gums and brush their teeth to prevent tartar buildup.
  • Eye cleaning: Check the eyes for redness and excessive discharge and make sure they are clean.

Check your Whippet Lurcher frequently for injuries and to ensure that there are no infections in any of the scrapes. 

The grooming experience should be pleasant and relaxing for both of you. It is a great way to strengthen your bond. Make grooming a positive experience filled with praises and rewards.

Exercise

Whippet Lurcher is an energetic and active mix breed. These dogs need regular exercise for overall health and fitness. They can serve as a great fitness partner.

Whippet Lurchers need to exercise daily, whether structured or unstructured. You can meet your Whippet Lurcher’s exercise requirements by:

  • Physical activities
    • Daily walk
    • Playing fetch
    • Frisbee toss
    • Stair exercise
    • Jogging or hiking
  • Mental stimulation 
    • Playing with puzzle toys
    • Playing with interactive toys
    • Teaching new tricks
    • Scenting and nose game

The exercise needs of Whippet Lurcher puppies are quite different. It’s important to avoid any strain on their joints or system. With their still-developing bones and joints, the best exercise for Whippet Lurcher puppies is free to play. 

Final Thoughts 

Whippet Lurcher is an amiable, dignified, and gentle dog. It is a robust and low maintenance dog that is built for speed.

They can make good pets if they match your lifestyle. It is important to understand that as a dog owner you are responsible for the care and wellbeing of your pet.

If you have any comments, please do let us know. We would be happy to hear from you. 

Sonya is a software engineer by day and recently earned her MBA degree, but she also loves spending her free time writing about her favourite passion, dogs! Click here to read more.