Whippets are known for their speed, and if you are thinking of getting one or you have already adopted one, it is key to understand more about how fast your dog can run and what it needs when it is running. This will help you to ensure that your dog is enjoying its exercise every day and that it is getting everything that it requires from you and from its walks.
So, how fast can Whippets run? Whippets can reach speeds of fifty-six kilometers per hour or over thirty-five miles per hour. They are extremely fast creatures and are often used as racing dogs because of their phenomenal speed. They are the fastest dog of their weight, although some other dogs can run more quickly.
Recognizing just how fast your Whippet can run is crucial because it will let you know what precautions you need to take when your dog is off the leash. We are going to explore how fast they can run in more detail, and then look at running with a Whippet, whether Whippets are suitable for endurance running, and whether Whippets are good at racing. You will soon have a great understanding of this dog and its relationship with speed. Whippets are extremely quick animals; never underestimate how quickly your dog can move.
How Fast Can Whippets Run?
A Whippet in the prime of its life can reach up to thirty-five miles per hour at its very fastest. Whippets are extremely quick dogs, outstripped by only a few other canines – and no domestic dogs of their size.
They were bred from Greyhounds, although they are shorter and smaller than their ancestors.
Greyhounds are the fastest dogs, reaching up to forty-five miles per hour at their absolute best.
To put that into context, the fastest speed Usain Bolt reached when he set the new world record was just over twenty-seven miles per hour. While that’s an amazing speed for a human, he would not have come close to either dog.
On average, people run at around ten miles per hour if they are reasonably fit and have done some training. That’s around three times slower than a Whippet, and more than four times slower than a Greyhound.
If you have a Whippet, it’s important to recognize that your dog will easily be able to outrun you, even if you are a quick runner yourself. It isn’t realistic to think that you will ever be able to outpace your dog, provided it is fit and healthy.
That means it’s very important to work on good recall with your dog so that you can get it to return to you when the situation demands it. Do not risk losing your Whippet, because you won’t be able to catch up and grab it when it decides to run.
Can Whippets Run With You?
If you are only running short distances, you can certainly take a Whippet running with you, but don’t expect to be able to keep up with it. This may encourage good training for you, however, so if your focus is on speed, you might have some success running with your Whippet.
If you’re running long distances, things may be more complicated. A Whippet might theoretically be able to run with you, but you should be aware that these dogs are bred for speed, and not endurance – and many humans are the other way around.
If you are planning to run long distances, your Whippet will probably not be able to keep up. Frustratingly, it will be able to easily outstrip you in the first few minutes, and then most Whippets will lose interest in the whole activity and go to do something else.
Running long distances with a Whippet is possible in some circumstances, but it depends upon the individual a bit. Many Whippets will simply get bored of running after a while, as they do not have particularly good attention spans. You will probably find that your Whippet would rather go and sniff at a bush or adventure into some trees.
Overall, most Whippets do not have the attention span to run with you for more than a few minutes, and you will probably find that they interrupt your run. If you are training for a long race, it may be better to leave your Whippet at home so you can focus.
Can Whippets Run Long Distances?
Whippets are not bred for endurance running; they are bred for speed. Many are capable of covering quite a lot of ground, but they lack stamina and may strain their muscles if they run too far.
As mentioned above, they also lack the drive to run long distances. It is hard to motivate them to do so, and most will get bored partway through the long run, whether you are participating or not. Just because the dog can run long distances does not mean that it will do so.
You should be aware too that your dog will not be able to keep up its top speed over a long distance, so if you’re biking, make sure you aren’t going too fast. The thirty-five miles per hour estimate is not sustainable for any dog.
There is are a few health risks associated with long-distance running, too. You should never run a Whippet that is under a year old, as you may stress its joints and develop bones, causing permanent damage.
You should also not encourage too much running in Whippets that are over around five years old, for the same reasons. The dogs may choose to run, and that’s fine, but keep an eye on their abilities and watch out for injuries or signs of pain.
Even a dog in its prime must be cautious over long distances, especially if running on a hard surface. This will cause impact stress and can shred the dog’s pads, leading to blisters and discomfort.
You should check your dog’s nails and pads after a run, and make sure there are no issues. Sometimes, Whippets require you to clip their claws. Where possible, let your dog run on soft surfaces to reduce impact damage and pain.
The bottom line is that a Whippet is capable of running long distances, although not at top speed, many may choose not to do so. They are not motivated by long-distance running, and generally prefer short bursts of speed. If you want your dog to run long distances, you will need to reward it and keep it engaged.
Do Whippets Race?
Yes, Whippets were bred from Greyhounds, which are racing dogs. Whippet racing is thought to have started as a result of hare hunting, as owners began competing to see whose dog could catch rabbits, hares, or rats the fastest.
Whippets accelerate more quickly than any other dogs, and they are amazing race dogs. However, Whippet racing has been declining for many years, although it has seen something of a comeback recently.
There are ongoing debates about the acceptability of racing as a sport, and its image has taken several blows because of poor treatment, exploitation, and abuse problems. Many Whippets and Greyhounds in shelters are ex-race dogs that are no longer fit for running and have therefore been abandoned.
There are a lot of good reasons to adopt Whippets from shelters, therefore, giving them a new chance at life. Most will still be fairly young, as they will only be able to reach peak speeds when they are a few years old, and even a four or five-year-old Whippet may be too slow to have a chance in the races.
Of course, not all those who race Whippets are irresponsible owners, and many Whippets enjoy racing with or for their family members as long as the sport is run responsibly. If you want to take your Whippet to races with you, look for community events, and consider doing fun runs alongside your dog and other dog owners.
Whippets do seem to have a competitive streak, and many people have observed that when other dogs are involved, their Whippets really pick up the pace. These dogs love running for short bursts, and will very happily race others in the right conditions.
You now know the answer to “how fast can Whippets run?” and hopefully, you understand whether a Whippet is a right dog for you and your family. These speedy dogs are excellent runners over short distances and can reach amazing speeds. However, they lose interest over long distances, and they are not built for endurance running.