When looking to own a dog, most people choose their breed for a specific reason. Some breeds are excellent watchdogs or guard dogs, while others are suitable for apartment living, great hunters, great outdoor companions, hypoallergenic for allergy sufferers, etc. But sometimes, we just choose a dog simply because they are cute. The sleek, sweet-faced Whippet is fast, amiable, dignified, rarely barks, intelligent, loving, and with many more positive traits that every dog enthusiast will love. But while most of this breed’s lovers admire them for their affectionate nature and athletic elegance, these dogs are also beautiful, with various color options for you to choose from depending on your personality and what you deem beautiful.
So, what are the Whippet colors? This breed comes in a wide variety of colors that includes many different shades and color intensities. You’ll see them in black, blue, fawn, silver, cream, dun, orange, tan, and even white. Some may be one solid color, but most have a combination of these colors with various spots, patches, blazes, and even markings.
If you are a dog lover, you already know that dog breeds come in all sorts of colors and patterns. Some of these coat colors are self-explanatory, but others can be confusing and even sound mysterious. Today, I’m looking at the Whippet color to help you understand the coloration that naturally occurs in their coats. In the process, I’ll highlight what colors are common and which ones are rare, whether or not the color of dog you get matters, the basic colors that this breed can inherit and the possible color combinations, and much more. I hope this information helps you understand what your Whippet puppy could look like and what color option to consider if you’re considering rescuing an adult Whippet. Keep reading to find out more.
While some purebred dog breeds such as the Samoyed and the Japanese Spits have a minimal number of naturally occurring colors, the Whippet has a wide range of naturally occurring colors. In fact, the American Kennel Club (AKC) states that this breed’s color is immaterial, whereas other kennel clubs say that they can be any color or mixture of colors.
As mentioned earlier, the base colors for this breed include black, blue, cream, dun, fawn, orange, red, silver, tan, and white. This means that a purebred Whippet can have any of the above colors, being either 100% single-colored or parti-color.
Three genes determine a Whippet’s color. The first one defines the actual color, while the second gene determines what color will be dominant or recessive. The third gene then determines whether the coat will be solid or particolored. Additionally, some Whippets combinations are more likely to produce some colors and never others. For example, black male and female Whippets can produce pups of any color combination, while dun Whippets can’t produce black, blue, brindle, or fawn puppies.
While you can find this dog in any of the above colors, some are more common than others. Black, blue, white, and brindle Whippets are rare, but dun Whippets are the rarest, with an estimated 1 in every 1,500 births found in this color. That being said, none of this breed’s colors are considered more desirable or valuable than others.
Some breeders will try to sell the Merle gene as rare at a higher price tag. This pattern appears as mottled patches of color on the coats of many breeds. You should know that this is not a naturally occurring color in Whippets, making it impossible for a purebred Whippet to carry the gene that causes this pattern. If your dog has the merle pattern, chances are it possesses this gene from other breeds with this color and is, therefore, not purebred.
Whippet Dog Breed Markings
In addition to this great variety of colors, this breed is also available in a variety of markings, including:
- Brindle: This coat pattern combines colors and often appears as tiger stripes. Although they are not as pronounced and dark as a tiger, brindle markings are still quite visible. For example, you can find a brindle Whippet with black stripes or blueish stripes.
- Mask: This refers to the color on the muzzle area, ears, or the whole face that looks like a mask. Masks in this breed are predominantly black, but they can also be grey, brown, or a mix of brown and grey.
- White markings: This describes a coat with the tail, muzzle, and breastbone tipped with white. Note that the white shouldn’t completely cover these areas; instead, just be at the tips.
Other common markings of this breed include saddle, sibling, and watermarking.
Now that you have a general understanding of Whippet colors let’s take an in-depth look at the base colors for this breed.
These Whippets have black fur. There are essentially two types of black that you’ll see in this breed. The first one is the dominant black, which is where the dog is black from head to toe with no other color, while the other is black with markings. As a whole, they are not rare, and you can easily find puppies in this color. However, the dominant black is rarer than the black Whippets with markings.
Black is one of the base colors of this breed, meaning it’s completely natural, unlike the merle Whippets. This means that black Whippets are purebred.
When it comes to grooming a black Whippet, they don’t require much maintenance as they don’t always appear dirty like the bright-colored breeds.
Black and White Whippets
This is the most common type of black Whippets with markings. It has a black body with white toes and a white chest.
When referring to the blue Whippet, it doesn’t mean the blue you’re accustomed to. It’s a dilute of the black color that ranges from a very dark, very nearly black color to a misty light grey-blue. This dog has more of a gunmetal blue look; plus, their nose leather is closer to blue than black. The sheen is impeccable, and the blue coat covers the body all over. If you’re lucky, you could find a blue Whippet with blue eyes as well. These are beautiful-looking dogs that will take your breath away.
Blue Whippets remain a rare coat color amongst this breed. In fact, it’s quite hard to achieve an abundance of puppies in this beautiful color since it is caused by receiving two copies of the dilute gene. This dog will most likely have a black coat if this gene is absent. Even if you breed two blue Whippets, you’re not guaranteed to have a blue puppy. Therefore, if this is the color you’re set on finding, you might be on the waiting list for months.
These dogs have a unique light brown color that looks amazing on the Whippet and makes them distinguishable from the other types of Whippets. Identifying this dog is done by simply looking at the dog. They usually have a cream/beige color, although some have markings on their body, feet, chest, or around the nose and eyes. The latter is more common than fawn Whippets with no markings.
If you’re looking for this Whippet, you’ll be happy to know that it’s pretty common. They usually don’t have much of a waiting list and are relatively affordable, of course, depending on the demand and supply.
Remember that having a light brown coat, these Whippets will require more maintenance than their darker counterparts as dirt is easily seen.
Blue Fawn Whippet
A blue fawn Whippet is quite rare as it requires two recessive genes. This dog is produced when a puppy inherits a brown-coated parent’s genes that has also inherited two copies of a recessive dilution gene. One of the reasons people go for breeds with this color is their stunning beauty.
Red Fawn Whippet
These Whippets are available from a dark reddish tan coat to a lighter one.
Silver Fawn Whippet
These are other fawn Whippets with a shiny gray sheen to their coats. They are also rare and, therefore, might be a bit costly.
Brindle isn’t really a color in itself, but rather one of the markings dog breeds comes in. Brindle Whippets have coat patterns that subtly resemble tiger stripes. However, the stripping can sometimes be so faint that the dog is considered a solid color until it is closely inspected. They typically have dark markings that are pretty visible due to the Whippet’s coat having a lighter coat. It’s also possible to get Whippets with lightly colored patterns on dark coats. These are called reverse-brindle Whippets and are very rare.
Brindle markings can occur in several colors, including red, fawn, dun, black, and blue, with different stripe intensities from bold to faint. Most brindle Whippets have a bi-color pattern, while others have a combination of three colors, giving it a tri-color appearance.
Brindle dogs have a unique coloring that has drawn owners for years. Unlike other dog breeds where this color pattern is rare, Whippets tend to have a higher occurrence of brindles, meaning they are much easier to find, although still rarer than some Whippet colors. This breed comes in various brindle colors such as:
Dark Brindle Whippet
The brindle coat comes in two ways: the dark and lighter brindle. The former has dark markings on a light-colored coat, while the latter is the reverse. The dark markings could be black or dilutions of gray. Just from the description, you can tell that these coat colors are unique and rare and may take you some time before you can find a puppy in this coat color.
Red Brindle Whippet
Although brindle Whippets are rare, the most common marking you can find in the market is the red brindle Whippet as it has the classic tiger print. This dog has a reddish base color with blackish markings. And, the red base can go from a light cream to a deep red.
White dogs are some of the most beautiful dogs out there. A white Whippet has a white-colored fur from head to toe, with no other color on its body. However, pure whites are quite rare, and it’s more likely that you’ll find a combination of white with patches of other colors, and this is called parti-color, which I’ll discuss later.
While it’s possible to have a white Whippet, most experts don’t include it in the list of basic colors because it’s often considered to be the absence of color. The gene that causes the white pigment in the skin has been linked to hearing loss and other illnesses. So, be careful when adopting a white Whippet.
Remember that grooming a white Whippet will be a little different from other colors, given the simple fact that they will appear dirtier than their dark-colored counterparts.
Silver coats are very rare, and only a few breeds can produce them, with this breed being one of them. There’s nothing quite striking like a silver Whippet. Maybe because the silver markings make them resemble wolves but also, it’s hard not to notice a dog with such a distinctive coat color. Get one today, and their sleek and beautiful coat is sure to make you the talk of the dog park.
Cream Whippet Dog
This is not the most apparent color, and you’re likely not to notice it until someone points it out. Cream Whippets will be anything from off-white to a touch of yellow or a more obvious yellowish blond. And with glossy and a stellar shine, these creamy dogs are indeed beautiful.
Statistics show that these are the rarest Whippets, showing up in only 1 in every 1,500-2,000 Whippets. This coloring is often confused with fawn, but a dun Whippet’s coat is chocolate brown or liver red hue. It can range from a softer, lighter blue fawn to a rich dim chocolaty brown. Dun Whippets are also identified by their pinkish-brown noses and brown claws on each paw. Given their rarity, these Whippets might end up costing a lot more than other Whippet colors on this list.
When you think of a dog, you’re likely to picture it in one of the classic colors of black, tan, white, etc. What you wouldn’t think a dog being is orange, but you’ll be surprised to know that it’s somewhat a common color. The Whippet is one of the dog breeds with orange as one of its base colors, meaning it is naturally occurring. It’s not uncommon to find Whippets in orange and white coats, but the latter must be subtle. There’s something particularly stunning about orange Whippets, so consider getting yourself one.
While you probably need to spend time and money to achieve the perfect tan, tan Whippets come by this perfect shade of brown so naturally. And you can keep their coats nice and golden all year long with minimal effort. Tan dogs range from light to darker brown with earthy brown shades. For these dogs to qualify as true tans, they should not have white or black markings on their bodies. While being tan doesn’t make these Whippets better than others in terms of temperament, personality, and behavior, they sure do know the importance of looking your best.
Parti Colored Whippet
This color pattern combines all the colors I’ve listed above with white. As mentioned earlier, purely white Whippets are rare as most will come with even a small spot of another color, and such a dog is considered parti-color. However, the dog must have more than 50% white on its body with irregular patches of other acceptable solid colors listed above. Parti-colored Whippets are different from multi-colored dogs because they have white as the primary color and a secondary color with clear lines as boundaries rather than just fading into the white.
Parti-colored Whippets are relatively rare compared to most colors on this list but are still one of the most popular choices as they are considered attractive and exotic.
Needless to say, all these Whippet colors and markings combinations result in an enormous variety. You may be wondering, does the color of my Whippet matter? Not really; in fact, color is considered immaterial in judging Whippets -check the national specialty catalog if you want to enter your dog in any competition.
The color of your dog all comes down to your personal preference. Even their temperament or behavioral traits are not affected by color since these two are often determined by the dog’s genetic make-up, breeding line, and individual personality.
Are you thinking of adopting a Whippet? I’m sure by now you know a bit more about this breed to help you make an informed decision. As long as you know what to expect from them in other areas as well, you should be able to find a lovely family companion in this not-so-popular and understated lovable pooch. This includes feeding requirements, energy levels & exercise needs, grooming needs, health and lifespan, physical characteristics, personality, and how well they get along with other family members.