Whippet VS Greyhound: The Key Differences in Look and Temperament

Last Updated on April 25, 2023

The Whippet and the Greyhound are two dog breeds that are frequently confused. They were both bred for their speed and agility. They both have sleek bodies and long legs and are as quick as a flash.

Whippet vs Greyhound
Whippet dog (left) vs Greyhound dog (right)

There are, however, a few key differences between these two breeds. For example, the Whippet is smaller than the Greyhound.

If you are thinking about getting one of these speedy dog breeds, keep reading as we compare everything you need to know about these dogs.

Breed Comparison: A Quick Overview

The Greyhound and the Whippet are very similar hound-type dogs. They share many of the same traits, with the most significant difference between the two breeds being that the Greyhound is the bigger dog.

Here is a quick comparison table to tell the difference.

  Whippet Greyhound
Height 18-22 inches 
(45-55 cm)
28-30 inches 
(71-76 cm)
Weight 15-42 pounds 
(7 -19 kg)
75-88 pounds
Average Lifespan 12-15 years 10-13 years
Energy levels Average Average
Grooming needs Low Low
Price $800-$1500 $1500 and up
Temperament Calm, Affectionate, Playful Independent, Noble, Gentle

History of the Whippet and Greyhound

A Whippet vs Greyhound dog standing on the grass
A Whippet dog (left) and the Greyhound dog (right) standing on the grass

The Greyhound and the Whippet share the same ancestry. The Greyhound was first mentioned in different versions of the Bible and in the Tomb of Amten in Egypt back in 2900 B.C. Therefore, they are believed to have existed for some 4000 years. 

Greyhounds came to Europe during the dark ages and were later taken to America. Initially, they were used as hunting dogs. 

The Whippet is a direct descendant of the Greyhound. They were actually bred for the poor and were known as the poor man’s Greyhound. They were brought to North America in the early 20th Century. 

The modern-day Greyhound was registered as a breed in 1885, and three years after the Greyhound was recognized, the Whippet was also accepted as a breed. 

Are Whippets related to Greyhounds?

Whippets are related to Greyhounds. In fact, they were bred from the Greyhounds’ smaller puppies. They were created when Greyhounds were crossbred with fast terriers with long legs in the 1700s.

How Can You Tell the Difference Between a Greyhound and a Whippet?

The most significant difference between these two dog breeds is that the Whippet is smaller than the Greyhound.

Whippet vs Greyhound height and weight difference
A height comparison between a Whippet dog (left) vs Greyhound dog (right)

Greyhounds stand between 28 and 30 inches (71 and 76cm) and weigh between 75 and 88 pounds (34 and 40kg). Whippets, however, are only 18 to 22 inches (45 to 55 cm) tall and weigh between 15 and 42 pounds (7 and 19 kg).

Also, when you look at a Greyhound’s ears, they are usually folded if they are not excited. A Whippet’s rose-colored ears are smaller and more delicate.

Temperament and Personality

Smiling portrait of Greyhound dog (left) and the Whippet dog (right)

The personality of a Greyhound is very pleasant with no aggression. They are very independent and sensitive. They have many cat-like qualities and grow timid or shy when mistreated. 

Whippets have more or less the same temperament as the Greyhound. They all are also very affectionate and true to their family but can be distant around strangers.

In socialization, the Whippet is the same as the Greyhound; the Whippet, however, is quite sensitive to touch. 

Are Greyhounds calmer than Whippets?

Both the Greyhound and Whippet are calm, gentle, non-aggressive, and smart. With the right amount of exercise, they bloom as calm, loving, smart, and affectionate companions for you and your family.

Whippets, however, can become anxious and destructive if they are not exercised daily.

Are Whippets lazy like Greyhounds? 

Whippets and Greyhounds are equally lazy, docile, and calm dogs. They both love running as much as lazing around the whole day.

Even after work, they would love to spend the rest of the day indoors like couch potatoes. That said, it is still very important for their owners to give them the required daily exercise.

How strong are a Whippet and a Greyhound’s bite forces?

The Greyhound is a much stronger, more forceful dog than a Whippet, primarily due to his larger size.

A Greyhound has a powerful jaw in its wide face with a bite force of 235psi (16.5kg). A Whippet’s bite force is between 200 and 400psi (16 to 28kg).

Which breed is the perfect family dog?

Both the Greyhound and Whippet make great family pets. Their sweet and gentle demeanor ensure they are lovely companions for the whole family.

They are easy to please and very loyal to their family. All they need is attention, moderate exercise, and a little grooming. Perhaps also a soft couch to be lazy on.

Which Breed is Easier to Train?

A Whippet and a Greyhound both running fast
A Whippet dog (left) and Greyhound dog (right) are both running fast

Because both these breeds are quite stubborn, it might not be so easy to train either of them. The best time to start their training would be as soon as possible, as early obedience training could be critical to make sure that they will obey.

Training should be with great care, for they are very sensitive and can become more obstinate and timid.

Which Dog Breed Has Higher Maintenance?

Beautiful Whippet and Greyhound dog
Equally beautiful Whippet dog (left) and Greyhound dog (right)

Neither the Greyhound nor the Whippet needs a lot of maintenance. Both these dogs are very easygoing when it comes to grooming because they both have short coats.

Additionally, neither of the two needs a bath very often. To make it even better still, they dry very quickly too. 

In the wintertime, it might be necessary to have a warm jacket for them, due to their thin coats. They might even need cooling jackets for warmer temperatures. 

The owner of these dogs must also be aware of any nicks and scrapes

 to take them to a vet for inspection. Brushing their teeth three times a week, and trimming their nails twice a month, might be your biggest maintaining problem.

Which dog is more energetic?

Although both these sighthounds are fast runners and very playful. The Greyhound can run faster than a Whippet; in fact, he is even faster than a racehorse.

That said, Whippets accelerate at a quicker speed, they are the 100-meter sprinters, and the Greyhound, on the other hand, is the 400-meter runner. 

The Whippet can be a little more energetic and would probably love more play time than the Greyhound.

Which dog sheds more?

Both the Whippet and the Greyhound have very short fur.

The fact that both the Greyhound and the Whippet have short, smooth coats means they don’t shed that much, and a brush or two a week will be enough to control the shedding. The Greyhound sheds a little bit more than the Whippet.

Nutritional needs

As the growth plates in Greyhound bones don’t stop growing for two years, they need to eat special puppy food in their formative years, designed to promote slow growth so as not to develop joint problems.

For them, calcium and phosphorus ratios should be kept in balance, and foods high in protein ensure enough calories to keep up with their active lives.

Whippets’ needs are quite similar, although they will eat less than Greyhounds due to their smaller size. Owners should be careful not to overfeed them and cause obesity, which can be very bad for their small frames and joints.

Greyhound vs. Whippet Average Lifespan

A senior Whippet and Greyhound dog
A senior Whippet dog (left) (Source: @aaron_aroncino / IG) and Greyhound dog (right) (Source: @janetgreene15 / IG)

Both the Whippet and the Greyhound are healthy dogs. The Whippet can live for about 12 to 15 years. Greyhounds tend a have a little shorter lifespan, living on average 10 to 13 years.

Some common health problems that affect Greyhounds are dental disease, musculoskeletal iinjurie, digestive difficulties, bone disease, and eye problems such as progressive retinal atrophy.

Eye disease is also common amongst Whippets, who also frequently suffer from the heart condition known as mitral valve disease as well as immune-mediated problems.

Puppy Price

In its lifetime, a Whippet will definitely be much more budget-friendly because they do not need a lot of space and also do not eat a lot of food. Greyhounds eat twice as much as Whippets. 

A young Whippet and Greyhound dog
Cute little Greyhound puppy (left) and Whippet puppy (right)

Whippet puppies are also slightly less expensive. These dogs might sell for $800 to $1500, while a Greyhound pup will likely cost more than $1500, especially if you prefer to buy through a champion racer’s line.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

A Whippet and Greyhound laying together
A Greyhound and Whippet dog laying on their bed together – Source: @arthur.the.whippet / IG

Which is more popular, the Greyhound or the Whippet?

Greyhounds and Whippets are very popular due to their sweet-natured, affectionate temperaments.

According to the American Kennel Club, the Whippet is slightly more popular than the Greyhound, ranking as the 57th most popular breed, while the Greyhound comes in at 73.

Do Greyhound and Whippet get along?

Greyhounds and Whippets get along very easily because they are from the same family. Both are equally friendly and easygoing.

They also tend to make an excellent pet for a closely-knit family and a very comfortable match for a multi-dog household.

Conclusion: Are Whippets Better than Greyhounds?

As you can see, the Greyhound and the Whippet are two very similar breeds of dogs. Words that describe the temperament of a Greyhound are lazy, calm, and docile.

The Whippet also has a similar temperament. Both dogs are very affectionate and loyal to their family. The Whippet is also an excellent watchdog that seldom barks.

None of these sighthounds are better than the other. They are equally valuable depending on who their owners are. Some owners keep these dogs as race dogs.

They are, after all, the fastest dogs in the world. Other people just enjoy them as family pets or might enroll them for


The main difference between their two dogs is their size, with the Whippet being a fair amount smaller than the Greyhound. So it all depends on the size of your home and which dog will be best suited for it. 

The right dog for you all depends on what the dog’s function will be to the family and the space you have available to keep them.

With the Greyhound being the bigger of the two breeds, he requires more space than the smaller Whippet.

Do you have a Whippet or Greyhound at home? Please share the stories of your furry companion in the comments below.

Further reading: More Dog Breeds to Compare Below


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