Dog lovers in the United States have two reasons to celebrate Independence Day. Not only is the date a day to pay tribute to the red, white and blue, it is also a day for true blue fans of Whippets around the world to celebrate the beloved breed on International Whippet Day.
When is International Whippet Day?
International Whippet Day is celebrated every July 4. The day was created by El Diario de Gala.
Fun Facts About Whippets
To mark this special day, we’ve fetched a few fun facts about these fleet-footed dogs:
The Whippet made its debut on the world stage in the Victorian era, when coal miners in northern England decided to breed a more diminutive (and therefore less expensive) version of the Greyhound for dog racing and rabbit hunting.
A name that fell out of favor, during the breed’s early days the Whippet was also called the snap dog. The sighthound was also once referred to as both the “poor man’s Greyhound” and the “poor man’s racehorse.”
Long live the Whippet! Members of this breed have an estimated life span that ranges from 12 – 15 years.
Among the most fast-moving of our four-legged friends, the whippet can run up to 35 miles per hour!
Where did the name Whippet come from? It’s thought that the breed’s moniker was derived from a word that is no longer in use– “whappet,” which means “a small dog that yap.”
Not only have Whippets won the hearts of dog devotees, over the years the breed has also earned top dog status at the most prestigious dog shows. In 1964 Mr. Len Carey was proclaimed Best in Show at the Westminster Dog Show, while the National Dog Show celebrated the win of Pinnacle Tennessee Whiskey in 2018. In 1992 at Crufts (the world’s largest dog show, held in the UK) a Whippet named Pencloe Dutch Gold was awarded the honor, a feat that was duplicated in 2004 by Cobyco Call the Tune and in 2018 by Collooney Tartan Tease.
Although the breed undoubtedly holds the number one spot in the heart of anyone who has been fortunate enough to welcome one of the sighthounds into their heart and home, the Whippet holds down the 57th position on the American Kennel Club’s annual list of the most popular dog breeds.
That’s one fast dog!
The fastest dog in America is a Whippet! Three-year-old Reas clocked in at 5.749 and 5.823 while running the 100-yard dash during ESPN’s Fastest Dogs USA and 5.769 at American Kennel Club’s Fast CAT invitational in 2021.
Earning a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records may seem like a pipe dream to some, but no one could burst Toby‘s bubble as he practiced popping 100 balloons at the fastest rate possible! In October 2017, the canine from Calgary, Alberta, Canada accomplished the feat, bursting a total of 100 balloons in 28,22 seconds, which beat his own previous record of 36.25 seconds!
In 2019 a Whippet named Sounders leapt into the Guinness Book of World Records for the Farthest Jump By A Dog in Dock Diving. Making a splash at 36 feet 2 inches, Sounders broke his own previous world record by eight inches!
Frisbee Loving Whippets
In 2012 Canadian canine Davy Whippet bounded into the Guinness Book of World Records for the Longest Flying Disc Throw Caught By A Dog…402 feet!
Named after Ashley Wilkes, Scarlett O’Hara’s unrequited love in Gone With The Wind, back in the 1970s Ashley Whippet ignited a passion for the new sport of K-9 Frisbee that continues to burn in the hearts of canine competitors today. Gaining fame as perhaps the greatest Frisbee catcher in history, over the years the talented tail-wagger showed off his skills during the Super Bowl XII halftime, on Wide World of Sports, at the Rose Bowl, and in the Oscar-nominated documentary, Floating Free.
His celebrity status even led to playtime once on the White House lawn during Jimmy Carter’s presidency.
Although it has been many years since Ashley Whippet crossed Rainbow Bridge, his memory lives on through the first and longest-running disc dog competition in the world, the Ashley Whippet Internationals. Dog sports fans can also find out more about this iconic canine at the Ashley Whippet K-9 Frisbee Museum in Naperville, Illinois.
Is a Whippet a Greyhound?
The Whippet is often mistaken for the Greyhound. This confusion is understandable, as the Whippet is among a group of eight breeds of dogs classified as a Greyhound.
The Whippet is joined on this list by the:
- Afghan Greyhound
- Arabic Greyhound
- Italian Greyhound
- Persian Greyhound
- Russian Greyhound
- Scottish Greyhound
- Spanish Greyhound
Famous Pet Parents of Whippets
A Whippet named Olive put smiles on the face of British comedy icon/animal advocate Jennier Saunders.
British fashion designer Lindka Cierach, who first gained fame as the creator of Sarah, The Duchess of York’s wedding dress, had a barking buddy named Zaffy.
Country crooner Hunter Hayes is a proud pet parent of two rescue dogs– a retired racing Greyhound named Cole and a Whippet-Beagle mix called Ella.
Adopting A Whippet
If you would like to welcome a Whippet into your heart and home, there are rescue organizations across the country which are dedicated to finding forever homes for members of the breed.
To find a Whippet adoption agency in your area, visit Whippet Rescue and Placement (WRAP), a charitable organization which offers a directory of volunteers throughout the United States who are fostering whippets in need, information regarding Whippets who are currently up for adoption, as well as postings of lost and found Whippets.
Potential pet parents can also search for adoptable whippets online at: