Beneath it's protective, yet decorative
coat, the Longhaired Whippet is identical to the smooth Whippet,
except that its skin has greater substance and suppleness to support
the longer hair. This small, very athletic and graceful sighthound
expresses its competitive spirit in its alert demeanor, and can
race, course and hunt in a wide variety of terrain and weather
because of its size and coat. Never aggressive with its
own kind, it also should display a love for and devotion to its
human associates. An aloof, undemonstrative temperament is not
Soft, silky in texture, the long hair has
only sufficient undercoat for warmth and protection, but not so
much as to make the coat bulky. Guard hairs may be slightly wavy
or even curly provided that feathering along the back of forelegs,
from the brisket, breech and tail is long enough to enhance the
beauty of the flowing whippet movement. The distinctive collar
of hair that frames the face adds to the dog's expression.
on muzzle, feet, front of forelegs and on hocks should be short. Although
some discreet thinning and tidying of coat may be necessary to
reveal the whippet outline beneath, any obvious trimming or major
barbering must be strictly penalized in the show ring. Nothing
is trimmed on the head or ears. Excessive coat that could impede
the animal while running or working in the field must be penalized
in the conformation ring.
The uniquely graceful outline of an excellent
whippet is its hallmark, whether it be smooth or longhaired. The
elegant head and reachy, arched neck start the flowing line over
the back of the gentle loin arch. Beneath is the dramatic
plunge of the deep brisket and the extreme tuck-up. Top
and bottom lines are balanced by the long, angulated hindquarters
and graceful sweep of the tail.
Moderately long in head, the Whippet has
a fairly wide back skull which, when viewed from above tapers
gradually without any suggestion of coarseness through a full
muzzle to the nose. When viewed from the side, the top plane of
the muzzle is lower but parallel to the plane of the flat skull
with a subtle stop between. The nose in black pigmented colors
is entirely black; in dilutes, the darkest solid color possible.
The muzzle should be strong and in good
balance to the skull. Teeth should be large for a dog of this
modest size. Only a scissors bite is allowed.
Very large, with a bright, questioning expression,
the eyes must be as close to black as possible, and pigmentation
around them must be complete and of a dark color. Dilute
Longhaired Whippets, even the blues, have dark eyes. This characteristic
must not be allowed to degenerate into a lighter brown eye.
A "rose" is the only acceptable ear. All other types - prick,
semi-prick ("tulip"), button, hound etc. are not allowed.
The "rose" ear is a very soft, folded ear with a stiffer base
or cup. When the dog is at attention a pleat fold just above
the cup permits the upper ear to fall gracefully over the side
of the head, not forward. In repose, the "rose" ear folds
back tightly against the side of the neck.
The neck is of great reach. It is lean and muscular without excess
flesh or skin at the throat. It has a definite crest of an arch
just behind the head and widens gradually and gracefully into
For speed and drive the Whippet depends upon its back, which jackknifes
open and shut. Therefore, the back must be wide, powerfully muscled,
flexible and long. The arch over the loin, the firm abdominal
muscles and the deep brisket of the Whippet creates its dramatic
tuck-up. While running at full extension during maximum
effort, the Whippet reaches forward and sways its back, then folds
together at the tuck-up while the hindlegs reach in front of the
The most graceful topline is smooth, with no dips or bulges, and
starts at the withers with a scarcely perceptible arch that gradually
reaches its apex over the beginning of the loin and then gently
falls off over the long croup. A flat back with steep croup is
not a loin arch.
Of good substance and straight, when viewed from the front, the
forelegs should appear as wide in bone above and below as the
pastern joint itself. Elbows and toes should turn neither in nor
out. When viewed from the side, front legs should suggest
both power and flexibility through the pasterns, which, while
the dog stands quietly, should not bend noticeably.
Shoulder blades should be long and smooth with flat muscle. Width
between the blades at the withers must be commensurate with other
body proportions: i.e., an animal with somewhat greater spring
of ribs will need a wider space between blade ends than one with
less spring. The shoulder blades of a well laid back assembly
will form an approximate ninety degree angle with the upper arms,
which may be somewhat longer than the blades to allow for the
dramatic depth of brisket typical of a beautiful Whippet. When
the upper arm is shorter than the shoulder blade, a modest or
shallow brisket will reach the elbow and appear adequate.
The shape of the extremely deep brisket is of utmost importance
to the outline of the Whippet. From the "wasp waist" tuck-up
at the loin, the line of the rearmost part of the brisket should
suddenly fall in a graceful convex curve toward the elbow, reaching
its greatest depth just behind the elbow and continuing at the
same depth forward past the elbow before swinging up to form a
deep, well filled forechest between the upper arms. This
forechest should stay even with the front line of the forelegs
and not make any protrusion in front of the joining of the upper
arm and shoulder blade.
Well angulated, of good length and muscle, when viewed from the
side the hindquarters must express the power from which comes
the dog's great speed. Well developed thighs and hocks bent close
to the ground balance the large rib cage and long neck. Viewed
from the rear, the hindquarters should be wide, well muscled,
and should be without any suggestion of cowhocks.
Feet should be well knuckled with tough pads and well curved nails
of moderate length and great strength for clawing into the ground.
Both the hare foot, with its longer middle toes, and the cat foot,
with its shorter middle toes, are acceptable.
Long and flexible, the tail reaches at least to the hipbone when
drawn forward between the legs, with feathering or plume reaching
well beyond. The tail is carried low when the dog moves, and the
forward threequarters does not go above the level of the top line. A
graceful swirl, but not a tight curl, at the end of the tail is
typical of many.
The Whippet moves with a relaxed and level gait which has great
reach in the forward motion, and great drive in the backward motion
of both the front and rear quarters. Constricted or excessive
up and down movement of the legs when viewed from the side are
faulty. When viewed from the front or rear, legs must move back
and forth with pendulum freeness and without any side or inward
motions. Feet seek a center of gravity beneath the animal. Too
narrow, or too wide movement and crossing, interfering feet are
The accepted measurements for smooth Whippets of 19 to 22 inches
for males, and 18 to 21 inches for females, with a grace interval
of one-half inch above and below the extremes, applies to the
longhaired variety as well. However, allowance must be made
for the thickness of coat at the withers when measuring.
Any color and marking is allowed, however, neither is immaterial. Each
should enhance the beauty of the total dog, complementing its
conformation and coat.
Dogs with any current disqualifications for the variety are not
acceptable in the International Registry of the Longhaired Whippet
Association, Inc., therefore, show ring disqualifications are