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whippet, breed of small, slender hound developed in England in the mid-18th cent. It stands between 18 and 22 in. (45.7–55.8 cm) high at the shoulder and weighs about 20 lb (9 kg). Its close-lying, smooth coat may be any color but is usually white, tan, or gray. Developed from crosses of greyhound, terrier, and, later, Italian greyhound, the whippet was used for coursing hares in an enclosed area, a sport that became popular when bullbaiting and bearbaiting were outlawed. Today it is raised primarily as a race dog and pet. See dog.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a breed of hunting dog, closely related to the borzoi. The origin of the whippet is unknown. In the 18th and 19th centuries the breed was used for hare coursing. Later it came to be used in sports competitions, in which the dogs are raced in pursuit of hares. The whippet is also a popular house pet.

Bred in Europe and North America, the whippet is a small dog, standing 47–48 cm high at the shoulder. The body is light and slender, and the musculature is compact and well developed. The coat is short and smooth and lacks an undercoat. The coloration is black, white, or various shades of rust and can be tiger-like or spotted. The whippet, which has a lively and energetic temperament, surpasses other borzois in speed.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


a small slender breed of dog similar to a greyhound in appearance
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
All my long departed uncles wore them and for me they still have the whiff of a whippet about them, not to mention a ferret.
Roll on Sunday lunchtime and there I am standing on a Yorkshire hill at the monthly gathering of The Whippet Whirl.
Fellow dog lover Matthew Storer, from Northfield, said he had become friends with the owner and Alfie after he started walking his whippet Travis in Cotteridge Park about three years ago.
It's not a place for people with small appetites - the whippets really appreciated the large chunks of juicy roast beef that we couldn't finish.
Lee didn't bring all her whippets with her from Pennsylvania but she did admit to having several in her hotel room.
Perhaps the whippets were barking from excitement, wanting to make friends and say hello.
Scientists are hoping to apply what they learn about myostatin production in whippets to help people.
THIS picture shows a cycle racing club from the 1940s - Whaley's Whippets.
Working from the premise that whippets have been wiped out in the name of progress and are swiftly to be followed by the banning of flat caps and working men's clubs, she faces her inevitable fate.
Apparently, a bloke with two big black whippets had let one off its lead deliberately to savage my little cat.
Jo Lock from Worcester arrives at Ragley Hall, near Alcester in Warwickshire, to show her whippets at the Game Fair which was held there at the weekend.