How fast can a Whippet run?

How fast can a Whippet run?
Photo by Mitchell Orr on Unsplash

It’s known that Whippets are an incredibly fast breed and are true kings and queens when it comes to running at high speeds, if you’ve ever seen one in action, you’ll certainly question their abilities, as they are very, very fast runners!

Whippets have a long history of being trained and used as racing dogs. In fact, they were bred to be excellent running dogs, but how fast can a Whippet run and what speeds can we expect from this breed?

You’ve likely seen a Whippet on the beach, on a race track or while walking, they are certainly hard to miss, given their skinny bodies, but this is perfectly normal.

Let’s jump into the details about everything you need to know about a Whippets running speed!

Are Whippets really that fast? 

Yes absolutely, do not doubt the fantastic speeds that Whippets are able to hit, otherwise, you will be left in the dust.

It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Whippets are the merchants of speed as these dogs are made to be excellent at one thing only, which is running extremely fast.

According to the American Kennel Club, Whippets are able to run up to a speed of 35 miles per hour, which is four times the speed of an average male human.

Whippets are able to run up to a speed of 35 miles per hour, which is four times the speed of an average male human.
Infographic of How fast can a Whippet run by Miniature Friends

So yes, Whippets can run very fast and you may be in complete shock at how such a small and skinny dog can run four times the average speed of a human, but this clearly demonstrates why Whippets are brilliant runners. To put that speed into perspective, a Whippet can run faster than an elephant and a horse, and even Usain Bolt couldn’t keep up with a Whippet.

Picture of a Whippet
Photo by Mitchell Orr on Unsplash

Video of a Whippet running fast on the beach!

Below is a video of a Whippet running at full speed on the beach in Bournemouth, posted by Freddie the Whippet on YouTube.

This is why Whippets are so prized at race tracks all around the globe and why they enjoy so much fame and respect from dog lovers, because they are able to run very fast.

What makes a Whippet run so fast?

Whippets were undoubtedly made to be exceptional at running. But you may wonder what makes this breed run so fast.

Below are all of the impressive characteristics of a Whippet that allows them to run at incredibly fast speeds.

Strong and flexible spine

Having a strong, robust, and flexible spine is a must for dogs to achieve high speeds. During their sprints, dogs are bound to face bumps on the road, which can easily injure the dog. Therefore most fast-running dogs, including the Whippet, have a flexible spine that is specially adapted to be able to absorb all the shocks and jolts caused by these bumps and during jumps (2).

Aerodynamic body

If you have ever seen a Whippet, you will have noticed that these dogs are highly slender and lean; well, there is a good reason for that as slender bodies are much more aerodynamic and therefore perfect for minimising drag caused by air resistance during dashes and sprints. Whippets also possess very long and narrow snouts, which further helps them minimise drag and run faster.

Strong respiratory and cardiovascular systems

During strenuous activities like running, every cell in the body requires excessive oxygen to produce the necessary energy. Therefore respiratory and cardiovascular systems have to go on hyperdrive and provide the body with the required oxygen levels. Fortunately, Whippets are blessed with extremely healthy and strong respiratory and cardiovascular systems, which help whippets run at high speeds for long distances. (3).

Relatively long legs

Whippets actually have quite long legs relative to their body size. This makes them quite tall compared to most other dog breeds and gives them a good ground clearance. This comes extremely handy when running at 35 miles per hour as these long legs produce enough momentum and energy that helps whippets propel themselves forward.

Are Whippets good to run with?

Yes, Whippets are good to run with for a number of reasons. They have high energy levels and can keep up with you for long periods of time, making them ideal running partners. You may even find that they are able to run longer distances than you, given their aerodynamic build, and you won’t ever have to worry about them getting tired too easily.

Their sleek build means they won’t slow you down or get in the way while you run, and they’re super fun to run with given their fast running speeds, and quirkiness. You will undoubtedly receive a lot of attention, especially in open areas like the beach. This makes the whole experience more enjoyable; you may even meet and speak to other dog owners on your travels, as they are a popular breed. So if you’re looking for a good running partner, a Whippet is definitely a great choice.

How fast do Whippets accelerate?

Whippets are one of the fastest dog breeds on the planet (no kidding). They can accelerate from 0 to 35 miles per hour in just a few seconds, making them perfect for racing and agility sports. Their running speed is largely due to their skinny build and long legs, which help them reach top speeds more quickly than other dog breeds. So next time you see a Whippet zipping around, remember that they’re built for speed and you won’t stand a chance against them! So don’t dare try to race them.

Given their fast speeds, it’s super important to ensure your Whippet is trained well. You wouldn’t ever want to be in a position where you’ve lost control of them, because you won’t catch them! If you have a Whippet or are planning to get one, ensure you train them to recall. This is important for their safety and others around them.

Can a Whippet run faster than a Greyhound?

The Greyhound is THE fastest dog breed on the planet and can run up to speeds of 45 miles per hour at their best, whereas, the Whippet, can run up to 35 miles per hour. So there’s a big gap between the two breeds of 10 mph. However, this will vary depending on the dogs.

Whippets are brilliant accelerators, so you may find that the Whippet will outrun the Greyhound in short bursts, but over longer distances, it won’t stand a chance.

How intelligent are Whippets?

Whippets are considered to be one of the smartest dog breeds. They are known for their loving nature, high intelligence, trainability and friendly demeanour, which is super important given their size and superior running speeds. They need to be able to think on their own two feet and obey their owners to keep them safe while out and about.

Whippets make great pets for families with children, and they are also popular in the racing world. They will undoubtedly be challenged to frequent races on the beach by other dogs, like the German Shepherd. But, with their sleek and nimble bodies, Whippets will come out on top every time. How could you not love a dog that’s both adorable and speedy?

Do you have a Whippet? How do you find them to be? Let us know in the comments below!

How far can a Whippet run?

How far a Whippet can run depends on a number of factors, including their size, diet, build and age of the dog, so the distance will fluctuate between different dogs. However, Whippets can usually run up to six miles before tiring out.

Are Whippets lazy?

Absolutely not, but the truth is, like with most breeds, it depends on the dog. Some Whippets love to laze around all day, while others are always ready for a game of fetch or a run. Most Whippets are the latter. 

Whippets were bred for hunting and racing, so they have a lot of energy. They need plenty of exercise to stay happy and healthy, both mentally and physically. So it’s important to give them the exercise they require, even if they do seem lazy or not up for the job. 

According to PDSA and the American Kennel Club, Whippets require at least an hour of exercise per day. If you don’t have the time or energy to keep up with their needs, a Whippet is probably not the right breed for you.

Our summary of how fast Whippets can run

Whippets were certainly built for speed and are one of the fastest dog breeds on the planet … you shouldn’t underestimate them and if you plan to race one on the beach, you better be prepared to lose! 

Whippets can run up to 35 miles per hour on an average day and some have reported their Whippets to even reach speeds of 40 miles per hour, so even faster than expected in some cases! If you are someone that enjoys running, a Whippet could be an excellent addition to your home.

Professional References:

Below are the references used in this content to professional academic research institutions and medical associations, that have been used to help inform the content in this article. To learn more about our process of creating content, please see our about page.

2 comments
    1. Hi Dave. Thank you for your question. Can you please clarify what you mean by “too fast”? Are they running too quickly for your liking or are they not able to keep up? I would love to help in any way I can!

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