Whippets are renowned for their speed and slim build. While they were initially bred for racing, today, they are often kept as therapy dogs and pets. With a range of positive attributes, traits, and characteristics it is no wonder that they are such a popular choice. But how big are they and what size do they typically reach? I spent some time researching the breed standard and will be sharing my findings here today.
So, how big do whippets get? Whippets are classified as medium-sized dogs, typically reaching between 18-22 inches in height and weighing between 26-34 pounds. Male whippets are generally taller and heavier than female whippets, although both sexes will generally reach their full adult size by the time that they are 12-15 months old.
With the average whippet being no more than 35 pounds (except the rare exceptions), this is not a heavy dog by a long stretch.
In build they are lean and there is little of them.
It comes as no surprise that they are so speedy and that they have a long history of chasing rabbits, other similar-sized game are used in the racing ring.
As you can imagine, this purebred dog, therefore, does come with a high prey drive.
Thankfully, however, they are very loving, affectionate, and gentle with humans.
These dogs are naturally sociable and can get along quite well with other dogs; they can also be taught to be gentle with cats.
Let us now take a closer look at the average whippet size in much more detail.
We will be looking at their typical growth cycle, the age at which owners usually see their dogs stop growing, and if this breed can even get fat (they are usually so lean so is it even possible?)
You will also find out the average timeline it takes for them to reach mental maturity and start acting like an adult dog.
So, if you are thinking about adopting this breed, be sure to read this informative size guide to find out all the information you will likely need!
Average Whippet Height, Weight, And Size
Like most breeds of dogs, the average height, weight, and size depend largely on the sex of the dog.
On average, male whippets are between 19 to 22 inches in height; whereas females are between 18 to 21 inches in height. These measurements are taken at the shoulders.
Males have an average weight of 34 pounds, with females being slightly lighter at around 29 pounds.
At this height and weight, they are classified as a medium-sized breed which makes them suitable for both apartment and larger home living.
They do very well indoors, especially when their owners are close. They thrive on human companionship.
Heredity is another significant factor when it comes to the resulting size of an adult whippet, but there is a responsibility on the owner to ensure they reach their full potential.
Puppies must get the right nutrition from day one, getting all the nutrients that they need to grow appropriately. Either being overweight or underweight is not desirable.
The recommended daily feed for a whippet puppy is one/ one and a half cups of dry, high-quality dog food. This should be divided into two feedings and fed separately.
However, how much your whippet will eat will depend on their age, build, size, and activity levels.
A highly active dog will require more food than one that prefers spending most of its time lying down.
Exercise is essential for this breed, it keeps them remain fit and healthy, while also being sufficiently mentally stimulated.
This breed does require plenty of exercise and they are generally very high-energy dogs.
It is best to walk them multiple times per day as opposed to a longer, singular walk. A couple of 20-30 minute leashed walks a day is generally a good amount.
You must be mindful of the breed when keeping them on a leash, as they do have a high prey drive and a tendency to attempt to run off if they see the opportunity.
Equally, you will need to make sure that you have a high fence around your yard.
This will allow you to let your dog burn off some energy without the risk of escaping (which they will attempt to do if given the chance).
While exercise is very important to this breed to retain a healthy weight, you do need to be careful in the puppy stage.
They should not be over-exercised as this will put a lot of strain on their growing bones and joints.
Following the rule of five minutes of exercise per month of age is advised.
For example, a five-month-old whippet should not engage in more than 25 minutes of structured exercise a day.
Again, any running, hiking, or rigorous activity must also be monitored during this stage.
At What Age Are Whippets Fully Grown?
Whippets typically reach their full adult size by the time they are 12-14 months old. Generally, the larger the whippet ultimately becomes, the longer it takes for them to reach that size.
As males are larger, they tend to stop growing around the 14-month mark, whereas females tend to stop at the 12-month mark.
However, if a female is on the larger side, she may stop at 14 months.
Either way, most whippets grow rapidly between birth and eight months. This is why a high-quality, protein-rich diet is essential.
Nevertheless, the dog’s genetics will have a large influence on the resulting growth. It is for this reason that growth rates will vary slightly from one dog to the other.
Some lines grow faster than others and will reach their adult height by six months, whereas it can take some dogs for more than twelve months to reach their adult height.
Some whippets experience a short and fast growth spurt at different age intervals; such as at eight months, then again at ten months, and another spurt at twelve months.
After 12 months, it can take some whippets a few more months before their shoulders relax, and then you can determine their “real” height.
For the most part, a full-grown whippet is still small enough to sit comfortably on your lap, yet large enough to be a great running companion. In terms of size this dog is an all-rounder!
Let us now take a closer look at the respective growth timelines, for either sex.
Growth Of A Female Whippet
- At 3 months of age, a female whippet should weigh between 9.4 pounds and 12 pounds.
- Their size almost doubles by the time they are 6 months old, and their weight should be somewhere between 17 pounds and 22 pounds.
- Once they approach their first year, your female whippet should be around 22 pounds to 28 pounds.
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Growth Of A Male Whippet
- At 3 months of age, a typical male should weigh in the vicinity of 11 pounds to 13.5 pounds.
- Their size will also almost double by the time they reach 6 months old, and their weight should be somewhere between 20.5 pounds and 25.35 pounds.
- Once they approach their first year, your male whippet should be around 26 pounds to 32 pounds.
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As you can see these are not huge dogs, but they do grow quickly.
When your whippet is fully grown, it’s essential to train them to maintain their peak physical condition.
They can run as fast as 35 mph and can jump over 6 feet when fully grown and healthy.
Many owners will often wonder why their whippet remains so ‘skinny’ even after months of growth.
The truth is, it’s perfectly normal for this breed to be lean; it’s what the breed naturally gravitates towards and is all part of their genetic makeup.
Nonetheless, you should follow the diet that your breeder advises for your puppy.
It will be a protein-rich nutritionally complete diet, but they can advise you on specific brands for this breed.
By sticking to this diet, and adjusting for your whippet at the various stages of development and growth, you can ensure they reach their adult potential.
If you doubt your pet’s weight and growth rate, you can bring those concerns to your vet.
They will also be able to advise you on the appropriate dietary needs for your dog at each respective age.
When Do Whippets Mentally Mature?
Whippets will begin to mature socially between the ages of 12 and 36 months. These dogs have their unique personalities, and some will behave more like adults earlier than others.
As Whippets grow and age, they will be maturing even if it doesn’t seem that way! There will be changes to their personality accordingly.
When whippets reach adult maturity, you should find that they will calm down and be more relaxed. They will also likely stop chewing on furniture and acting so boisterous.
Most owners will admit that it’s easier to train an adult whippet than a puppy.
Whippet puppies are notoriously difficult to train; they aren’t entirely unresponsive but rather strong-willed and relatively stubborn.
Thankfully, whippets are an intelligent breed, and when the time is right, you will be able to train them efficiently.
It helps that whippets are not an aggressive dog breed and that they like the presence of children and other dogs.
This breed is naturally friendly, and they can play with children safely without knocking them over like other larger dogs.
As you train your whippet, you should also look to teach any children in your home.
Not only in how they approach, but how they play with and behave around the dog in general. It should be appropriate and not overly invasive or spirited.
Whippets are gentle usually, but you can never be too careful.
It’s advised to always supervise interactions between children and your whippet, especially to begin with and when either is young.
Can Whippets Get Fat?
Whippets can get fat, and although it is the exception to the norm, it is entirely possible.
Some whippets can be lazy and prefer to sleep all day, and larger whippets are especially sluggish.
Some dogs of the breed also lack interest in play and exercise like the breed standard that they are renowned for.
This can be very frustrating especially if you are particularly active and were looking to exercise with them.
It’s always a good idea to cut back on treats and look at their staple diet; it’s very easy to overdo it and some foods can be surprisingly high in energy.
This is especially true in less active dogs, those injured or those who are less willing and able to burn off that extra energy.
Any responsible whippet owner will understandably be concerned about the nutritional value and quality of their dog’s food. We all want the best for our dogs.
At the same time, certain brands are costly and there is only so much that we can afford.
Thankfully, there are many fairly-priced yet high-quality dog food brands on the market, and it’s a matter of finding the one that will help your dog thrive.
A whippet needs a lot of lean protein in the diet, but they also do well on certain fruits and vegetables too. It helps if you follow a ratio of 80:20 (meat: fruit and veg).
This will support their energy levels and provide them with the vitamins and minerals needed for an active lifestyle.
When choosing your dog’s food, look for a brand that offers complete nutrition and has no by-products or fillers.
Look out for natural options rather than those that use artificial preservatives. The first ingredients should be whole grains and whole meat.
Whippets must be fed twice a day, once in the morning and again in the evening.
Never keep their food out all day; this encourages dogs to overeat. However, your dog must have access to fresh drinking water at all times throughout the day.
To ensure your whippet is eating the right amount, be sure to proactively measure out their food.
You should follow the label’s instructions, factoring in your dogs age and weight.
An owner can easily adjust the amount of food accounting for their dog’s activity levels and individual needs.
Other than this be sure to regularly consult with your vet, and ask for their advice and opinions on your specific dog.
Whippets are a wonderful breed and make great companions.
They are suitable for many households and families; mainly due to their medium-sized stature and gentle nature.
While they do grow up quickly, they can take a while to mentally mature. It generally means that you’re going to have a more playful and energetic dog for some time.
Owners normally find that whippets are easier to train as adults, but this does not mean that you should not look to train them from a young age.
Along similar lines socializing them with other dogs, people, noises and experiences will do your dog a lot of good.
Ultimately, your whippet’s final size will be determined mostly by heredity and the genes that they inherit from the parental dogs and others within the lineage.
That being said, it’s up to you as an owner to help them achieve their full growth potential; diet and exercise are instrumental here.
Getting the balance right cannot be overstated.
Owners are commonly responsible for their dog’s health problems – even if it is entirely unintentional.
It is therefore imperative that we take the best care that we can.
Sourcing high-quality and nutritious food and being cautious not to overfeed them is all part of this.
Unfortunately, whippets are often purchased without a clear understanding and knowledge of what this breed is like and what it takes to care for and raise one.
It means that many whippets end up in the care of shelters and rescue groups needing adoption or fostering.
So, if you are considering this breed, ensure that you do your research and due diligence ahead of time.
At 6 months of age, a whippet should weigh between 20 and 25 pounds. However, this is the average and a whippet may be lighter or heavier than this. Equally, male whippets are more likely to be heavier than females at this age.
The best way to know if your whippet is overweight is by looking at their ribs. If you cannot see any ribs, it means that they are overweight. Along similar lines, if you can see more than three ribs, it means they are underweight and undernourished. Additionally, their appetite and behavior are other aspects to consider. A dog that is lethargic or is otherwise disinterested in food could indicate they are in an overfed state.
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.