Showsight Presents the Whippet

only be measured once in a day and if measured during the Breed, it cannot be measured again in the Group or BIS.) You will be surprised how tall a 22 ½ " dog appears, especially if he is white. You must measure if height is questionable. Done properly (another discussion for another day), it only takes a few seconds and assures not only you of your estimate, but stops ringside talk cold. Once the dog measures in, height no longer should enter into the equation, but see the sentence on ideal height in above paragraph. Notice, I said height, not coarseness, bulkiness or too heav- ily boned. These are faults and are to be penalized. The coarse Whippet negates everything in that first sen- tence on general appearance as quoted above. The Whippet with bulgy, bulky muscle goes against the two areas of the Standard that calls for flat muscling. A bulky Whippet will most likely pos- sess a loaded shoulder interfering with proper movement and will not present the picture of elegance called for in the Standard. Of course, elegance does not mean weedy, cut up in front or slab sided. There must be substance with front fill (not forechest), a well sprung ribcage (not barrel-chested) and a very deep brisket reaching as nearly as pos- sible to the point of the elbow. Feet and pasterns are of the greatest importance in this running breed. Feet should be more hare than cat, with hard, thick pads. Flat, splayed or thin feet are to be strictly penalized. Pasterns are to be strong, flexible and somewhat bent. One of the worst faults to be found on a Whippet is a straight pastern. With- out the called-for slight bend to take up the force of a running dog hitting the ground, breakdown of the whole front assembly is inevitable. To again quote the Standard, “weak or upright pasterns should be strictly penalized.” Angulation must be balanced, occur- ring in moderation in the rear and complemented by long, well laid back shoulder blades. The Standard does not address exact angles and in many cases, a somewhat more than the usual 45-degree will not make an appreciable difference in movement. What you do not want is a neck stuck in at such an angle as to give it an appearance of a stove pipe. The long, clean, muscular neck should flow smoothly (there’s that word again), into the top of the shoul-


der. A short, thick or ewe neck should be penalized. The length of the neck is also very much a signature of the breed. Look out for very long, thin necks with no muscle, which become almost a cari- cature of the desired look. The Whippet is not considered a head breed, but the elegant look cannot be carried out if you are presented with a very wide skulled, short muzzled dog. The head should be in proportion to the rest of the dog, giving an impression of length and strength. A very important aspect of the head is the underjaw. A Whippet is expected to not only pursue its prey, but once it catches it, it must be able to hold onto it. Lack of underjaw should be strictly penalized. As noted in the Standard, “Eyes large, round to oval in shape. Small and/or almond shaped eyes are unde- sirable and are to be faulted. Eyes to be dark brown to nearly black in color. Eye color can vary with coat color, but regardless of coat color dark eyes are always preferred. Light eyes are undesirable and yellow eyes are to be strictly penalized. Blue eye(s) or any portion of blue in the eye(s), as well as both eyes not being of the same color shall disqualify.” A large, darker eye, conforming to coat color, gives us the desired expression. A good Whippet ear will add frosting to the cake. They should be small, fine and most of the time, are thrown back and folded along the neck. At attention, the fold must be maintained, and an erect ear should be severely penalized. Most times the exhibitor will bait the dog so that you can see that the ear car- riage is correct. Do not, under any cir- cumstances, throw something in front of the dog, as the head will go down and the ears will fly. A Whippet is, for the most part, not a “baiting fool” and cannot be expected to “give ears” the entire time it is in the ring. The tail is another important finish- ing point. The tail is long and tapering, reaching to at least the inside of the hock when measured down along the hind leg. When the dog is in motion, the tail is carried low with only a gentle upward curve; tail should not

be carried higher than top of back. A tail carried higher than the top of the back will once again; take away from the appearance of the all-impor- tant smoothness of topline. Color is absolutely immaterial, but can be a great deceiver in a parti color dog. Markings can make a good topline appear incorrect, a long neck appear short and a well laid back shoulder appear straight. Watch out for a dark or light spot on a topline that may give the illusion of a dip. Color that comes up the neck shortens its appearance. Do not be afraid to ask for the dog to be shown on a reverse stack. You also may walk around the dog to view the off show side, since markings might be less deceiving on that side. Some markings are so deceiving, that only laying your hands on the suspect area will confirm what you think you are seeing. These optical illusions really are the bane of the Judge coming from a solid color breed. It will take a while to overcome this problem, but it will be much easier if you are aware of it. I have tried to cover points specific to the Whippet. I did not cover generic points such as the bite (scissors), not crossing over in front or rear, cow- hocks, etc. These things are covered in the Standard which should be thor- oughly studied along with the DQs: • More than one-half inch above or below stated height limits. • Blue eyes, any portion of blue in the eyes, eyes not of the same color. • Undershot. • Overshot one-quarter inch or more. • Any coat other than short, close, smooth and firm in texture. Go to the AmericanWhippetClub. net to download the newest Illustrated Standard and AKC Whippet Standard. REFERENCES Author Joan Goldstein is available for follow up questions at Gold-Dust-Whip- Reprinted from the DJAA Bulletin , June 1997. Special thanks to Donna Lynch who helped to update and edit original article. Based on the 2008 rewritten Standard, updated in May 2014.


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