Showsight Presents the Whippet

THE WONDERFUL, WRUNNERFUL WHIPPET!

By Karen Lee

A Whippet in the READ program patiently listens to young readers.

T he American Whippet Club has long promot- ed the Whippet as “the Versatile Breed”, and that’s not just a catchy slogan—versatility is in the Whippet’s very DNA, going back to the earliest attempts of canny working class people in the north of England to develop a dog that was cheap to feed, easy

to house, and capable of providing many kinds of sport. Th e genetic origins of the breed are still a subject of debate. It has generally been held that the original Whippets fi rst described by dog writers who observed them were crosses between a now-extinct long-legged terrier and Greyhounds, with a later addition of Italian Greyhound add- ed for elegance as they began to become

more standardized in appearance and participate in conformation dog shows. Recent research (1), however, has cast doubt on that timeline, and corroborates at least one earlier report that the origi- nal cross was between terriers and Ital- ian Greyhounds, while a small amount of greyhound blood may have been added a little later (2). Regardless, the end prod- uct was a small, tenacious little sporting

236 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , M ARCH 2014

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