No one knows just when the first “whippety type dog first appeared nor did they know that this little funny looking, skinny, stick legged whisp of a dog would catch the whimsy of the pure bred dog fancy. The only consideration was that it was cheep, was fast enough to catch meat for the table and didn’t eat much. The ideal poacher’s dog was small enough to hide under cloak, was loyal, so they stayed close to its owners, and was relatively healthy AND FAST. The whippet type of dog became the “provider of meat for the table”, which was a welcome change from the “gruel of the day”.
Human nature being what it is, and probably over more than a few pints of the available fermented grain concoction drink, talk would gravitate to “my dog is faster than your dog”, and “I’ll put money on it”. Thus, whippet racing was born in the back alleys and byways of the favorite drinking hole. If it were not for the wagers made on the outcome of these impromptu races the whippet would not have become the breed of today. The little dogs became popular as a diversion of the working man who had little to look forward to and would, if faster than the other mans dog, provide a little subsidy to their meager wage.
Of equal importance it provided bragging rights to the owners; something to boast about.
It was the competitive nature and vanity of man that created the breed, the Whippet.
The whippet of today is far distant from the dog of the back alleys. Rather, it is a multi-talented canine capable of great speed, grace and beauty. The breed, as in all animals, have those individuals that excel in one segment of the broad spectrum of activities that people care to pursue. There are representatives of the breed that, though not at the top of any particular activity, are very competent in several or most venues that the owners and/or breeders care to compete. And, there are those special ones that spend their entire life being the loving companions of us mere mortal caretakers and servants of this most wonderful breed of dog,