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How Much Exercise Do Whippets Need? Vet-Verified Care Tips

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Characteristically similar to the Greyhound, the Whippet is an extremely speedy, highly athletic sighthound with an ancient history. They are well known for their incredible swiftness and agility.

If the breed interests you, but you’re wondering if you have what it takes to match their exercise requirements, we will go over exactly how much exercise they will need and how you can ensure they get the physical and mental stimulation they require. In general, you should provide your Whippet with 1 – 2 hours of daily exercise.


Whippets and Speed

white whippet dog running on green grass
Image Credit: Ginger Livingston Sanders, Shutterstock

Whippets are incredibly fast canines, reaching speeds up to 35 mph! This fact might intimidate you, thinking they require constant movement to thrive.

You might be pleasantly surprised to know that while a Whippet can exert themselves quite a lot on the track, they are pretty chill in the home. Whippets are well known for being cuddle bugs that enjoy time curled up on the couch with their human.

On average, Whippets need between 1 and 2 hours of solid daily exercise. They are quite content playing interactive games and walking on a lead, but they will also need time to run around. If you own a Whippet, it’s best to have a large fenced-in backyard, or somewhere they can run off leash in a secure space.

They are usually a good choice for active families. However, if they lack a proper exercise outlet, it can cause nervousness and a whirlwind of other behavioral problems that come from pent-up energy and boredom.

The 5 Ways to Exercise Your Whippet

The Whippet is a master sprinter, and they will certainly need somewhere to burn off the extra steam. They might not require a lot more exercise in a day than any other average dog, but they will want to speed off in spurts.

In addition to being able to run quickly into the unknown, they also require other exercises to keep them happy and healthy. Here are a few ideas.

1. Let Them Run!

Brown Whippet Dog with muscles running in a field
Image Credit: AlyssaDogPhotographer, Shutterstock

Whippets will do what’s natural to them. If you allow them the space, they will take off in a cloud of dust. These dogs love nothing more than sprinting at least once a day. If you have a wide open backyard, this will allow your Whippet to run laps as much as they see fit before winding down for cuddle time.

2. Play Games

Many Whippets will enjoy interactive games with their owners, like frisbee, ball, and other activities. You will quickly learn what your Whippet’s favorite games are, and you two can play them together. Not only does this increase bonding, but it will also ensure your Whippet is worn out at the end of the day.

3. Go to the Dog Park

Man with whippet dog in nature
Image Credit: Dora Zett, Shutterstock

Most Whippets are very agreeable with other dogs. If you have a dog park nearby, you can routinely visit so your Whippet can make friends and race a few willing people. They might not be the most confident dogs, so it might take a moment for them to warm up in social settings. But once they do, they are sure to find their place.

4. Take Them Jogging

If you’re an athletic person, you can take your Whippet jogging with you. They will very much love this activity, as it gives them a chance to stretch their legs.

Even though this is a high-impact workout, they still want room to run without you tying them down. So we still recommend letting your Whippet run off-leash even if they’re your jogging buddy.

5. Give Them a Friend

Image Credit: Liliya Kulianionak, Shutterstock

Nothing beats canine-canine companionship. Dogs love having another dog around to play with. Even though your Whippet won’t be the most rowdy of the bunch, they certainly will love having another pup around to spend time with who has a similar playing style.


About Whippets

If you really love the breed, you likely want to know more than just how much they exercise. So, for the remainder of this article, we will discuss the breed itself.

whippet dog standing in the woods
Image Credit: Nadja Huebner, Shutterstock
Height: 19–21 inches
Weight: 20–40 pounds
Lifespan: 12–15 years
Colors: Fawn, red, orange, tan, cream, black, blue


Whippets are incredibly mild-mannered dogs. They do not usually act aggressively but are rather gentle. While they might make good watchdogs, they don’t make the best guard dogs because they simply don’t have the personality for it.

Whippets are usually calm, cool, and collected. They love to burn off some steam but very much enjoy the affection and attention of their owners. This is undoubtedly a dog you can cozy up with on a lazy day.

They also make great pets for children and older adults. They can even make excellent service animals for folks with certain disabilities.


The Whippet is a slender, medium-sized dog with a classic sighthound appearance. Unlike many other breeds, you should be able to see your Whippet’s ribs! This is not the type of dog that should put on any extra weight at all, as their bodies simply aren’t designed for it.

Juvenile Whippets will look much thinner than their adult counterparts, but none should ever look full. They have a very sleek, lean structure instead.

whippet dog carrying frisbee at dog park
Image Credit: Horse Crazy, Shutterstock


Because your Whippet is naturally thin, they will need a high-quality, protein-rich diet to replenish any lost calories that is formulated for their life-stage. You can work with your vet to determine the best diet for your pup.

You can choose between dry kibble, wet canned food, and fresh food subscriptions. Each one comes with its benefits and downfalls, though fresh food is making its way up the scale in popularity.


Whippets are straightforward to groom. They have short, thin coats that require occasional brushing to collect shedding. Because of their easy maintenance, you can do all the grooming at home.

However, if you want to pamper your pup, you can always take them out for a grooming day at the doggy spa.


Whippets are incredibly healthy dogs by nature. The list of ailments they suffer from is undoubtedly shorter than many other breeds.  So if you’re looking for a genetically sound animal requiring very few vet trips, Whippets can certainly be a  good option. However, like all breeds, they are prone to some health conditions. For Whippets these include certain immune mediated conditions, eye problems, and heart conditions. Heart failure is one of the leading causes of death in Whippets of increasing age.

red whippet dog lying down on the beach
Image Credit: otsphoto Shutterstock


If you’re interested in your Whippet getting into more advanced training, they make great candidates for various activities. Because of their lean muscle and swiftness, they could make very good candidates for agility training.

You really have an advantage with your personality as well. These dogs are incredibly eager to please and thrive on human connection. They make very agreeable, easy-to-train dogs.

How to Buy a Whippet Puppy

It would be best to buy a Whippet puppy from a reputable breeder. We recommend looking on the AKC marketplace or through another valid source. Avoid sites like Hoobly and Craigslist, as these dogs are typically not regulated.

Make sure the parents of the puppy you choose have had the relevant health screening, and it is also a good idea to ask about the medical history of the parents and grandparents so you can be aware of any health conditions in the family line. Many breeders will ask that you put a deposit down on the puppy you choose. You often have to sign puppy contracts stating that you will return the dog if you cannot care for them.


Now you understand that Whippets require between 1 and 2 hours of exercise per day, including mental training. These very intelligent dogs need all sorts of stimulation, though they’re rather low maintenance otherwise.

Keep in mind that if you are considering buying a Whippet, you will either need a large fenced-in backyard, many acres to explore, or you can devote time every day to let them run out their sprinting instincts.

Featured Image Credit: Skumer, Shutterstock

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