Longhaired Whippet

Longhaired Whippet

Infobox Dogbreed
country = United States

image_caption =
note = This breed is considered to be a separate breed from the Whippet, NOT a variety.
name = Longhaired Whippet
altname = Windsprite
maleweight = 25-30 pounds
femaleweight = 20-25 pounds
maleheight = 19 to 22 inches
femaleheight = 18 to 21 inches
coat = Long, fine, silky
color = Any
litter_size = 6-8 pups
life_span = 12-15 years

The Longhaired Whippet is a medium-sized, rare breed of dog in the sighthound family.



The Longhaired Whippet is a medium-sized, athletic sighthound, similar in build to the Whippet but with a long silky coat. The breed standard indicates that the Longhaired Whippet should conform to the general appearance outlined by the Whippet breed standard except, of course, for the longer coat. However, the coat should not prevent the dog from being able to fulfill its function in the field as a hunting dog. [ [http://home.ica.net/~westwood/breedstandard.htm Longhaired Whippet Association Breed Standard] ] They come in a variety of colors including: solid colors like red and black, parti-colors such as red and white, and various shades brindle. They also appear in colors not found in the Whippet such as black or blue grizzle. They range in height from 18-22 inches at the shoulder and usually weigh between 20 and 30 lbs. [ [http://www.longhairedwhippet.com/longhaired_whippet_characteristics.htm ILWC website] ]


Longhaired Whippets have sweet, friendly personalities and enjoy spending time with people and other dogs (especially dogs of their own kind). They are affectionate and loving yet still maintain the typical dignified sighthound demeanor. They tend to be a bit more biddable and eager to please than other sighthounds which makes them well suited to obedience and agility training. They do not make good guard dogs, but will bark a warning to their owners if they feel it necessary. [ [http://www.longhairedwhippet.com/longhaired_whippet_characteristics.htm ILWC Breed Characteristics] ]


Longhaired Whippets are capable of reaching speeds of 30 miles per hour, but are not high-strung or hyperactive. They are sprinters and do enjoy being able to run and play, but spend a large amount of their time sleeping. [ [http://www.longhairedwhippet.com/longhaired_whippet_characteristics.htm ILWC website] ]


The history of the Longhaired Whippet is shrouded in controversy. The issue began about 50 years ago when an AKC Whippet breeder named Walter Wheeler claimed that he had been successful in bringing out a recessive long-coat gene in his smooth coated whippets. [ [http://members.aol.com/cynhounds/millrace/lhwhip.html Some Thoughts on the Longhaired Whippet] ] Ever since then, two main camps have formed: those who believe that Wheeler's "longhaired whippets" are indeed purebred whippets with a recessive coat gene, [ [http://home.ica.net/~westwood/history.htm LWA website] ] and those who believe that the breed known as the "longhaired whippet" is actually a cross breed between the Whippet and another long-coated breed (most likely the Shetland Sheepdog). Wheeler did own both Shetland Sheepdogs and Borzoi, so it is possible that these two breeds could have been incorporated into his Whippet breeding stock. [ [http://www.longhairedwhippet.com/history_of_the_current_longhaired_whippet.htm ILWC Breed History] ]

Further evidence conducted at the University of California Davis found that the Longhaired Whippet has an autosomal recessive gene called Mdr1. This gene is not found in the Whippet or the Borzoi but does exist in Shetland Sheepdogs, further corroborating the possibility that the Longhaired Whippet is descended from Shetland Sheepdog ancestors. [ [http://www.longhairedwhippet.com/history_of_the_current_longhaired_whippet.htm ILWC Breed History] ]

Evidence from paintings and other artwork do depict whippet-like dogs with long coats used for hunting. Evidence like this supports the idea that longhaired Whippets may have once existed at some point in history but then disappeared for one reason or another. [ [http://home.ica.net/~westwood/index.htm LWA website] ] However, the American Whippet Club contends that there is no genetic evidence to support the idea that the Whippet breed ever had a long-coat gene. After receiving information from the AWC, the AKC eventually removed a number of dogs from their studbook after conducting their own investigation into the matter. [ [http://www.americanwhippetclub.net/1990_annuals/1996/1996page4.htm American Whippet Club website] ]

The Longhaired Whippet is often confused with the Silken Windhound due to their similar appearance. The similarities between them have to do with the fact that the Longhaired Whippet is actually one of the founding breeds behind the Silken Windhound. Silken Windhound breed founder, Francie Stull, crossed Longhaired Whippets from Walter Wheeler's breeding kennel with Borzoi to create the breed now known as the Silken Windhound. [ [http://www.silkenwindhounds.org/history.html ISWS website - Breed History] ] While the two breeds are related, they have developed in separate directions and are two very different breeds.


The Longhaired Whippet is not currently recognized by any of the major kennel clubs in the English-speaking world. However, there are two national parent clubs set up for the breed: The Longhaired Whippet Association (established in 1981) [ [http://home.ica.net/~westwood/ Longhaired Whippet Association] ] and the International Longhaired Whippet Association, [ [http://www.longhairedwhippet.com/International_Longhaired_Whippet_Club.htm International Longhaired Whippet Club] ] which offer conformation and performance events.

In addition to the events held by the national parent clubs, the Longhaired Whippet is also eligible to compete in conformation events held by minor kennel clubs including the Continental Kennel Club [ [http://www.continentalkennelclub.com/Ads.aspx?BreedNum=155 Continental Kennel Club – Longhaired Whippet] ] , the North American Kennel Club [http://www.raritiesinc.ca/breeds/breed%20standards/Long%20Haired%20Whippet.pdf North American Kennel Club (NAKC/Rarities - Longhaired Whippet] ] and the International All-Breed Canine Association (IABCA).

Longhaired Whippets, like other Whippets, can excel in dog sports such as agility and obedience, which are open to all dogs through clubs such as the United States Dog Agility Association. [ [http://www.dogpatch.org/agility/agpage4.cfm Dog agility organizations] ]


Longhaired Whippets are potential carriers of Mdr1 which makes them senstive to certain chemicals, particularly the common wormer known as Ivermectin. Carrier status for MDR1 can be established through a simple cheek swab tissue test. [ [http://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/depts-vcpl/] MDR1 testing] The eye disorder choroidal hypoplasia sometimes occurs in this breed and in other types of dogs. A genetic test for this recessive trait is available. [ [http://www.optigen.com/opt9_test_cea_lhw.html OptiGen – Testing available for Whippets: Longhaired – August 29, 2006] ]


External links

* [http://home.ica.net/~westwood/index.htm Longhaired Whippet Association]
* [http://www.longhairedwhippet.com/International_Longhaired_Whippet_Club.htm International Longhaired Whippet Club]
* [http://www.longhairedwhippet.com/ The Hounds of Claybrook] breeder of Longhaired Whippets
* [http://members.aol.com/cynhounds/millrace/lhwhip.html Some Thoughts About the "Longhaired Whippet"]

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