Italian Greyhound vs Whippet Which is Better? Dog vs Dog


You’re Watching Animal Facts! Italian Greyhounds and Whippets aren’t just
similar breeds, they’re family! So, there’s a good reason why they are frequently
confused. There are some similarities between the two,
which can be attributed to their shared sighthound status as well as their shared origins. But, we shouldn’t mistake them, as they are
quite distinctive breeds. Let’s compare the Whippet and the Italian
Greyhound in our on-going series, Dog vs. Dog. Let’s get started, but before we start,
make sure to hit that subscribe button and click the bell icon to become part of our
notification squad. History The older of the two breeds is the Italian
Greyhound, which despite its name does not descend from the modern Greyhound. Archaeological evidence suggests that Italian
Greyhounds were bred as noble companions some 2 or 3 thousand years ago in the region that
is now Greece and Turkey when the mighty Roman Empire ruled in the Mediterranean, where archaeological
digs have turned up small Greyhound skeletons. The breed’s original purpose has been lost
to history, but the Italian Greyhound likely served as a hunter of small game in addition
to duties as a companion. By the Middle Ages, the breed had made its
way to southern Europe and was very popular among the aristocracy, especially in Italy
— hence where it got its name. In the 17th century, the Iggy, as it is sometimes
called, arrived in England, where, as in Italy, it found many fans among the nobility. Royal owners throughout the centuries include
Mary, Queen of Scots, Princess Anne of Denmark, Charles I, Frederick the Great of Prussia,
and Queen Victoria, during whose reign the breed’s popularity peaked. Unlike the Italian Greyhound, the Whippet
is a fairly modern breed, not much more than a couple of hundred years old. The breed was developed in Northern England,
specifically Lancashire and Yorkshire, most likely during the late 18th century, by crossing
Greyhounds with fast, long-legged terriers. The result was a small, swift dog frequently
used by hunters to hunt rabbits and other small game. The Whippet became popular with working men
in Northern England, who spent their free time seeing whose Whippets could kill the
most rabbits or rats or which was the fastest. Whippet races usually took place on a straight
track that spread down roads and across fields. The Whippets would chase a piece of cloth
or rag, and the contests became known as rag races. Size Italian Greyhounds are the smaller of the
two, in fact, it is the smallest of the sighthounds, standing 13 to 15 inches tall at the shoulder. Their weight ranges from 6 to 10 pounds, with
some as large as 14 or 15 pounds. A Whippet can range between 18 to 22 inches
tall at the shoulder. Their weight ranges from 18 to 48 pounds,
with females being smaller, averaging 29 pounds. Coats and Colors When it comes to appearance, size is not the
only difference in these two breeds. An Iggy’s short coat looks glossy like satin
and feels soft to the touch. You’ll find it in all shades of fawn, cream,
red, blue, or black, either solid or with white markings. The Whippet’s short, smooth coat lies close
to the body. It can be any color or color combination known
to dogdom. You’ll see Whippets in black, white, red,
fawn, blue, cream, brindle, with various combinations of those colors and a wide variety of spots,
blazes, and patches. Both breeds are considered to have easy-care
coats. With either breed, all you really need to
do is brush it when it gets dusty, and bathe the dog when it’s rolled in something smelly. Be careful about cold weather. Neither breed’s short, single coat is well
suited for cold weather climates. Your pooch would rather be cuddled up under
a blanket. Personalities Overall, either breed can be a loving family
companion, even for novice owners. Neither likes to be left alone for long periods
of time. The Italian Greyhound is sensitive, alert,
smart, and playful. They are affectionate with family, and love
to snuggle with you and stick close to your side all day. Strangers may see a more shy, reserved side
of this personality. Amiable, friendly, loves to snuggle, quiet,
and gentle at home, the Whippet is alert and makes an excellent watchdog. Guard dog? Not so much. Your Whippet happily greets any stranger. The Whippet is very child-friendly. The Italian Greyhound does okay around kids
but is not as tolerant as the Whippet. Both breeds are ok with other dogs and usually
cats, but smaller pets such as bunnies are a no-go, as they have a high chase drive. The Italian Greyhound has an above-average
tendency to bark, while the Whippet has a low tendency to bark. Trainability Both the Italian Greyhound and the Whippet
are good for new owners. In intelligence, the Italian Greyhound has
a slight advantage over the Whippet and tends to be more focused and patient with training. Although they’re fairly clever, Italian Greyhounds
have short attention span and a “what’s in it for me?” attitude toward training. But, neither breed is particularly independent
or dominant, and with patient training can learn all the commands you wish to impart
upon them with rewards of food and praise. This breed can be extremely difficult to housetrain. Your Italian Greyhound may never be totally
trustworthy in the house. A doggy door can help, but having the dog
live outdoors is not an option you should ever consider. Activity Levels The Whippet is the fastest domesticated animal
of his weight, capable of speeds up to 35 mph, easily outpacing the Italian Greyhound’s
top speed of about 25mph, which is still pretty quick. Both dogs are considered medium energy levels
and require a fair amount of exercise. Both need daily exercise and will enjoy romping
and running in a fenced yard or on a leash. Health and Lifespan Both the Italian Greyhound and Whippet have
an average lifespan of between 12-15 years. Both breeds can have ailments, as with any
breed, but overall, you can expect fewer vet bills with a Whippet than with an Iggy. Common ailments affecting the Whippet are
eye disease and a blood disease that keeps the blood from clotting normally called von
Willebrand’s Disease. The Italian Greyhound has a whole list of
common ailments, including eye diseases such as Cataracts, Vitreous Degeneration, and Progressive
Retinal Atrophy, von Willebrand’s Disease, Hypothyroidism, Allergies, Hip Dysplasia,
Epilepsy, and Portosystemic Shunt, an abnormal blood flow between the liver and the body. Many of these health concerns can be minimized
by selecting a good breeder if adopting a puppy. We encourage thorough research before acquiring
a puppy of any breed. Both dogs have drug sensitivity. Sighthounds, including Whippets and Iggies,
are sensitive to anesthesia and some other drugs. A normal dose for any other dog of similar
size can be fatal, probably because of the low percentage of body fat. Choose a veterinarian who is aware of this
sensitivity in sighthounds and will know how to dose pooch. So, which of these splendid sighthounds do
you pick? Let us know in the comments. If you’re considering one of these dogs
or any other breed for that matter, remember there are breed specific rescue organizations
all over the world that are usually a Google search away. If there are other breeds you’d like us
to compare, shout them out, we’ll give them a look. If you like this video, check out some of
our other videos here. Don’t forget to subscribe and hit that notification
bell for more cute, cuddly canines. And as always, catch ya next time.

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