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The Whippet Breed Standard

American Whippet Standard


Revised and approved by the American Kennel Club on August 10, 1993.
Effective Septmeber 30, 1993.

General Appearance:
A moderate sized sight hound that gives the appearance of elegance and fitness, denoting great speed, power, and balance without coarseness. A true sporting hound that covers a maximum of distance with a minimum of lost motion. Should convey an impression of beautifully balanced muscular power and strength, combined with great elegance and grace of outline. Symmetry of outline, muscular development and powerful gait are the main considerations; the being built for speed and work, all forms of exaggeration should be avoided.

Size, Proportion, Substance:
Ideal height for dogs, 19-22 inches; for bitches, 18-21 inches measured at the highest point of the withers. More than one-half inch above or below the stated limits will disqualify. Length from forechest to buttocks equal to or slightly greater than height at the withers. Moderate bone throughout.

Head:
Keen intelligent alert expression.
Eyes large and dark. Both eyes must be of the same color. Yellow or light eyes should be strictly penalized. Blue or wall eyes shall disqualify. Fully pigmented eyelids are desirable.
Rose ears, small, fine in texture; in repose, thrown back and folded along neck. Fold should be maintained when at attention. Erect ears should be severely penalized.
Skull long and lean, fairly wide in between the ears, scarcely perceptible stop.
Muzzle should be long and powerful denoting great strength of bite, without coarseness. Lack of underjaw should be strictly penalized. Nose entirely black.
Teeth of upper jaw should fit closely over teeth of lower jaw creating a scissors bite. Teeth should be white and strong. Undershot shall disqualify. Overshot one-quarter inch or more shall disqualify.

Neck, Topline, Body:
Neck long, clean and muscular, well arched with no suggestion of throatiness, widening gracefully into the top of the shoulder. A short thick neck, or ewe neck, should be penalized.
The back is broad, firm and well muscled, having length over the loin. The backline runs smoothly from the withers with a graceful natural arch, not to accentuated, beginning over the loin and carrying through over the croup; the arch is continuous without flatness. A dip behind the shoulder blades, wheelback, flat back, or a steep or flat croup should be penalized.
Brisket very deep, reach as nearly as possible to the point of the elbow.
Ribs well sprung but with no suggetstion of barrel shape. The space between the forelegs is filled in so that there is no appearance of a hollow between them. There is a definite tuckup of the underline.

Tail:
Long and tapering, reaching to the hipbone when drawn between the hind legs, when the dog is in motion, the tail is carried low with only a gentle upward curve; tail should not be carried higher that the top of back.

Forequarters:
Shoulder blade long, well laid back, with flat muscles, allowing for moderate space between shoulder blades at peak of withers. Upper arm of equal length, placed so that the elbow falls directly under the withers.
The points of the elbows should point neither in nor out, but straight back. A steep shoulder, a short upper arm, a heavily muscled or loaded shoulder, or a very narrow shoulder, should be strictly penalized.
Forelegs straight, giving appearance of strength and substance of bone. Pasterns strong, slightly bent and flexible. Bowed legs, tied-in elbows, legs lacking substance, legs set under body so as to create and exaggerated forechest, weak or upright pasterns should be strictly penalized.
Both front and rear feet must be well formed with hard, thick pads. Feet more hare than cat, but both are acceptable. Flat, splayed or soft feet without thick pads should be strictly penalized. Toes should be long, close and well arched. Nails strong and naturally short or of moderate length. Dewclaws may be removed.

Hindquarters:
Long and powerful. The thighs are broad and muscular, stifles well bent; muscles are long and flat and carry well down toward the hock. The hocks are well let down and close to the ground. Sickle or cows hocks should be strictly penalized.

Coat:
Short, close, smooth and firm in texture. Any other coat shall be a disqualification. Old scars and injuries, the result of work or accident, should not be allowed to prejudice the dog's chance in the show ring.

Color:
Color immaterial.

Gait:
Low, free moving and smooth, with reach in the forequarters and strong drive in the hindquarters. The dog has great freedom of action when viewed from the side; the forelegs move close to the ground to give a long, low reach; the hind legs have strong propelling power. When moving and viewed from front and rear, legs should turn neither in nor out, nor should feet cross or interfere with each other. Lack of front reach or rear drive, or a short, hackney gait with high wrist action should be strictly penalized. Crossing in front of moving too close should be strictly penalized.

Temperament:
Amiable, friendly, gentle, but capable of great intensity during sporting pursuits.

Disqualifications:
More than one-half inch above or below stated height limits.
Blue or wall eyes
Undershot; overshot one-quarter inch or more.
Any coat other than short, close, smooth and firm in texture.