The Breed Standard: What Motivates Us
This is far from a comprehensive overview of our incredible Breed nor is it a comparative analysis of the Breed Standards described throughout the world. (Interested parties can find on our Resources page links to the various Breed Standards).
What this page hopes to do is provide a brief overview of the Breed and Standard. At Aureate, the Standard is simply and absolutely that, it is what we strive for. It is what is constantly in our mind when evaluating our litters, planning potential pedigree matches and when we step back and reassess where our Program is at. More simply, the Standard, is the "Ideal" of which we strive. We will never achieve perfection, but perhaps a glimpse for a moment!
The Canadian Breed Standard for the whippet describes a dog of "moderate size, very alert, that can cover a maximum of distance with a minimum of lost motion, a true sporting hound. Should be put down in hard condition but with no suggestion of being muscle-bound." Our interpretation of this, keeping in mind the original purpose for which whippets were used is a fast, fit and functional dog capable of great speed at short distances. Although we will concede this leaves much to the imagination of the reader what this medium sized dog actually looks like. Fortunately, the American Kennel Club describes under General Appearance: "medium size sighthound" (read 25-45 lbs)"giving the appearance of elegance and fitness, (read sprinter with a body ready made for cutting turns, well assembled rear or engine and balanced fore) "denoting great speed, power and balance without coarseness" (read an extremely efficient athlete with no forms of exaggeration, everything in balance and proportion, everything in its place).
Size in Canada is stated to be sex dependent "Dogs 48-56 cm (19-22”); for Bitches, 46-53 cm (18-21”)". Although this is an idealized size, without serving as absolute limits. (Meaning slightly over or under will not serve as a disqualification against said animal).
In the US they provide a more definite limit, "height for dogs, 19 to 22 inches; for bitches, 18 to 21 inches measured at the highest point of the withers. More than one-half inch above or below the stated limits will disqualify." Meaning if the dog or bitch does not meet this criteria they will be deemed ineligible to compete in AKC events, although still be AKC registered.
Another point of the Standard we feel is worth discussing is Temperament, which between both CKC and AKC is virtually the same. In the Canadian Standard it describes a dog that is "gentle, affectionate, even disposition, but capable of great intensity during sporting pursuits". Meaning in all of this, the whippet is a sighthound. Remember this Breed was used to work independent of its owner, it did not track game, point or flush. It did not retrieve like Labradors, so in that very sense it did not work for its Master. Like all hounds, it retains an air of independence and that cannot be overstated to those new to the Breed or to our newly licensed judges. This Breed, although not the most primitive of sighthounds, take their Saluki or Azawakh "cousins" for example, but in the same note, one should not expect the work-ability of a Retriever in a Whippet. The Whippet is described as to be the most affable and least aloof of any of the Sighthounds. Newcomers to the Breed should not expect their Whippet to provide strangers with exuberant greetings. Many do and in fact in North America we tend to select for the exuberant and outgoing temperaments in our Programs as they make great show dogs, BUT it is not the traditional Breed Temperament. Once the Whippet is familiar with an individual, than yes, it is the standard greeting to be welcomed into their presence with the most abundance of joy.