Ready To Add A Whippet To Your Family?
Don’t be in a rush – it may take awhile to find the “right” match for you. You need to visit as many different Whippets as possible in a variety of places other than just the breeders’ homes. See them out in public, at a race or lure coursing event, at a dog show. Be prepared to be carefully screened by breeders as to your lifestyle, living situation, hopes and expectations for the dog and your experience with animals and Whippets in particular. Whippets are NOT suitable for everyone and just might not be the right breed for you. The breeder you select will want to maintain contact and a friendly relationship with you so that they can offer you advice and guidance throughout the dog’s lifetime. It is important that you choose a breeder that you can work with. Whippets are often recommended due to being a medium-sized, short-coated, relatively quiet and good-natured breed. What is NOT mentioned is that they can be very DESTRUCTIVE when young or left alone for long periods. They are not a suitable breed if you are gone 12 hours a day, every day. Even more importantly, Whippets were bred to RUN and CHASE and most possess a very strong PREY DRIVE, which means they will chase (and can quickly kill) most things that move outside (cats, squirrels, rabbits, etc.). Unfortunately every year many whippets are seriously injured or killed while chasing “prey” as they are totally unaware of dangers of moving vehicles, etc. They are not a dog that can be taken off lead unless in a very safe environment.
Here Are Some Guidelines To Help You With Your Search
The NWCC strongly recommends you purchase only from those breeders that do HEALTH TESTING and have Whippets of sound mind and body. Recommended health testing includes CERF (for eye disease), and the most important one in our breed, CARDIAC (heart). Some breeders will also do BAER testing (for deafness). Ask the breeder to show you documentation of health clearances for an adult dog or the puppy’s parents, if purchasing a puppy.
- Whippets advertised for sale in the local newspaper or the likes of Kijiji, Craig’s List, etc. might be a bad sign. Reputable Whippet breeders take reservations long before their litter is born and do not have to advertise in the local paper.
- Visit the homes of several breeders to see how their dogs are housed and raised. It’s important you see Whippets in their home environment to be sure this is the breed for you. Make sure you meet the puppy’s mother (and father if you can) to evaluate their temperament – are they outgoing, friendly and well adjusted? Remember that most temperament problems (shyness, separation anxiety, aggression) are hereditary.
- Get on waiting lists of reputable Whippet breeders that are planning litters and keep in touch. Ask the breeder what kind of health guarantee they provide, i.e. will you be compensated for an issue that proves to be hereditary. Make sure both the health guarantee and contract of sale are in writing and signed by the purchaser and the breeder. Make sure there is a clause that the breeder will take back the dog at any time during its life if you are unable to keep it.
- Ask the breeder to show you documentation of health testing (see preamble) of the puppy’s parents. This is very important. If health testing has been done, there will be paperwork to verify it.
- Research. Get a copy of the pedigree. If you want a show dog, buy from a breeder that has been successful in the show ring; same with racing or coursing. You want to make sure their ancestors have excelled in whatever endeavour you wish to pursue with your Whippet.
- Ask if the breeder has information about these particular bloodlines. For example, ask how long the dogs have lived and what they have died from. Write it down. This may be important for monitoring your pet, as he gets older.
- Ask the breeder for a couple of references from people they have sold puppies to and contact them. Find out if they were happy with their experience with that breeder. Ideally, ask for references from owners who share your expectations, i.e. a pet owner if you are solely looking for a companion or a coursing enthusiast if that is your interest.
- Find out what vaccinations are included and ask for a copy of the breeder’s vaccination protocol. Ideally, a veterinarian will have given the puppy a health check. This health document will include a vaccination record and written information of the puppy’s physical exam. This veterinary health record should be given to you at the time of purchase.
- If you are buying a companion dog rather than a show dog, most breeders will insist on spaying or neutering by a certain age. If a show quality dog, find out what other stipulations there might be and make sure it is in a written contract, signed by the breeder and the purchaser. Regardless of show dog, race dog or companion dog, you are entitled to CKC registration papers in your name, for no additional charge (it’s the law!)
- When you purchase your puppy you should receive written instructions on care and feeding (amount and type of food) and have the breeder willing to be contacted at any time with any questions. Most breeders will give new homes a trial period to make sure both new owner and Whippet are a great match.
- Lastly, take your time. Hopefully your Whippet will live a long, happy life so it is an important decision as to the “right” one for you. You deserve a healthy, well-bred and well-socialized Whippet that will be an integral part of your family for many years.
Be cautious if the breeder:
- has several litters available
- agrees to sell a puppy younger than 7 weeks of age
- cannot or will not answer any of your questions
- is eager to sell you a puppy without asking you a lot of questions about your lifestyle or scheduling a meeting if you are in the area
- is not a member of a Whippet club, either local or the NWCC
- asks for a deposit without asking you a lot of questions about your lifestyle or scheduling a meeting if you are in the area
- charges more for CKC registration papers – this is illegal
- does not want you to see the puppy’s mother or father
If you have concerns after talking to, or meeting, the breeder — keep looking!
The NWCC urges prospective Whippet owners to read all the information on this site. If you are confident that a Whippet is the right breed for you, then we invite you to contact one or more of the members listed here to arrange a home visit and have a “hands on” experience to learn more about the breed. All of the members listed have agreed to abide by the NWCC Code of Ethics; however, it is your responsibility to carefully evaluate any information supplied.
2018 NWCC BREEDER DIRECTORY
The following NWCC members have agreed to be contacts regarding breed information and availability of puppies or young dogs. They are listed by kennel name in each Province.
AYTONFIELD: Blair Shinski, Parksville, 778-677-3973 email
GALEFORCE: Gale Lyttle email
HILERICA: Carole Adley, Qualicum Beach, 250-594-4966 email / website
SAILAWAY: Lorna Leinbach, Surrey, 604-536-0484 email / website
Laura Baratta, Aldergrove, 604-625-8654 email / website
DEVONAIR: Heather & Everett Dansereau, Hamilton, 905-659-1188 email / website
FRECKASHPENG: Paul Allard/Steve Pedro, Winchester, 613-319-3744 email / website
JETSTREAM: Lorraine & Gary Burch, Carlisle, 905-659-4498 email / website
LEPUS: James & Roberta Jamieson, Codrington, 613-475-4148 email / website
NAVYN: Stacey Cronyn, Ottawa, email / website
TOUCHSTONE: Debbie Wright, email / website
VRYMEER: Laurie Rusticus, Thomasburg, 613-478-1402 email / website
INTERLUDE: Jo-Ann Boulinguez, Quebec City, 418-666-8785 email
For more information, the following are links to other websites of interest to whippet fanciers!
LINKS – CANADIAN
- The American Kennel Club
- The American Whippet Club
- The Whippet Club (UK)
- Swedish Whippet Club
- Whippet Club Deutschland (Germany)
- Le Club Francais du Whippet (France)
- The Finnish Whippet Club
RACING & COURSING
- National Oval Track Racing Association
- Whippet Racing Association
- North American Whippet Racing Association
- Continental Whippet Alliance
- Canadian Sighthound Field Association
- American Sighthound Field Association