Italian Greyhound Vs Whippet - What's the difference between both dog breeds?

Italian Greyhound Vs Whippet – What’s the difference between both dog breeds?

Although both are similar, a Whippet and Italian Greyhound are not the same breeds.
Whippets are a breed of dog that closely resemble greyhounds in body shape but have shorter legs and are taller than greyhounds. Their name comes from their stripes, making them look like they have been whipped while running. This makes them easy to distinguish from other dogs when seen from a distance, such as during a race or hunt. Although resembling greyhounds, whippets generally weigh anywhere between 28-35 lbs for females while males can weigh anywhere between 45-55lbs, making them smaller than the average Greyhound, which weighs 70-85lbs.

The Italian Greyhound was recognized by The American Kennel Club in 1885 and has been part of the Toy Dog Group since then. It is also known as an Italian Sighthound, a Miniature Greyhound, or simply an IG. Unlike whippets, they are not often used in races but instead for hunting away from packs of larger dogs. This is because being smaller than other greyhounds makes them ideal for coursing rabbits. The Italian Greyhound has a body shape similar to that of a Whippet. However, the only noticeable difference is their height which varies between 12-16 ins, making them shorter than Whippets, whose height varies between 14-22 ins. The IG’s color can be described as any shade from white through light gray to dark gray with black patches on their legs, ears, and chest.

The IG was first introduced in Ancient Rome as a companion for noblemen. They are also said to be the dog of Plato, although this might have been a different breed. In the middle ages, they were brought from Italy to England. During Tudor times, it became popular among wealthy families for their escapologist skills in hunting rabbits while coursing with greyhounds, which would block the rabbit’s refuge holes until the IG could get there. Today, if you own an Italian Greyhound, you can find them as loving companions or participating in agility competitions, lure coursing, and even just relaxing at home. On the other hand, Whippets are used almost exclusively for racing but are also kept as beloved house pets or participate in lure coursing or dog dancing.

You should keep in mind that IG’s do not like children and will try to avoid them as much as possible, while Whippets are very good with kids and people in general. Neither dog is ideal for first-time owners, but if you want a companion or something to run around your house at night, then both breeds can make wonderful pets. 


The Italian Greyhound has one of the most extended lifespans among all dog breeds. It is often reported that the average lifespan is 14 years, but it can be as high as 19-20 years if given proper care and nutrition.

A similar picture emerges from the Whippet breed, with an average lifespan of 13-16 years for males and 12-17 years for females. The oldest recorded Whippet lived to be 23 years old.
Maintaining good health is critical for both breeds; not only will this allow them to live longer, but it will also keep your pet happy and comfortable during its entire life.

Temperament Italian Greyhound vs. Whippet

Whippets are known to be gentle around children. They also enjoy being around people and a loving, patient owner. Whippet personalities vary, but they all have similar traits such as high energy, loyalty, intelligence, and kindness. Their puppy-like personality makes them a playful breed, so if you’re looking for a lap dog, this isn’t the right breed for you!

If you’re interested in getting an Italian Greyhound, then it’s important to know that they are not easily trained, if at all. Many IGs ignore their owners when asked to perform tasks, making it frustrating both for the owner and IG breeder or seller. Even though the dog is independent many of these dogs will turn into stubborn pups who require daily exercise.

One of the most significant differences between the two is Whippets are more relaxed and calm while IGs can be energetic. This may be because their speed while running is different from each other’s- Whippet’s average is 45 miles per hour (72 km/h), and IG’s run up to 44 miles per hour (71 km/h). Also, while Italian Greyhounds have less muscle mass, Whippets endure a lot more during competitions which makes them tougher in some cases.

Both breeds learn quickly, but if you’re looking for an obedient, kind dog, choose a whippet. On the other hand, if you want an independent, intelligent breed that needs daily exercise, this doesn’t need as much attention as a whippet but still requires attention and affection, choose an Italian Greyhound.

Exercise Needed

Around 45-60 minutes of exercise is needed every day for these breeds. If you have a small yard, that’s okay, but it’s better to spend time outdoors so your dog can run freely rather than on concrete. Whippets are the only dog of this breed that does not require intensive exercise because they weren’t bred for speed and agility. Most Whippet breeds will enjoy a run outside or playing fetch. At the same time, Italian Greyhounds need more intense activity such as sprinting multiple times in a row, jumping over hurdles, climbing, etc.

Italian Greyhound owners have reported that these dogs sometimes refuse food if their physical needs aren’t met, so it’s very important to ensure your IG gets proper exercise every day.
If you’re looking for an active dog breed, IGs are perfect but keep in mind that you’ll spend some time exercising with your dog every day! On the other hand, if you want a calmer, peaceful breed, then choose the Whippet breed.

Italian Greyhound vs Whippet – Personality & Training

Whippets are very friendly and playful dogs. They can be a bit shy at first, but they will play with you all day long once they get used to you. Whippets make great running partners, too, since they love running after balls or frisbees. On the other hand, Italian Greyhounds are friendly and affectionate dogs. But, like most sighthounds, these dogs don’t enjoy playing much and prefer to take naps with their owners even if exciting events are going on elsewhere.

Both breeds can be trained easily since they are pretty intelligent dogs. However, the dog trainer needs to consider that Italian Greyhounds do not like being forced while training, so he should use positive reinforcement if he wants to get good results. Using treats like pieces of cheese or cooked chicken, for example, will make your puppy eager to learn new tricks. The same goes with Whippets – they can be stubborn sometimes, but there is no problem here either as treats will fix this issue quickly! Another difference between these two dogs in training is that Whippets are easier to train during the first year of their life while it is more difficult with Italian Greyhounds as some owners say that they can be a little stubborn to train even in adulthood.

However, both breeds have one thing in common, and that’s being sensitive dogs. They are prone to feeling stressed, so have patience while training if you do not want your pet turning into an anxious or depressed animal. Whippets and Italian Greyhounds generally love spending time with their human family, although they may prefer spending more time with only one member of the family instead of everyone else!

Italian Greyhounds and Whippets love playing outdoors; however, be cautious when taking them for walks on the streets. It is important to keep your pet on a leash at all times while walking it outside and never let it off the leash unless it’s in a controlled environment like a dog park.
The Italian Greyhound and Whippet are both fine with Apartments
Both Italian Greyhound and Whippet make great pets for people living in apartments or not having enough space for larger dogs. This is because they tend to get rid of all their energy on their daily walks, being calm for the rest of the day at home.


The Whippet is an average shedder, with peak shedding times twice a year during spring and fall seasons, with medium to short hair, while the Italian Greyhound constantly sheds year-round.
The Italian Greyhound is considered hypoallergenic, while the Whippet is not. There is no 100% hypoallergenic dog, though. The Italian Greyhound has a lower chance of triggering allergy symptoms because they don’t drool and shed little.

Whippet vs Italian Greyhound

Companionship: If you are looking for a dog that will be more like your buddy than just a pet, then the Whippet might be better for you. The Italian Greyhound is named “Greyhound” because it was bred as a hunting companion to help bring down larger game. This breed would probably not be good for families that want a friendly dog to play with and cuddle. However, Italian Greyhounds are affectionate and will happily snuggle up with you if you give them the opportunity.

The Whippet is known as “the poor man’s racehorse” because its body was built for speed. The breed was used in early dog races, but over time both breeds were bred for things other than racing and hunting, like companionship instead of hunting or racing ability. This makes the two dogs very similar in appearance; however, they have different personalities due to their breeding history.
Whippets do not need much exercise unless they are young puppies; Italian Greyhounds need about twenty to thirty minutes of exercise a day. Whippets can run at top speeds for several miles, but Italian Greyhounds will reach their limit sooner.

How fast is a whippet?

Explosive speed: Whippets have been clocked running at top speeds of up to thirty-five miles per hour. Italian Greyhounds cannot reach such speeds because their body build is not meant for great bursts of speed. They are known for running up to twenty miles per hour but cannot keep up the high speeds for long. This makes them a good fit as jogging companions, but they may need some encouragement when it comes time to run.

Names For Whippets And Greyhounds

Iggy, Argie, or IG are perfect nicknames for an Italian greyhound, while whippy or smoky are perfect for whippets.


The Italian Greyhound and the Whippet are wonderful dog breeds most known for their speed. They both are known to be fast, agile dogs with sleek and slender body build and attractive coats. Both dog breeds make great pets. Italian Greyhounds were initially bred for hunting small game, while Whippets were bred for racing; however, both breeds today love nothing more than being your best friend.
Good to know – we offer Art Prints for both dog breeds in our store – so grab yours now and decorate your home with an Artwork of your favorite dog!