Contrary to what you might think, a Bully Whippet is not a sighthound that actively terrorizes other dogs! Bully Whippet Syndrome is actually a condition resulting in a Whippet that looks “pumped”… or to put it less informally, heavily-muscled.
In this post I’m going to explain what Bully Whippet Syndrome is, why it results in a dog with muscles and what the condition means long term.
Table of Contents
- What is Bully Whippet Syndrome?
- Why Does Bully Whippet Syndrome Create a “Double Muscled” Whippet?
- The Long Term Effects of Bully Whippet Syndrome
- Related Articles
What is Bully Whippet Syndrome?
Bully Whippet Syndrome is an inherited recessive genetic condition that makes a Whippet “double” muscled. To put it another way, it makes a Whippet look like a super Whippet!
Whippets are traditionally lean dogs. Although they clearly have muscles, they are not stockily built with bulky muscles like some other breeds, such as Pitbulls for example.
As you can see from the image above, Bully Whippets have a somewhat unusual, almost frightening apoearance… very different from the traditional Whippet physique.
They tend to have broader heads, shorter legs and thicker tails than Whippets not having the Munster in deficiency.
Although they have a stocky double muscles appearance, Bully Whippets are not aggressive and retain the same temperament of all Whippets. However, though more muscular, they’re not capable of reaching the running speeds that Whippets are famous for.
Despite the name, Bully Whippets do not have a tendency to dominate or bully other dogs. The bull reference relates to cattle, where the double-muscled condition is more common.
Why Does Bully Whippet Syndrome Create a “Double Muscled” Whippet?
As I referenced above, Bully Whippet Syndrome is an inherited genetic mutation relating to myostatin.
I’m no expert in genetics. but I’ll attempt to explain my understanding of how the syndrome results in a double muscled dog.
Please bear with me!
The myostatin gene regulates muscle development: it effectively prevents over development of muscle tissue. The mutation leading to Bully Whippets that affects the myostatin gene results in the development of bulky and heavy musculature, and a dog that looks like it has double muscles.
However, not all Whippets with the mutated gene become double-muscled.
If a Whippet has one copy of the mutation on the myostatin gene, it won’t become super-muscular. By all accounts though, it will result in a dog that might be able to run even faster than regular Whippets!
Only Whippets with two copies of the mutation on the myostatin gene develop Bully Whippet Syndrome and the muscular physique associated with it.
The Long Term Effects of Bully Whippet Syndrome
The average lifespan of a Whippet is 12 to 15 years. Bully Whippets might be expected to have a shorter lifespan given their organs are designed to support a much smaller dog. The myostatin deficiency affects muscles only and does not result in larger hears and lungs.
The consequence of this is that an affected Whippet might well suffer cardiac and pulmonary problems through the additional strain that larger muscles place upon the cardiovascular system.
There is no cure for this condition, so sadly these double muscles Whippets tend to have a shorter life than Whippets without the a myostatin deficiency.
Since Bully Whippet Syndrome is a genetic condition, careful breeding is the only way to prevent the gene passing down the line.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that the Bully Whippet is a variety of Whippet mix, such as a Whippet Pitbull cross. However, affected dogs are purebred Whippets with a genetic condition that makes them look very different to the traditional Whippet look.
Bully Whippets may look abnormally muscular and aggressive but in reality they’re not at all bullish, bullying or mean: they simply have a condition that makes them look pumped!
- Whippet Fur, Colours & Markings
- Is Apartment Life Suitable for Whippets?
- Can You Vacuum a Dog?
- How Much Should a Whippet Weigh?
- Are Whippets Good Dogs For First Time Owners?
- A Whippet Owners Checklist
Have you come across Bully Whippets before? Perhaps you own a Bully Whippet? Please leave a comment at the bottom of this page to let me know.