It’s easy to tell the difference between Whippets and Greyhounds. Although they look similar, Greyhounds are much larger than Whippets. However, distinguishing between Whippets and Italian Greyhounds can be a little trickier… in fact “Iggies” are often thought to be Whippet puppies. The Whippet Italian Greyhound mix, or Whippig, makes correct identification even more tricky!
In this post I’m going to talk in detail about the Whippet Italian Greyhound mix… though I can’t promise that by the end of it you’ll be able to correctly identify an Italian Whippet over a Whippet or an Italian Greyhound!
Table of Contents
- About Whippet Mixes
- Whippet Italian Greyhound Mix Appearance
- Temperament of the Whippig
- Exercise & Care
- Whippet Italian Greyhound Mix Images from Instagram
- Related Posts
About Whippet Mixes
When discussing the characteristics of any mixed bred dog, it should be noted that nothing is guaranteed.
Whippet crosses, such as the Whippet Italian Greyhound mix, can vary enormously. This means that although the characteristics of Whippigs described on this page are most likely, individual dogs can be move away from the norm in terms of appearance, behaviour and personality.
See all my articles about Whippet mixes.
Whippet Italian Greyhound Mix Appearance
Though both breeds are classed as Sighthounds, Italian Greyhounds are technically Toy Dogs, whereas Whippets are Hounds.
So where the Whippet is a medium-sized breed (height 18” to 22”, weight 25klbs to 40lbs), the Italian Whippet is small (height 17″ to 20″, weight 20lbs to 30 lbs).
A Whippet Italian Greyhound mix then may then range between 17” to 22” in height and 20lbs to 40lbs in weight.
Although different sizes, both breeds share the same physical design: athletic, graceful and some would say skinny (both breeds are meant to be!). It’s not surprising then that the Whippig too has a slim, athletic build built for speed (one of the things Whippets were bred for).
Whippet Italian Greyhound mixes also have the same shaped narrow head, with alert ears that generally fold at the tips… something that gives them a very cute appearance just like the parent breeds.
Whippets and Iggies are both short coated with fur that’s silky smooth and neither breeds shed much. There is a myth that Whippet-like breeds are hypoallergenic but no dog breed is 100% allergen free.
Whippet Italian Greyhound coats will generally be coloured:
In rare cases, it might be possible to encounter a blue Italian Whippet, but this is uncommon. You can find out why in my post about blue Whippets.
Temperament of the Whippig
If you know Sighthounds, you won’t be surprised to know that the Whippet Italian Greyhound mix is also full of beans, energetic and always eager to play.
Like the parent breeds, Italian Whippets have a strong prey drive and will chase anything that catches their eye, so care needs to be taken around other smaller pets you might have. I’ve written before about Whippets and cats living under the same roof, and Whippigs too might struggle to adapt to life with a feline.
Whippigs are also loving, gentle and loyal and perhaps sometimes a little reserved around people they don’t know. That said, once familiar a Whippig will be a friend for life.
Additionally, while they are energetic, Whippet Italian Greyhounds are always ready to snooze as long as they have opportunities for exercise. For the most part they are calm dogs that love the closeness of their family… Whippigs don’t like to be left alone just like Whippets.
Their loving nature makes Italian Whippets ideal family pets and they’re extremely gentle with children.
Of course the temperament of any dog can vary regardless of whether it’s purebred or mixed. Early training and socialisation with other dogs can help to make Italian Whippets more confident and obedient.
One thing that Whippets and Italian Greyhounds have in common is an independent streak. This can make training more of a challenge than it is for some other breeds and it does mean you have to remain calm with them. The same might be said for the Whippet Italian Greyhound mix.
Whippet Italian Greyhound Mix Health
In general, both Whippets and Italian Greyhounds are healthy breeds. That said, both breeds are more prone to certain health conditions than others.
The following are some of the conditions from which Iggies, Whippets and consequently Whippigs may suffer:
- Mitral Valve Disease
- Canine Hemangiosarcoma
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy
- Canine von Willebrand’s Disease
- Orthopaedic Injuries
- Sensitivity to Anaesthesia
- Mitral Valve Disease
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy
- Hip Dysplasia
- Canine Hypothyroidism
- Luxating Patella
- Sensitivity to Anaesthesia
In addition, the Whippet Italian Greyhound mix may be prone to eye conditions such as:
- Vitreous Degeneration
Assuming proper care, diet and exercise, Whippet Italian mixes might have a life expectancy of between 12 to 15 years.
As a general rule, the gene pool for mixed breeds is larger than that for purebreds. As a result breed mixes tend to develop less desirable health traits of their parents. In general, “hybrid” dog breeds tend to live longer healthier lives than some purebred dogs.
That said, there are unscrupulous breeders, especially in the mixed breed arena. Always check the credentials of any Whippet Italian Greyhound breeder to ensure they’re reputable and caring.
Never, ever buy from someone breeding dogs purely for financial gain to the detriment of the dogs they rear.
What to look for in a Whippet breeder.
Exercise and Care for the Whippet Italian Greyhound Cross
Whippets need around an hour of exercise each day, within which there will be opportunities to run off the lead. Whippets like nothing more than bursts of sprinting followed by sniffing around!
As smaller dogs, Italian Greyhound perhaps require less exercise, though they’ll still need off the lead opportunities to run around like mad things. Perhaps 20 to 40 minutes of daily exercise will suffice for an Iggy.
Exercise for a Whippet Italian Greyhound mix will likely mean 40 minutes to an hour each day.
Off the lead exercise is best to let them burn off energy. For this you will need an enclosed area where the potential for chasing something will not mean your Italian Whippet will run onto a road.
Exercise is important to not only protect your Whippig’s health but it also helps to prevent destructive behaviours such as chewing your furniture or peeing on your bed!
Since Whippet Italian Greyhounds have the short, single coats of their parents, grooming is a minor responsibility. A weekly groom with a proper brush will help to keep excess fur and dander from dirtying up your house.
Additionally, Italian Whippets are a clean breed and won’t need much washing… as a rule you may need to wash a Whippig once a month or even less.
Unless it rolls in something smelly of course!
While short coats are good in this regard, in the winter cold can really be a problem. Whippigs not only have short coats that won’t protect them in colder times but they also don’t have much body fat. You will need to invest in Whippet sweaters and jackets to keep them warm and dry on winter walks.
Perhaps the one area needing regular attention will be teeth cleaning. The Whippet Italian Greyhound mix will have a narrow jaw like its parents and likewise it’s important to make sure their teeth are clean
Find out about cleaning a Whippet’s teeth.
Whippet Italian Greyhound Images from Instagram
A selection of some of my favourite Whippet Italian Greyhounds on Instagram!
Whippets and Italian Greyhounds are very similar looking… the big difference being size. Whippets are medium sized dogs in the Hound class while Italian Greyhounds are in the Toy class. However, both are Sighthounds.
Of course as they’re Sighthounds care should be taken when housing a Whipping if you have smaller pets.
The Whippet Italian Greyhound mix will very much share the Whippet temperament, as does the Italian Greyhound.
Loving, gentle and affectionate, the Italian Whippet makes a great family pet.
Do you own a Whippet Italian Greyhound mix or do you have questions about this lovely cross? I’d love to hear more. Please leave your comments in the section at the bottom of this page.
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