OUR vet Helen loves her whippets and we’re constantly being entertained by pictures of them, whether it’s coursing through the snow or cuddling up on the sofa.
I wondered what it was that had drawn her to the breed and whether she’d always had them. She told me that her first-ever family dog was a proper Heinz 57 which lived to the ripe old age of 16, never having a day’s illness its whole life.
But now she just loves the breed characteristics of the whippet: they are very loving and eager to please, don’t need massive amounts of exercise, have great personalities and are often quite cheeky!
Dog breeding has come in for some bad press recently because there is a lot of unscrupulous breeding and some breeds have characteristics that are simply not conducive to good health.
So, if you are thinking about getting a pure breed do your research thoroughly and make sure its characteristics will suit your lifestyle. Always consider breed rescue centres because there are lots of unwanted dogs looking for homes.
If you go to a breeder, do be careful that you are not buying puppies that have been shipped in from elsewhere. You should always see the puppies with their mother. And never be tempted to buy a sickly looking puppy just because you feel sorry for it; you’ll only be encouraging bad breeding practice.
The advantage of getting a pedigree is that they have generally been around for quite a while and you tend to know what you are getting in terms of size, appearance and temperament.
There’s no doubt that each breed has its devoted fans.
Helen is getting a puppy this year; you can probably guess it’ll be another whippet and I’m sure we’ll soon be regaled with yet more cute photographs!