A Hosted Discussion: The Whippet Standard

A Hosted Discussion: The Whippet Standard

Postby chelynnah » Sun Dec 14, 2008 10:42 pm

Please note that the following discussion was originated in 2006 under the previous AWC Breed Standard. The AWC Breed Standard was revised in January 2008.

All photos from the original discussion have been included bar a couple of personal photos (and those have been noted). In posts where there are missing consecutive numbers that is due to the photos not originally being included after they were edited and numbered.
User avatar
WW Manager
Posts: 10422
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 4:31 pm
Location: Dorset, England (originally Ontario, Canada)
Whippet Archives Link: 7231

Re: A Hosted Discussion: The Whippet Standard

Postby chelynnah » Fri Dec 19, 2008 10:24 pm

From: Patience (Original Message) Sent: 01/01/2006 20:27
Your Whippet World Managers are excited to introduce a topic of discussion for Whippet World:

The Whippet Breed Standard

Every breed of dog has a written standard, which attempts to describe the ideal dog of that breed. Because these are written words, and because we are human beings, the standards can be interpreted differently by everyone who reads them. Also these terms can be confusing, and for folks who are new to dogs the whole thing can sound like some unknown foreign language!

So, what we thought we'd do, is to host step by step a discussion of the standard. When your foreign standard differs from the American one, please post what your country's standard says; that would be fascinating, too!

We will be using the illustrations that the American Whippet Club uses in the front of each National catalog, with the kind permission of the artist. Also, in the discussion portion, we will use photos of whippets, which have been turned into outlines or silhouettes, to hide the identity of the whippet. (No hurt feelings allowed!!!) If you have a photo of a famous champion or of a famous fault, email it to the Managers, and we'll turn it into a line drawing or a silhouette.

We have a request: on this thread only, let's stick to plain fonts and none of our fancy siggies. We'll save the graphics use for the illustrations, and we don't want folks on dialup to be left out due to lengthy download time.

Remember, it is perfectly alright to have differing interpretations of the words in the Standard. Even the AWC's illustrations are for us to use as a guideline, and we might disagree with them. That's GREAT! But we know our awesome WW members will keep this discussion informative and educational, and will NOT let it become argumentative and contentious.

Questions are WELCOME! "What's a straight front?" "What does lack of fill mean?" Here's your chance!

OK, here goes! We will separate the actual words of the Standard by showing them in blue.

Approved 8/10/93
Effective 9/29/93
copyright The American Kennel Club, Inc 1993
Illustrations used here by written permission of the artist

General Appearance - A medium size sighthound giving the appearance of elegance and fitness, denoting great spead, power and balance without coarseness. A true sporting hound that covers a maximum of distance with a minimum of lost motion. Should convey an impression of beautifully balanced muscular power and strength, combined with great elegance and grace of outline. Symmetry of outline, muscular development and powerful gait are the main considerations; the dog being built for speed and work, all forms of exaggeration should be avoided.

From: dixiearrow33 Sent: 01/01/2006 20:56
Since it says muscular power and strength, how come I hear people complaining that when their dog is in 'racing' shape, they have a hard time in the show ring? I've heard numerous times that many judges don't like muscular dogs. If that's so, then isn't that going against what the whippet is bred for? After all, running builds muscle. Comments?

From: CampWhippet Sent: 01/01/2006 21:00
I think it is in the first and last last line: "A medium size sighthound giving the appearance of elegance and fitness........all forms of exaggeration should be avoided."

From: ashleywhippet Sent: 01/01/2006 21:12
I know we are not talking about the forequarters yet but it is also said in the standard that MUSCLES should be FLAT and a HEAVILY MUSCLED or LOADED SHOULDER SHOULD BE STRICTLY PENALIZED.

From: ottercatgirl Sent: 01/01/2006 21:16
"A true sporting hound that covers a maximum of distance with a minimum of lost motion."
How can this be judged in the ring when the dogs are only trotted around?

From: PoetaWhips Sent: 01/01/2006 21:18
It is pretty funny when you think about it that "muscular develoment" is one of only three "main" considerations according to the standard but I've always been told that show dogs should have a good layer of fat on them, to always show them at higher than their ideal weight, and I very rarely have seen muscular development on show dogs, if the pics in magazines are anything to go by (since I don't attand many shows). "Muscular development" to me, means just that: muscle not fat.


From: PoetaWhips Sent: 01/01/2006 21:20
From: ottercatgirl Sent: 01/01/2006 21:16
"A true sporting hound that covers a maximum of distance with a minimum of lost motion."
How can this be judged in the ring when the dogs are only trotted around?

It can't. That's why I think dog shows should take the form of a "go and show". First you compete in your field event (in the case of Whippets, racing), and those who complete the race meet then go ahead and show in the ring. Whippets wouldn't necessarily have to win the race meets but at least show that they can do the job they were bred to do, before being allowed in the ring.


From: CampWhippet Sent: 01/01/2006 21:37
I like a dog that can do what it was intended to do. Some show dogs wouldn't chase a lure if it was a 10lb steak and a whippet that won't chase is lacking in my mind, but that isn't part of the standard. (yet?)

"A true sporting hound that covers a maximum of distance with a minimum of lost motion." can be seen watching the dog circle as well as in the down-and-back. If the dog's leg movements take it side-to-side you have wasted motion, which no longer fulfills the stated requirement. Head-bobs and other movements indicate wasted movement as well, which are easily spotted at a brisk trot.

From: Aniemother Sent: 01/01/2006 21:45
The Norwegian standard says (my translation):

General appearance: balanced combination of muscle and strength with elegance and beautiful lines. Built for speed and work. Any exaggeration should be avoided.

Thus generally the same, but not as many word.

I believe this calls for muscular dogs capable of working, without loosing their flowing lines and elegance. IMO this is also the reason why "too much" muscle might be penalized as a very dense muscle mass may create a different, more bulging outline + the exaggeration part. A little extra fat on top of the muscle (they should of course be allowed to run and develop muscle - they're whippets!) will give a smoother outline and adding to the elegance.


From: ashleywhippet Sent: 01/01/2006 21:49
Its not about how much km the dog will make in 10 seconds. Its about how much ground the dog will cover in every step. As the standard said Lack of front reach or rear drive, or a short, hackney gait with high wrist action should be strictly penalized. The forelegs move forward close to the ground to give a LONG low reach.

From: Clonfaeyl Sent: 01/01/2006 22:07
The Standard (Canadian): As approved by the Canadian Kennel Club.

<General Appearance- The Whippet should be a dog of moderate size, very alert, that can cover the maximum of distance with a minimum of lost motion, a true sporting hound. Should be put down in hard condition but with no suggestion of being muscle bound.>

I've never understood "should be put down in hard condition...." Can anyone explain what that means too?

Very interesting topic!!! Thanks Patience, et. al.

From: lynallanwhippets Sent: 01/01/2006 22:24
Our interpretation of the last part of the Canadian Standard
'Should be put down in hard condition, but with no suggestion of being muscle bound', is that when the dog is put down on the table and the judge is running his hands over him or her, the muscles should feel hard and solid to the touch, but yet not have the appearance of looking overdone or musclebound.

And as for the part where it states "the maximum of distance with a minimum of lost motion" we have to agree with Jonathan's statement as lost or wasted movement can be easily spotted at a brisk trot

Sue & Alyssa

From: dixiearrow33 Sent: 01/01/2006 22:59
It's interesting that some have said a whippet should race before going into the show ring. This is why I like to race my dogs at our MAWRA matches. We are part of CWA, which believes in the well-rounded whippet. So, you have to race your dogs first. They must complete the four races for the day. If your whippet scores enough points, they are automatically eligible for the conformation matches that follow. If they do not have enough points, you can still enter them in conformation (provided they completed the four legs). So, in short, the dog must prove that they are capable of chasing a lure, hearty enough to finish four 200 yd. dashes, and still make a good presentation in the show ring. A well-rounded whippet indeed!!


From: PoetaWhips Sent: 01/01/2006 23:02
That sounds interesting how CWA does it. I'd love to try it. Unfortunately, my dual CKC/AKC registered Whippets would not be allowed to enter


From: dixiearrow33 Sent: 01/01/2006 23:07

Why wouldn't your whippet be allowed to enter? Dixie is AKC. It's just another club, with their own rules. They use AKC standards in the conformation ring. I'm not sure I follow.


From: WildAbout_Whippets Sent: 01/01/2006 23:16
Hey Pat-

The CWA has a ban on certain dogs and people (check out the registration form: http://www.continentalwhippetalliance.c ... ration.pdf


From: PoetaWhips Sent: 01/01/2006 23:22
Pat, apparently CWA would refuse my entries based on my dogs' pedigrees. It's a long story, an unfair one, but this isn't the place. There are a couple of clubs in Canada who offer "go and show" matches but it's usually linked to lure coursing. Neat idea though.


From: WildAbout_Whippets Sent: 01/01/2006 23:28
I think "show and go" is such a fabulous idea!! I wish some of the other race clubs would host such an event. My crew races and shows and it's hard picking what event I want to attend on those busy summer weekends!!


From: BrigitteGreen Sent: 01/01/2006 23:50
I also like the ``show and go'' approach, if only because I believe my Whippets show better after they've run. Don't ask me why but their reach and drive seems to look better on the go-around in the ring after they've had a few runs in them.

Now, I have a question: What constitutes a ``medium size sighthound''? Sighthounds range from the Irish Wolfhound, which is gargantuan, to the Greyhound, to the Whippet.

Now, if the Italian Greyhound is shown as a toy dog in AKC showing, is it still considered a hound? If so, then I could see a Whippet being considered the medium between the IG and the Grey. But if the IG is not considered a sighthound since it's not in the Hound Group in shows, but in the Toy Group, the Whippet then looks like a small sighthound in the Hound Group.

I mean, let's look at the AKC's Hound Group for a moment and the sighthounds within that grouping: Afghan (large), Basenji (small), Borzoi (large), Cirneco dell'Etna (small), Deerhound (large), Greyhound (large), Ibizan Hound (large), Irish Wolfhound (gigantic), Pharough Hound (large), Rhodesian Ridgeback (large), Saluki (large) and then the Whippet. Medium of what? Medium between the Basenji, Cirneco & Everything Else? I realize that we have height minimums and maximums, but I don't see anything about weight. You can have a Whippet that weighs 22 pounds in the standard and easily have a Basenji at that weight, too.

So medium has always perplexed me. Anyone care to offer an interpretation as to what medium constitutes?


From: chelsea76 Sent: 01/01/2006 23:53
IG's - although shown in the Toy Group, are still Sighthounds. They are Toy over here too.


From: chelsea76 Sent: 01/01/2006 23:57
Can we get this back on the Show track, this was started because someone was wanting to understand the Conformation Standard. So yes, we know show and race will never agree on some points, but this particular discussion is to discuss and understand the Standard as it applies to conformation and Showing. The race points can be valid, but we've done them and can do them elsewhere, this is to help those who want to understand what is meant by certain points of the standard and things people say, like what is 'cow hocked' and what exactly is 'drive', what is hackney. The standard isn't necessarily self explanatory to the newbie so this is to help them know what to look for.



From: surreyhill Sent: 01/01/2006 23:59
It will be interesting to see if this discussion can stay civil. It hasn't had a very long half-life on a lot of other forums.

Anyhow, let's hope that Whippet World magic continues!!!

Here's my overview--the General Appearance section of the standard to me has always reminded me of the Taoist concepts of Yin and Yang. Beauty and moderation occurs when opposing qualities are in equal strength and balance. The General Appearance section actually specifies Yang qualities: speed, power, muscular strength, muscular development, and Yin qualities: elegance (mentioned twice), symmetry, and lack of coarseness. So, between the two extremes (the strong, heavy, musclebound, bullish type and the flimsy, undermuscled, weedy, overrefined type) we find the correct Whippet type to fall. This Yin/Yang concept is found elsewhere in the standard as well, as I hope we can get into when we move on to other sections.

A medium size sighthound giving the appearance of elegance and fitness, denoting great spead, power and balance without coarseness.

Medium size is assured by the standard itself since we have a disqualification for over or under that size range. Elegance combined with fitness is gotten by having fairly long lines, a long clean well arched neck, a properly chisled head, and long, fairly flat musculature on the shoulders ALONG with a capacious brisket, well-muscled hindquarters, firm back, good running gear and feet, strong and supple gait, and a nice, firm feel to well-conditioned muscle everywhere. Speed is relative. The Whippet in type is only expected to appear faster than other similar-sized dogs. Most fit that bill, so long as they are put down in proper weight and muscle tone, and are neither flimsy-looking, nor bullish, heavy, and stocky. Coarseness would apply to an overly heavy head, short thick neck, wide chest with barrel ribs, or huge bone more typical of a Foxhound or larger breed of dog.

A true sporting hound that covers a maximum of distance with a minimum of lost motion.

I agree with others that this pertains to the appearance of the dog in motion at the trot. It is, however, the least useful portion of the General Appearance section due its vagueness and the difficulty of applying it to the dogs in the ring. Far from being an endorsement of sprinting speed, it is easier to apply this section to the description of either an endurance trotter or distance galloper. I wouldn't mind seeing this sentence dropped or reworded.

Should convey an impression of beautifully balanced muscular power and strength, combined with great elegance and grace of outline.

This is rather rendundant to the first sentence. But when we are talking about muscular power, we need to also be clear about the historical appearance of the Whippet and the original purposes for which it was bred. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is one breed with a great deal of muscular power and strength which could not be disqualified under the Whippet breed standard, but it is clearly NOT a Whippet. At which point the Whippet begins to approach that degree of muscular power and strength, it has ceased to be breed typical. Hence, the requirement for great elegance and grace of outline, which is an allusion to both the more refined and lighter-bodied appearance of the Whippet, as well as the graceful curves which are its hallmark and distinguishing characteristic.

Symmetry of outline, muscular development and powerful gait are the main considerations;

This tells the judge that they are not to reward any exhibit which does not adequately display the above three qualities, no matter what other impressive features might be present. In other words, a poor moving dog with a gorgeous head should not be rewarded over dogs which combine the above three qualities in reasonable amounts, nor should an obviously undermuscled unfit exhibit, NOR should a dog who is fit and muscular and athletic-looking, but very faulty in outline.

The ideal in musculature for the conformation Whippet is to be very firm and hard and smooth under the hand, with a good muscle mass in the rear which carries well down towards the hock, as well as a firm back and hard, long, flat muscles on the shoulders.

Not everything that is functional in the sense of increasing speed by increments is necessarily something that makes a Whippet a more breed-typical specimen. Whippets which fit the General Description portion of the standard are plenty functional and much faster than any other dog of their size. However, too many of our judges do penalize the correct specimen which is shown in fit condition, as they like the smoother feel of the heavier, softer dog. This is wrong and should stop. The one thing I really think needs some clarification is the muscle pack over the withers of the well-conditioned runner. Many judges penalize this, but it's the muscle which anchors the neck and is essential to a good gallop. A HUGE muscle pack is an exaggeration, but a fit muscle pack will result in the appearance of a little k-nick right where the back vertebrae meet the loin vertebrae. Too many judges think this is the dreaded "dip" in the topline. It is not.

the dog being built for speed and work, all forms of exaggeration should be avoided.
[Soapbox]To read this line, and then go on the e-mail lists for the past ten years or so, you would think that the only form of exaggeration of interest to the authors of the standard was overangulation in the rear. Not so![/soapbox]

While that is certainly a speed-decreasing fault in the breed, exaggerations also include excessively-heavy musculature, huge bone, overly broad across the chest, over-substantial, under-substantial, too wide and heavy in head, too refined and narrow and elongated in head, etc. etc. etc. It might be that we need to start thinking about exaggeration in side gait as applied to this part of the standard. You will really never see the type of exaggerated side gait which is often admired in the ring in a top-notch racing or coursing dog, and I would say this holds true for ALL the various organizations which sponsor performance events. Moderation may need to be reassessed when it comes to side gait, since the eye-catching often holds sway in the breed ring over that which is more in harmony with the historic nature of the breed and the actual wording of the standard.

That's just my opinion, though. I like that Yin/Yang way of thinking about our breed. Harmony and balance between athleticism and elegance is a very difficult thing to get right, and those that do tend to be rewarded by judges from all walks and appreciated by fanciers whose own chosen sphere of activities in the breed might be quite different. But Whippets like that are few and far between in the ring. Most approach the ideal but fall short in small ways of actually realizing it perfectly.

This is why breeding for the show ring and trying to breed to the standard is so endlessly fascinating and challenging for many of us who do it. It's not that we don't love the ones who aren't quite the ideal. It's just that trying to breed towards that ideal is so absorbing and no matter how many years you've been doing it, there's still always the same thrill when you think you've finally got it right, and the same sense of "Maybe next time" when you see yourself so close...so very very close....

From: chelsea76 Sent: 02/01/2006 00:02
Hi Karen - it will or the 'offending posts' will be removed per the Code of Conduct. This isn't a debate about race vs show - it's a discussion to help understand the standard for those who don't always understand what we're talking about or why a certain whippet is winning at the moment - what are the judges seeing from a practical point of view.

If people want to discuss the race vs show they can so on another thread, (while still following the Code of Conduct).


From: chelsea76 Sent: 02/01/2006 00:03
ps - great post as always Karen - and the delete was me as I had the dreaded <oop> in from a cut/paste


From: dixiearrow33 Sent: 02/01/2006 00:35
I was just trying to let someone know there was such a venue for racing and showing. I compete in the show ring, and try to keep Dixie in good shape through exercise and competition. She does have good muscle, so that is why I originally brought up my question about folks' complaints about their dogs being in 'race' condition being penalized in the show ring by some judges. I think Karen explained it pretty well. It makes clearer to me why some people make that statement while, to me, their dog looks to be in excellent shape - not at all over-muscled. Perhaps it is what Karen said about the muscle pack over the withers and the 'feel' of the dog to the judges.
And thanks for explaining coarseness. I never did know what that meant!


From: chelsea76 Sent: 02/01/2006 00:55

Pat there was nothing wrong with that post, I just didn't want to see it degenerating into a race vs show discussion as that's not the focus


From: PoetaWhips Sent: 02/01/2006 01:03
"but this particular discussion is to discuss and understand the Standard as it applies to conformation and Showing"

Ah, my mistake. I thought we were discussing the Standard as it pertained to the breed. I didn't realize it was only for conformation and showing. I'll crawl back under my rock now.


From: chelsea76 Sent: 02/01/2006 01:06
Louise that was completely unnecessary - we are trying to keep this from devolving into what goes on on the other lists and make it a HELPFUL discussion, so PLEASE help us do that or it will be of no benefit to anyone.


From: surreyhill Sent: 02/01/2006 01:23
I realize this is going to sound huffy, BUT--

The AKC Breed standard is, at base, guidelines for judges and breeders and exhibitors who are involved in AKC shows.

The standards for other countries are the same, only they pertain to conformation dog shows in their own countries. No nation requires a certain excellence in a particular performance venue to be thought worthy of exhibition in shows and being judged under the standard. But the standards were written in such a way as to encourage judges to at least think about the purpose of the breed. The problem with our breed is that we have more than one purpose.

Now, there are definitely lots of organizations and groups and events which seek to create titles and prizes for those who do well in both a performance event and a conformation event where the dogs are judged under the standard. This is good, and there should be more of them.

Excelling at a particular function is not what makes a breed a breed. Appeareance, conformation, and type is what makes a breed a breed. This is why we can all tell an Irish Setter from an English Setter from a Gordon Setter. You can't call a dog a really good Setter if it's not birdy, but OTOH, simply being birdy doesn't make a dog an English Setter. We can tell an Australian Shepherd from a Border Collie from a Rough or Smooth Collie by looking at them. We don't need to watch them herd sheep. While no member of these breeds which shows no interest in herding could be considered an exemplary specimen of its breed, simply being a great herder doesn't make a dog a great Australian Shepherd, if you can't readily identify it as such.

That's where the breed standards come in to play.

That's all.

We absolutely have to get past race and show in Whippets and think about what it really means to be a BREED and why and how breeds began. Otherwise, there's no need for a registry, no need for a standard, no need for anything that differentiates one dog which does well at a particular task from another.

Whether or not that would be a good thing or not is a much larger question. But if we start with the breed standard, then we are really defining a dog by appearance and demeanor, as opposed to a particular performance yardstick.

There is plenty of room under our standard as written for critiquing the ways in which our standard might be holding performance BACK. But adherance to a standard is what helps keep the breeds distinct from each other.

That's just how I see the role of the breed standards in helping to keep each breed looking distinct from other breeds.

From: KattalystOSH Sent: 02/01/2006 01:24
As a newbie whippet owner (who shows cats in "conformation") I find this fascinating. Not that we will be showing out whippet in conformation - but perhaps in rally obedience :-) However, I look forward to this discussion, as thre are some things in the whippet standard that I have difficulty visulizing.
Hopefully it will continue. Julie & Claire (who would be glad to be used as an example of good and bad - but isn't stacked in this pic. - btw, showing cats, I know even my favorite cats are not perfect - so my feelings won't be hurt- and I won't tell Claire!)

From: lvernon Sent: 02/01/2006 03:52
The Canadian standard is most strikingly different in that it has no height dq, yet I don't think the dogs are any bigger than those stateside.

From: GreyFind Sent: 02/01/2006 04:15
One thing that I would find very helpful would be for established breeders to post photos of dogs they have shown and point out the dogs good points and their faults. I know that every dog, even the number one whippet in the country, has to have something that isn't perfect. I can look at a whippet overall and say "that's a beautiful dog" but I'm not at the point where I can say why. :-) I'd love to see actual examples of good/bad toplines, fronts, rears, pasterns, hocks, shoulders,heads etc with an explanation of why/how they are close to the standard. I understand that people may not want to do this with dogs that are currently showing breeding, maybe some folks would be willing to discuss dogs from 10-20 years ago? Just a thought...


From: SueHop Sent: 02/01/2006 04:21
Thank You to the managers for starting this discussion. There are a number of terms that get used all the time that I just don't get - and unless you can get someone to physically go over dogs with you it is difficult to see. I will wait for the other sections, but just so I don't forget here are a few:

Well let down hock
Loaded shoulder

I can't look at a whippet and break down their conformation - but when you see one with the proper balance and form moving around the ring there is NO mistaking it. It is beautiful to watch!


From: Patience Sent: 02/01/2006 05:02
Holy Moly... I was out for the evening and Lordy what do I find.

OK let's take a deep breath and start again. This is WHIPPET WORLD, not Whippet-L. We absolutely CAN HAVE A CIVIL DISCUSSION. I had NO IDEA when we discussed this among the managers that it would be a race vs. show discussion. We were simply discussing the BREED STANDARD.

How about this: there are parts of the standard which I would like to see changed. I think it's nuts that the American Standard requires a dark eye, when that rules out most of the dilutes. So, when we get to that part of the standard, I will say, "I think this part of the standard should be changed, for these reasons..."

Let's also stick to the section of the standard that is posted for discussion and not get ahead, ok? We WILL get to the "ahead" part of the standard, because we WILL discuss all parts of the standard. So maybe I could say, "I'll add something about the fronts, when we get there..."

Does that sound ok to everyone?

Right now, we're dealing with just the "General Appearance" section. There is discussion about how muscled is "beautifully balanced muscular power and strength, combined with great elegance and grace of outline."
We expect there to be different interpretations of what this means; that's ok, but let's say why we feel that way, not dissolve into race vs. show, I'm right you're wrong crap. OK?

Sorry to the rest of the Managers that I went out for the evening. Thanks Wendy for trying to keep this civil. We can do this WW friends, I KNOW we can!

hugs to all-

From: Patience Sent: 02/01/2006 06:40
OK, for the discussion part of this. I have no problem with the GENERAL APPEARANCE part of the written standard. I believe, from the historical pictures I've studied and from my personal observations of whippets that the description is apt.
As far as the medium goes, I'm thinking it means medium in dog terms, not in sighthound terms. ("Medium size dog which is a sighthound...")
I am not crazy about the illustration for this part, though. To my eye, the dog's rear is too angulated. I would like to see less bend at the stifle, and less length of the second thigh. BUT we'll get into rears later!

From: Rinnare Sent: 02/01/2006 13:43
Patience, is that bend in the stifle the reason why the rear is so "slopey?" (Like my technically correct conformation terminology?)
Is that what you mean by "angulation?"
Confused Ellen
PS - I think this is a great idea, very helpful for us novices. Thanks!

From: Templarwhip Sent: 02/01/2006 14:00
The main problem I see with judges in the ring today regarding the General Appearance is the muscling. If you get a nicely toned dog in the ring, some of the judges will actually comment "he's overmuscled". I had what was considered a large male at the time in around 1998 and got this comment a lot. I finally fired back, "Isn't that what a whippet is?" An animal that shows power and grace, a terrific sprinter? Without that rear muscling, then how COULD the dog sprint?
There are some dogs that are LOADED in the rear, but not that many.
I find no problem with the wording in the General Appearance section of the standard....can't wait to comment on the next sections though!LOL

Paula Knight
Hounds of Templar

From: pjrideout Sent: 02/01/2006 14:36
What a great discussion. We've been gone for a while and I'm catching up.
I have to say I struggle with the "well muscled" description, too. Our female is a perfect example of this. After a few days of hard play, road work or just running around she looks like a steroid junkie! Keep her crated or house bound the bulkiness goes away but so does her "smile" and speed!
Either bulked up or slimmed down, her grace is always apparent, though.


From: whippetwatch/Mary Magee Sent: 02/01/2006 15:08
<General Appearance - A medium size sighthound giving the appearance of elegance and fitness, >

Unfortunately (IMO) sometimes the fitness is given a backseat to 'elegance' or 'alertness'.

I've seen several comments on this section and am adding my thoughts to this. Wasted motion can come in many forms including high stepping front, over extending in the front, TRAD (tremendous reach and drive - which a sighthound should NOT have, unfortunately many do now adays), rolling in the middle (not pretty!), a lot of "bounce" from stride to stride (lifting up with each stride) but that's all at the trot. Now at the gallop wasted motion is when a dog is unable to run level to the ground, they have a front end that goes Upppp then down and the dog runs more like a rabbit than it should. All the energy it takes to run in this fashion is a total waste and will prevent it from being as efficient on the track or in the field (general cause seems to be straight shoulder blades but not always).

<Symmetry of outline, muscular development and powerful gait are the main considerations; >

This should be tattooed on all exhibitors' foreheads so all judges learn it and so they themselves remember it when breeding or exhibiting!!! Let's re read this over and again and notice that strength and muscle is mentioned not once but TWICE and beauty is not mentioned at all only symmetry of outline is stated.

<the dog being built for speed and work,>

aaah and again speed and work to be main considerations! :-)

< all forms of exaggeration should be avoided.>

this one seems so easy to understand but yet it's pretty easy to find rear assemblies that define the term exaggerated.

All in all the only way to truly test your whippet for function, speed, workability is to get it out on an open competition track (not limited by pedigree), that's truly the only way to see their true speed and compare them to others.
Some asked about muscle in the ring, I tend to battle that too as I find it unacceptable for me to present my dog in less than hard fit shape (plus mine just are genetically programmed to carry good muscle). For some reason a lot of people (not just judges, they can only judge what's in their ring) think a whippet should feel like glass from neck to tail, no bumps bulges or such and a well conditioned dog is going to have some bumps/bulges due to striation (those lines on each muscle you see on a dog's rear end when he's totally flexed and ripped) as well as the separation [definition] of each muscle group (the back strap muscles, the loin muscles, the 'thunder thighs') ... they don't make for a 'glass smoothness'. In one of the judges' interviews in a previous Whippet Watch one judge stated that many of the performance dogs exhibit "overmuscling" - which I found that to be really off base but ;) that's my opinion versus his. WithOUT proper muscling a whippet isn't able to perform it's job, whether we do or don't actually hunt with them isn't important, the heritage of the breed should always be taken into account at all given points in time (IMO of course).


From: ottercatgirl Sent: 02/01/2006 15:17
This is a great thread...I'm learning so much. (Even though I will probably never put one foot inside a show ring!!) Thanks for everyone's input!


From: indogolfing Sent: 02/01/2006 15:27
I tend to agree with mary. People forget that the standard is open to interpretation, and one person's interpretation of the appearance of fitness is different from another's. I see very few whippets I would consider "overmuscled". Sprint animals tend to have bulkier muscles than distance animals, and these are sprint animals. But if you use a word like "bulky" it tends to have a negative connotation, perhaps "well developed muscling" is better. Muscling is mostly genetic- you can develop what the dog has but you can't make more. I'm sure mary's muscular dogs look much the same over a long lazy winter than they do during the racing season. The main muscles important for speed and power running are the big back muscles running either side of the spine and the rear muscles. To have broad muscling from the side, you can't have too sloped a croup- the slope causes the ischium and ileum, sites of big muscle attachments, to be closer together- viewed from the side. I never cared for the illustrations with our standard; the british one has some better illustrations, in my opinion.

From: dixiearrow33 Sent: 02/01/2006 15:55
Symmetry of outline, muscular development and powerful gait are the main considerations

I initially brought this up about the muscle development, so I'll continue. Since it is obviously one of the three most important considerations as per the general appearance standard, when did this fall out of favor? Has it been this way for many years? Are there any AKC judges on this forum who would care to comment? I think, IMHO, you can look at a dog and see immediately if it is over-muscled. I liken it to looking at a Mark Maguire and Sammy Sosa and KNOWING theirs is not a normal appearance!! Compare that to someone who works out on a regular basis. They look terrific, well sculpted even. Now take that person, and put them next to someone of the same build (size, weight, height). The person who works out looks more toned. They feel that way, too! Personally, I think the toned feel is a lot better than fleshy. Same in dogs. The toned dog has a much better 'feel' to it. All of this is my opinion, mind you.
So, anyone know when this take on 'muscled' changed, or has it always been that way, or do you just have to find the 'right' judge??


From: Patience Sent: 02/01/2006 16:10
OK, so the wording of the standard in the general appearance section seems to be appropriate to everyone, but the interpretation is often felt to be misunderstood? Vickie, I share your opinion of some of the illustrations, but it gives us a good starting point. Here is a silhouette of a dog whose outline - general appearance - to my mind fits the standard's description better:


compared to


to my eye the silhouette dog shows better "symmetry of outline" without exaggeration.
The next post will include a glossary of terms.
OH, and if ANYONE wants a photo of ANY whippet included in the discussion, please EMAIL it to me. I will turn it into a silhouette or a line drawing and post it, so we can discuss it civilly without knowing if it's a BIS or a WRCH or a couch potato!

From: Patience Sent: 02/01/2006 16:16



I will also put these in a separate album (HERE) so folks can refer to them quickly, if you have a question about terminology. There are more faults than are shown here, but we will cover those in our discussion of "parts".

From: chelsea76 Sent: 02/01/2006 16:31
<<Wendy (Greyfind) said:
One thing that I would find very helpful would be for established breeders to post photos of dogs they have shown and point out the dogs good points and their faults. I know that every dog, even the number one whippet in the country, has to have something that isn't perfect. I can look at a whippet overall and say "that's a beautiful dog" but I'm not at the point where I can say why. :-) I'd love to see actual examples of good/bad toplines, fronts, rears, pasterns, hocks, shoulders,heads etc with an explanation of why/how they are close to the standard. I understand that people may not want to do this with dogs that are currently showing breeding, maybe some folks would be willing to discuss dogs from 10-20 years ago? Just a thought...>>

We would welcome any breeders to email their photos to the managers so that we can make the photos anonymous for discussion. We don't want to get into pointing out faults in people's dogs. If there is a breeder who has a dog with a fault that they don't mind discussing, if you email it to us so we can store the picture permanently for the thread, and let us know that you don't mind it being shown as they are (rather than outline or sillhouette) that's fine as well. But we don't want to get into a discussion where a current dog in the ring might be penalised because of something someone reads here.

Hope that made sense?

So ideally we'd like to deal with real dogs, but either shadow or outline them, or break the photo down so they can't be identified.

Wendy (the other Wendy)

From: Harmony-Whippets Sent: 02/01/2006 16:42
I think that it is totally possible to have a dog that is in rock hard condition and still look smooth...without bulkiness and roughness. I do not think that one means the other. This could possibly be where different pedigrees come into play ? Just in my own house, I have dogs that are soft no matter how much conditioning and those that tend to be "buff" I have a young male that is solid....rock hard solid....strong and fit, but has an outline that is smooth and without roughness. I believe that this is what the standard calls for....the strong and fit....the athlete without the bodybuilding bulk. The look of elegance....but speed of the athletic strong hunter.


From: lanruvi Sent: 02/01/2006 16:55
I can't wait to get back to work tomorrow and scan in some photos and turn them into sillouettes! There are a buch of old magazines sitting around with all sorts of photos to be discussed. Surely there is someone with the photos and the technology at their finger tips that can post some worthy of discussion.

Line drawings would show more than siliouette however.


From: whippetwatch/Mary Magee Sent: 02/01/2006 17:22

When I think of what a whippet's musculature should be in top top shape I think of the sprinter "FloJo" (you can see a GREAT shot of her running here:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/olmedia/175000/im ... ojo300.jpg

When I think of a distance runner I think of people more structured like Don Kardong
http://www.distancerunning.com/inductee ... rdong.html

The distance runner's muscles are flatter, giving less bulk/mass overall. They last 'longer' versus giving great initial sprinting speed. The sprinter's muscles are a denser, heavier (to some bulkier) muscle that has the ability to give great bursts of speed (which IS what this breed was created for, to put money in the owner's pocket on the weekend). Also this is why we should have 'well let down hocks' as they give more endurance (but we'll hit that later).

<So, anyone know when this take on 'muscled' changed, or has it always been that way, or do you just have to find the 'right' judge??>

You've got me! I do think there are judges out there who will put up the best dog, regardless of what/who is in their ring. They find the dog who most fits the standard and reward it. I've been lucky enough to have shown some fantastic race dogs over the years, won with some others not like Ch Wheatland Cab Calloway, RCh; Wheatland Quejica Kezo, WRChX, ORCh, FCh; Bayberry Sam I Am (wrch and akc ptd); Windwalker Zantanon, WRCh, ORC, RCh (I hope I have all their titles right). I enjoyed exhibiting them and felt they deserved to be in the ring, seen by the judges. Did they all win, no but they still were out there! (side note two were breed winners, one at 6 mths of age). If we don't show the dogs in great shape we are adding to the problem.


From: Patience Sent: 02/01/2006 17:44



Ok, here are two photos which have been submitted and turned into line drawings. [REMEMBER IF YOU THINK YOU RECOGNISE YOUR DOG, PLEASE DON'T SAY "THAT'S MY DOG". ALL SUBMISSIONS ANONYMOUS.]

From: Patience Sent: 02/01/2006 17:45
Hmmm. I'll get better so I save them the same size. sorry.

From: surreyhill Sent: 02/01/2006 18:27
This is my best attempt at a line drawing which shows the correct outline and proportions as best I interpret the standard and my own observations of the Whippets I've found most balanced and aesthetically-pleasing to my eye.

I think the line drawing in the official standard visualization is quite good until you get to the croup, then it is "off" to the point that I feel it shows a topline and rear assembly which isn't quite correct.

But when you try to do it yourself, you quickly realize how difficult it is, especially if you are NOT a graphic artist, to try to come up with a line drawing that's useful and fits what you see in your own mind's eye. Let's just assume for the purposes of discussion that even though I've left out all the muscle definition on this dog, that she's nice and firm and fit. Let's assume also that she has good feet, because I, myself, cannot draw feet.


Once everyone has had a chance to look at this drawing for awhile, I'll put my markers and measurements all over it, and show you WHY I drew it the way that I did and how I think this line drawing (crude as it is) still illustrates what I find important in balance and structure.

Karen Lee

Thread continued in next post as it exceeded maximum length
User avatar
WW Manager
Posts: 10422
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 4:31 pm
Location: Dorset, England (originally Ontario, Canada)
Whippet Archives Link: 7231

Re: A Hosted Discussion: The Whippet Standard

Postby chelynnah » Fri Dec 19, 2008 10:29 pm

Continued from above post as exceeded maximum length

From: castlecrestmom Sent: 02/01/2006 18:48
As an artist, I have problems with the current picture representing the correct whippet in the standard. Maybe it's just me, but the rear portion of the dog is not correctly drawn. The stifle doesn't seem right and the topline above the tail seems incorrect. I wonder how that dog would move? One of my pet peeves is the herring guts that we see in some of the top rated. Sometimes, a herrring gut looks really curvey and can get the judge's attention, but it is very incorrect. My understanding of a herring gut is where the front legs are too far forward and the deepest part of the chest is not at the elbow, but farther back. That makes the slight upsweep of the front of the chest at the elbow. I sometimes hear "shock" from the race crowd that show whippets can run... such as the success of Lucia. I've even heard comments such as "their dogs don't run". Ron and I run our dogs hard twice a week on the beach. We have beaches that we can run our beach buggy on and are very isolated. Our dogs have been trained to run beside the buggy. It is a wonderful site running them on the beach. Ron can get almost get into 4th gear with them. They can stay up with us in third gear for at least three miles. We just happen to "enjoy" showing for now. To get to a race meet is usually a five hour drive, and they usually are in competition with show dates. So just because people choose not to race in formal meets, doesn't mean that their dogs are not athletic, fast and/or in poor muscle condition.

From: Patience Sent: 02/01/2006 19:03
Two more outlines:



(I'm getting better at this)

From: SueHop Sent: 02/01/2006 20:14
I think I must have been lucky in the short time I showed Sammi here in the Pacific NW. He is a muscular, fit, black dog of both race and show lines. He was always considered, never dumped, took BOW at a show in Canada, and 2nd in a nice open dog class at our Specialty. Maybe I just showed him to the right judges? He is also quite closely related to the dogs that Mary mentioned above - Cab Calloway is his sire.

When I look at the line drawing from the standard I see a very awkward rear assembly. Probably too much angulation and turn of stifle. I liked Karen's drawing much better. I personally like a little flatter topline than some people.


From: indogolfing Sent: 02/01/2006 20:34
Why do so many drawings for standards appear like the rear is so much lower than the front. Are the dogs stacked like that? the only reason their rear legs wouldn't be so much shorter than the front is because the angulation appears to be stuck so far out behind, or the rear appears crouchy. It just doesn't look balanced to have the rear so much lower- the arch is more of a slope. When the rear slopes so low, the steep croup makes the thighs quite narrow viewed from the side, so that the dog appears to dwindle away to nothing. The rear end is the engine that propels the dog with each stride- there has to be a lot of muscle, power, and not so much angulation back there. To appear balanced, to me, there needs to appear to be as much dog in the rear as there is in the front- that's mass, not angles.

I don't know of anyone who said any type of dog "can't run". All whippets can run, and most run faster than other non sighthound breeds. Common sense tells you that the ones that have speed higher on the breeders priority list will generally be faster than ones without speed as high priority. Speed is a lot genetic. I know that's off the topic we're on now, but it was already brought up.
I think most people look at whippets and they just have that shape of something fast- generally- long legs, streamlined look, deep chest. Unlike some of the breeds, the whippet isn't bred for the "look" of muscle, so you don't have a problem with non- functional or bodybuilder muscling.

From: lanruvi Sent: 02/01/2006 20:51
I would think it would be a good idea to lable the exibits for ease of conversation.


From: Patience Sent: 02/01/2006 20:53
OK, folks, back to the topic indeed!
So far, it's pretty unanimous that we don't like the rear of the dog in the AWC illustrations.
let's save the discussions of rears for when we get to rears. Let's try to stick to this section,
General Appearance - A medium size sighthound giving the appearance of elegance and fitness, denoting great speed, power and balance without coarseness. A true sporting hound that covers a maximum of distance with a minimum of lost motion. Should convey an impression of beautifully balanced muscular power and strength, combined with great elegance and grace of outline. Symmetry of outline, muscular development and powerful gait are the main considerations; the dog being built for speed and work, all forms of exaggeration should be avoided.

Keep sending those photos! The more we have to compare, the better. And let's try to keep the discussion to the DRAWINGS POSTED HERE. Not actual dogs in real life or people's philosophies. I will start numbering the drawings so we can refer to them better, sorry...

From: skinnydog Sent: 02/01/2006 21:27
Hi I'm a total newbie looking for a nice whippet, I have met with a few breeders and now I am totally convinced that I want a show dog. After reading and reading and reading, there is only one standard. This is taken from the AKC Size, Proportion, Substance
Ideal height for dogs, 19 to 22 inches; for bitches, 18 to 21 inches, measured at the highest point of the withers. More than one-half inch above or below the stated limits will disqualify. Length from forechest to buttocks equal to or slightly greater than height at the withers. Moderate bone throughout.

I seen a whippet of 22.5" with long hair on the hind leggs with his proud owner trying to sell me his champion racing line puppy. Thanks to this group I'm not as dumb as I was before. Not that I will get this dog, but is it out of whippet standards?

Thanks jeff

From: surreyhill Sent: 02/01/2006 21:33
This drawing, broken down in ratios, illustrates how I feel that "symmetry" and "balance" result in elegance. This dog is also obviously muscular in the hindquarters and substantial in brisket. I think this bitch's outline looks strong.

Here is the same drawing, with a bit of correction in the rear, and some ratio points mapped out:


Before I get into the parts with the letters, I want to point out the lines drawn around the head and the neck.

This dog's head from nose to occiput is the same length as the back of the neck from occiput to withers. This is something I belive Cora Miller once pointed out to me, and I've measured a lot of dogs who seem to have lovely heads and necks in the breed, and that ratio holds pretty true. When it does not hold true, you usually have the appearance of either a long head on a shorter, thicker neck, or a swanlike neck topped by a head with a shorter muzzle or boxier backskull. In other words, not balanced. Then, the length of the muzzle from nose to the inner corner of the eye and the length from that point to the back of the occiput should also be equal.

So, I drew the lines so you could measure them for yourself, but I tried to come as close to that ratio as possible in my drawing. Ok, now for the rest.

A and B are the angles that are talked about when people speak of balanced angulation. Whippets do not have a 90 shoulder (in fact, few breeds do), and this is about the maximum forequarter angulation you should see. I have drawn the rear angulation to match it.

Use a clear piece of plastic and a sharpie and reproduce the angles for yourself. They are the same.

"c" and "d" show the femur and the tibia (or second thigh). These bone lengths should be equal.

E and F pertain to the horizontal lines I drew across the ribcage and loin. I feel this ratio should be 2/3 ribcage to 1/3 loin. The loin begins at the insertion of the last (floating) rib. If you trace your Whippet's last rib up with your finger all the way to where it meets the spine, then that's where the loin starts. A lot of Whippets are more 50-50 in this ratio, but I consider 2/3 to 1/3 the correct ratio.

G and H pertain to the black squares I have placed on the top of the shoulder blade and the top of the hipbones. These should be equally high, or the hip point H should be no more than 1/2 to 1" below the top of the shoulder (depending on who you ask about this--it is a debated point). I think they should be roughly equal or the hip should be only SLIGHTLY lower. This is a key point if you are interested in having a faster conformation dog, since having this conformation is definitely a speed advantage. That's my theory and I like it a bunch. However, for H to be higher than G is untypical. It's a very fine line.

The standard drawing has quite a drop-hipped look with much lower hipbones than top of the shoulder blade. I believe this is what throws the look of that drawing the most "off". But a good many Whippets do have that structure. This drawing, H is only lower than G by a minute amount (probably 1/4" if this were a real dog).

The purple lines "I" and "J" represent another ratio which is debated by breeders and judges.

"I" is the distance from elbow to ground. "J" is the distance from elbow to withers. Some judges and breeders like the ratio between I and J to be as much as 1.3 to 1. I disagree strongly with that. I think it should be 1:1 to 1.1:1. You can decide if you think this drawing looks short on leg or too low to the ground to you, or not. The leg length is a whopping 2% greater than the length from elbow to withers in this drawing. Again, a miniscule deviation from 1:1.

Finally, I have two lines with no markings (thin black lines) to designate the height and the length. Measure this dog for yourself. The standard says the dog should measure square or slightly longer than tall. This dog is as near to square as I could make her, but if she is off-square, then it is to the benefit of a tetch of added length.

I do not feel I did a great job with the rear musculature in the initial drawing. I've taken out a bit of the second thigh muscle and I feel this gives a better look to the bend of stifle and let down of the hock, but she still has a good mass in the rear.

Anyhow, those are the ratios that I have found in common on dogs I feel are symmetrical and balanced in Whippets. Many of them apply to other breeds as well.

Of course, we can't take our tape measure in the rings but you can certainly enjoy measuring your own dogs at home, or if you have clear photos, you can measure those, too. A lot of what you find might surprise you. Some dogs who look REALLY long measure square. Some dogs who look rather short also measure square. Markings create all kinds of optical illusions, as do dogs who are off in other ratios even though they are correct in height/length. Height/length is the only ratio spelled out in our standard, so that's not up for much debate, but all the rest of the ones I used to design this line drawing of what I think is a pleasing bitch who fits the standard are certainly up for debate.

Anyhow, tell me if seeing the ratios diagrammed out on a line drawing is useful for you, or not. My mother used to do this presentation and she used actual black masking tape on a mostly white whippet. She said it really helped people to see a dog with all its angles and ratios marked out with tape like that.

Karen Lee

From: AerynnScarlett Sent: 02/01/2006 21:47

As someone new to the breed, you may not realize it, but whippets with long hair anywhere are a big controversy in our breed. This isn't a good thread for a question about a specific animal or what you should be looking for as a prospective puppy buyer. "What to look for in a potential show puppy" would be a great topic, though and deserving of its own thread.

I would encourage you to post a new discussion about what to look for in a puppy.

Good luck,


From: Patience Sent: 02/01/2006 21:52
OK and here are two new drawings. I'm making them as fast as I'm getting them!



From: Sally Sent: 02/01/2006 22:01
to Jeff,
I'll try to answer your questions.
A male that is 22.5" at the withers is within the standard, just at the very top limit allowed. If he is finished growing, then he is fine in that respect. However, if you want a dog to show, one that big would have to be super sensational in all other respects in order to do well. He would not be a good choice for a novice.
You say he had long hair on his hind legs. How long, and where? Some whippets are hairier than others, but the hair shouldn't be longer than an inch, and hairs that long should be few. For example, there may be longer than average hairs growing in the cowlick areas, such as the ridge running up the back of the upper thighs and rump. Longer hair (one inch) may also be found on the tail. Most of a whippet's hair is usually a quarter to a half inch long.
A pup from champion racing lines can be a lot of fun, but again, if you want to show, that's not the best choice for a novice. Not to slam race dogs - I have youngsters whose sire is a champion race dog - but a nice pup from champion show lines would be a wiser choice to begin with, if you want to show.
A little extra hair wouldn't keep a racer from running fast, but if that 22.5" boy grows any taller, he'll be unable to compete except for oval racing. Straight racing and lure coursing abide by the height disqualification. (I'm not sure about open field coursing; an oversized dog might be able to compete there, too.)
Hope this is of some help.


From: Patience Sent: 02/01/2006 22:57
Hey folks, can we keep off topic posts on another thread? (Sally, would you mind copying you great reply and starting a new thread with it?) This thread is going to be long, so let's try to keep the posts right on the subject, so it reads as smoothly as possible.
Here are the next two photos:



I'm not commenting on any of the outlines, because I know who the dogs are, and that's not fair. I'm hoping some of the other managers will submit some, anonymous to me, so I can have a go!

From: indogolfing Sent: 03/01/2006 00:27
#7 is easily my favorite; 8 looks like a pup.

From: GreyFind Sent: 03/01/2006 00:50
Karen, your picture with the measurements is AWESOME! I can't wait to measure my boys and compare and contrast.


From: pjrideout Sent: 03/01/2006 00:52
Karens' diagram is an excellent tool. Definitely a balanced drawing. And, the Cora Miller point is one I also learned from a well known breeder.
I also favor outlines 6 & 8, although 8 does appear to be a younger dog.


From: castlecrestmom Sent: 03/01/2006 01:44
Karen, that is a wonderful way to help us understand the angles. I think a whippet's outline is really important. It sets it apart from other breeds. It should be graceful with flowing lines. I worry that we are losing that wonderful curvey outline that is so "whippet". Especially the deep chest and tuck-up. I think there are many "parts" of the statement that hold almost equal importance. Each part is important, because combined they give you that beautiful, elegant, powerful and athletic animal. To minimize one, would spoil the attributes of the other parts.

From: whippetwatch/Mary Magee Sent: 03/01/2006 02:03
I'd love to suggest one book and one tape to those interested in seeing beyond their 'eyes' or than the written standard. The book is "An Eye For a Dog" it gives a LOT of insight that is useful and educational. The video tape (maybe on CD by now) is Pat Hastings Puppy Puzzle, this video is worth its weight in gold. It shows how she evalates puppies (at the time of taping she'd evaled 250 litters, successfully), what to look for and why the term "pick pup" should be elimiated from a breeder's vocabulary. She goes into detail on the different points of a pup, the faults/virtues and how to spot the different faults (like a ewe neck, you can find this problem by the pup's head being able to be tipped backwards almost touching the withers).

Since the subject thread here is the standard I just figured I'd share this bit of info. I've read the book about 5 times now (I reviewed it infact when it first was published just after the author's passing) and have watched the video so much I need a new one! ;).


From: Sally Sent: 03/01/2006 02:06
I started another thread on puppy choosing (sorry!)

Here are some thoughts on the outline examples:

Focusing on the boys:
#1 - looks OK in front, but his croup looks too steep and his rear extreme, but that could be that his rear legs are pulled back a little too far or are on a slightly lower plane than the front. His back and withers are sloped a bit, but not too bad

#4 - I like a lot, but there are a few things I don't like: his tail is a tad short, his hips a tad low, and he could use a little more length of loin. What I like:
A. Fairly nice topline - nice level back (area from neck set to loin), but arch appears a little forward due to lower hips.
B. Nicely angled rear, nice amount of muscle (although a higher, properly tilted rear would give a wider upper thigh).
C. Nice front, and good muscle on shoulder without being loaded.
D. Beautiful, though masculine, head - good underjaw, crisp ears.
E. Nice underline that curves up rather than having a flat line from brisket to loin.
F. Well-muscled loin, tightly tucked up.
G. Strong legs, good pasterns, nice little hocks that function correctly, and strong, tight, well-arched feet.

#5 - Ummm, maybe it's just how he's standing, but that croup is way too steep, and second thigh too long, also looks short coupled (needs more length of loin).

#7 - has the best topline: level back, arch over nice length of loin, hips up with shoulder (so the arch is a true arch). His underline could use some improvement, but isn't awful. He could benefit from a little more depth of brisket and a smoother "S", as the curve from the brisket up toward the loin is too abrupt. Good-looking rear, too. It's hard to tell front angulation, but it looks correct based on the shoulder in the topline and the location of the elbow below it. Nice-looking guy!

#8 - I agree with the others that he looks immature, but very promising!

Now the girls:
#2 - Not bad. Hips are lower than I'd like, and back is sloped a bit. Nice "S" underline. Thigh and second thigh look thin.

#3 - Nice-looking girl. :-) A tad steep in the croup. The hip is a little low, but not tipped too far. Nice length and balance. Back is sloped a little, but not too bad. Nice thighs & rear angulation. Pretty neck and head.

#6 - Another nice girl. :-) Pretty neck and head. Back is little sloped, making a slight dip in the topline. Front looks a little too far forward, maybe it's just the angle of the pic. Could use more muscle in the rear; thighs look too thin.

I like 3 and 6 for different reasons. The perfect female whippet might be made from combining their better parts.



From: Sally Sent: 03/01/2006 02:23

I found your illustration, markings, and explanation very informative and helpful. Most of what you wrote lines up with what I have observed and been told by other mentors. The only point I would differ on is the length of loin, but that is a personal preference not specifically addressed in the standard.


From: dixiearrow33 Sent: 03/01/2006 02:34
Karen, that diagram is awesome!! I've been chasing Dixie around the house with a tape measure, and all I can say is 'so far, so good'! It really is very helpful in showing what a balanced whippet should look like. Thanks!


From: surreyhill Sent: 03/01/2006 02:39
I don't mind showing how I came up with that 2/3: 1/3 ratio for ribcage vs. loin length.

The Whippet outline, whether you have any reference points which show you what size the dog is, should be distinguishable from the Greyhound and the Italian Greyhound. In other words, if you see a silhouette of a Whippet and you have nothing else that tells you what size the dog is, you should KNOW that it's a Whippet and not a Greyhound or I.G. Ok, so what are the clues?

As I puzzled this out, I found that the underline and the ratios of rib cage to loin length were key. Topline also, but the underline is what really distinguishes a Whippet from its larger and smaller cousins.

Here are two photos that show the difference. First, a rather good sort of Italian Greyhound:


This shows a 50/50 or 1:1 ratio between ribcage and loin length, which I feel is more typical of an Italian Greyhound. As you can see, the I.G. is a dog with an equal depth of brisket to the elbow, but the ribcage cuts up quite quickly compared to my line drawing, and the loin is longer in comparison.

Now, for our larger cousin, the greyhound:


The Greyhound is a much longer-ribbed dog. It has a ratio of close to 3/4 ribcage to 1/4 loin length, yet it is clearly a longer-looking dog despite having a comparably shorter loin ratio than my line drawing.

IMO, the Whippet should fall somewhere between these two breeds in outline, which is where I got the 2/3 to 1/3 ratio. If you want a longer Whippet which stands over more ground, then you have to lengthen the ribcage as well as the loin, and also probably give the dog a bit longer bones in the rear.

Karen Lee

From: Patience Sent: 03/01/2006 02:52
Two more, and #10 was KINDLY sent to me by a member already as an outline, so I don't know who it is!!! Thanks member!!!
Please remember not to use your graphics signatures on this thread; we'll save the download times for the images of the dogs.



From: Sally Sent: 03/01/2006 02:59
Well, Karen, I guess it's time for me to get out my measuring tape and protractor. I don't think the whippets will stand still for the compass, though! ;-)
Great food for thought!


From: Patience Sent: 03/01/2006 04:44
Last one for tonight...


From: SueHop Sent: 03/01/2006 04:50
Thanks for all the hard work Patience!!! I am finding this thread very helpful and informative.

And Karen - I love your posts! They are so well thought out and informative that I always feel like I should be printing them out to keep handy for future reference.


From: Patience Sent: 03/01/2006 05:08
OK, so far the only one I can discuss is #10, because she's the only one whose identity is unknown to me. (Thanks again, mystery member!)
Now, we're not discussing parts yet, just the general appearance. She does look beautifully balanced (very slightly longer than tall) and forequarters match hindquarters. proportionally. What throws me off is a little too long a neck, which makes her look a little top heavy. It throws the symmetry off for me. Perhaps if the head were forward and lower, it wouldn't appear that way. If I hold my hand so that I can't see from the base of her neck to her head, I love the rest of the whippet (from shoulders back).
OK, shall we start on discussion of heads tomorrow? (That's what comes next in the standard.) Or want to stay on general appearance longer?
I think for heads, we better keep on with line drawings, but when we get to parts, if you send your photos to a manager, we can crop to just the parts and hide the identity that way.

Any questions about anything so far??? There is a glossary of terms on post #54 of this thread..

(I'm just glad that POGO IS HOME!!!!!)

From: Aniemother Sent: 03/01/2006 12:58
Karen - I find your drawing and measuring very interesting! I'll sit down at home later to read it all thoroughly and memorize (I'm on a loaned computer). This drawing is fairly close to my ideal too. I might like a slightly deeper chest at the point of the front legs. I'd like that rear angulation or slightly more.

Then I'll try to explain my opinions on the drawings. I find my english dog-vocabulary falling a bit short, though.. I'll give it a go :)

#1appear to have too little curves - more greyhound like, but I believe that is caused by the dog being over streched when stacked? Harder to see on a line drawing, though.. but it seems too long/low in the back.

#4 has a nice deep chest, but I don't find the top line smooth enough.

# 5 is streched to far back wich can cause the rest to appear wrong too. Looks shorter in body - more IG'ish. Would want a deeper chest.

The #6 outline is pleasing to me

#7 is less refined but nice apart from I'd want more chest here too. Apparently I'm a chest person <g>

#8 looks puppy'ish - a lot of legs. Seems to have too little angulation in the front, but might be the drawing not the dog ;)


From: chelsea76 Sent: 03/01/2006 13:13
At a recent conformation seminar in the UK, the 2/3 to 1/3 ratio was discussed as preferred, and looking at whippets since then with that ratio in my head I must say I do agree.


From: dixiearrow33 Sent: 03/01/2006 15:35
I'm finding this thread to be extremely informative. I am also printing out all of the line drawings. While they are very good, the only thing that is making it a bit more difficult for comparison purposes is the thickness of the lines. Is it possible to be more consistent in that regard? Could you all agree on a thickness to use? The thinner lines allow the eye an easier read. When we get into the head area, I think this would become more important. Anything you can do to make it a little more consistent would, I think, be helpful - at least to me.


From: Patience Sent: 03/01/2006 15:44
Pat, it's all me! I'm trying! I use the same thickness, but the images are sent to me in different pixel sizes. So at 72 resolution the liines are fat, at 250 they are too thin to see.
I think I'm getting better, though.. learning as I go. Takes me only about 20 min/drawing now!

From: Patience Sent: 03/01/2006 16:00

From: dixiearrow33 Sent: 03/01/2006 19:13
Patience, you're doing a great job! I didn't realize it had to do with the # of pixels. I'm sure for those who are good at this, line size doesn't matter. I need to stop being so into minutiae!
BTW, what does tuck up mean?


From: Sally Sent: 03/01/2006 19:31

"Tuck up" refers to the loin of a sighthound and the way the underline goes up to a small tummy from a deep chest. I hope that makes sense.


From: dixiearrow33 Sent: 03/01/2006 19:46
Thanks, Sally! Now I know.


From: Patience Sent: 03/01/2006 19:57

OK, last call for outlines for our General appearance discussion. (I am hoping someone sends another anonymous one for me.)
The next section of the standard is on the HEAD. We'll need to submit line drawings for that one as well, but then when we get to parts we can use portions of actual photographs, provided the the identification of the whippet is not detectable.
your crosseyed friend-

From: pjrideout Sent: 03/01/2006 20:25
Fantastic job, Patience, Karen L and others.

So...head piece next, then? Can't wait!

And, just wondering...will someone discuss "types" when we get to a good spot to do so? And, what does "refined" mean as it is applied to whippets? Is this term implying the 180 of "exaggeration"?


From: Patience Sent: 03/01/2006 21:28
OK a VERY kind member just sent some in outline form so I get to join the discussion.




I love the outline of #15. Balanced, proportional, all the parts fit. I see power without courseness, and we haven't lost the "S" curves of the topline and underline that differentiate between the greyhound and the whippet. #16 looks like he's holding himself "scrunched up". His actual proportions are quite good, but his topline looks exaggerated. #17 also lacks the wonderful balance of #15. Her hip and hock is a little high, which puts it a little off kilter from her front, and I don't get that impression of power from this outline.
I did the outline for # 18, so I can't comment on that one...

Any more questions or comments on the GENERAL APPEARANCE?

From: WildAboutWhippets Sent: 04/01/2006 01:19
Hey Patience- Thanks for all your hard work! I would help with the annonymous whippets, but I have absolutely no idea how idea how to outline .

I'm definitely going to print out a lot of this thread. I think it's great!!!


From: indogolfing Sent: 04/01/2006 01:39
I still like 7 far and away the best. 15 would be good, to me, if the rear were not so far below the shoulders- the rear looks too low in the drawing. I know the rear can look low if the hind legs are pulled too far back, but they don't look to be too far back- they are behind the pin bones but not way much.

From: dixiearrow33 Sent: 04/01/2006 01:53
Patience, are you looking for side view, front view, only if on a stacked dog, for the head view? Or doesn't it matter?

From: Dmichele2 Sent: 04/01/2006 02:45
This is an interesting thread. I like No. 18 the best, but would like her look even more is she were a bit more curvy (slightly deeper brisket perhaps?)

When all is said and done, send me the one who cuddles best!


From: Patience Sent: 04/01/2006 03:07
Ok, our next discussion is on heads, so send me head shots front, side.
EMAIL 'EM to me.

From: Patience Sent: 04/01/2006 04:45

Keen intelligent alert expression. Eyes large and dark. Both eyes must be of the same color. Yellow or light eyes should be strictly penalized. Blue or wall eyes shall disqualify. Fully pigmented eyelids are desirable.
Rose ears, small, fine in texture: in repose, thrown back and folded along neck. Fold should be maintained when at attention. Erect ears should be severly penalized.
Skull long and lean, fairly wide between the earrs, scarcely perceptible stop.
Muzzle should be long and powerful, denoting great strength of bite, without coarseness. Lack of underjaw should be strictly penalized. Nose entirely black.
Teeth of upper jaw should fit closely over teeth of lower jaw creating a scissors bite. Teeth should be white and strong. Undershot shall disqualify. Overshot one-quarter inch or more shall disqualify.

From: whippetwatch/Mary Magee Sent: 04/01/2006 05:30
Expression: Ah the old eyes large and dark - that one will get lots of comments ;). My personal opinion is this could be reworded to something to the effect that the eye color should match or be darker than the dog's base coat, but I'll be if I can figure out how.

<Skull long and lean, fairly wide between the ears, scarcely perceptible stop.>

This I have big issue with, the original wording was "fairly wide between the eyes" and the last revision they changed eyes to ears ... in turn the head shape has taken a drastic change from a nice square backskull to a wedge shape very different from the original whippets and standard.

<scarcely perceptible stop>

I love this part of our breed's head profile!!!! :-)

Everything else I agree with. I think it's pretty easy to understand.

A comment about the muzzle tho, I've noticed for quite a long time there's a whole lot of whippets who's underjaw is lacking substance tho and without that AND jaw muscles you lack bite strength which a dog who's to run down and catch/kill hare (not bunnies! English Hare can be 39 cm nose to tail) definitely needs!

off to walk dogs for the last time of the night, ta ta everyone!

mary who's still adjusting to not having a fenced yard after 11 years!

From: Aniemother Sent: 04/01/2006 12:01
Norwegian standard:
(We have temperament before the head and separate from general description. I put it in here: The ideal companion. Adapt well to home as well as sporting settings. Friendly, devoted and stabil. )
Scull Long and clean. Flat, tapering towards the muzzle, fairly wide between the eyes. Stop scarcely perceptible. Nose black. Blueish colour acceptable on blues, liver on liver coloured, spotting allowed on white or particoloured. Jaws/teeth powerfull, strong and dry. Perfect scissor bite. Eyes oval, clear with an alert expression. Ears small, thin rose-ears.

I've no problem with our head standard. I'm very thankful we don't have your strickt rules about eyes. I wouldn't mind your detail about the ears, though. I think we might benefit from more focus on correct ears when at attention. Most dogs seem to keep their ears folded back when showing and thus making it hard to detect flaws.

I agree with Mary that there seem to be a bit too many weak underjaws. It's something I as a beginner had a hard time noticing - but as my boy have a unusal strong underjaw a lot of people commented on it. And so I started seeing they were right and that a lot of dogs have too little.


From: surreyhill Sent: 04/01/2006 15:20
Keen intelligent alert expression. Eyes large and dark. Both eyes must be of the same color.

I don't think US judges really judge on that first line. The description I most often see in critiques is "melting" for the eyes. It seems that a big, soft, almost spaniel-like eye is often preferred. It's actually easier for a somewhat lighter eye to look keen and alert because you can see the pupil. I'd say the first line of our standard on head is generally disregarded.

Yellow or light eyes should be strictly penalized. Blue or wall eyes shall disqualify. Fully pigmented eyelids are desirable.

I wouldn't be in favor of a yellow or hazel eye being permissible, but I think that it should be specified that a somewhat lighter eye in dilutes should be permissible, and that that Whippets with white markings that extend over the eye area can have missing eyerim pigment.

Rose ears, small, fine in texture: in repose, thrown back and folded along neck. Fold should be maintained when at attention. Erect ears should be severly penalized.

I think it would be useful for the standard to define what they mean by "small". I tried a couple of dogs at my house who I think have really nice-sized ears, and I would say that you should not be able to pull the ear forward and cover the entire eye with it. If you can, then it's too big. There are a lot of rather large ears with long tabs in the rings and I think the reason this is so is that those ears are less likely to fly than the smaller ears.

Skull long and lean, fairly wide between the earrs, scarcely perceptible stop.

The British standard says "fairly wide between the eyes" and this really accounts for 90% of the differences in head type between a good American head and a good English head. The American head is more tapering and the English backskull is boxier, as a result.

Muzzle should be long and powerful, denoting great strength of bite, without coarseness. Lack of underjaw should be strictly penalized.

If any judge other than Wally Pede has EVER given underjaw as a reason for not putting up one dog or another, I'd love to hear about it. But I do give breeders credit for trying to breed for it, most of the time. I do hear it talked about a lot more among breeders than I see it mentioned in critiques by judges. British judges are excused from culpability as their standard does not actually ask for underjaw, so I presume lack of it isn't much of a fault.

I'm not convinced that having a strong chin gives the same strength of bite as having big, bulging cheek muscles.

But I'm also not convinced that underjaw is in any way required for effective rabbit killing. The rabbit isn't crushed in mighty jaws. It's seized and its neck is snapped. It doesn't take a great deal of jaw strength--more neck strength and the right motion. Like a martial art, if you will.

Underjaw to me is more of an aesthetic and type issue than the opposite. The Whippet needs to have a stronger-looking, deeper muzzle than the Italian Greyhound. This is how that can be accomplished, by beefing them up in the length of muzzle and underjaw area, and strengthening the look of the whole head.

Nose entirely black.

This really should be dumped. Lots of us have been complaining about this for years. Nose entirely PIGMENTED, but the standard should allow for a dark slate nose in blues and blue dilutes and then we can also talk about a dark brown nose in creams. I'm not for flesh-colored or light gray noses, but you have to allow for the natural effects of some of our "allowed" coat colors. The whole cream issue really does need to be addressed and clarified, one way or the other.

Teeth of upper jaw should fit closely over teeth of lower jaw creating a scissors bite. Teeth should be white and strong. Undershot shall disqualify. Overshot one-quarter inch or more shall disqualify.

No issues with this.

There's so much about head that's left unsaid, though. This is where study of the breed and looking at the dogs of the past who were generally thought to have exceptional heads and expressions comes in.

From: Patience Sent: 04/01/2006 15:26
Ane, I love that your standard puts temperment first! And I like your standard's description, too. Thank you so much for sharing that here. (That was what I was hoping for!)

Here are the official illustrations of the American Whippet Club:

Now, to me, these two would be in contrast with each other. The left drawing would be a very "houndy" head. If I weren't looking at an illustration of the Whippet Standard, I would think that was a greyhound. The drawing on the right could be nothing but a whippet.
The head is the part of the whippet which is least functional, ("they don't run on their heads") and most defining. It needs to be aerodynamic, in fitting with the whole dog, and the bite and teeth are tremendously important of course. I'm not sure about the jaw muscles that Mary discussed, as I don't see them in any of the other sighthounds. Not borzoi, Irish Wolfhounds, or Scottish Deerhounds, which were bred to bring down much larger critters than whippets were. The bull breeds, which developed the large jaw muscles, were bred to hold and fight, not to quickly capture and kill.
I do agree with Mary on the rest of her points. I also think the wording should put the width between the eyes.

Here is the official illustration to show the different bites:

From: Patience Sent: 04/01/2006 15:34
The American requirement for a dark eye is ludicrous, and I hope it will be changed in my lifetime. It is purely cosmetic, and discriminates against dilutes, and I don't know how it got in there. Same thing with "nose entirely black" which also discriminates against dilutes. [off soapbox]

From: dixiearrow33 Sent: 04/01/2006 15:36
I pretty much agree with what Karen has said. The whole eye and nose pigment thing is ridiculous with the wording as it now stands. You cannot have a standard that says coat color is irrelevant (or however that's worded) and then penalize for lighter eyes and nose. A decision should be made - either any coat color with 'compatible' eye and nose, or restrict the coat color. I have seen some gorgeous whippets with light eyes who are ineligible to compete here in the US. STUPID!!
This has been discussed so many times in the short period I have owned whippets, that it begs the next question. If so many folks feel this way, and it certainly seems that they do, then how does one go about changing the standard? It would seem to me if the majority of breeders (and after all, they're the ones closest to the breed) want the change, shouldn't they be able to petition the AKC to rewrite the standard? And who or what entities in the AKC makes the ultimate decision? Since standards change over time (and I presume that they do), why not take this section to task?
Okay, I'm off my soap box for now!!


From: surreyhill Sent: 04/01/2006 15:37

Here are six heads for discussion. I will identify them by sex and age, but nothing more. None of these dogs have descendents and all of them are dead, save two, and their owners are not members of this online community. However, all of them but two were successful show dogs in the ring. One I would say See if you can find the "pet head" among them! I consider one of the others to have a head which has some minor faults, but that was not the reason he was not sold as a show prospect. His head is acceptable for the ring.

Head 1--a 6 month old male:

Head 2--a one year old bitch:

Head 3: a 2 year old bitch

Head 4: a 10 month old male:

Head 5: a 10 month old bitch

Head 6: a 5 year old dog--head on:

Same Dog--Head 6, only in profile:

Have at 'em.

Karen Lee

From: chelsea76 Sent: 04/01/2006 15:47
Just for reference here's the archived thread with the Standards from different countries

Breed Standards - International Standards


From: LindaZaworski Sent: 04/01/2006 15:51
OK, I'll bite Karen. The head I least like (can't really say that any of them are dreadful) is No. 5. Skull is too rounded for me, looks like underjaw is lacking and from this angle the eye looks like it might be on the small side.

And Pat, a light eye is NOT a disqualification - so I don't now what you mean by dogs with lighter eyes being ineligible to compete in the USA. Now, blue eyes is a whole 'nother story if that's what you meant.

Personally, I don't like a black eye. I think it can give a harder expression. I like a nice dark brown eye - softer and more expressive, IMHO.

Linda Z

From: indogolfing Sent: 04/01/2006 16:00
you do see the large jaw muscles (cheeks and top of head) in the dogs I see coursing jackrabbits- whippets, greyhounds, borzoi and salukis. IWs have not been bred for hunting large game in a long time, but if you look at the coyote hounds they also have plenty of jaw muscle. A whippet grabs the hare, but hang on through an almost certain tumble. They can't simply pick it up cleanly and stop like a greyhound or saluki because of their size- most times they go down with it. If they release it during the tumble, more often than not, if another dog is not there to grab it, it will get away. For something much smaller like a rabbit and squirrel, to cause decelleration trauma enough to kill it still requires a firm grip. So while they don't lock on and wait for it to die, they still must be able to grab and hold a moving animal while they themselves are moving at speed, and slam into the stop that will kill it instantly- all the while being able to hang onto it. And when they grab at something while coursing it, they grab with all the strength they've got- better too much than too little.

From: Patience Sent: 04/01/2006 16:12
(my very unscientific problem is that I think ALL whippet heads are beautiful!!!)



From: dixiearrow33 Sent: 04/01/2006 18:35
No, Linda - I didn't mean blue eye. I wish someone with a different eye that cannot compete here would post a photo. Then I could say 'that's it!'. It's probably not just a lighter brown, but maybe a different color that compliments the coat color. Someone HELP! I don't have any pics to show what I mean.


From: Patience Sent: 04/01/2006 19:18
Pat, I think you mean are not competitive, vs. can not compete. They are allowed in the ring, but with a dilute coat and the corresponding lighter eye, they are penalized according to our [ridiculous] American standard.

some more pretty heads:





From: Patience Sent: 04/01/2006 19:30
Here are some EYES:




From: dixiearrow33 Sent: 04/01/2006 20:13
Okay, I'll give this a go - and probably show my total ignorance. First set of eyes, is this what they mean by yellow eye? It just appears to be so light that it is almost yellow in appearance - or is everybody laughing at me by now? The second set of eyes are light, but compliment the coat color. I would think this is, according to what Patience just said, allowable but not competitive. The third set is according to the standard.
Well, that's my shot!


Thread continued in next post as exceeded maximum length
User avatar
WW Manager
Posts: 10422
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 4:31 pm
Location: Dorset, England (originally Ontario, Canada)
Whippet Archives Link: 7231

Re: A Hosted Discussion: The Whippet Standard

Postby chelynnah » Fri Dec 19, 2008 10:32 pm

Continued from previous post as exceeded maximum length

From: dixiearrow33 Sent: 04/01/2006 20:16
Patience, in message 117, were these drawings of the same head from different angles, and if not, what are their #'s? We went from Karen's #6 to your #8 on message 119.


From: AerynnScarlett Sent: 04/01/2006 20:21
I have a question about ears. In the heads Patience posted #9 has the ears I see on lots of American whippets. However, look at the small, fine ears on the heads posted by Karen Lee. To my eyes, #9's ears fit the idea of "rose" shaped a bit better, but the ears of Karen's dogs look smaller and make a more crisp, clean line. Is one more favored over the other in US rings? What about abroad?

My girls seem to have one set of each and I know Scarlett, with the smaller "crisp" ears is from Canadian and Australian lines, more than Rose, with ears like #9. Rose, however, has better overall ear carriage. Scarlett flys her ears far more often, especially when looking alertly at something. Is the lack of flying why the US seems to trend toward #9 ears?

By the way, I *adore* the lighter, gold eyes in that first example Patience posted. If anyone finds themselves with a dilute with light eyes that can't be shown, give me a call. They are breathtaking and since I am not going to show, I would love one someday!

From: indogolfing Sent: 04/01/2006 21:19
I always think of a yellow eye like that you see on weimeraners many times. All three of the eyes posted look like nice brown eyes to me.

From: surreyhill Sent: 04/01/2006 21:28
I guess I'll have to go ahead and critique my own photos, but while I don't expect the newbies are going to be able to break down what's right and wrong with those heads right away, I kind of thought some of the folks who'd been showing awhile might like to pit their head type opinions against mine, and if I go ahead and say what I think of the heads I posted too early, that will take all the fun out of it.

Let's assume every single one of these dogs were great movers with great bodies, and the only area where they were different was in the heads. Think of it as a "Parts Match". You have six ribbons and are ONLY judging on heads (using the qualities you can see in the side profile shots, only). Place those dogs in order from 1st place to 6th place (and don't feel guilty about 6th place--that one might be back later on in the discussion where it will have a part which will blow the rest of them away.

Karen Lee

From: LindaZaworski Sent: 04/01/2006 22:14
OK, I'll play ths game but Karen, you have to play, too -- and others! I like both # 2 and #3 the best, but give the nod to #3 because she has a smaller ear. I think I'd place #1 third - it's a good head with correct planes but his eye looks small. (Is that just the photo?) but it is a good masculine head. #6 also has a pleasing head, but if I am being picky (which I am) I would call this head a little too broad. I don't think #4 measures up to the previous heads - I'd call it common. He lacks a little underjaw and his skull is domed. He also looks cheeky, but that could be unfortunate markings/shadings. And his ear set could be higher. And last in the line is #5 for all the things I mentioned in my previous post.

Linda Z

From: robersk Sent: 04/01/2006 22:15
since I am going to apply for my judging license I am going to attempt to place these by their heads only (karen Lees) assuming they are all great movers
head 3
head 1
head 6 - head on
head 6 - profile
kead 5 -
head 4

I love head 9 in the other drawings

Eyes -all should be dark if shown by American Standard however if I was judging
I prefer eye # 2 - anything OK by me if self colored however to coat AS LONG AS THERE IS NO EYEMAKE UP USED -I would not be hard on the eye color compared to movement and body shape-
hopefully I passed but Karen Lee - need your opinion

From: pjrideout Sent: 04/01/2006 22:22
Okay..I'll give it a go. But, I can ONLY say which I like Best and Least. And, this is based on the little I know. And, I can't do all heads... SO!

Least like #5 because I think I see a muzzle too short, front of skull too round, ear set too far back, and not too sure but jaw assembly appears a little wiggy but could well be deceptive coloration.

#4 - muzzle too long?

#6 - are those ears just a tad too big?

My personal fav would have to be #3. Although, I like #'s 2 and 6, as well.

Karen...please, critique my critiguing, too!


From: dixiearrow33 Sent: 04/01/2006 22:43
Karen, I'll try. All I can do is tell you what I like, but can't tell you for sure why. It's just what looks pleasing to my eye:

#3) just looks very well proportioned to me
#2) the eyes look a bit smaller and ears longer than #3 to me (could just be photo)
#1) looks like a nice male head - I have to admit that I had to get beyond the markings on this one - I thought his cheek looked puffy, if that makes any sense, but I attributed that to the markings
#6) nice, but looks wide across the eyes to me, and on side view looks like he has a lot less stop than the others
#4) really had a hard time liking this one - he looks to have a bit too much stop to me, and he looks like he has a puffy cheek, also. Again, I'm sure it's just the markings. I'd like to see him face on. I get the impression he might be boxy looking.
#5) well, I could mistake this one for a greyhound, so I don't think I'll say any more

Now remember, folks, I'm a newbie, so don't laugh too hard at my choices and why. I'm probably way off base here. But hey, I was always better at learning from my mistakes, so maybe by the time we finish here, I'll be a GENIUS!!!!


From: Dmichele2 Sent: 04/01/2006 22:46
Same here. I think they are all beautiful. I ranked them strictly according to which apealed to my eye based on personal opinion -- not necessarilly which fit the standard best (I'm still trying to figure out how that works). In order of my personal favorites:


5 and 4 are lower than the others because, to me, the bottom of their mouths don't come out quite far enough (how's that for technical?); No. 6 looks like she may have a bit of the same issue, but I also think that could be because the picture was taken at an angle; No. 6 appears to have slightly large ears; No. 3 is my favorite, with No. 1 a close second (I gave 3 the top spot because the pup was still a work in progress in that picture).


From: Aniemother Sent: 04/01/2006 22:55
Karen Lee's pix I'd rate

3 - nice overall.
1- nice looking young boy. I'd excpect the muzzle to appear slightly longer once mature. A bit hard to determine eye size with markings - might be on the small side.
6- seems a bit more coarser/houndy than my ideal whippethead
5- a bit hard to judge with the hand, seems to have a bit too small eyes
4- too pronounced stop, too little underjaw
2- seems very "mousy" pointed face with little jaw

As for the 3 eye colour pix I find them all to be acceptable. The first pair of eyes have very small pupils when the pix are taken and thus appear lighter than the others with bigger pupils and thus more black.


From: robersk Sent: 04/01/2006 23:01
oops - I forgot I had meant to put head 2 as last also on post

From: whippetwatch/Mary Magee Sent: 05/01/2006 02:35
I wrote (about muzzle/jaw muscle):
<without that [underjaw] AND jaw muscles you lack bite strength which a dog who's to run down and catch/kill hare ...>

Patience responded:
<I'm not sure about the jaw muscles that Mary discussed, as I don't see them in any of the other sighthounds. Not borzoi, Irish Wolfhounds, or Scottish Deerhounds, which were bred to bring down much larger critters than whippets were. The bull breeds, which developed the large jaw muscles, were bred to hold and fight, not to quickly capture and kill.>

Actually yes most performance borzoi do have more of a muscular jaw (show borzoi some do, but most have been bred for such an extreme and narrow head that they are lacking width and musculature as well as underjaw [and have a lot of missing teeth and bite problems]). Smooch has a lot of jaw muscle (from total show lines) but does so through out his whole body (well did when he was young <g>). Also a side note, borzoi were not bred to kill wolves, they were bred to chase down and HOLD them til the hunter came to kill them, rarely do/did they actually make a kill themselves (and they hunted in trios). IWs were re created from almost certain extention and in turn the breed we have today is very loosely resembling what was originally, but they also did not catch/kill.

just a bit of trivia added in but it's important information to know if comparing the breeds' characteristics in this way.


From: whippetwatch/Mary Magee Sent: 05/01/2006 02:41
On bite, something I've noticed with dogs who are lacking underjaw, the teeth are technically a scissor's bite, however the bottom teeth rarely come straight up from the bottom jaw, but in an angle forward. In turn yes it's a scissors, but is it truly correct? If the teeth weren't angled they'd be overshot (some not by much, others by a lot). I live with one, my old Gabe's bite is like this. It's never effected him unlike my previous German Shepherd who was undershot by a good half inch. She wasn't able to eat out of a dish normally when the food level started getting low, she'd have to turn her head to the side to get to the food due to her nose hitting the bottom of the dish before her bottom jaw could get near it. So yes an overbite (or underbite) can cause problems and if a dog isn't able to eat properly they can develop digestive issues.


From: whippetwatch/Mary Magee Sent: 05/01/2006 03:14
Judging only on the heads that Karen posted ... in order of preference

3. I like this one a tad more than #1. Very chiseled, elegant, yet strong, balanced overall, high set ear, good eye size, shape and color, may have a bit more stop than some but it could be an optical illusion with the fawn and white meeting between the eyes. Very attractive bitch head.

1. I like the balance overall of this headpiece, good underjaw, ear placement looks fine, shape looks fine (a pup?), eyes I can't really tell due to the black markings around them and the pixelled look but they may be a tad small??? (like I said I can't tell for sure), the plane of the skull and plane of the muzzle are nice and parellel with one another, neck looks to be tapering. Nice head!

6. I love this dog's head on shot, very pretty ears, expression and balance of substance from muzzle to backskull, also this boy has brain room and a very nice width to his backskull IMO. Eyes appear totally correct, dark and properly placed. Side shot, shows a nice headpiece of all the proper components, underjaw, muzzle to backskull length balance, a tad higher in the front of the backskull, a perfect example of "scarcely perceptible stop"

5. Again an acceptable head, but am not fond of the backskull having more of a rounded front to it, it gives the appearance that the muzzle and backskull are on different planes and would intersect if given a chance. eye size looks a tad small but could be due to being in the sun, look dark tho. good underjaw, ears are pinned back but the fold looks to be in the correct location so should be ok.

2. First thing I notice is the elegance of this bitch, white with pretty shaped eyes, good size, good width between the eyes and ears, long muzzle looks to be matching backskull muzzle, but at this angle she appears to be lacking underjaw and the ear set could possibly be a bit higher on her head.

4. Can't see his eyes at all so won't comment on those. This head, while acceptable, I'm not as fond of. The backskull shape appears more rounded. The underjaw is present but the nose leather itself seems to be too much and looks like a button on the end of his muzzle. I'm not sure if it is that or the actual muzzle itself is longer than the backskull but the two pieces aren't balanced to my eye. Ears are probably fine but are hard for me to see in the photo.

Not sure I can find what Karen feels is the 'pet head' but my least fav is 4 followed closely by 2.

From: whippetwatch/Mary Magee Sent: 05/01/2006 03:31
Patience's drawings in no order:

8. with this being artwork versus a photo it's hard to tell if the outter line around the eye is the eye or eye liner but am going to assume (oops!) it's eye liner and that being the case his eye is smaller, ears are great, well placed, shape and size is nice, moderate underjaw, can't tell balance of parts due to the angle of the image but appears to have good jaw muscling, flat backskull, but maybe a bit more stop than some prefer.

9. Talk about alert! Again eye seems small (this could be due to it being artwork again) but neither this one or 8 is horribly tiny, good overall shape to the head, very pleasing, may have too much stop for some, good underjaw, good ear shape, size but a tad large.

(no 10)
11. Oh I love this pose! The backskull is too rounded though giving a more IG shape, muzzle is a tad out of balance with the bskull and may be lacking underjaw (can't tell from this angle), Ears are in a lovely rose fold but can't tell anything else except that they fold correct and the set on may be a tad low but when dogs pin their ears back they tend to go downward too so can't tell for sure. eyes look fine.

12. Nice level bskull, ears appear larger but fold properly, eyes may be small, good underjaw, nice even finish to the front of the mouth/muzzle, muzzle comes off from the backskull at a slight angle however and is a bit short. Lots of good jaw muscling it appears.

and on to eyes:
1. Lighter but to be expected on a blue
2. Darker than 1, still light but has the dark ring around the outter edge of the iris. Also appears this dog is a dilute.
3. Also darker than the other two, but not 'black brown' like so many want. Acceptable in my opinion color wise, however not fond of the angle of the eye, giving a bit of an oriental look to the face.

I prefer #2's shape and size overall of these three examples.

Mary (again)

From: pixelwhips Sent: 05/01/2006 03:36
I think I'll give this a stab, before I read others opinions. I'm still fairly new to this too.

First my thoughts about each:
Head 1: Nice under jaw, strong muzzle, dark eye, fully pigmented nose, rosebud ears, alert expression. Cute pup. I really like his head other than it doesn't appear to be 'long and lean,' and he's a bit cheaky for me, but that could be his markings or the photo.
Head 2: Lovely large dark eyes and nose, skull seems to be long and lean, muzzle looks strong and of equal length to skull, good ears, very alert expression. The only thing I don't like is her lack of underjaw and the angle of the photo ;).
Head 3: Very lovely head, imo. The only thing I would like to see would be a hair more under jaw and her muzzle to be paralle to the top of her skull.
Head 4: Nice dark eye and nose. What I don't like: skull seems to be all together round and not long and lean, strange ear set, lack of under jaw and a stick on nose(if that makes sense).
Head 5: tough to judge from this photo. Again, nice dark eyes and nose. Eyes seem to be a bit small, ears a bit big. Looks to have strong muzzle and good under jaw. I don't like her dome head or that her muzzle isn't paralle to the top of her head.
Head 6: Keen alert expression, beautiful eyes, nose and ears. Nice long muzzle, seems a bit weak though, but good underjaw. Again don't like that muzzle isn't paralle to top of skull.

Ok so according to the standard, I think I would place them:

If lack of under jaw wasn't strickly penalized, head 2 would be my first (or second) place. Am I totally off???

Laura K.

From: surreyhill Sent: 05/01/2006 05:40
I meant to come back to this, but I'm too wiped out by that football game tonight to be coherent.

I'll give you my ranking and critique of the six heads I posted tomorrow morning. So, there's still time to play virtual dog show judge!!!

From: Patience Sent: 05/01/2006 06:37
Some ears:







From: cloudybell Sent: 05/01/2006 08:50
HA! Finally I can join in and contribute my vast knowledge on whippet conformation....
#4 - is wearing it's collar ALL WRONG.


From: Aniemother Sent: 05/01/2006 10:58
Ah.. the #4 ears are my favourite *lol*

I prefer the outline of the #6 ears. The #2 are quite similar but seems carried a tad too high - or I'm being tricked by the cropping ;) (of the picture that is)

I find all ears acceptable (yes - the horses ears are correct for a horse ;)) - in my experience the ones I find the most pleasing is also the ones most likely to start to stand too much when alert. So allthough I find the silhouette pleasing it's not neccesarily the best ears - unless they stay correct when fully alert.


From: ashleywhippet Sent: 05/01/2006 14:06
Heads #8 and #9 are definitely my favorites... I believe they belong to great sires.

From: whippetwatch/Mary Magee Sent: 05/01/2006 14:58
all but the horse's ears are acceptable whippet ears, however my personal preference would be:

1. High set, crisp, clean and very definately fitting the standard. Lovely fold, tapering ear to a nice tip, yup give me a set of those.

3. Another set of clean crisp ears Probably not everyone's cup of tea but I started with a half english bitch and had these ears on her. Some referred to them as propeller ears.

5. Wish these were shot from the front too as they well could be my #1 but I can't see where for sure they come off the skull but it appears they are a tad lower set on than 1 or 3 so that puts them at the 3rd spot. Again lovely fine texture, crisp, great fold, nice tidy ear with a good bell.

All three of these may be able to fly their ears as they age (maybe even when they were young) due to the finer texture, smaller overall ear, and higher set on the head but I feel they are more correct.

6. These are ok too but I'm not as fond of the lower set on the head, the 'bends' in the ear leather forming more of a drooped ear and the ear leather is a bit longer than I find most correct.

2. Again, totally acceptable (and I have bred a couple like this) but the ears are set a bit wide apart, the bell (base of the ear) is too narrow for the rest of the ear's width and the length. Also too long of leather.


From: surreyhill Sent: 05/01/2006 15:45
Ok, here are the six heads again, and how I rank them, and why (and know that I am using the American Standard in my rankings):

Head #3 is first, and I'm glad to see everyone got this one:

This head SHOULD be first, because it is a perfectly correct head per the Breed standard (American). It is literally without flaw under the standard and I believe that stylistically, it exemplifies the essence of the breed where the breed standard's general description is concerned. In answer to the one person who said something about parallel planes--No Whippet Breed Standard anywhere written or used at any time in any country has EVER called for parallel planes. The breeds where this is a key aspect of head type state this requirement definitively (Shetland Sheepdogs and Collies are parallel plane breeds, for example). I do not think Parallel Planes are correct in a Whippet head. What is perfect about this bitch's head is not only that she has absolute the correct degree of underjaw and muzzle shape, but her muzzle from nose to inner corner of eye is exactly the same length as the distanct from inner corner of eye to occiput. Her earset is correct, her tab length is balanced, her eye is properly large and dark and is placed properly in her backskull---neither too much towards the side of her head nor too much on top. The shape of the eye is also correct. Although these are scanned photos from before the digital era, you can definitely see that this head fits the description "long and lean". It manages the very difficult balancing act of Yin/Yang--as it is clearly a sighthoundy head and strong in the muzzle, but there isn't the merest hint of a suggestion of coarseness. It is both strong and elegant, and since this is a bitch, she is also clearly quite feminine. Her stop is very smooth, not abrupt.

This bitch was quite renowned for her head back in the day. I cannot find a more perfect example of head profile to use as a teaching tool. This was a champion bitch who finished easily and was off to a wonderful specials career when she died tragically young.

In second place, I have young male head #1:

The reason this head HAS to be second place in this lineup is that it has all of the key essentials and is the most balanced of all the heads that remain. The underjaw is perfect and the proportions are perfect. It looks a bit heavier than the bitch head #3, but that's ok because this is a male. It's also a young male. You could make the case for wanting it to look a bit longer, but that will probably come with age. Where this head (which is a really terrific head, too) has to be considered less flawless than the above bitch's head is in eye. Earset is equally good and it's a nice small-looking ear but still has plenty of tab. Again, no coarseness. It's pretty clear that this puppy (in the photo, and let's assume he wasn't squinting) has a smaller eye, and it does not have the desired shape. So, this is 2nd place head in my lineup. Other than eye, it's a near-perfect head for a 6 month old male. This dog finished at 9 months of age and was a National Specialty Award of Merit winner as a 10 month old. The problem here was that he kept growing, so he was retired shortly thereafter having gone oversize, and he was never bred on from. But he did have a really good head.

Now we get into an area where I think people could differ in their ranking of the next two and it depends on what's more important to the individual judge.

I have Dog #6 in 3rd place--

I put an additional head-on shot of this dog to give you all a clue that his eye was just fine in shape, size, and color, since I don't have quite the same angle on his profile shot. This dog's head is about 90% good and there's no doubt it's a sighthound head. Many might even prefer it here in the USA because of its additional length and leanness, although I would think it would be much too extreme outside North America. What makes this head less than the top two is the finish of the muzzle--underjaw is only barely adequate. The main problem I see with this head is simply that it has a more overall greyhound impression, caused by much more fill in the stop area. But it's quite a good head, too--just not as whippety. But ask yourself--if you saw the first two photos and had NOT been told they were Whippets, would you have mistaken them for anything else? IMO, this photo of Dog #6 COULD be mistaken for a greyhound, and that is why I put him 3rd even though he's basically correct per the standard. Although he has somewhat bigger-looking ears, I think he needs them to balance out his longer and more extreme-looking head. But I sure wouldn't want them any BIGGER.

Oh, this was a 5 year old rescue dog. He's the one I got back at the Greensboro National. He was placed as a pet as a puppy simply because I didn't have a single person who wanted to try to show and finish a solid fawn dog on my list. But certainly not because I thought his head made him a pet. Sad story on this pretty boy as his circumstances changed greatly, but a happy ending.

Now, we get to the 4th place dog. It's obvious from some of the comments I should have chosen a different photo, so here's the one I used--

Now, granted it's pretty hard to tell a lot about his eye and ear here, but let's just assume they are at least as good as the Dog #6's and go from there. There are enough things wrong with this head to take him out of any serious consideration against #3 and #1. This is supposed to be a male, but his head doesn't look very masculine to me. The main problem is strength of muzzle and underjaw. This dog is snipey. However, his head planes aren't bad and he has a long lean head. The brindling on his cheeks gives an optical illusion of cheekiness, but in actuality, he was very smooth and well-chisled there. In fact, the primary problem with his head was that it was overrefined throughout, especially for a male. While you would never mistake this head for a head of another breed, the lack of underjaw for a male Whippet in particular makes him an easy one to put behind #6. But topskull and the rest of his proportions are just fine.

Here's another look at his head:
[photo no longer available]

And just for grins and giggles--here's a look at part of his handler's head from the win photo I scanned above:
[photo no longer available]

This photo was taken in 1996. First person to guess the handler correctly gets--well--bragging rights, I guess. HINT: the handler has posted on this thread.

This dog finished at the age of 10 and half months and was really a "super puppy". But I decided not to breed on from him and placed him in a great pet home.

Ok, on to Fifth place--Fifth place goes to dog #2:

She has two major head faults and that's why I put her 5th. She has the same problem with faulty lack of underjaw as the #4 dog, AND she has a tendency towards being downfaced and has a hint of Roman nose as well. The whole muzzle on this bitch is pretty bad. But she's got a good, clean backskull and her eyes are properly placed in the skull, though they could be a tad larger. She's also a cream, and if you saw her in person you would have had to assess a small penalty for pigment, but in this photo, you can't see that. This particular bitch from the ears on back was very close to my ideal. She was off to a great start in the ring and was killed tragically on the road after escaping from her co-owner's yard. But her muzzle was not her fortune.

Then, we have the 6th place dog:

This dog is a pet BECAUSE of head properties. You'll be seeing her again in the topline discussion, though as an example of excellence.

She has a very domey head and she has a short muzzle which does not finish off well. Her backskull looks too wide and blocky for her refined neck, doesn't it? Unlike the other five examples, which have heads that literally flow into their neckline, her head looks "stuck on". She also has a small, thick ear--not fine in texture. This Whippet flies her ears. The only one on the page which does. But mostly, it gives no impression of "long and lean".

Why is the domey skull a worse fault than the lack of underjaw? Simply because it's a fault which takes the Whippet's head in the least whippety, least sighthoundy direction. Type faults which are away from the breed's essence are much more serious than those which are faults of overbreediness. In other words, since the whippet is supposed to have a long, lean head and sighthounds in general have more refined headpieces than most other breeds, it is better to be overrefined than underrefined. It's better to have your Whippet head diverge towards a greyhound or saluki than towards a Labrador or Pointer. It is additionally unbalanced. Measure it yourself. Her muzzle is substantially shorter than her backskull, measuring from the points I indicated.

This head is sweet, but overall has little to recommend it under the standard other than that she's not actually a walnut-picker and she's got a nice black eye.

But like I said, she had other good qualities and you'll be seeing her again if this discussion continues.

Karen Lee

From: Patience Sent: 05/01/2006 16:24
Mary, I totally agree with your #1 ear pick!!!
Here are a couple more ear photos:



Our next section will be Neck, Topline, Body and we will be introducing a lot of newterms. Remember, you can see all the photos, and the glossary HERE.
And I know who that most excellent handler is, Karen, Karen!!!

From: whippetwatch/Mary Magee Sent: 05/01/2006 16:27
<This photo was taken in 1996. First person to guess the handler correctly gets--well--bragging rights, I guess. HINT: the handler has posted on this thread. >

I believe that would be Karen R

From: whippetwatch/Mary Magee Sent: 05/01/2006 16:40
Patience, I thought you may <g> but, what can I say, I like those high set crisp ears they give me goose bumps in the bestest way!

mary who's gotta get buzy ;)

From: dixiearrow33 Sent: 05/01/2006 17:18
Alright, I'll give the ears a go! Hey, at least I got the #1 head right. And Karen, that second photo of head #4 was so much better, even with the doubled eyes!


What was the answer to the eyes?? Were they all correct?
Also, for someone like me who is learning, I find it a little more difficult to compare when the photos are coming from different angles. With the ears, I find it harder to compare ears #5 to the others because its from the side.
I know this can't be helped, and I'm not complaining, I just wanted folks to understand that for those of us who are learning and giving this a go, that it's difficult.


From: Aniemother Sent: 05/01/2006 17:39
I'm with you, Pat. On the other hand we probably learn a lot seeing from different angles too! I'm learning soo much though. And I'm very thankfull for your thorough reply regarding the heads, Karen Lee! Reading all the replies are so interesting! I just love this thread!


From: whip8sartemis Sent: 05/01/2006 18:03
Yes, for sure Karen R.......except where's the shades?????
Back to the main thread.......r

From: SueHop Sent: 05/01/2006 21:01
After pouring over so many whippet annuals just to look at dogs I would have recognized Karen R anywhere!


From: Patience Sent: 05/01/2006 22:00
OK, we sort of skipped over the eyes, I'm sorry! Thanks for bringing it up, Pat.













Pat, to answer your question earlier. #'s 1, 2, and 7 are perfectly acceptable eye colors with their corresponding dilute coats, in every standard but our American one.
My top eyes on this page would be
6,10, 2 but lordy it's a lovely sight, isn't it? All these lovely whippet eyes!!!

From: pjrideout Sent: 05/01/2006 22:28
Interesting variation in eye shape, as well. I'm assuming # 11's eyes are too small...? Or, is this a pup?


From: chelsea76 Sent: 05/01/2006 22:43
I would suspect (though I don't know) that 11's eyes are fine, but it's deceptive with the colour around them.

Light fur makes for big dark looking eyes. Dark fur masks nice big eyes sometimes.


From: pjrideout Sent: 05/01/2006 23:40
On second look at # 11, the haws appear to be partially open or closed (third eyelid). I like the larger eyes, but not when they take on a "popped" appearance.
Is it a European standard that calls for an "almond shaped" eye?


From: indogolfing Sent: 06/01/2006 00:21
my favorites are 1, 4, and 8. I love the expression in 1.

From: SueHop Sent: 06/01/2006 00:32
I must say that the head is the part of the whippet that I have the most trouble with. I know what I like, but that doesn't mean it fits with the standard. I guess the main problem is I have trouble breaking it down into the main components.


From: whippetwatch/Mary Magee Sent: 06/01/2006 01:30
eyes, oh the window to one's soul ... whippets are no exception :0)

in order of preference:
6, beautiful shape, color and size (we don't get to see this large of an eye often anymore, pity)


From: Patience Sent: 06/01/2006 04:58
Just before we move on... I like this head:
nah, I love that head...

From: Patience Sent: 06/01/2006 05:06
Neck, Topline, Body

Neck long, clean, and muscular, well arched with no suggestion of throatiness, widening gracefully into the top of the shoulder. A short thick neck, or a ewe neck, should be penalized. The back is broad, firm, and well muscled, having length over the loin. The backline runs smoothly from the withers with a graceful natural arch, not too accentuated, beginning over the loin and carrying through over the croup; the arch is continuous without flatness. A dip behind the shoulderblades, wheelback, flat back, or a steep or flat croup should be penalized.
Brisket very deep, reaching as nearly as possible to the point of the elbow. Ribs well sprung but no suggestion of barrel shape. The space between the forlegs is filled in so that there is no appearance of a hollow between them. There is a definite tuckup of the underline. Ther taillong and tapering, reaching to the hipbone, when dran through between teh hind legs. Whe the dog is in motion, the tail is carried low with only a gentle upward curve; tail should not be carried higher than top of back.

From: Patience Sent: 06/01/2006 05:21



From: lvernon Sent: 06/01/2006 06:16
There's certainly a difference in read on what is required by the eye. That #6 dog looked to me to be a very old whippet, I got nothing of the alert intelligent expression from those eyes. I guess I much prefer the non-American oval eye to great limpid pools. I liked #4 and #1. Sorry, for wading in - back to the regularly scheduled program.

From: PoleStarPB Sent: 06/01/2006 07:20
I feel the eyes on #6 to be the most correct to the standard. It is a shape we are losing more and more in the breed.

Though some eye shape may be a bit deceiving because of the eye rims and color on the face.

From: Aniemother Sent: 06/01/2006 11:24
I'll answer on the eyes allthough we're moved on. Sorry :)

We have a different standard on eyes than you - almond shaped eyes. So to me the #6 eyes in particular look very wrong. Give the "popped" apperance Peg talk about. Like a whippet with pug eyes - and allthough I adore pug eyes I prefer them on pugs :)

I like the #9, #1, #4 and #2 the best, giving a much more elegant look, and matching coat colour.


From: Aniemother Sent: 06/01/2006 11:40
FCI standard

NECK : Long, muscular, elegantly arched.

Back : Broad, firm, somewhat long, showing definite arch over loin but not humped. Loin : Giving impression of strength and power. Chest : Very deep with plenty of heart room, brisket deep, well defined. Ribs well sprung, muscled on back.

TAIL : No feathering. Long, tapering, when in action carried in a delicate curve upward but not over back.

I don't have a problem with either standards, I like the mention of brisket to elbow in the AKC standard as this is something I look for. I like the mention of heart room in the FCI standard as this refer the the whippets need for heart capacity for running - wich really is important. This part is, however, lost in the Norwegian translation. We only have "deep brisket with plenty of room".


From: pjrideout Sent: 06/01/2006 13:11
Thanks, Ane, for answering the eye standards question, almond as opposed to round. I knew I had read this somewhere and thought it was perhaps aa "old world" standard.
I know we've moved on, but, when did this eye standard change? The larger eyes have more "curb appeal" but how practical is this if a whippet is running through brush on a chase?


From: chelsea76 Sent: 06/01/2006 14:57
An Excellent resource can be found here http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll? ... %3AIT&rd=1
[Ed. Note: link no longer valid but look under username abbyraffles - here is her ebay store http://stores.ebay.com/Dog-Show-Magazines ]

It's a video made in the UK called The Whippet, by Moonlake productions, but the ones on eBay are in the US format. Although there are 'some' differences it still is an excellent tool to understand what is being talked about.

I have had a copy for a year or so but finally sat down with it last night and watched it through.

There's plenty left, so it's definitely worth picking up. A LOT of the points on this thread are stated very similarly to the way the video does.


From: Patience Sent: 06/01/2006 15:24
To answer lvernon, yes those eyes (#6) were from an old whippet. It's amazing how whippet eyes change with age.
Here are the same eyes, first at age 2, then at age 10:



Quite a difference!

From: surreyhill Sent: 06/01/2006 15:50
Patience--is it all right if I do some more deceased, out of the gene pool dogs for the body/topline portion of this discussion, or would you prefer I sent them to you?

From: pjrideout Sent: 06/01/2006 15:50
Would it be possible to present examples within a certain age group? Or, as Karen L did, state the age with the pic. It is difficult, at best, to determine age with some of these pictures. Which is fine, but it will skew responses.
May I suggest the age groups considered "prime" for showing, not puppies or veterans? Although, I also understand the difficulties with this, as well.
#6's eyes at age 2 are wonderful, but at age 10 that isn't what I would expect to see in the ring...?
It may be the responses would be better inline with the intent if more info is provided with the examples provided.


From: dixiearrow33 Sent: 06/01/2006 15:57
I love all whippet eyes, too! BUT, I liked #2 the best. Was #8 a blue eye? Hard to tell the exact color on the picture.
On to the next section - when will we get some silhouettes to judge??? That's the really fun part!


From: Patience Sent: 06/01/2006 17:02
Karen, please add any you want. Your help and input is most appreciated! I'm making them 300 pixels wide. I think if we decapitate the dogs, and they're sent to me first as these were, they'll be anonymous, if you have current dogs you'd like to post.
One thing about sending them to me is I can put them in the permanent storage so they don't take up your memory space and so they will stay in the album in the future.
I will later need some front on shots to show fill or lack of it, and maybe some shots looking down over the back and shoulders to show muscles and lack thereof.
EMAIL ME your photos, folks!

From: Patience Sent: 06/01/2006 17:04



Here's a start!

From: Aniemother Sent: 06/01/2006 17:42
So let's see if I manage to comment on these without jumping too much ahead :)

#1 nice neck, and a quite nice depth of brisket and tuck-up. Something's not quite right for me in the hindquarters, but that's better left for later.

#2 nice neck, might have a bit more dip in the topline than I'd like, or it might be the colours tricking me. A tad over-streched when stacking, but quite good overall over/under line. Would like to see a deeper brisket.

#3 my favourite nice neck and over/underline, brisket the closest to the elbow of the three. Also the best front angulation, but that's for later too..


From: Patience Sent: 06/01/2006 18:17
Image Image

Image Image

Image Image

Image Image

Image Image

Image Image

From: surreyhill Sent: 06/01/2006 18:29
^Photographs 4-15 were submitted by me, with Patience being kind enough to host them for me.

I'm hopelessly stuffy and old-school, I know, but I'm not comfortable critiquing dogs which are still in competition, or close up in other people's pedigrees, on a message board whether I would praise them to the skies or enumerate their faults. So, I probably will confine any later remarks to the photos I submitted. Hopefully, some of these photos can be used again for discussions of fronts and rears.

All of these Whippets whose photos I submitted are genetic dead ends which will not go forward in pedigrees. Most are deceased, and those which are not are altered and are living with people who are not a member of this community. I had something to do with all of them, but am not going to be bothered one way or the other by anything that is said about them, so have at it.

This is where it gets hard. I deliberately did not send any photo of a dog whose topline, body, and neck are so faulty as to render them completely uncompetitive in the breed ring. All of these dogs but one had substantial show ring successes and the unshown one was not unshown due to topline, neck, or body. I don't know that it's possible to rank them. I would tend to sort them into three categories--faulty, acceptable, and outstanding--per the breed standard.

Just about anyone can separate the truly fault-ridden from the ones which are near-flawless, but that's not what Whippet judging is all about. It's more of a cumulative impact of many minor differences and flaws which result in the placements given. Does Dog A's excellent neck and deep brisket give it the edge over shallower Dog B, who has a perfect topline, despite Dog A's obvious topline fault? This is the position a judge normally finds themself in. Oh, what the heck, let's just take 'em around again and maybe one of the two will misbehave!

Well, good luck!

Karen Lee

From: Dmichele2 Sent: 06/01/2006 18:53
I'm behind on this thread. There is nothing more beautiful than the eyes of an old friend (human or canine). Regardless of shape,size, color or clarity -- old eyes tell stories. Old eyes are love.

From: robersk Sent: 06/01/2006 19:29
OK assuming they all move the same here's my Placements :
# 3
#4 - would like this one stacked better and more second thigh and shorter hock-but great front angulation- alot of good qualities- may have been 1 or 2 if stacked correctly
#12- or #10

good thread !!! alot of fun for me and good practice -Thanks for doing this Patience and Karen

From: dixiearrow33 Sent: 06/01/2006 20:12
Patience, is it possible to edit #4? That dress is hopeless!!! It keeps distracting from the dog, and I'm having difficulty really following the topline. Could you do a paintbrush or something to make the dress one color? Boy, now I know never to wear somehting like that if I ever decide to give showing a try!


From: surreyhill Sent: 06/01/2006 20:51
Pat--you might want to give some thought as to WHY the handler might have chosen such a busy skirt to show that particular bitch. If you cannot see the topline clearly, is that a plus or a minus? What other attributes of that particular dog stand out because the topline image is difficult to pick out?

Also, this is GREAT practice for aspiring judges. Some handlers might wear distracting clothing. Some handlers are better at stacking than others or have different stacking styles. The judge has to try to look past all that and find the best dogs!


From: surreyhill Sent: 06/01/2006 20:54
Fronts and rears come later. So the standard description appears closer to the photos, I'll repost it. This part is where we are supposed to be evaluating and discussing:

Neck, Topline, Body

Neck long, clean, and muscular, well arched with no suggestion of throatiness, widening gracefully into the top of the shoulder. A short thick neck, or a ewe neck, should be penalized. The back is broad, firm, and well muscled, having length over the loin. The backline runs smoothly from the withers with a graceful natural arch, not too accentuated, beginning over the loin and carrying through over the croup; the arch is continuous without flatness. A dip behind the shoulderblades, wheelback, flat back, or a steep or flat croup should be penalized. Brisket very deep, reaching as nearly as possible to the point of the elbow. Ribs well sprung but no suggestion of barrel shape. The space between the forlegs is filled in so that there is no appearance of a hollow between them. There is a definite tuckup of the underline. Ther taillong and tapering, reaching to the hipbone, when dran through between teh hind legs. Whe the dog is in motion, the tail is carried low with only a gentle upward curve; tail should not be carried higher than top of back.

Although you can't see the tail carriage on any of these, body/neck/topline can be seen well enough to relate it to the standard.


From: pjrideout Sent: 06/01/2006 21:56
Okay, here goes...

#4 - top of shoulders hard to define, good visual illusion w/ dress!

#11 - a tad more tuck up, maybe? Like her neck.
#7 - but front view needed as I think the chest could be a little more substantial?

#2 - I'm a sucker for visual muscle definition. Look at those thighs! Top line not flat, can't tell but brisket appears deep enough at this angle.
#9 - at 15 months is nice although her neck seems alittle short, she may have been posting just enough to lend that impression and, she looks just a little flat between the loin and tail base. But, I lke her, alot!
#14 - too roach backed for me.

Most of them appear to have solid bone structure, even the more petite bodies.


From: indogolfing Sent: 07/01/2006 00:55
I liked the broader thighs on #9, everyone else seemed so narrow. 2&3 appeared stretched too much, hard to tell- makes the rear look too sloped. 4,wayy too much angulation for me, hard to look at anything else. 7 appears to the front too far forward, but the rear angulation is better and not so much slope to the back. 14 appears to fall away in the rear, dwindling away to nothing at the thighs. 8 is brindle, so my eye goes there- wish they were all white outlines! Her body looks like it's curved, but she doesn't fall away so much and the hindquarters are more in line with the shoulders, just wish the thighs were broader. I know, it's about the topline...

From: JohnHeffernan Sent: 07/01/2006 13:05
This has been a great learning tool... I need to go back and study the beginning. Would love to have someone publish a illustrated standard type book or booklet. Hint, hint...

From: JohnHeffernan Sent: 07/01/2006 13:06
As an aside, I am finding that my eye is usually right but sometimes I don't know why so this has been great. I wonder if others are finding the same thing...

From: chelsea76 Sent: 07/01/2006 15:44
John - the illustrations we're using (with permission) are from the AWC Illustrated Standard. So there is one out there.

Also there's the whippet video on eBay that I recommended earlier on the thread which is great even though produced in the UK. I also just finished watching another video produced by the AKC which was good (but not as much detail as the UK one).

They are both definitely worth watching and seeing on 'live moving dogs' rather than just photos!


From: GreyFind Sent: 07/01/2006 19:56
I really like the toplines of #8 and #10, of course I can't say why. My eye was drawn to those two immediately for a good topline.


From: Templarwhip Sent: 07/01/2006 20:43
OK here goes....

#6 - This is a very smooth dog, everything flows together as it should. Lovely loin with all the curves in the right places. Would like to see a front shot, but overall, my fav.

#10 - This is a young dog and the major thing I see here is that his croup drops off a bit more than I like. I think if his hind legs were side by side and his head/neck
dropped down a bit, the croup wouldn't appear as steep.

#4 - Although the dress is SO distracting in this picture, the shoulder is lovely as well as where the neck ties in on this bitch.Tail set is a bit low to my eye, but overall a nice bitch.

#12 - Again, a youngster, so has so filling in and growing to do, but a nicely balanced bitch, very feminine in structure, nothing masculine about her. The one thing I am not crazy about on her is her front feed, but that is another part of the discussion.

Just my VERY humble $.02
Paula Knight

From: surreyhill Sent: 07/01/2006 22:45
The space between the forlegs is filled in so that there is no appearance of a hollow between them.

The following photos aren't for judging and ranking. They are of three of my dogs which I feel illustrate the concept of front fill quite well. I had to resort to taking a few pics of my own dogs today as I don't have enough photos of the past dogs which are from that head-on angle to show front fill clearly.

I don't know that bad examples are needed. If they have this amount of fill, then they have enough, if they have less, or more of a hollow or v-hulled look, then they don't. This isn't a tough one to explain or demonstrate like topline. It's there or it's not.

All three of these dogs have brisket to the elbow in the side view.
Image Image


Lack of front fill comes from two routes. First, very upright upper arm. It is easy to see how a very straight upper arm will put the humerus bones hanging off the front of the ribcage, creating a hollow. The secondary (and more common) reason for a dog to be lacking in front fill is that the whole shoulder assembly will be set too far forward on the ribcage, so the front end is sort of hanging out there in space. While many such dogs have pretty good angulation and length and return of upper arm, the improper placment of the shoulder assembly reveals itself in lack of fill and usually a neckset which appears stovepipey, throaty, or ewe. It's hard for the neck to "widen gracefully into the top of the shoulder" when the shoulder is an inch or more forward of where it's supposed to be.

I hope these photos are good illustrations.

I will not discuss my toplines and body shots until tomorrow night at the earliest.

Karen Lee

From: surreyhill Sent: 07/01/2006 22:48
Another thing on fill. A very young or very thin dog can have a lack of "meat" in that area. My comments above apply to dogs in normal weight and ring condition--not fat, but certainly not extremely thin or undermuscled.

A very fat Whippet can have "fat fill". But the true front fill should feel pretty firm to the touch. No more fat over it than the thickness of a neoprene wetsuit. The rest should be bone and the musculature over the chest.

Thread continued in next post as exceeded maximum length
User avatar
WW Manager
Posts: 10422
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 4:31 pm
Location: Dorset, England (originally Ontario, Canada)
Whippet Archives Link: 7231

Re: A Hosted Discussion: The Whippet Standard

Postby chelynnah » Fri Dec 19, 2008 10:34 pm

Continued from previous post as exceeded maximum length

From: dixiearrow33 Sent: 08/01/2006 02:37
Now that I have had time to really look at these photos, I'll give this a go. I agree with you Karen - I thought that right away about the dress - what is she trying to hide? Anyway, I have made some observations, and they may be completely crazy, but I'll give them to you nonetheless.
Brisket - I found the ones to be most appealing were those that formed an 'S' shape from bottom of the front neck around to the top of the thighs. While they all, at first glance, appear to have that, I found on closer look that some have a rise (from the bottom end of the brisket to the top of the tuck up) that is fairly straight and lacking curve in that area. Do you follow that? I hope I'm making myself clear. Anyway, those that have that straight line as opposed to a curve are: 4, 6, 8, 14. The rest appear to have the curve. #11 has a brisket that seems, to me, to start the rise too abruptly.
Topline - I'm not sure I can make this clear, but when the beginning of the rise of the topline began just a tad bit after the beginning of the rise between the brisket and the tuck up, it seemed to me to be the most pleasing to the eye. So, I guess what I noticed is, the size of the brisket can greatly affect the lines of both rises, as can that 'S' shape. At least that's how it seemed to me. The toplines that appeared a bit flat to me were: 7, 13, 15.
The necks were a little difficult for me since in some photos, more of the neck seemed to be cut off. Anyway, I did not like #6's neck (don't know why). #12 appeared short, but that may be because of the where the photo ends. #13 appears very thin, without any widening, and #14 appears thick from top to base.
Anyway, all of these things considered, my first cut (if all of these whippets were together in the ring) would be: 3, 5, 6, 9, 10, 12. So, based on strictly those things we are supposed to be judging right now, I would say #3 is the best male, and #12 being my favorite female. I am considering that the camera cut off the top of her neck. That's all I'm going to pick. This was tiring. For an untrained eye like mine, it took a lot of work to try to notice each thing, did it fit the standard, and how did it affect the other things I was looking at.
Now, when those of you who judge stop ROFL at my novice perceptions, please let me know what I said that may hold some truth, and what is waaaaaay off base.


From: Patience Sent: 08/01/2006 18:06
Here's the last bunch of Neck, Topline, Body photos to study:

I think it's fine for anyone (who doesn't know WHO the dogs are in the photos) to comment. We are commenting on PHOTOs not dogs. Any photo can make a good dog look horrible, or a not so good dog great. Later I will post 2 photos of the same dog to illustrate this point.

OK, here goes:
Image Image

Image Image

Image Image

Image Image

From: dixiearrow33 Sent: 08/01/2006 20:55
Alright, here I go again. First, I pick #16 - seems to my eye to be very well balanced but I'm not overyl thrilled with the neck. Second, #18 - another well balanced whippet. Third, #20 - the underline had that straighter line, but overall I think this bitch looks very curvy and feminine. Fourth, #23 - while there are some things about this bitch that I don't like, judging strictly on the areas we are talking about, I put her fourth.
Oh, well - I guess what I learned in this exercise is that as far as this part of the standard, topline is the most important to me. It's what makes a whippet look like a whippet. I'm turned off immediately by a flatter look.
Truth be told, these dogs were all very pleasant to look at. But, when you gotta make a choice.......


From: surreyhill Sent: 08/01/2006 22:36
Ok, fine. I know who some of these dogs are, but I'll comment anyway.

In that last group, I'd go 21, 18, 16, and 25 on topline and body and brisket and neck ONLY.

None of these are particularly faulty, but most of them are a bit shorter-ribbed than I'd like. But they are all Whippet outlines. 18 has the topline I find most correct, but I prefer the underline on 21 to the point I'd give it a slight edge.

I also like the length of neck in proportion to the length of back in this one slightly better.

I might prefer 25 to 16 if I could see the underline better. I fear some of the dark stripes and shadow may have made whole chunks of this dog disappear into its handler's black skirt.

All are nice enough to be shown and win, though.

The only fault I would point out is that #24 is the only one in the group which seems to have a higher tail set.

Karen Lee

From: Sally Sent: 09/01/2006 17:21
Looking at these toplines, I'd have to pick #18 as my favorite.
I see quite a bit that I don't like. Perhaps I'm too picky, but I don't like the look of a sloping upper back-whithers (the area just behind the neck), especially the way it can give the impression of a more pronounced "v" dip at the joining of the upper back and the loin: see #23 and #20. #20 is just a pup, and might improve, but #23 is an adult. #21 does have a lot that's nice, but I don't like the slope of her upper back.
I guess this is sort of a "pet peve" of mine, but I really prefer a more level upper back/whithers area. That is what I have been told is correct. The standard doesn't say how that area should look from the side, though, just that it should be broad, firm, and well muscled (neck-set to loin). I'm interested to know others' thoughts on this.


From: whippetwatch/Mary Magee Sent: 10/01/2006 04:11
Well I wasn't going to comment on the topline/outline portion due to my workload right now but I'm curious as to why so many of these seem to not have a truly smooth transition from neck to shoulder. Most have the same neckset that a specific whippet I have/am (won't tell <g>) shown/show which kept him/her from a major win some time back. The comment from the judge was "The neck set is not smooth. Close your eyes, run your hand down the neck across the back and tell me if your hand stops due to a shift." I did, and yes it did. It's not 'horrible' perse but it's still not totally correct.

The one that I noticed this on the most is #18. The neck is nicely shaped, however the set is off and 'hits' too hard not blending smoothly, then there's a lump of some sort, divit, another lump and then the transition from back to loin (which does not bother me), then a nice rise followed into a smooth croop. Her underline, while not bad, isn't terrific either if no note, the ribs between the front legs are shorter than the ones where the elbow should fall (she's lacking upper arm return IMO) She's lacking front fill for two reasons, the lack of return and the length of ribs between the front legs. At 1 1/2 yrs of age she's not matured yet, so the overall depth probably will change, still the faults she has are highly probable to remain.

Sally mentioned the backs (base of neck to start of loin) being sloped, which I too find to be less than productive for a speed dog. I've seen (and had) dogs with this on the track and the running style is very different from one with the (IMO) correct flat back (not to be confused with flat TOPline, they are very different things).
From the first back of photos I do find #1 to be very pleasing in body shape, #3 has a lot to offer, and the 'dip' shown here is obviously NOT the dip talked about in the standard, this is the back strap muscles that are so important for a whippet. #4 I find to be very pleasing too, altho her tailset appears off her front is set onto the body properly (not coming out of the throat), her rise is slight, she appears equal loin to back in length and while she could be tidier of tuckup, I'll give on that for this overall look (her ribs towards the back of the rib cage are a bit too long hense her appearing to have a diagnol line versus the deep S curve underline PROBABLY).

Back to the 2nd grouping, #16, this bitch I do like a lot. She may have faults but her virtues outweigh them in my eyes. She's moderate, balanaced, nice length of neck (not too long, not too short and appears to taper nicely), her upper arm return is being thrown off by how she's stacked (front feet aren't under her where they should be) and in turn the depth of brisket is being thrown off too but it looks close to the elbow, she is smooth and has that definite S underline, nice length of loin/back balance and I like her croup too.

I won't rank them all but my fav is #16

Work isn't getting done ;) so that's all I'm commenting on. Will ck back on the group in a few days.

have fun and keep up the great work!!!!!!!

1st Choice

From: dixiearrow33 Sent: 10/01/2006 23:17
Karen Lee, awaiting your critique of # 1 - 15. What say you?


From: robersk Sent: 11/01/2006 17:46
I find # 21 to be the most correct outline also - then 18 - Karen Lee can you also host a session on straight pastern - how important it is to the whole look of a dog - The same way a bad tail on the move just wrecks the total picture. Also did I miss a discussion about the Back Muscle icompared to the actual Dip in the topline which is a major fault that it seems many judges don't know about.
EXCELLENT examples of front fill !!!
Again thanks Karen and Patience for doing this - I want to show you both other breeds booklets on what they give new judges that are excellent- maybe we can get a new one going for whippets since our AKC video is so outdated

From: dixiearrow33 Sent: 11/01/2006 18:17
Karen L, you said that most of these dogs (the last batch) were shorter ribbed than you like. What do you mean by that, and can you point out examples along with examples of those that you find to your liking?


From: Patience Sent: 12/01/2006 04:29
I participated in the AWC judges' seminar at the National in Phoenix, and it was EXCELLENT!!! Over and over and over again, the athleticism of the Whippet was stressed. Kim Otero and Mary Beth Arthur both presented WONDERFUL slide shows of FIT whippets in ACTION. Any judge who attended (and it was full of AKC all rounders) should never penalize a whippet for being shown in fit condition.
I was really impressed.

From: Patience Sent: 12/01/2006 05:11
Shoulder blade long, well laid back, with flat muscles, allowing for moderate space between shoulderblades at peak of withers. Upperarm of equal length, placed so the at the elbow falls directly under the withers.
The points of the elbows should point neither in nor out, but straight back. A steep shoulder, short upper arm, a heavily muscled or loaded shoulder, or a very narrow shoulder, all of which restrict low free movement, should be strictly penalized. Foreleges straight, giving appearance of strength and substance of bone. Pasterns strong, slightly bent and flexible. Bowed legs, tied-in elbows, legs lacking substance, legs set far under the body so as to create an exaggerated forechest, weak or upright pasterns should be strictly penalized.
Both front and rear feet must be well formed with hard, thick pads. Feet more hare than cat, but both are acceptable. Plat, splayed or sort feet without thick hard pads should be strictly penalized. Toes should be long, close and well arched. Nails strong and naturally short or of moderate length. Dewclaws may be removed.

(following drawings copyrighted AWC, used with permission)



From: PoleStarPB Sent: 12/01/2006 13:57
I prefer the outline of the #21 bitch. She is nice and smooth from the neck down her back over her loin and down through her stifles. She has the most balanced S shaped underline. Even though her neck appears to be short it isn't. The color that extends down on her neck only makes it look that way. She is well balanced with no exaggeration.

My second choice is the #4 bitch she has nice gentle curves and has a nice typey outline. Her handler could have made her look a bit smoother from the neck to her back by pulling her head up slightly instead of forward. I don't like her as much as the #21 bitch because her underline isn't as balanced.

Wendy J. and Saarra who could care less about such things....

From: BrigitteGreen Sent: 13/01/2006 17:12
The diagram with the straight, short upper arm isn't quite working for me. Can someone show me a real-life example of this? This business about well-laid back shoulders and upper arms has always confused me a bit, so I would love to have some further discussion on this topic and photos. Thanks.


From: Marcia_in_NM Sent: 14/01/2006 02:35
I'd really like to know more about the shoulder assembly, too.


From: PoleStarPB Sent: 14/01/2006 10:35
"The diagram with the straight, short upper arm isn't quite working for me. Can someone show me a real-life example of this? This business about well-laid back shoulders and upper arms has always confused me a bit, so I would love to have some further discussion on this topic and photos."

Hi Brigitte,
Take a look at the front assembly in photo #20. It has a fairly straight shoulder blade with a short upper arm. Certainly not the worst I have ever seen but an example of a faulty front assembly straight pasterns and all from the look of it in the photo.

Wendy J. and Saarra

From: BrigitteGreen Sent: 14/01/2006 13:25
Hi Wendy,

I get the straight pasterns from that photo, but how can you tell she has a short upper arm? I see her elbow meets her chest line, which is good, but should it be lower? I'm sorry. I know I'm sounding like a dolt, but this short upper arm concept is one I can never quite grasp.

Dr. Henderson once had me measure using my fingers but the problem is that we were using dogs with good upper arms as the example, so I guess I need to get my hands on one with a short upper arm to tell the difference. Rudolph's pasterns are too straight, so at least I've got those figured out.


From: Patience Sent: 14/01/2006 14:28


Well here's one place where a "hands on" exam is essential. But you can feel your whippets at home and see. Feel the point of the shoulder blade at the top.Then run your hand down the ridge of the shoulder to the point of the shoulder joint at the front of your dog's chest. Compare that angle to the flat plane of the ground. That's your indication if your dog has a straight shoulder or a nice "laid back" shoulder. Next check out the angle from the point of the shoulder to the elbow. Dog #1 has an excellent "return of upper arm" whereas dog #2 has a shorter, straighter upper arm.

Markings can be very fooling. In Dog #1, the straight brindle patch draping over the neck, could fool you into thinking the shoulder is straight. If you look just to the left of the line I drew, you will see the slight shading of the dip in front of the shoulder. In Dog #2, your eye might trick in to thinking that the point of the shoulder blade is way back where the brindle starts. But you can easily fix these optical illusions with your manual exam.

Ever wonder, why after judging a class, and lining the dogs in order, a judge will walk down the line, running his/her hand over the dogs' shoulder blades/withers, and then stand back for a last look?

hope this helps a little-

From: BrigitteGreen Sent: 15/01/2006 16:13
Thanks, Patience. That's a great explanation.


From: surreyhill Sent: 16/01/2006 16:17

I'm still kind of frustrated about posting on this thread since only half the photos are coming up for me, so it's hard to refer to anything. And I can't seem to post a photo right now to save my life! ARGH!

Anyhow, there are three aspects to looking at the shoulder. First, is the angulation correct and balanced with the rear angulation? That's where my previously-posted line drawing with the markings on it was supposed to help.

Then, is the shoulder balanced in and of itself? You can measure with your fingers to see if the upper arm is the same length as the scapula, or you can check to see if the elbow is directly underneath the point (top) of the shoulder. This is where the endpoint occurs if you trace the spine of the scapula up all the way to the edge of the shoulder blade. The spine is that bladelike ridge of bone that bisects the scapula. Drop a plumbline down from that and it should intersect the elbow. If it doesn't then you have either a short upper arm or a too upright upper arm. Or both.

In Patience's photo #1, the way she has drawn the red lines on the dog shows a short upper arm. The plumbline would drop slightly behind the elbow in that photo based on the red lines. This may or may not be true of the actual dog in the flesh, a hands-on measurement would be needed, but based on that photo alone, it appears the dog has a very good and well-set on shoulder assembly from an angulation and placement aspect, but is a bit too short in length of humerus. In photo #2, the humerus also appears short, but the degree of upper arm return is actually a bit greater than the layback of the shoulder (red lines, again) and so the plumb-bob test would be passed, despite the fact that #2 clearly has an overall more faulty front in every other respect. I'm guessing that #2 would be one of those dogs who managed to have a lot better side gait than one would expect from looking at the front assembly.

Why is this important? Well, in Whippets, the front reach comes from the length and return of upper arm, NOT the shoulder layback, as many people assume. There are many Whippets with beautiful shoulders and shorter upper arms which are restricted, while there are many Whippets with rather straight shoulders but long upper arms who have that big, open side reach. We can discuss later on how much reach you should have but to have a very short upper arm is where the old-style hackney gait used to come from. So you really have to watch your upper arm length. Our second foundation bitch was of that type. Beautiful shoulders, great angulation, quite short upper arm--she was perfect on the line but really had a high, choppy gait going around the ring. Of course, she was not by any means the only one like that back in her era, so she finished very easily anyway. But all you have to do is look at a lot of the old photos and put a ruler on them and you can see that a visually short upper arm was much more common 30-40 years ago than it is now.

Anyhow, a too-straight shoulder with matching angulation and matching length of upper arm CAN pass the plumb-bob test, so this alone isn't enough to determine if your shoulder is correct. But if the shoulder apppears reasonably well laid-back AND it passes the plumb bob test, then it is likely a very good and correct shoulder.

The third thing is to make sure the whole assembly is set properly on the thorax (ribcage). You can have a fairly well-angulated front which is not set on correctly. We seldom see one in Whippets set too far back, but if you were to see that, the dog would have a dachshund-like "keel" and projecting forechest. But that's really really rare in sighthounds due to the shape of their ribcage because the dog's front naturally wants to go in a straighter and more forward-set direction and it takes a lot of selection pressure in breeding to keep matters as they are for most of the Whippets bred for the ring. That heavy, superangulated, set back front assembly is a very difficult structure to force on the rest of the Whippet conformation. And it's not correct, either, although dogs with a degree of it often make useful producers because their puppies will be more moderate in that regard than they are.

So, if you are going to find a problem with set-on, it will likely be too forward set on the ribcage. The three clues to that are:

1) lack of front fill
2) incorrect neckset (the neck will appear stovepipey with no gradual widening into the withers, or will be ewe or throat or look like it's coming right out of the chest for the alligator head carriage look when gaiting)
3) herring gut--or deepest point of ribcage well behind the elbow COMBINED with being much less deep AT the elbow. This is not the same as dog whose chest is deep at the elbow and continues to be equally deep for a few inches behind. There are examples of that sort of underline in our gallery, and if I could SEE the danged pictures, I'd point them out to you.

All three of these characteristics may not be present, but at least one will if the dog is set too far forward, and usually at least two will be present.

So, if you've looked at those three areas and found the dog correct in all three, the shoulder assembly is correct.

It used to be unusual to go from a correct shoulder and then go down and find big problems in the pastern area, but not anymore.

We all have our "things", and upright pasterns would definitely one of mine. I can't say I've never bred or finished a dog with upright pasterns, but I can definitely say it's one of the big things that makes me pet out a puppy if I spot it early.

Karen Lee

From: Patience Sent: 16/01/2006 17:02
This one, Karen? I think the photos stored on the WhippetWorldPhotos site are visible. This is extraordinarily frustrating.

From: surreyhill Sent: 16/01/2006 17:48
Yes, that's it. I can now see it needs just a bit of tweaking before it's ready for prime time.

Anyhow, I can only see half of the photos of my dog's bodies 4-15 that I submitted, at any one time, which is why I've not returned to that discussion to address any of the questions. I can only see half of the next set, too.

It IS frustrating. We will not even speak of how many times I have to mash on the reply link to get the reply window to come up.

From: BrigitteGreen Sent: 17/01/2006 01:06
OK, I think I am catching on now, and I can see that you really do need to feel the shoulder blade and look very closely. Next question: What does the term ``loaded shoulder'' mean and can someone post a photo example? Thanks.


From: indogolfing Sent: 17/01/2006 01:21
I used to know the explanation for "loaded shoulder" but forgot it; too many people think a muscular shoulder is "loaded",but that's no it- it was something that actually would restrict the function so not likely to be found in muscular functional dogs. I was visiting Chris Blake's Sundance kennel way back when I was getting started in whippets (I had one), and was not used to seeing the muscling of the dogs. I was looking at a litter she'd co-bred with pegram, but she was showing me her adult dogs as well. I pointed to one and asked her if that was a loaded shoulder. She was clearly trying to keep from laughing as she explained it to me, but clearly I didn't pay enough attention because I don't remember the explanation.

From: surreyhill Sent: 17/01/2006 01:44

The best explanation I can give, since this is a term that seems almost meaningless to people outside the horse world, is that it is a shoulder with a degree of bulging muscularity which is out of keeping with the amount of muscle on the rest of the dog and which contributes to a tight, restricted movement at the trot. Or-out of balance, as if the shoulder is having to do all the work to compensate for unbalanced and faulty action elsewhere (for example "pounding" at the trot).

In a loaded shoulder, the shoulder muscle mass as seen from the front will project well beyond the elbow at each side. The dog will look more musclar and massive there than anywhere else.

Loaded shoulder is a term cribbed from the horse world, like many terms in dog breed standards. You have to understand and appreciate the history of the purebred dog fancy and realize that many of the terms and concepts behind the original writing of the breed standards (not just ours) were used by horse-savvy people at the turn of the century who knew perfectly well what the terms they were using meant. It is important to understand the roots of not just our breed, but all breed standards, in order to get some sense of what the people who originally used this terminology meant by it.

Here's a definition of a loaded shoulder from a Horse breed standard site:

Loaded Shoulder

Excessive muscular development over the shoulder which can restrict movement.

But, what is excessive? CAN or MUST restrict movement, and at which gait? This requirement is both aesthetic or functional, or both. It's a very difficult term for modern observers.

In horses, a loaded shoulder can also be classed as a "Drafty or Bullish" shoulder. This, to me, is the most useful term to think about the Whippet. Draft horses aren't speedy, but they are very strong and can pull heavy loads or carry heavy riders. Any sort of front which makes you think of weight-pulling strength as opposed to supple speed and sleek, clean, racy lines is a loaded shoulder in a Whippet. So, to the extent that the Whippet shoulder in isolation would resemble a drafting or bullish breed, it's incorrect in type.

From: indogolfing Sent: 17/01/2006 01:51
most normally muscled whippets will have muscling which bulges out further than the elbows when viewed from the front- they usually have good movement as well. They will usually have more muscling in the rear of the dog, which may be different from the horse definition posted. What I thought was loaded when looking at Chris' dogs was just the normal shoulder muscling that Iwas not used to seeing- it looked like it bulged out a lot (to my eye- the whippet I owned did not have a lot of muscling) but it was good functional muscling, not loaded at all, as explained by chris.

From: Patience Sent: 17/01/2006 05:07
Hmmm. I wish I could get photos of thoroughbreds and show quarterhorses. There is also a good difference between a thoroughbred's shoulder and a racing quarterhorse's shoulder, but not as pronounced... Off to search the web..

From: LindaZaworski Sent: 17/01/2006 05:54
When I first started in dogs, loaded shoulders were explained to me as an excess of muscling between the rib cage and the shoulder blade, pushing the entire shoulder assembly out further from the body. The heavy muscling seen on the outside of shoulders is not, in my mind, loaded shoulders. However, it can be a visual clue to look a little closer because if one set of shoulder muscles are "bunchy" then the others most likely will be too. This is NOT a problem seen with any frequency in whippets, perhaps because our standard calls for flat muscles. But please don't think that just because the standard calls for flat muscling that means undeveloped muscling. There is a real difference between long, flat but well developed muscles that tretch and flex and short, bunchy muscles that actually restrict movement. Think about the difference in muscles between a weight lifter and a track star.

Linda Z

From: Patience Sent: 17/01/2006 15:39
OK, I think this is the best way to illustrate.
Loaded shoulders of a quarterhorse:
Image Image

Flat, whippety muscles of a thoroughbred:

If you look at mature photos of thoroughbred breeding stallions, their muscles get much bulkier due to all that testosterone. (Think of a steroid-abusing weight lifter.) But they do not look like that when they're racing. Much of the quarterhorses' bulky fronts is due to their need to cut and hold cattle (fast side to side movement, and leaning back against a rope going from the horn of their saddle to a stuggling steer.
Hope this helps-

From: BrigitteGreen Sent: 17/01/2006 15:45
Yes, I do see what is meant by that now. Fascinating that our standard dates back to horses. And now I'm not sure I've EVER seen a Whippet with a loaded shoulder. Are loaded shoulders in Whippets common? I honestly don't think I've ever seen a Whippet with the kind of muscling one sees on a quarterhorse.


From: Patience Sent: 17/01/2006 16:19
Two fronts:
Image Image

From: indogolfing Sent: 18/01/2006 00:51
that's it- linda, that's how it was explained to me. Chris said it doesn't occur much and it is not functional, so what I was looking at on a successful racing whippet (don't be late in '78 ARM) was NOT a "loaded shoulder". I knew it had something to do with muscling under the shoulder blade or something like that. The halter quarter horse would be an example of breeding for the appearance of muscle, rather than the function requiring the muscle. The racing quarterhorse would be the whippet of the horse world.

From: whippetwatch/Mary Magee Sent: 18/01/2006 17:45
Here's two good sites to see the loaded front of the halter quarter horses:
http://www.kylehughesquarterhorses.com/ and
http://www.angelasquarterhorses.com/ from this site two photos showing front on shots of their stud CEO


From: dixiearrow33 Sent: 18/01/2006 18:19
These are really good photos, Mary. I don't think there should be any more confusion about what a loaded shoulder would look like on a whippet.


From: dixiearrow33 Sent: 18/01/2006 18:26
Now that it seems MSN is being a bit more cooperative, how about some photos of forequarters to judge?


From: surreyhill Sent: 18/01/2006 19:22

This dog above has an excellent shoulder assembly, and in life was a marvelously sound dog with flawless front movement. His pastern is a little hard to see so what I want to show is how his neck is arched and flows into that shoulder assembly, widening a little as it enters. This is so important for deciding if a shoulder is really good. His return of upper arm is correct and the whole thing is set on so well that you get just the hint of a well-filled forechest when looking at him from the side, but not an actual projecting "keel" or obvious breastbone.

Patience, if you want to crop the fronts off or repost my previously submitted photos, #5, #7, #9, #12, and #13, I think they might be good fronts for discussion.


From: indogolfing Sent: 18/01/2006 20:24
patience, in the photos of the two fronts- msn usually will only give a red x for the second one but I was finally able to see it. Neither looks like it's a head on view, but I like the second one best. I don't think either one is incorrect, though, and certainly neither is "loaded".

From: Patience Sent: 21/01/2006 04:51


Long and powerful. The thighs are broad and muscular, stifles well bent; muscles are long and flat and carry well down toward the hock. The hocks are well let down, and close to the ground. Sickle or cow hocks should be strictly penalized.
copyright AWC, used with permission

From: leeannen Sent: 22/01/2006 02:46
I want to say how great this discussion has been! I haven't posted much, but I have visited and revisited the sections time and again.

I went to a dog show today and really felt like my "whippet eye" is a lot better. I'm really taking in details much more quickly than I ever did before and gaining a much greater understanding of why I like what I like.

Thanks so much for your time and hard work!

Lee Anne

From: KattalystOSH Sent: 25/01/2006 02:49
This really has been a great discussion. Will we discuss movement at some point?
I also feel I have a MUCH better understanding of the standard now.

From: Chelynnah1 Sent: 25/01/2006 14:07
I think we will discuss movement. It might have to take a bit of a break for a bit as a couple of the people involved are heading away for a few days, so it might take a few days for it to start moving forward again (no pun intended LOL).


From: JohnHeffernan Sent: 25/01/2006 14:40
One thing I am not clear on is if sickle hocks are a movement fault. The dog can be stacked incorrectly and have it looks like sickle hocks. My understanding (which may be wrong) is that you have to look at this when the dog is trotting. Am I correct?


From: surreyhill Sent: 25/01/2006 16:53
Sickle Hocks are another term the original dog breed standard writers got from the horse world. Sickle hocks are a fault in any breed, not something that is Whippet-specific.

Sickle hocks are often confused with extreme rear angulation. While many sickle hocked dogs do have extreme angulation, others do not. And some dogs who are extremely angulated are not sickle-hocked.

Here's a definition from a Thoroughbred Horse Site:

Sickle Hock: Deviation in the angle of the hock, giving the impression of a sickle when viewed from the side. The cannon slopes forward due to excessive angulation of the hock.

All the horse standards, cow standards, sheep standards, and alpaca standards I've read which talk about sickle hocks show this to be a fault which is judged STANDING not moving. Diagrams provided with standard descriptions show that the sickle-hocked livestock exhibit cannot be stood or posed such that a perfectly perpindicular line can be drawn down from the hock which will also touch the back of the foot. In other words, sickle-hocked animals stand with their feet further towards the underside of their body at all times than their hocks.

Tennessee Walker Horses are allowed to be slightly sickle hocked because their distinctive trot requires the hind legs to move slightly under themselves. This is helpful to think about when considering how a sickle-hocked Whippet might gait.

However, the AKC defines sickle hocks differently, and this is the definition that judges are expected to use:

Sickle hocked Inability to straighten the hock joint on the back reach of the hind leg.

SO, the AKC defines it as a fault which is to be assessed on the move. I suppose this allows for dogs like German Shepherds, who nearly always stand naturally with their hocks looking very "sickle" to me, but who have these big-driving, flying trots with extreme rear flexion to not be considered or faulted as sickle-hocked. I've seen some of this type rear in some Whippets, and I guess going by the AKC's definition, it's perfectly ok because they really flex the hocks in gaiting.

It is no wonder that people are confused about what a sickle hock is. I'M confused. I would like to go with the original intent of the standard writers, which seems to me to be that a sickle hock is a standing fault (one which no doubt shows up in movement as well, but it is judged based on standing appearance and not at the trot). But AKC's definition requires that no matter what the hock looks like standing, if the dog can straighten it or flex it past the vertical at the trot, it's not a sickle hock.

From: Patience Sent: 25/01/2006 17:23
OK, coming from a background in horses, I have a clear picture of a sickle hock and it differs from most dog people's. Karen, I don't know which thoroughbred site you got your definition, but it's a confusing one, for sure.

A sickle hock is one which, when viewed from the side, curves like a sickle on the BACK surface. (All hocks curve like a sickle on their front surface!) Here are examples:
Image Image

On the left is a good hock: straight from the point of the hock down. On the right is a sickle hock: the point of the hock is the top of a sickle-shaped curve. I've drawn a verticle red line behind both so that you can see it better.
I think dog people get all tangled up confusing an overangulated, inflexible hock with a sickle hock. You can not hide a sickle hock by clever stacking, short of sitting the dog in your lap!
And no, a sickle hock is not a movement fault. Dogs with sickle hocks can move quite nicely. It is a structural defect; pure and simple conformation.
Hope this helps-

From: surreyhill Sent: 25/01/2006 17:58
Patience, I agree with you that the sickle hock is a standing fault of conformation, not something you look for specifically in gaiting.

But the AKC's definition and that on most dog sites says otherwise. That's why this is confusing. If you judge dogs in the AKC show ring, you are supposed to go with the standards and with AKC's definitions.

I'm much happier with a definition which describes standing structure.

Here's Wikipedia's section on it from an entry on equine structure:

Sickle- or Sabre-Hocked/ Overangulated Long Hind Legs [33]
The hind leg slants forward, in front of the plumb line, when viewed from the side. The cannon is unable to be put in vertical position. Also called “curby” hock, as it is associated with strain of plantar ligament on the rear, lower part of the hock.
Limits the straightening & backward extension of hocks, which this limits push-off, propulsion, & speed. There is overall more hock & stifle stress.
Closed angulation & loading on the back of the hock predisposes the horse to bone & bog spavin, thoroughpin, & curb.
WOW! You sure have to know a lot more terms to understand horses than whippets. I don't have the slightest idea what bone and bog spavining is, nor do I recognized thoroughpin or curb.

Your photos are interesting because the example of the curved hock and the non-curved hock are on dogs who appear to have the same amount of angulation. This pretty clearly illustrates that angulation alone is not the trait that produces or precludes a sickle hock.

I think this topic is very confusing because many dogs I see who have that curve from the hock to the back of the foot are pretty good movers at the trot who have the appearance of drive.

I furthermore think that the AKC's description is AWFUL. I don't like the term "rear reach" AT ALL.

There are excellent reasons why sickle hocks are such a big fault in horses, and other reasons why for certain horses a very mild degree of sickle-hocks is considered a plus--for example, the Tenn Walker and Reining Horses. The veterinary and farrier-related sites are full of references to them with regard to chronic lamenesses and ways of shoeing the sickle-hocked horse to improve their performance. I think we see them in Whippets because such dogs can get their rears way up under them to turn. I think some Whippets with mild sickle hocks can be very agile and turn very tight on the tighter course plans and so I've seen a few top-ranked coursing dogs over the years with this structure. I also see that some with that structure break quite fast out of the boxes, although they never have any top end speed on the track. There may have been a reason back in the day why some of these dogs got bred on from, with the result that this fault shows itself in many lines today.

I agree with you that dog people get too bogged down looking for overangulation first in order to find a sickle hock. I've seen a great variety of overangulated rears described as sickle hocked when there was no curve in the hock joint and they could be stacked perpendicular. Many overangulated rears are, but many are not.

Karen Lee

From: surreyhill Sent: 25/01/2006 18:28
Here's another photo example--the difference in quality is mostly due to my trying to hide the identity of the second dog "B" by altering the markings. These photos are meant to illustrate the areas of disagreement between fanciers as to what is and is not a sickle hock--NOT to show a perfect Whippet rear.

Now, dog A is a dog I would consider to be extreme in the rear for a Whippet, but NOT sickle-hocked. His hock is not curved, nor is it impossible for him to stand perpendicular. He is extreme not so much because of his angulation, but because of the length of his bones--long femur, long second thigh. It's a balanced rear but it's an extreme rear. Many people might call this dog sickle-hocked because they perceive overly long bones and more angulation than is moderate, but IMO, those people would be incorrect. This dog in life was capable of flexing his hocks somewhat past vertical at the trot, in fact, his side movement was probably one of his very best qualities.

Dog B, by your definition, cannot be called sickle hocked since his hock is not curved. However, this is a rear which would be called sickle hocked by my thoroughbred horse definition, as well as by the breed standard drawing because the dog cannot be posed (and he was stacked for this photo by a TOP professional handler) such that his hind foot is directly beneath his hock. However, it is possible to see show photos where the handler has not stacked the dog correctly and a dog who can be set up like Dog A stands for the photo like Dog B. But Dog B really does have this sort of rear as near as I can recall. He moved fairly well, but tended to go closer behind than Dog A. His hock did not flex much, but he kicked the rear out behind him from the hip quite freely, and in moving, it gave the impression of a rear with good enough backward extension.

IME, there are a lot of rears like Dog B's in the ring, and I've certainly seen plenty show up in my own breeding program through the years. It is what I would call an inflexible, stiff hock, but classically NOT a sickle hock due to the lack of curvature of the hock as shown in Patience's example. However, I can't say it's NOT a sickle hock since by some definitions it is, simply because the foot is always to the fore of the hock when the dog is standing or posed in any position.

In judging, I'm inclined to be much more lenient about an overangulated or extreme rear which is not sickle-hocked or inflexible than a more moderately-angled rear with that degree of stiffness to the hock joint. I think there's a place in breeding programs for the dogs who have too much of a good thing, but not so much for the conformational fault of a stiff hock. Still, many such dogs seem to produce ok if they are put to bitches with good, moderate rears and correct hocks.

Karen Lee

From: kentruth Sent: 26/01/2006 17:11
Allow me to throw somemore fuel on the fire, concerning sickle hocks / sickle hocked. After reading Karen and Patience's posts and speaking with Karen on the phone, I headed for the books. One that I have found useful in the past is Rachel Page Elliot's "New Dog Steps", using her comparative skeletal diagrams helped me get a better picture of the hock/hock joint, or maybe better referred to as the TARSAL bone , where the tibia/fibula meet from the second thigh, and the metatarsals meet from the rear pastern. Hence a joint bone. the canine equivilant of the heel bone in humans. Maybe better said as the ankle joint.

I will paraphrase her definition. term derived from the farm tool with a rigid angle where the handle meets the blade. In the canine, Sickle hocked action is stiff shuffling almost no use/ flex of the joint to help in forward propulsion. A dog with sickle-hocks usually stands with pasterns angled slightly forward.

I have always understood the whole sickle hock thing as something you see on the stack, but also see from the side while the animal is moving. Because of the curve of the bone (tarsal) the rear pastern(metatarsals) and toes are always forward of 90*(degrees) the ability of the joint is compremised. The dog when it is moving is pushing off of the ground with its toes, think of a sprinter pushing off with the ball of his foot. The curve of the bone doesn't allow the full amount of extension of the joint, compared to the dog who is not sickle-hocked.

Hence the dog with SICKLE HOCKS will have SICKLE-HOCKED movement.

Just my opinion.


From: Karasar1 Sent: 27/01/2006 01:45
Hence the dog with SICKLE HOCKS will have SICKLE-HOCKED movement.

Just my opinion.


Lesley and Others:

I have hesitated from posting on this discussion and there have been MANY good comments. Some I agree with and some I do not.

Lesley is CORRECT in my experience. In my experience Karen's post of the dog with the "Overangulated" rear, although not standing sickle hocked "per say" will MOVE sickle hocked. A dog does NOT have to stand sickle hocked to move that way. In my experience I would find it difficult to believe he would present the proper movement. But I could be wrong!!

MOST of the whippets in the ring now ARE sickle hocked. We see few with correct rear movement. Karen was correct in saying that rear angulation has nothing to do with it. A big sweepy rear CAN move with drive behind if properly balanced and the rest of the dog's conformation is correct.

Our AWC Whippet standard states, "....hind legs have strong propelling power"

Sickle hocked dogs cannot meet the standard. Don't even get me going on the "Whippet Hitch" that we see all the time now!!!!!!!!!

Kerrie Kuper
Karasar Whippets since 1967

From: surreyhill Sent: 27/01/2006 22:39
" A dog does NOT have to stand sickle hocked to move that way."

Kerrie's view is in line with the AKC's definition, as AKC defines it as a moving fault.

I happen to agree with Lesley's post, in that I think that a dog who is truly sickle hocked will both stand and move sicklehocked. If the dog is able to flex the hock, then no matter how it stands, it cannot be truly sicklehocked as a sickle hock is inflexible by definition. If the dog is unable to extend the hock past vertical, or it shuffles along in the rear, then it IS sicklehocked, no matter if the clever handler can somehow get the dog to stand over its hocks. I also agree that curved hocks as shown in Patience's photograph are sickle hocks by the most classical definition.

This thread has helped me clarify my thinking. It will be good to return to some of these things when we get to movement.

I do not think most of the dogs in the rings are sicklehocked, though. I think this term is overused to describe a variety of rear faults that don't fit the definition of sicklehocks. If anything, we see a lot of rears that overflex--big, kickout rears like a sporting dog tends to have. I used to see many overangulated dogs with very long, sweeping rears (including my own) and now I see rather few of those. Anything with an extreme rear up here right now looks like a freak. But if you look back at magazines from 20 years ago or more--you'll see a lot of rears so extreme and crouchy and long--and a lot of Whippets with absolute MILES of rear. The inflexible hock is still with us, but it's usually to be found on a rather moderate rear.

I think this is an area where breeders have now made so much progress that we're resorting to nitpicking, and those of us who've managed to breed out most of our angulation are hard-pressed to figure from whence to get it back. I remember when rears REALLY used to be crummy. You sure have to have a better rear now to have a hope of finishing the dog than you did back when I got started in the breed. I remember dogs with flaming obvious sickle hocks and very extreme cases of cowhocks (standing and moving) which went right on through, no problem.

But maybe there are regional differences. I am interested to hear from any non-US exhibitors who are reading this thread if sickle hocks are much of a hot topic in their breed rings. My impression of England when I went some years back was that they didn't have any kind of big driving rears, but they also had nothing sickle hocked. Everything was just very moderate behind and the most common fault I saw was closer rears or somewhat hocky rears. But no obvious sickle hocks at Crufts.

From: robersk Sent: 27/01/2006 23:45
Karen Lee is so level headed and informative - I wish she would do all new judges seminars and become a judge !! I have truely enjoyed this thread so much. I agree that we see very little sickle hock in the North East- It used to be more prevelent a few years back. I cannot wait until you start working on the movement end of this . To me the biggest problem I see at shows is pitter patter gait when the standard clearly states powerful gait is a main consideration. This I will never understand - I have attendend shows with 30-50 whippets last year and could count on one hand powerful gait.

Thread continued in next post as exceeded maximum length
User avatar
WW Manager
Posts: 10422
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 4:31 pm
Location: Dorset, England (originally Ontario, Canada)
Whippet Archives Link: 7231

Re: A Hosted Discussion: The Whippet Standard

Postby chelynnah » Fri Dec 19, 2008 10:37 pm

Continued from above post as exceeded maximum length

From: SueHop Sent: 28/01/2006 00:16
Can someone please explain "well let down" hocks? I have had it explained to me a number of different ways, but I am still not at all clear on the visual.


From: surreyhill Sent: 28/01/2006 01:32
Well, you know what they say, Karen Roberson, about what those who can't "do", do, don't you?

That's right, TEACH. I must be a good teacher because the people I mentor always end up kicking my ass in the ring.

Anyhow, I assure you I'll slag off my own dogs plenty when the movement part comes around, since I'm no doubt a major contributer to the lack of powerful gait you see locally, but I think that is a portion of the standard which is open to varying interpretations. Powerful is an interesting word. It has many connotations. How does a graceful, feminine, 26 pound 19" Whippet bitch show "POWER" in gait?

A very interesting point to consider at a later time.

From: surreyhill Sent: 28/01/2006 01:41
Well-let down means having short hocks, low hocks, short metatarsals, etc.

This has practically become "canned language" for breed standards as all sorts of standards from Bulldogs to Bassetts to Greyhounds asks for it. It is usually accompanied by the other canned language "Stifles well bent".

No doubt, this means well-bent for THAT BREED and hocks well let down for THAT BREED.

In Whippets, we usually find a lower hock to give the dog's total outline a more pleasing finished effect. It is also not a bad quality in a sprinter as many of the speed galloping breeds tend to have shorter hocks as a proportion to overall height at the hip.

Longer hocks can be found on some males at times, but generally, this isn't one of the big areas of emphasis in judging.

I don't think I've ever seen a Whippet with hocks which were too low.

From: whippetwatch/Mary Magee Sent: 28/01/2006 02:05
A low hock also gives a dog more endurance, due to the need of less energy spent to create more power you have more endurance. It carries more propelling power. One more thing about this is to think of a pole used to move a stone, the shorter the pole, the less force needed to create a higher power ratio (I hope that's coming across clear).


From: surreyhill Sent: 28/01/2006 02:11
That's a good explanation, Mary, about why a low hock is a good quality in a Whippet.

How does this translate to horses? Horses have very different hind leg structure than dogs although many of the terms are the same (Arabian standards, I think, ask for a well let down hock). Do some breeds of horses have shorter metatarsals than others?

From: pixelwhips Sent: 28/01/2006 04:14
Wow am I learning alot from this thread! Many thanks to all those explaining the different terms and parts of the standard. Ok, quick question, could someone please explain 'knuckling over'. I always thought it referred to the knuckle of the toe, but one of the photos on this thread referred to the wrist joint, so I'm confused.


From: surreyhill Sent: 28/01/2006 04:28
Knuckling over TOTALLY pertains to the pastern, or wrist joint.

I found a photo elsewhere of a knuckled-over pastern in a Cardigan Corgi:

http://cardicommentary.de/images/Knuckl ... ult_S2.jpg

From: pixelwhips Sent: 28/01/2006 04:37
Oh WOW! Got it! Thanks for the link, Karen.


From: whippetwatch/Mary Magee Sent: 28/01/2006 22:36
Karen asked how my post translates to horses ... in all honesty ;) it's a different species and a lot doesn't translate from one to another no more so than from a cheeta to a whippet. Both run, both are fast, both are mammals, both do a DSG (double suspension gallop) but as to fronts, a dog's is totally different than a cat's like a horse's rear is very different from a dog's in how they function.

I lived on a morgan show farm for awhile and it was interesting watching them. Horses' backs, from what I was taught, are more of a fixed spine in turn they can be weight bearers unlike a dog or cat.

Hock length in the different horse breeds always have amazed me, just like with girraffs (sorry for the poor spelling). I watch them walk and am amazed!

From the arabian horse standard:
The gaskins are long and well muscled. The hocks are large and flat with points well defined.

**This was the only reference I could find about hocks in their standard.

From: Patience Sent: 28/01/2006 23:06
The only double suspension gallop a horse does is in 19th century paintings!!!! A gallop in a horse gait is a four beat gait: 1-leading rear hind leg, 2-diagonal hind and front legs, 3-front leg (bearing all 1200 pounds plus rider), then 4-all four tucked together in the air- the only period of suspension, then the beat goes on with the leading hind leg.
Horses' backs must be very flexible, and I believe that if our whippets came in 900 to 1300 pound models they could carry us with no problem, thought I would need to buy much bigger baggies.
I am not well versed in the trotting and pacing breeds of horses, but in the running and jumping breeds, a sickle hock was a soundness (as in absense of lameness) disaster. Curbs and bog spavins would haunt the animal.

From: Patience Sent: 28/01/2006 23:14
If you want proof of the flexibility of horses' spines, look at a bucking bronco, or at an olympic jumper on take off and landing... amazing.
P (sorry for the digression from the whippet standard!)

From: kentruth Sent: 08/02/2006 18:53
Just curious as to when we were going to get back to the discussion, I realize that people have been busy and that this post is bumping up the thread.


From: Patience Sent: 08/02/2006 19:37
Here are the last pages. We will discuss "coming and going" after this discussion of coat, color, and sidegait.
Sorry for the hiatus... wasn't sure anyone was still interested.


From: kentruth Sent: 08/02/2006 23:13
I remember a judge in the not too distant past who was bemoaning coat texture, I can paraphrase her as saying 'what ever happened to the short dense plush almost velvet- like textured coats?' I have a couple of them in my home and must say I love them, dirt slides off of them, they are wonderful to snuggle and for the most part have a lovely sheen. I also have a much more dense slightly longer coat on some of the dogs that I must say I see much more often at shows it does not have the luster of the velvety coats.

There was once a time that at any large show the entry glowed without the use of product like fine silk,what has happened?


From: SueHop Sent: 09/02/2006 00:50
I can't really tell whether a dog is put together well or not - but when you see good movement you know it without question. It is smooth and easy and beautiful.


From: dixiearrow33 Sent: 09/02/2006 01:57
I think Dwight just brought up something I was going to ask about - that is, side gait. My question is: how can you tell if a dog is moving properly in the ring if different judges ask for you to move the dog at different speeds? I would think that the faster the handler moves and the longer strides they take, the better the dog's side gait would appear. I have seen judges tell someone they're moving too fast and to slow down. That makes no sense to me, since these dogs are built for speed. So, why do judges ask for different speeds?
Again, right now, all other things being equal, it certainly seems that the parti brindles are the dogs of choice. Why, if coat is immaterial, do judges seem to be so swayed by the 'color of the day'?


From: surreyhill Sent: 09/02/2006 02:34
With regard to coat texture, so long as the coat is short and flat, you can't judge on it here in the USA, but I understand that a satin coat IS an advantage to a show Whippet in England.

I've heard many theories about this.

One is that American Whippet coats are less likely to be of that plush satin sheen texture because Americans don't breed for it. Another is that by drastically reducing the number of dilute Whippets in our lines, we've lost it and I will agree that this coat is often seen on a dilute or on a Whippet with at least one dilute parent, so maybe there's something to that. And the final qualifier would be changes in diet. Perhaps it really is good for the coat to feed a lot more table scraps.

I treasure the coat on my English Mabel. She has the glorious satin English coat. Her daughter does, too, although it's not nearly so obvious beacause she's a red brindle.

You can't judge on it, but it is sure is nice when you get it. Our two foundation bitches couldn't be more different. Ch. Whippoorwill Surrey had that very soft, sleek coat. Ch. Baywood's Surrey Hill Heather had more of a hard, flat, "hound coat".

Surrey had a bit more English import breeding close up, and maybe that accounts for it. All I can say is that the first time I went to Crufts and walked around petting Whippets, and observed many or most of them to have coats of that sort, I said to myself that I MUST have an English Whippet of my very own to pet and snuggle with.

So, I got one. And she has a satin coat and is delightful to pet and dirt doesn't stick to her at all. It just slides right off.

The snuggling has been choice, but I love my American Whippets with their firmer coats, too.

I don't think we should judge on coat in Whippets in the ring so long as it is the right length and flat and close to the skin, but my pet owner side does enjoy a satin coat and wouldn't mind having a few more of them.

Karen Lee

From: pixelwhips Sent: 09/02/2006 04:09
Could someone please explain a bit more about side movement and exactly what a judge is looking for. My understanding they are not only looking at reach and drive, but where the dogs feet come together in the middle and if they are interfering with each other, correct? At class last night we were working on finding the correct speed for our dogs (I was working labs not my whippies) and when a dog was moved to fast their feet would over lap and interfer with each other. Is this why judges as for a slower speed, like Pat said?

Oh and I have to agree with 'coat color immaterial' being 'hogwash' in the show ring here.

From: dixiearrow33 Sent: 09/02/2006 04:23
One more question: if 1/2 inch above or below stated height limits is a disqualification, then why are there not measuring wickets at ringside? I've seen some mighty large whippets at some shows. You cannot tell me that a judge can determine a 1/2" difference by eyeballing the dog. So, if we're allowing larger dogs to be shown and rewarded, then why bother stating ANY limits? I just think since it's stated to be a disqualification, then you have to uphold the standard, and the only way to be sure is to measure.


From: TruGirllDiane Sent: 09/02/2006 12:00
This is interesting . Thank you for shedding some light, Karen. Coat texture has been something that has intrigued me a lot recently. My Bonnie ( fromWhippoorwill / Peperone lineage) has a silky coat texture- kinda feels like bunny fur. . Sierra, on the other hand, has a VERY coarse coat.


From: TruGirllDiane Sent: 09/02/2006 12:12
I HAVE seen dogs measured ( with a wicket ) at local shows, Pat. Usually the judge has to send the steward somewhere looking for one, and it hold up the class at least 5 minutes. Fortunately, the dogs have always measured in. Believe it or not, one judge, actually wicketed a 6 month old puppy bitch at a show. She was barely in, and I heard the judge suggest to the owner that she not show the puppy the remainder of the weekend ( it was at a cluster ) because she may not measure in by the next judge. The owner was miffed, but the judge was trying to save the owner some grief. Until I saw this happen, I never really thought about a puppy being
DQ'd for being UNDER, but it can happen.... and three strikes and you are out.....

Diane ( who has a 22.5" boy )

From: surreyhill Sent: 09/02/2006 14:46
If you've been looking at dogs for awhile, you can get a pretty good eye for which are in and which may be out. Usually, judges only call for the wicket when they think that a certain dog is likely to be out. It takes too long to measure all of them at all-breed shows, and so the wicket is just called for if the judge thinks there might be a problem. The AKC superintendent usually only has one official wicket set and these have to be shared by all the judges. Some breeds, there's more measuring done. So the wickets tend to stay with the superintendent instead of being at ringside.

I've been to nationals where all the dogs were measured. There's time for it there, and I think that's a good idea.

Judges should measure more, and AKC wants them to measure more, but they also want them to stay on schedule and this means that they sometimes have a tradeoff between wicketing and keeping things moving and in that case, staying on schedule usually wins out.

Any exhibitor can call for the wicket on another dog when they are in the ring. They pay five dollars and if the dog they call the wicket on measures out, they get the five dollars back. I think it's still five dollars, but perhaps it has gone up. I should check the rules. But you can't call the wicket if you're a ringside spectator. You must be in the ring with the dog you're calling for the measurement on.

I've had this happen to me. There's another thing which a lot of people don't know about. You can call for the measurement on your OWN dog. I did this once, too. I was showing a dog and was well aware that ringside gossip was that the dog was oversize. So at a big show where all the gossipers were, I put my dog on the table and said to judge I was calling for my own dog to be measured. The judge was surprised, but complied. The dog measured in with room to spare and all talk of oversized dog being shown by me ceased from that day forward. ;)

As for measuring puppies, I think that the judge is within their rights to measure puppies. You can't assume they will grow more. You have to judge what you see in the ring that day. Some Whippets stop growing in height sooner than others. If you have a small puppy, you shouldn't show it until it is clearly going to measure in.

I wish more judges would measure when they are unsure rather than just dump a dog because they think it might be oversize. Here is another story from years ago--I was showing my Surrey Hill's Savannah in the classes and she was usually a contender--either points, reserve or 3rd in a big class. So, I went to this one indoor show and I won WD with a friend's dog. Then I went into the Open class with Savannah. Savannah was a long, substantial gold fawn bitch with a looooong white neck. The rest of the Open class were small, shorter-bodied, dark brindle and whites which were on the refined side. Savannah DID tower over everything in that class. She was unplaced, but the WD got BOB that day which gave him a major (there were no specials IIRC). So, I go to have the win photo taken and the judge commented to me, "Your Open bitch was certainly the best mover in the class, but I couldn't place her because I knew she was oversized." I asked why he didn't measure her out, then, and he said that he'd counted and knew it would break the major.

Savannah was 20 1/2" tall. Of course, I couldn't be hard on a judge who had just given my friend's dog a major, but I did take great pleasure in telling him that it was not that Savannah was so huge but that the bitches he was comparing her to were so small, and she would have measured in with room to spare.

One wonders how often this situation occurs and the judge never says anything. Maybe that's why some big dogs don't get measured but don't get the points either. Maybe the judges are trying to hold points for their winners.

From: LindaZaworski Sent: 09/02/2006 15:19
In all my years, I have only seen one whippet measured out for being too small. But I have sure seen my share of them measured out for being too tall. I love your story about Savannah, Karen. The weekend Nemo finished he was measured (actually, Nemo - who is 22 1/2 exactly - not 22 3/8 nor 22 5/8's) was measured alot. He is not only a tall dog, but is the only true alpha I have ever had. He walks into a venue and takes command. Big personality. Annie Clark was the judge. I figured she liked him from the moment we stepped into the ring. When it was our turn, she called for the wicket and while we were waiting she said to me "I can never figure out if the problem is with a small handler with a big dog with attitude or if the dog is really out" I just asked her if that was, perhaps, why she handled alot of big poodles in her day <VBG> Anyway, the wicket arrived and I stacked Nemo in a natural pose. I did not have his head down - (I am smarter than to try to put one over on Mrs. Clark) she slipped the wicket over his back. Then she actually lifted his head with her hand (a HUGE no-no. The judge is not supposed to touch the dog at all during a measurement) He measured in and was WD for a 5 point major. He repeated the win the following day to finish. I also had a judge tell me he only measures the dogs he likes. And I think that holds true alot, probably ecause of time constraints. At least I have never been measured and lost. But I do not special him. Lerned my lesson the weekend after he finished. There was a bitch in season ringside and I swear the boy hit 26 inches before we ever stepped into the ring!

Linda Z

From: lanruvi Sent: 09/02/2006 20:58
Hey Linda Z,

Would you be willing to email the names of the judges who put up your big dog? I have a friend with a lovely dog (a littermate to one of my whippets) who is a big boy. I would love to pass any names of judges who would perhaps reward a big dog with a lovely outline, and a big side gate, oh, and who also MIGHT be able to get over the fact that he's a dilute, but with a fairly dark eye, for a dilute that is...


From: pjrideout Sent: 09/02/2006 22:49
HHhmmm... great insight shared, Karen L and Linda Z. The "why to and why not to measure". And, what to look and listen for during the process, as well.


From: robersk Sent: 09/02/2006 22:59
The standard clearly states powerful gait with reach and powerful rear drive - great freedom of action from the side. I have shown many dogs like this that can certainly compete in the field. My issue with this is why can't breeders try to get both when choosing a breeding program? It is a very pronounced part of the whippet standard and you most certainly can get both whether it be with moderate rear angulation or alot of rear angulation. I have shown both types so I am not sure that some of these theories are true. Maybe Karen Lee can shed some more light on movement which is very important in the show ring . I feel anyone could win under any honest judge with a good structured, sound, great moving whippet no matter what color over a mediocre parti. However about color- Clearly judges who do not reward light eyes or dilutes are just going by the written standard that says eyes should be dark -Its up to the whippet breeders to get this changed in the standard if self colored or light eyes are to be accepted by judges. It is not the judges problem if they do not feel they should reward a dog if they feel this is truely an undesirable trait. If we are not going to change it then breeders who don't win with dilutes and complain maybe need to research and find judges who will accept light eyes or accept that it would be harder to win.
For anyone who wants to learn more about gait -it is truely helpful to actually sit with someone knowledgeable at a show or preferably a National to find examples of great free actioned moving whippets compared to ones that just pound and run fast and take alot of steps. I have learned more at Nationals and by watching National tapes that anywhere else.

From: Patience Sent: 10/02/2006 00:20
A new trend that is a pet peeve of mine is the confusion between powerful rear DRIVE, and a reverse can-can kick. The latter looks very impressive and showy, but is totally incorrect for a running breed. (I think it's a good thing for the Cockers and Brittanies who are supposed to trot around all day looking for birds with their noses working ...)
What is DRIVE? It is that force which propels the dog forward, right? So when, in the motion of the hind legs does that happen? After the hind leg has left the ground and is in the air behind the dog? NO!!!! That is when the hind leg is doing nothing to propel the dog; it is when the leg is useless.
DRIVE is when the hind leg reaches under the dog, hits the ground and pushes the dog FORWARD. Yes, I want to see a free moving rear assembly, so that I know that when the dog is galloping he will have a complete range of motion, but I want to see the hind leg reach under the dog and DRIVE the dog FORWARD without the wasted movement of the showy rear can-can kick.
It is the same as the front reach. I want the reach to come from the shoulder, NOT the elbow. It is the shoulder that grabs the most ground in the gallop, but at the trot, movement that comes from the elbow can be very showy (think terrier) but not correct.
I am a bit of a movement fanatic...

From: LindaZaworski Sent: 10/02/2006 02:26
Patience, you have hit on a couple of pet peeves of mine and all in one post. That cocker spaniel kick is so wrong and so awful. But my real gripe is that judges don't seem to know what an open shoulder means anymore. Not only that, but breeders and owners don't, apparently, know either or we woudn't see so many advertisements featuring what the advertiser feels is great movement and the front action is all from the elbow. People just don't know anymore and that is a real shame. I remember a photo of a top winning special from a few years back. The photo was used extensively and it showed the whippet moving on the side. In that one photo I could spot 4 movement faults.

Linda Z

From: surreyhill Sent: 10/02/2006 04:12
There's a lot to talk about here, and I'll probably come back to it tomorrow. I don't think there's a very good consensus about side movement despite the fact that the standard's description is pretty clear.

I think most people would agree what a sound true gait is on the line. Not so sure we'd all get along swimmingly if we had to try to agree on which side movers were the best out of a large group of Whippets.

Anyhow, I have a marked up, scuffed up, and otherwise digitally fuzzed up an already very fuzzy photo of a young Whippet trotting. It was taken at a slight angle, and was such a small shot that when I blew it up, a lot of the detail left it, so I've marked the pads in light grey so it's obvious where the feet of the dog are.

Here it is, and being the engineer's daughter that I am, I've marked it up to help illustrate a few points:

In my opinion, this young Whippet is showing some good attributes of side movement that you look for.

First, her right front paw is striking the ground well in front of her chest. This means that her reach is true reach--in other words, the front paw pulls in the ground from in front of her. A lot of Whippets have apparent reach, but if you really look for where the paw strikes the ground, the paw is not contacting the ground until it is nearly under the chest. I call this the stormtrooper front end, for obvious reasons.

Second, the front pastern on the left side is has been picked up and is about to be carried forward roughly parallel to the ground. Many Whippets curl the pad up more towards the leg when carrying it forward, and this is not only wasted motion, but gives the impression of a "busy" action to the pasterns during trotting.

Third, the left front paw, having been picked up, is just slightly forward of the left rear pad which is touching down (fuschia vertical line). It looks likely to me that this rear paw is going to be hitting right where the front pad was, which is what you want if the dog is balanced in leg length, body length ratios. You can try this with any of your own dogs in damp sand or a light dusting of fresh snow. Trot them at your usual show ring gaiting speed in as straight a line as you can, and it should be evident if their rear pads are striking where their front pad just picked up.

Fourth, the length of front stride and rear stride--the distance between where the front pads are at maximum forward reach and the distance between where the rear pads are at that same point in the trot, are equal. (bright teal lines) This shows that the trot is balanced. More than likely, a balanced trot is a smooth trot. I think a lot of the hitching we see comes from an effort to correct foot timing when front and rear strides are unequal. A little hop or skip in there seems to restore the comfort level for a stride or two.

So, all of this pretty much falls under the heading of good general dog knowledge of how a sound, balanced trot should appear from the side. Some breeds have a bit more extension, others less, but these ratios are pretty common to most breeds which aren't distorted in body length or conformation (like Bassets and Daschunds, for example, with their short legs and long bodies, could never be expected to have their rear pads track where their front pads picked up).

Fifth, I feel (and this is MY OPINION) that the degree of rearward flexion and extension of this Whippet's right hock is as much as you should ever need to see on a sprint galloping breed. This, to me, is perfectly adequate, and anything more than this is an exaggeration. The left rear pad is pretty clearly coming well under the dog and will therefore be able to provide the thrust that Patience describes. The right hock is not doing any work in this picture, but by remaining in the air it is creating the proper foot-timing. And this degree of flexion is adequate for me to determine that the dog is not sickle hocked. This is well past the vertical.

I have spent a lot of years looking at some of the top performers from the track and the field, and I have never seen a single one of them with an exaggerated kick-out rear. Not a one. I've seen every other movement fault in the book, but I've never seen that big kick-out sporting dog rear on fast sprinting Whippet of ANY bloodline. If anything, the side gait tends towards daisyclipping, but restricted from the side in the show ring sense.

IMO, the big-flexing kick out rear is not a functional rear for a sprint galloping breed. It's a rear I associate more with trailing scenthounds.

But, that's just my opinion and wow, there sure are a lot of bigtime authorities who don't see it that way, so take it for what it's worth.

Sorry this isn't a great picture, but I've never been one to collect movement shots. Maybe tomorrow I can go through old magazines and find some long dead dog which has a clearer photo to use.

Karen Lee

From: surreyhill Sent: 10/02/2006 04:23
Ok, I'm going to break my own rule and use a dog who has bred on and is still alive (although DEFINITELY retired from all showing) because I think this is a useful photo in the context of the one above.

At this point in this dog's trot, she's a beat or so ahead of the dog I pictured above. She's JUST starting to pick up that front pad on the right side and the rear foot is just about to slot right into it. The only part of her feet which are touching the carpet ar the toenails of the right front and the left rear.

You can see that at this point in the trot, her foot timing is perfect. The opposing feet are in the exactly the same position--the right front and left rear are just about to leave the ground while the left front and right rear are just about to contact it.

This photo looks as though she's a bit longer-strided in the front (might be angle, or might be real) but it does illustrate quite well the extension of the rear hock as it finishes its final push-off and also the rear paw falling right into the track of the front.

From: pixelwhips Sent: 10/02/2006 14:18
Wow, I love this thread! I am learning so much from everyone. Thanks Karen for posting the photos along with the explanation as that is most helpful. Any photos to compare front reach coming from the shoulder verses the elbow?

Linda, about wicketing, do you know where I can find more information in the rule book about it? Particularly, when it comes to a judge not being able to touch a dog? I'm interested b/c one of my labs has been wicket not whippies.


From: Patience Sent: 10/02/2006 14:29
Actually, this new photo shows to me an excellent example of the desired whippet sidegait better by far than your first one, and I'll tell why I feel it's so. It also demonstrates why a good judge doesn't want you to fly around the ring at warp speed.

the first photo:

This dog is trotting so fast that she's gotten a little off beat. She is in the period of suspension (all four feet are suspended in the air), but her leading diagonal pair (front right and rear left) are just about to land, though the other diagonal pair has already started its forward movement, more so with the left front. But if you look at the muscles of right rear, you can see it's pulling forward now, not pushing back. There is a loss of balance, a loss of efficiency, and you get the notion of a little "flailing". There is wasted motion there.


Now look at this dog. Same period of suspension, all four feet in the air, but they are working in perfect "beat". Leading diagonal pair is at full reach, and following diagonal pair is in full push. Notice how the left hind leg has driven the dog forward without the leg flailing uselessly back and up? Ideally the right hind would have reached a half an inch farther forward, to start the powerful drive, but that's in a perfect world.
See how the reach comes right from her shoulder? The elbow participates simply by staying open, not by trying to lift the leg. (To understand movement that comes from the elbow instead of the shoulder, think of a Russian straight leg military march - that is flashy but those poor soldiers wouldn't get very far very fast trying to run like that!!!)
If anyone lese has some movement photos we could use, please EMAIL THEM TO ME and I will disguise the dogs or do outlines or something.

From: Patience Sent: 10/02/2006 15:28
A member sent me this photo, which I outlined:

In this photo, we have the same period of suspension, and to my mind, we have a winner!!! The dog is in perfect balance and rhythm. Everything is long, low and efficient. The leading hind is going to fall in the footprint of the trailing front, without striking. The trailing rear has done its job of driving the dog forward with power and is going to come forward to drive again without wasting motion and energy kicking up. The front leading leg is reaching well under the dog's chin, straight from the shoulder.
This photo borders on perfection!!! (To my eye, anyway.)

From: surreyhill Sent: 10/02/2006 15:43
I don't disagree with what you say, Patience, but before I blew up the first photo I used, there was something that was apparent which perhaps isn't due to the poor quality of the photo.

The first dog is not in a suspended trot in that photo. Both her right front and left rear pads ARE on the ground and are already pulling and exerting forward force. So naturally, the right rear leg is being brought forward at this point in the trot. I think it's a more awkward stage in the trot and you are right that the dog may be being gaited a bit fast or be brought along with a bit too much tension on the leash by the handler (who I have digitally-removed. The second photo is at the moment of true suspension. That's why I said it was a beat ahead of the first photo. That is the best and most useful time to photograph a dog at the trot to show the balance you describe. If you wait a tick, you get the front and rear legs being brought forward and it's not a full extension any more.The second dog was photographed at the moment of extension.

I don't disagree that in the photo the first dog appears to have more lift in the rear. I also think that how open her side gait appears is more typical of what people look for nowadays, while your line drawing is probably the more classical correct daisy-clipping gait for a Whippet. Both these Whippets are generally thought to be good side-movers. I certainly, knowing them both, have observed them to have a very smooth action at the trot. What's most important to me is to see where the front paw actually touches down--in front of the chest or directly beneath it. This is a fault that speed of gaiting cannot camouflage if you look for it, but otherwise, you can get the impression that the dog is reaching like hell if you are only looking how far out in front of the dog the paws are flying.

Which brings me to my favorite question to ponder--how is a judge to decide if a Whippet's gait looks "powerful"? Isn't this a disadvantage to 19" bitches compared to 22" dogs? It has always seemed to me that our smaller bitches who gait well appear light, graceful, fluid and smooth, but not necessarily POWERFUL in the way that a big, substantial, long male does.

I think that the kick-out rears given the impression of a powerful gait, while the fluid, low, sound daisy clip does not.

But I would like to hear how others interpret the word "Powerful" when looking at the standard's description of gait. The strongest dog I have in my house in terms of ability to say, pull a cart or pull me off my feet is by no means the one with the most extreme reach. Can power be seen at the trot? Doesn't power come from the back muscles and rear muscles? How can a small Whippet appear powerful compared to bigger ones in the ring?

From: robersk Sent: 10/02/2006 22:52
OK Karen Lee - help me here - I see no sidegait at all on dog 1 - dog 2 (who I was lucky enought to show once in a a while) is a great example of correct movement or am I reading the posts wrong ??
Karen R

From: surreyhill Sent: 10/02/2006 23:13
I didn't put #1 up as an example of IDEAL, but to illustrate certain points.

However, if you see no side gait there, then we clearly have a disagreement.

I think she shows many of the traits of sidegait, the most important of which is to have the front paw striking the ground well in front of the chest. While there are things that can be quibbled with, there are also things about the shot I think are useful.

I might be wrong, though. I promise I won't be offended if everyone thinks that's an example of horrible side gait.

I think it's pretty good, just maybe snapped at less flattering point in the trot as she is starting to bring both a hind leg and a front leg forward.

From: surreyhill Sent: 10/02/2006 23:37
I dug back through a lot of old photos and found a picture of a top winner from many years gone by trotting. This was part of a photoshoot taken for magazine advertising, but I don't know if it was ever used. I hope not, as it illustrates a major side gait fault.

This is a photo taken at the same point in time of the trot that my photo #2 was taken, the one that at least Patience and Karen R. seem to feel illustrates good side movement, so this is for comparison purposes. In this shot, the four feet are all off the ground, so the trot is "flying".

What this trot shows is overreaching in the rear, which is sometimes called "crossing over". The rear foot is having to travel to the outside of the front pad's track to avoid interference, therefore, if you did my little exercise in the snow or the damp sand to see if your dog's rear feet would drop into the track left by the front foot, you'd see that the rear foot was striking forward, and to the outside, of the track left by the front foot. Far from double-tracking, this dog is quadruple tracking. It's also pretty evident that by the time her front pad touches down, it's going to be a lot closer to being right under her breastbone than in either my examples #1 and #2.

Here is a photo of the dog stacked. I would like for everyone who is still following this thread to tell me WHY her gait appears thus in the above photo, instead of looking as it does in my first two photos, or Patience's line drawing.

As you can see, this was a Best in Show winner in her day. When we first got into the breed (1979) we got all the back issues of Gazehound and Whippet Magazines and they used to have breeder forums that asked prominent breeders who was the "Best they ever saw". I can't tell you how many lists this bitch made, and for all I know, it was the honest to God truth.

No matter how much we slag our current dogs for having various deficiencies, I think that the dogs of today have made a lot of progress towards fitting the standard ever better.

Now, bonus points to the first person who can identify this famous Best in Show winning, Top 5 Whippet.

Karen Lee

From: llpoolej Sent: 10/02/2006 23:44
Before I read your post, what popped into my very uneducated about whippets head was "Is that supposed to be correct? Isn't that dog going wide behind trying to miss the front foot?"

Having ridden dressage and hunter jumpers, I find it quite easy to see dog gaits. The trots are essentially the same and essentially looking for similar things

The bitch looks as if she is a bit short in the back making it hard for her to clear the front leg. I may be wrong, but that is what the photo looks like

I would have no idea who she is. I am pretty clueless in general

From: pixelwhips Sent: 10/02/2006 23:54
Ok I'm just guessing here, but I would say her front movement is because of her straight shoulder and short upper arm and I would think her rear movement has to do with her short back and steep croup, correct? Perhaps she not balanced, but I'm not good at comparing angles yet.

From: pixelwhips Sent: 10/02/2006 23:56
By rear movement I meant overreaching. Oh and I have no idea who she is.

From: pixelwhips Sent: 11/02/2006 00:05
Ok last post I swear. I went back to the anatomy portion of this thread and now I'm not sure if this bitch is short in 'back' or 'loin' or both, but from measuring I see is definitely taller than she is long. A little help here.

From: KattalystOSH Sent: 11/02/2006 00:35
Someone recently asked why judges might ask a handler to move at different speeds. (I don't show my whippet, so please excuse me if this is wrong). I was speaking to someone who has shown whippets in the past and commented that my girl moves well at certain speeds, but gets a little "egg-beater" like in her hind end at certain speeds, especially if the floor is at all slippery.
This person commented that when you show a dog, you learn what speeds your individual dog looks best moving and how to angle ever so slightly if it helps hide a fault. I just had to wonder when I read the person's comment if the judges ask for different speeds to see if he dog moves consistantly (within reason).
I am really enjoying this thread - thank you to everyone who has contributed

From: ZoeyWhippet Sent: 11/02/2006 02:54
The bitch from way back when is Ch. Stoney Meadows Moon Mist, a winner of 3 BIS. The picture I have of her is not quite as "extreme" as the one Karen L posted.
[photo no longer available]

And here's another picture for you all to critique.
[photo no longer available]

diane (who is keeping her comments to herself, but taking it all in) Thanks for a great thread guys.

From: surreyhill Sent: 11/02/2006 03:07
Well, that's Saxon Shore Flashdance, who is widely considered one of the great extended side movers of all time.

I would say that bitch probably revolutionized what show ring judges look for in side gait in this breed.

From: BrigitteGreen Sent: 11/02/2006 14:15
Wow, I think that second photo that Diane posted has got to be one of the best sidegaits I have ever seen, or maybe just flashy, but WOW!

As for the bitch in question, her hocks don't seem to be let down at all. Her back legs are practically straight. No wonder she appears to be tripping over herself, and yes, her back looks exceedingly short to me, too. No offense intended, but with what I see in the ring today, she may have been a Best in Show winner then, but I don't think she would be today.


From: Patience Sent: 11/02/2006 15:17
Ladies and gentlemen PLEASE NO NAMES!!! We've gotten through 300 posts with anonymity of the subjects, let's not lose it now!!!

Here are more member-supplied examples:

This first outline, might give the impression of "great, flashy sidegait", but what's really going on? The rear driving leg is not reaching under the dog, but falling quite short. It's a wonderful example of front movement which is coming from the elbow rather than the shoulder. See how the leading front leg is being lifted up by bending the elbow? Now look at the photos below, and see how the front leading leg is being extended from the shoulder, low and long and with no wasted motion or effort.

And these two photos were provided by a member who wanted to answer the question posed by Karen Lee:
how is a judge to decide if a Whippet's gait looks "powerful"? Isn't this a disadvantage to 19" bitches compared to 22" dogs? It has always seemed to me that our smaller bitches who gait well appear light, graceful, fluid and smooth, but not necessarily POWERFUL in the way that a big, substantial, long male does.


The bitch pictured above is 19", and there is no doubt of her power and her textbook perfect sidegait.

Whippet power - we should be looking for little sportscars, NOT those big trucks with the oversized tires that climb over piles of other trucks! Porches, not tractor pulls. And, if I could have my say with judges, I would BEG them to remember that they are judging WHIPPETS, NOT GREYHOUNDS. This is not to say that a 22 inch male can't be as typey as a 19 inch bitch; he absolutely can. But he should look like a whippet.

I see a lot of Italian Greyhound in the old pictures, but before we start singing our modern praises of how we've improved the breed so much, I think we need to consider if we've swung the pendulum too far the other way. I see a lot of Greyhound in our modern pictures.


From: surreyhill Sent: 12/02/2006 00:05
The Irish brindle bitch you have posted photos of, to me, has the degree of extension fore-and-aft, that I feel is perfectly acceptable and adequate for our breed. Anything more than that, IMO, is not needed and might even be an exaggeration, however eyecatching it might be. I agree that shows quite good and powerful side movement on a bitch

I wish I'd never posted my marked-up photo since it's not at the same beat in the trot as maximum fore-and-aft, and I think people are going to miss the point I was trying to make which was the relative position of the feet during the time when the extended foreleg is PULLING the dog forward. You can't have a dog bring that hind leg foward without lifting it at least somewhat, or else the tops of the toes will drag on the ground. So, my first photo was at perhaps a more awkward point of the trot, but any good-moving dog could be photographed in such a transition point.

Here is the problem with side movement, from my perspective, as someone who wants a reasonably speedy Whippet who can also win under a plurality of judges in the conformation ring....

I do not think the flying trot as shown in some of the impressive movement photos is ideal for our breed, based on my own observations of how the really fast Whippets trot, but I cannot blame a judge for rewarding it based on how our standard is currently written.

For me, I don't think the Whippet should lower its center of gravity on the move, and have a flying trot like a German Shepherd.

But the standard is not clear on this point. I don't think there should ever be a point on the trot when there is not at least the toes or toenails of one foot touching the ground The reason that I think this is that the laxity of connective tissue (tendons/ligaments) which allows for a flying trot (suspended in midair) to occur is inconsistent with the way those same tendons and ligaments must act for that dog to have a truly fast double-suspension gallop over a relatively short distance. I have been watching fast Whippets trot for many years now (ok, decades) and I've never once seen a Whippet of above-average sprint speed at the gallop exhibit a flying trot. Now, granted, many have a trot which diverges somewhat too much from our standard to reward them for it in the ring, but many others are simply daisy-clipping, machinelike gaiters which have enough extension you wouldn't call them mincing or hackney, but which in no respect have a flying or suspended trot.

So, to me, once a Whippet's gait is equal to your brindle Irish marked bitch's, I'm happy enough to move on to other aspects of the breed standard to separate that dog from the others. Additional extension fore-and-aft wouldn't impress me in the absence of superior type or coming and going soundness.

But, based on the standard as currently worded, I cannot fault a judge for wanting MORE.

This is something that all breeders who are interested in multipurpose run smack up against sooner or later.

I was present at some of the shows where the US Whippets who are now widely considered to be icons of side movement "came out". I was as impressed as anyone in the gallery with the promise of what Whippet side gait COULD BE For a number of years, that was what I strived for

I had never tried to race my show dogs or really looked hard at how the best speed sprinting dogs trotted, I'd still be very firmly seated in the "flying trot" camp. As it is, I now want a good, smooth, level daisy-clipping gait with balanced extension fore-and-aft. Anything above that is gravy for the show ring, but probably not so good for their racing performance.

It's really a dilemma, for multi-purpose breeders, judge education speakers, and judges themselves. How much is the right amount, and is anything more than that (however aesthetically pleasing) TOO MUCH?

From: surreyhill Sent: 12/02/2006 01:11
With regard to BIS Ch. Stoney Meadows Moon Mist--this bitch was a great winner in her era and a very great favorite of her owner. She was quite well-regarded by many other fanciers of her time.

What was it that Isaac Newton said? "If I see farther, it is because I stand on the shoulders of giants".

Or to word it a different way, "we cannot understand where we are going unless we know from whence we've come".

Moon Mist's side gait would never fly today, and I don't expect any contemporary observer to admire it. But it's useful to study her. Her owner is dead and she has no living descendents, as it happens. She is certainly not without good and admirable qualities and was quite a good Whippet of her day and obviously a competitive one, which was rewarded by many authorities with depth of knowledge of the breed and the competition within it. IMO, she is a style of Whippet of a sort which has longer, reachier individuals still representing today. The judges who put up Moon Mist back in the early 70's, some of them, are still judging and rewarding a feminine, smooth, shapely look whether or not it's the biggest mover in the ring. Her handler is now an AKC licensed judge. It's useful to look at her, and think about which of her good points have carried forward in our concept of the breed, and which others we have discarded.

The most obvious reason she overreached or crossed over in the rear would be that she is less long than she is tall. This goes back to the much earlier discussion of proportions. But one could also render her longer by giving her much less topline. One could shorten her 2nd thigh. There is more than one way to bring Moon Mist into balance so that she did not reach with her rear foot foreward of her front foot in gaiting.

What's lovely about her? Well, her long head, her large eye, the deep brisket and the fact that she's clearly both all Whippet and all girl. And she's very smooth and elegant. You couldn't call her overangulated or sickle hocked. Quite the opposite, in fact.

But we like something different nowadays. Still, you can find echoes of her in some of today's admired top winners.

I have a little picture book of the earliest Whippet Champions from England. I should scan these photos and share them on this thread. Some of the cornerstone dogs of our breed would never have a prayer of winning a point today, but you have to look at them in the context of how they helped to set and standardize type in the early days of our breed. I think it is useful to study the admired dogs of the past whether or not one would put them up over today's best, in order to have an appreciation of the more classical and timeless qualities of breed type.

Karen Lee

From: Patience Sent: 12/02/2006 14:52
This is the "coming and going" or "down and back"; how the dog's legs travel at the trot, moving straight on towards the viewer, and moving straight away.

Here we are at the last page of our illustrated AWC whippet standard. But this certainly doesn't mean it's the end of the discussion, by any means.
Nearly all of the photos posted on this thread are saved in the WHIPPET STANDARD ALBUM if you'd like to have another look through.
I have enjoyed this discussion immensely, and do hope it continues for a while. I want to thank WW founder Lida (Kandu_Whippets) for the idea!

From: Karasar1 Sent: 21/02/2006 03:06
Thought it might be time to bump this up on the board. Kerrie Kuper

From: dixiearrow33 Sent: 21/02/2006 04:53
Karen, I think it would be a great idea to scan those photos of the earlier English whippets, and point out those things that were desirable, and why they've changed. It does seem that I am seeing more flatter backed whippets in the ring, and I'd like to know why judges think this is okay. How does it improve the dog? Also, it would be helpful to explain a bit more about wasted motion. Could you find some photos where the dog is doing that can-can thing in the rear, or maybe that high-stepping gait in the front?

From: Patience Sent: 07/09/2007 13:20
Here is the gait discussion of the standard (go back through more pages for more). Bumping as someone asked on another thread


Thread continued in next post as exceeded maximum length
User avatar
WW Manager
Posts: 10422
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 4:31 pm
Location: Dorset, England (originally Ontario, Canada)
Whippet Archives Link: 7231

Re: A Hosted Discussion: The Whippet Standard

Postby chelynnah » Fri Dec 19, 2008 10:37 pm

Continued from above post as exceeded maximum length

From: 7777LisaJ Sent: 15/12/2008 18:10
What a great discussion this was! Needs a new BUMP!


From: Chelynnah1 Sent: 15/12/2008 18:36
Oy - Lisa - don't be bumpin' stuff!!! It's making more work for me transferring the archives

Wendy (just kidding)

From: 7777LisaJ Sent: 15/12/2008 19:53

From: Pantheon-Whippets Sent: 15/12/2008 20:22
Wendy, is there a reason why so many of the drawings/pics are absent? It's a wonderful thread and hopefully when it's moved over, it will contain all the illustrative photos/drawings.

From: kentruth Sent: 15/12/2008 20:29
Charles many of the missing pictures have to do with the move and photo albums. I feel quite sure once all the packing and unpacking is done, that pictures will be restored and perhaps with the AWC being in Atlanta in 2009 with the potential of drawing a very large entry plus attendees perhaps we can continue the discussion.


From: Chelynnah1 Sent: 15/12/2008 22:22
Hi Charles, actually the missing photos will be photos that individual members had put up and then if/when they cleared space in their albums they will have gone. The original photos are all in a photo album on the photo board and will be included in the archived thread on the new board

Wendy (who is personally downloading each and every photo and re-uploading it onto the new site!!)

From: Pantheon-Whippets Sent: 16/12/2008 02:26
TY Lesley and Wendy. Actually I had a "duh" moment there (shush Lesley ... lol). Really a marvelous and informative thread.

Wendy, you mentioned an English video in this thread that was available on EBAY.uk, could you tell me the name of it?

From: Chelynnah1 Sent: 16/12/2008 05:05
It's called The Whippet - here's a link to a current auction

http://cgi.ebay.com/WHIPPET-VIDEO-Every ... .m20.l1116 Here is the link to the seller's ebay store http://stores.ebay.com/Dog-Show-Magazines. The seller is abbyraffles if anyone is ever looking for it.

It was produced by Gay Robertson Moonlake Productions. Even she doesn't have any anymore.

It is a fantastic video if you can get your hands on it.


From: Pantheon-Whippets Sent: 16/12/2008 07:30
TY Wendy!

From: Tontar- Sent: 16/12/2008 21:02
At first I thought this was a new discussion, but it looks like it happened about 2 years ago. Is it being revisited now, as a new or continued discussion? If so, great. I was not a member of WW 2 years ago.


From: kentruth Sent: 16/12/2008 21:45
Aaron with the MSN boards closing and Whippet World making a big move to a board that we own and control, archived threads are getting bumped up by accident, once we get all settled in on the new board and we can find the original pictures it is hoped that we can continue the discussion, where it was left off; hard to believe that it will be 3 years old New Years Day.

WW Manager

From: Br0dy123 Sent: 18/12/2008 03:11
Hi all,
I just have to ask. Why are you using the old standard? The new one was approved January 1, 2008. Inquiring minds want to know.
Cindy Scott

From: surreyhill Sent: 18/12/2008 03:18
The discussion was initiated in January of 2006. Look at the date line at the top.

From: silverdog711 Sent: 18/12/2008 05:04
eh an oldie but a goodie... I sat and re-read the whole thing yesterday.... took a bit of time but it was worth it

From: Tontar- Sent: 18/12/2008 18:35
I want to bring up some interesting points posed by Curtis Brown in his book Dog Locomotion and Gait Analysis. He says, "Those who proposed [and] approved this Standard were not well acquainted with the differences between the trot of a galloping dog and that of a trotting dog. The description is well done for the trot of a sustained trotting dog, but devoid of merit as a description of the trot for a small galloping dog."

"Excessive forward reach in the forequarters is very undesirable, and especially so since Whippets should have steeper blades than do trotting dogs. Drive can only be present when an animal is accelerating or traveling uphill; never when a dog is trotting along at a constant speed!"

"While we can agree that a mincing gait is undesirable for sustained trotting dogs, has it ever been shown that a mincing gait indicates an undesirable galloping style for small dogs? ... What the authors of this gait description did was to assume that all dogs should have a sustained trotting style as described in the literature for sustained trotters, and if this is desirable in galloping dogs, they have done a good job. How a dog should trot to indicate galloping efficiency was apparently not a consideration."

"Characteristics that win [in the show ring] will be bred for regardless of their effect on the function of the breed. In other words, what pleases the eye is often more important than what is correct for the function of the breed."

From: Pantheon-Whippets Sent: 18/12/2008 18:55
Thaks Tontar, it makes perfect sense. I believe Karen Lee pretty much argued this point throughout this thread --- at least that's one aspect of what I took away from her comments (not looking to put words in your mouth Karen, correct me if I'm wrong). Excessive reach and drive may be showier, but not necessarily proper for the Whippet.
User avatar
WW Manager
Posts: 10422
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 4:31 pm
Location: Dorset, England (originally Ontario, Canada)
Whippet Archives Link: 7231

Return to Showing / Conformation

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest