whippet, breed of small, slender hound developed in England in the mid-18th cent. It stands between 18 and 22 in. (45.7–55.8 cm) high at the shoulder and weighs about 20 lb (9 kg). Its close-lying, smooth coat may be any color but is usually white, tan, or gray. Developed from crosses of greyhound, terrier, and, later, Italian greyhound, the whippet was used for coursing hares in an enclosed area, a sport that became popular when bullbaiting and bearbaiting were outlawed. Today it is raised primarily as a race dog and pet. See dog.