Everyone loves the Whippet, but sometimes those evaluating the breed struggle to understand its topline. It has a gentle arch, or as its AKC breed standard reads, “The back line runs smoothly from the withers with a graceful natural arch, not too accentuated.”
Why does the breed have this gentle arch? Because form follows function. When a Whippet is running at full speed (often reaching 35 MPH), it’s in a double suspension gallop. That means that half the time its legs are beneath its body like a horseshoe shape, and the other half of the time, its legs are fully extended like a baseball player in a diving catch. Put another way, the dog will go through concave-convex movements. A dog simply can’t move like this if it has a rigid spine, it needs flexibility.
“Whippet In The Wind” by Liane Weyers
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