American Whippet Club

1970 Whippet Annual  

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The Archives


Our great appreciation to Lynne Underwood for allowing permission to preserve this 1970 Whippet Yearbook on the AWC Website.

Pages 1-25


The Whippet Yearbook is dedicated to the breeders of the past, the Whippets of yesteryear who have passed on their great heritage to their get, also to the breeders and exhibitors of Whippets everywhere whose love for the breed will stand it in good stead for the years to come.

The American Whippet Club

The loyalty, love and devotion - displayed by the greatest of man's best friends - motivated the many individuals who spent many hours in the planning, writing, editing and preparation for publishing of this Yearbook in his honor. This is the first of its kind and hopefully a precursor of a continuous annual publication.

Everyone interested in Whippets, now or in future years, will owe a debt of gratitude to the pioneering individuals who have worked hard in the interest of compiling and bringing the information contained herein to you, the reader. The extent of their contributions, as individuals who assumed the responsibility for publicizing Whippets and Whippet activities in the past year, will be appreciated more and more in the years to come.

The results we envision - to benefit the continual improvement of these wonderful human-like Whippets And to enhance their appreciation by more and more people everywhere.

Victor A. Renner, President



Top Ten Statistics Compiled For the Year of 1970.

Assumption of publishing costs by The Northern California Whippet Club

Yearbook Staff
25284 Second Street
Hayward , California 94541

All Rights Reserved Copyright Pending

American Whippet Club

Officers, 1971

Mr. Victor A. Renner, President RR. 2
Marysville, Ohio 43040
Mrs. Philip S. P. Fell, Vice Pres. "The Homestead"
Peace Dale, Rhode Island 02883
Mrs. Sibyl Jacobs, Treasurer Whipoo Kennels
Mahomet, Illinois 61853
Mr. Louis Pegram, Secretary c/o Ralston Purina Company Checkerboard Square
St. Louis, Missouri 63199
Mr. D. Jay Hyman, A.K.C. Representative 3115 Rolling Road
Chevy Chase, Maryland 20015

Board of Directors, 1971

Mrs. Pearl Baumgartner 10703 59th Avenue East Puyallup, Washington 98371 Mrs. Christine Cormany 24819 Eshelman Avenue Lomita, California 90717
(Also Editor of AWC News)
Mrs. Philip S. P. Fell (see address above) Mrs. Clare C. Hodge
517 Hillbrook Road
Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania 19010
Mrs. Sibyl Jacobs (see address above) Mr. Walter Matheny
1207 Bear Creek Road
Boulder Creek, California
Mrs. Margaret Newcombe 1300 Hidden Harbor Way Sarasota, Florida 33581

Mr. Louis Pegram (see address above)

Mr. Victor Renner (see address above)

by: Louis Pegram, Secretary

The American Whippet Club is a member of the American Kennel Club, The American Kennel Club membership consists of approved breed clubs, show-giving clubs, and dog training clubs. The American Whippet Club is the "parent" club for all Whippets registered with the American Kennel Club. The Constitution and By-Laws of the American Whippet Club, as well as the Whippet Standard of the Breed, are approved by the American Kennel Club. Any changes made in the Constitution and By-Laws or the Whippet Standard of the Breed must be first approved by the necessary majority of the Board of Directors of the American Whippet Club, then forwarded to the American Kennel Club for approval before being sent to the membership of the American Whippet Club who must also give a 2/3's majority vote of those responding to the recommended changes. This same policy applies to all "parent" clubs who are members of the American Kennel Club.

The first available records on American Whippet Club activities start with 1930. Records during the period 1930 through 1934 are extremely vague with very high turn-over of officers and membership. Total membership at that time was less than 20 members.

1935 through 1945 saw the American Whippet Club operating effectively as a small group under the leadership of Miss Julia Shearer, Miss Judith Shearer, Mr. Harry Peters, Jr., and Mr. Edward T. Nash. Numerous members and officers during this period were prominent in pure-bred dog activities but their actual interest in Whippets was extremely limited. Major emphasis by the American Whippet Club during this ten-year period was the operation of one major specialty show held in a location most convenient to the majority of Whippet owners living in the East.

1946 through 1953 marked a period of close association between the American Whippet Club and the Greyhound Club of America. Mr. William Brainard and Mr. James A. Farrell, both extremely active in Greyhounds, acted as officers of the American Whippet Club at times during this period. These two parent clubs often held joint specialties. Membership grew only slightly during this period with major emphasis on one major eastern specialty each year and donations to certain worthy causes. Better known member Whippet owners who were active with the breed during this period were Mrs Theodore Pedersen, Mr. Frank Tuffley, Mrs, George Anderson, Mr. Donald Hostetter, Mr. Louis Pegram, Mrs. Margaret Raynor Newcombe, and Mr. and Mrs. Potter Wear.

1954 through 1960 was the period when the American Whippet Club began actively moving from an eastern organization towards recognizing the needs of the Whippet on a national, basis. During this period, the Board of Directors was increased from seven to nine members, and Board members included individuals living other than in the eastern portion of the U.S.A. The annual eastern specialty concept was expanded so there was an American Whippet Club specialty held in the East, Midwest, and on the West Coast. The Constitution and By-Laws were also slightly altered to better cover the constant increase of Whippet population and ownership in all parts of America.

1956 saw the start of the Whippet News under the editorship of Louis Pegram who after one year turned the responsibility over to Mrs. Eugene Jacobs. Whippet racing again became a major factor with many members of the American Whippet Club. The first successful race meeting since the 1940's was held at the International. Kennel Club Show, Chicago, Illinois, with Mrs. Wendell T. Howell representing the California group and Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Jacobs heading a small group from central Illinois. The American Whippet Club Board of Directors was divided for several years in recognizing Whippet racing, as the American Kennel Club does not support racing of any type. Most of the people racing Whippets at this time were members of the American Whippet Club. After three years, the Board of Directors approved Louis Pegram to draw up Rules and Regulations for National Whippet Racing, leaving the supervision of these rules to the various groups who wished to race Whippets.

Additional Whippet owners taking extremely active parts in American Whippet Club activities during this period were Mrs. Philip (Betty) Fell, Mrs. Wendell Howell, Mr. Calvin Perry, Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Jacobs, Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Eyles, and Mrs. Pearl Baumgartner.

1960-70 was the true expansion period of the American Whippet Club. The membership at the end of 1970 exceeded 200 members. New Constitution and By-Laws were drawn up and approved by the American Kennel Club. The program of approved shows were expanded to three sectional specialties of equal importance and nine American Whippet Club supported entry shows. The Whippet News moved to California under the editorship of Mrs. Christine Cormany, a long­ time member of the American Whippet Club and the daughter of Mr. James Young, one of the true pioneers of Whippets used for show and race purposes in the United States and Canada. Whippet owners new to the membership of the American Whippet Club and extremely active in the operation of this organization are Mr. Victor Renner, Mrs. Clare Hodge, Mr. William Schmick, Mrs. Dorothea Hastings, Mrs. Joan Frailey, Mrs. Mary Beth Arthur, Mrs. Day Backman, Jr., and Mr. Joseph Pinkosz.

Membership in the American Whippet Club is open to all Whippet owners endorsed by two members of the American Whippet Club in good standing and ap­proved by the Board of Directors. The American Whippet Club welcomes all sincere conscientious Whippet owners as members, but recommends that they first thoroughly read and digest the following objectives of the American Whippet Club before requesting membership:

  • to unite those people interested in the breeding, showing, racing, coursing and generally improving the breed of Whippet for the purpose of exerting effectually a combined influence upon all matters affecting the breed.
  • to urge members and breeders to accept the standard of the breed as approved by the American Kennel Club as the only standard of excellence by which Whippets shall be judged.
  • to promote and maintain a high standard of conduct in the transaction of all business connected with the breeding of the Whippet.
  • to conduct sanctioned matches, obedience trials and specialty shows under the rules of The American Kennel Club.

Atlantic Whippet Association

PHILIP S. P. FELL, President

MRS. A. J. McRAE, Vice President

MRS. Ross PETRUZZO, Treasurer

JOHN SIMM, Show Chairman

1061 Terry Road
Ronkonkoma, N. Y. 11779

October 18th, 1971


Briefly, our history really started with spade work in November of 1970. We held our first "formal " meeting on the crates in the benching area of Madison Square Garden during the Westminster Show last February and, in the few crowded months since then, have organized a Match (64 entries) and a Supported Entry (58 entries) at Tuxedo Park. It has been a sprint all the way; Nevertheless........

We like to think of the Atlantic Whippet Association as a rather special type of breed club; one might say old fashioned. Old fashioned because it is small in this day of very large clubs with memberships running into the hundreds; old fashioned because it is a social club as well as a breed club. I mean by this that although the primary object of our association is the promotion ( and protection ) of all aspects of the Whippet, it is also intended to bring enjoyment to its members through shows, race meetings and gatherings of the members for the purpose of having a good time together. We do not overlook or slight the professional technique of organizing shows; indeed, some of the most professional individuals in the Whippet world are among our members and on our Board. However, the object is still enjoyment.

As I mentioned above, we are small in numbers. There are just under fifty of us at this time and I think we are all in agreement that we have reached our ideal size for the present. If we were to grow much more we would have to sacrifice the good fellowship that we believe exists at the moment.

To be a member of the Atlantic Whippet Association, it is necessary to be a member of the American Whippet Club. With this qualification, we start with individuals who have demonstrated their interest in the breed, and the fact that they are ready to pay further dues to belong to our association magnifies that interest. We are particularly keen on having at least the overwhelming majority of our people be breeders, serious exhibitor or professionals. We also welcome children who show signs of sufficient dedication to carry on the spirit of our group.

With all these attributes being of importance, we do not for an instant lose sight of that all important qualification...... compatability. Without that we would be just another small, and perhaps unimportant, breed club. With it, we have enjoyment together; and that is the purpose of the Atlantic Whippet Association.

Phillip S.P. Fell


President ---------- Judith Wallace, 1014 Patricia Drive , Nashville, Tennessee (also acts as Treasurer)
Vice President ----- Richard Sapp
Secretary ---------- Mary Jane Frank, 1604 18th Ave. South , Nashville, Tennessee
Racing Secretary --- Carol Wolf, Clarksville, Tennessee

The Athens of the South Whippet Club was organized in 1966 to promote the betterment of pure-bred dogs, Whippets in particular. Our goals at the time included promoting the various aspects of the Whippet. We built star ting boxes and a lure and have held races on an informal basis ever since. Several of our members became active in obedience and have finished degrees in this area.

Many of our original members are still active in the club - Carol Wolf, just returned from Germany; Judy Wallace and myself are all charter members. Of course we have many newer members also. Marivada and Doratha Connally and Harold Robinson are among our very active new members.

Our most significant goal was the holding of shows - first matches, then Supported Entries (we are planning our fourth for March of 1972), and eventually we hope for a Specialty. Our trophies are perhaps the most outstanding aspect of our shows - all hand-crafted Whippet objects made by one of our charter members, Judie Wallace.

Every month a Fun Match is held and various members take turns being the Judge, thus giving them a chance to become acquainted with the role of a Judge, and it also gives everyone a chance to go over all the Whippets.

Athens of the South is looking forward to the AWC Support Show, our fourth, in March 1972, and hope that some of you may be able to join us for this event. We welcome regional papers and communications from other Whippet Clubs throughout the United States and Canada and hope that eventually many of us will have the opportunity to meet.


President: W.H. 'Bill' Turpin, Sr., 2652 McBain Ave., Vancouver 8, B.C.
Vice President: Mrs. Bertha Markert
Secretary: Mrs. Jerry MacLurg, 6949 Montgomery St. , Vancouver 14, B.C.
Racing Secretary: William Turpin, Jr. , 26291- 28th Ave., RR #1, Aldergrove, B.C.

Although racing in British Columbia is not new, the subject club is of fairly recent origin, being founded in September, 1969.

Whippet racing has been popular for some years and it had developed to such a point that this new club was formed. The sole function of the British Columbia Whippet Racing Club is the training and racing of pure bred Whippets. Another object of the club is to promote whippet racing as a family and friends sport, where everyone 'digs in' and participates.

The first National Points Race Meeting ever held in Vancouver was in 1965. The high point winner was Bill Senior and Margaret Turpin's Urray Chieftain and the high point puppy was Bill Junior and Alice Turpin's Can. Ch. Rockabye Ember of Course ARM.

The year 1966 saw the first dogs from this area, since 1963, venture afield. Urray Chieftain was second high point at Santa Barbara and Ch. Rockabye Ember of Course ARM was third high point. The following year saw Ember go to the mid-west where her most noteworthy achievement was high point at the large Marysville, Ohio , National Points Meeting. For the years 1966, 1967 and 1968, Ember was never outranked by another female and she was the first of her sex to win an Award of Racing Merit. Her son, Can. Ch. Emberson of Course burst on to the scene in 1968, when he was ranked first in North America at the age of 18 months. He was the first Canadian dog to win an ARM. This year, 1971, saw Can. Ch. Epinard's Sonny Jim of Course, a son of Emberson, come to the races and at the age of 19 months stamp himself as one of the top racing dogs in North America.

Several other dogs should be mentioned. While their racing was confined to the Northwest, their achievements in International competition placed them in the 'A' category. There was Bertha and John Markert's Rambling Free and Easy, Margaret and Bob Miller's Wyldewick Snowpatch. Barbara and John Rogalsky's Ringo's Drango of Epinard, Elizabeth Watson's Urray Be Bad Boy CD, Rosamund Watson's Urray Billy the Kid, Gayle Lyttle's Sonny Side Up of Course and Verna Jahnke's December Signa Gold. These last two females are daughters of Emberson, and last but certainly not least Bill Junior and Alice Turpin's Can. Ch. Bay-Star Open Road.

Although our primary objective is the development of the racing, the showing of our dogs is not overlooked. We feel quite strongly about this, as we know that by having a dog who is a worthy representative of the breed, conformation-wise, and then couple this with his inborn desire to run, we are doing our small part toward the further improvement of the breed. Any member who has a dog that can be shown is encouraged to do so, consequently we have a number of dogs with their bench championships, running regularly.

Two National Points Race Meetings are held yearly on the grounds of the University of British Columbia , which are second to none. The club holds two practice sessions weekly, on the same grounds.

We cordially invite all parties interested in Whippet racing to visit with us in 1972.


PRESIDENT: Dr. John C. Shelton
3925 Field Street
Oakland, Ca. 94605
VICE PRESIDENT: Mr. Mickey Underwood
540 Lily Street
Walnut Creek, Ca. 94596
TREASURER: Mr. Ed Nordness
3747 Country Club Drive
Redwood City, Ca. 94061
SECRETARY: Mr. Paul Gavey
2115 Gill Drive
Concord, Ca. 94520
BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Mrs. Martha Fielder
Mrs. Barbara Gavey
Mr. Jerry Grimmett
Mrs. Pauline Shirley
Mrs. Lynne Underwood
25284 Second Street
Hayward, Ca. 94541


The Northern California Whippet Fanciers Association was founded in 1964 by a group of dedicated Whip­pet owners who at that time were primarily interested in racing their Whippets. Gradually more and more people became interested in the breed and joined the growing organization. It was a very loosely knit group and there are few records of their activities. It is known however, that they held National Point Races and sponsored Coursing events almost from the beginning.

By 1966, the group had grown large enough to put on a Whippet Fun Match. Individuals began exhibiting their dogs in the breed ring and in obedience as well as on the track and in the field. By 1970 the Association had grown from about 6 family units to over 100 individual members. Members are active in all fields of the dog fancy, and became well known over the United States for the Whippet Pedigree Book published in 1969, as well as for other accomplishments of themselves and their dogs.

The stated purpose of the Association is to promote the Whippet and to help unite persons interested in Whippets in order to better the breed through many and varied activities. Regular meetings are held in various places in Northern California , and in addition practice races are conducted, lectures and films on various fields of concern to dog owners are arranged, tattoo clinics are held, and shows are patronized and supported. American Whippet Club National Point Races are organized twice a year at least, exhibition races are put on as entertainment at all-breed shows, and at least two Coursing events are sponsored by the NCWFA during the year through the Open Field Coursing Association. A Fun Match with Whippet conformation and all-breed obedience is held every year. The Association's newsletter SPEED is published monthly with news of members, dogs, and articles of general interest to dog owners as well as educational articles. Just recently a Registry for all Whip­ pets and a Lost and Found File has been organized to help Whippets and their owners find each other.

The Northern California Whippet Fanciers Association is dedicated to the WHIPPET, that most versatile of dogs.

Racing: Mrs. Barbara Ortman
Coursing: Mr. David Haberman
Ways & Means: Mr. Steve Ferko
Benching: Mrs. Eddyann Ferko
Programs: Mrs. Betz Leone
Membership: Mrs. helen Levet
Obedience: Miss Linda Blalock
Registry & Lost Dog File: Miss Libby Leone & Mrs. LaDonna Nybro
Special committee: Mr. Ed Miller
Trophies: Mrs Christine Murphy
Editor of SPEED: Mrs. Ann Palmer, 3453 Burano Park Dr., Fremont, CA

SPEED is sent only to regular and associate members of the NCWFA plus a very few complimentary copies. For further information contact Mrs. Palmer.


President: Selwyn Blackstone
Board of Directors: Art Crawford
Ralph Eyles
Harlan Klintworth
William Raczak
Dr. H. R. Rymer
Secretary: Phyllis Niehoff, 6200 W. 86th Pl., Oak Lawn, Ill. 60459
Match Chairman: Dottie Cammie
Whippet Representative: Judy Morgan

The Midwest Coursing Club is a sighthound breed club (Afghans, Borzois, Irish Wolfhounds, Salukies, Scottish Deerhounds, Greyhounds, Whippets and Ibizan hounds) composed of 70 members and breed secretaries. A Coursing Meet is held each year in San Antonio, Texas. The dogs are allowed one minute on a jack rabbit that has been given a 75 yard head start. The winners are rerun and eliminated. They are paired up by a draw.

They are given one minute on the jack rabbit and then a relief greyhound is sent in. At this time nothing else the individual Whippet does counts. The relief greyhound is sent in so no dog gets too long a run and they have about equal time running the jack rabbit. Each dog is given points on re-ups and turns and kills. In this way the winners end up against each other.

The winner of the Midwest Coursing Club 1970 Annual Course Meet was Scram I'm First (Whippet).


The objectives of the SCWA are "to promote interest in the breed, provide recreation and sport, for shows, racing, coursing, and other activities and to do all in its power to protect and advance the interests of the breed in accordance with the official standard of the breed, as established by the American Whippet Club and in accordance with the regulations of the American Kennel Club."

In pursuit of these goals the SCWA has held an annual sighthound fun match for the past several years, with an average entry of over 200 sighthounds and an average Whippet entry of about 40. This spring match provides some funds for the many club activities. SCWA holds three National Point meets each year, race practice every month, a monthly general meeting, and an annual fall Whippet match. The newsletter recently named the "Rag Runner" is published each month. Racing exhibitions are held in conjunction with various kennel club shows.

The SCWA was established in 1962. We have approximately 100 enthusiastic members, a healthy treasury and great plans for the future. November 20, 1971, we held our first annual awards dinner. At the 1972 Beverly Hills Kennel Club Show SCWA will host and sponsor an AWC supported show. This weekend will also see a SCWA National Point Meet on whichever day hounds are not shown.

SCWA extends a welcome hand to all Whippet owners and friends to come join us for our activities in the coming year.


President: Marilyn Barlow, 5910 Brayton St., Long Beach, CA
Vice President: Sandra Benninghoven, 30211 Strathern, Canoga Park, CA
Secretary: Betty Troxel, 20311 Strathern, Canoga Park, CA
Treasurer: Arline Wyscarver, 17709 Brookport, Covina, CA
Editor: Jan Wing
Co-Editor: Arline Wyscarver
Board Members: David Rosenstock 3544 Valley View Ave., Norco, Ca
Helen Hackett 5910 Brayton, Long Beach, Ca.
Lynn rosenstock 3544 Valley View, Norco, Ca
Bud Carlson 20291 Cypress, Santa Anna, Ca.
Erv Riesman 5031 Sausalito, La Palma, Ca.
Sighthound Match: Sandy Benninghoven and Betty Troxel
Coursing: Sandy Benninghoven
Membership-Publicity Lynn Rosenstock
Hospitality: Cheri Riesman
Newsletter: Jan Wing and Arline Wyscarver
Race Secretary: Dave Rosenstock Co-Secretary: Marilyn Barlow
Trophy: Arline Wyscarver and Dee Horton
Rescue Operation: Joe Goss
Show Records: David Bohnert


President: Gary Purvis
Vice President: Zim Zimmerman
Secretary: Dona Helton, 36 Warwick Rd., Hamilton Oh. 45013
Treasurer: Mary K. Gluhm

The Tri-State Whippet Association was brought into being during a practice race meeting at Bill Backman's Farm in Aurora, Indiana. During the next few weeks interested Whippet owners got together and made plans to make this Club a reality. Gary Purvis got a mimeograph machine and The Tri-State Whippet Report was soon in the mail to prospective club members. At the meeting at Backman Farm a constitution committee was set up to form the Constitution and By-laws. Members of this committee were Pam Purvis, Don Clift and Gene Helton. Our first official meeting was held on September 4 to collect dues and vote on Club officers and the Constitution. To date we have 12 family memberships in the Club.

One of our Club members, Dave Henry, contacted the City of Hamilton to find a place for us to hold practice races for our dogs. The City most graciously has consented to build a 40 yard wide by 375 yard long race track for us at Darryl Joyce Park in Hamilton. The track is almost complete but is now dirt. Next spring they will let the grass grow in so we will have a turf track.

Club dues are currently being spent on the Newsletter and building a spring-loaded 6 stall starting box with 4 inch separations between each stall. We plan to hold practice race meets the week before each National Point Race Meet next year and more if the membership desires. We plan to have 3 race meets in the Tri-State area next year (National Point Meets).

Although we have not received any memberships from show people, our Club is not strictly limited to racing enthusiasts. We have talked about holding a fun match at one of our N.P.R. Meets next year also.

We were very proud of two area dogs as their owners were presented The Award of Racing Merit Certificate recently. They are:

RIVERDALE'S ROYATE CHARMAINE . . . owned by Pam & Gary Purvis

BRENDA'S BRANDY . . . owned by Nancy & Don Clift

We hope that by forming this Club, next year will be an even better year for Whippet owners in the Tri-State Area.

Dona Helton, Secretary

10/14/71 The Tri-State Whippet Association


One hundred years from now it is doubtful that any of the sensational trials of present and recent years will even be remembered despite their reams of records. But on September 23, 1870 in a country courthouse in Warrensburg, Mo., a young lawyer named George Graham Vest gave a moving extemporaneous ad­dress to the jury that won him his case. But more than winning the case, this address became man's greatest tribute to his most loyal companion, his dog.

The case involved a Foxhound named Old Drum, an alleged sheep killer owned by Charles Burden, who was shot and killed on the neighboring property of Leonidas Hornsby. The litigation span almost a year and involved four or five lawyers. Today the event is remembered not for the trial itself but for Vest's summation to the jury.

"Gentlemen of the Jury:

The best friend a man has in this world may turn against him and become his enemy. His son or daughter that he has reared with loving care may prove ungrateful. Those who are nearest and dearest to us, those whom we trust with our happiness and our good name, may become traitors to their faith. The money that a man has, he may lose. It flies away from him, perhaps when he needs it the most. A man's reputation may be sacrificed in a moment of ill-considered action. The people who are prone to fall on their knees to do us honor when success is with us may be the first to throw the stone of malice when failure settles its cloud upon our heads. The one absolutely unselfish friend that a man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him and the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous is his dog.

Gentlemen of the Jury, a man's dog stands by him in prosperity and in poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground, where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only he may be near his master's side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer, he will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounters with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince. When all other friends desert him he remains. When riches takes wings and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens. If fortune drives the master forth an outcast in the world, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him to guard against danger, to fight against his enemies, and when the last scene of all comes, and death takes the master in its em­brace and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all other friends pursue their way, there by his graveside will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true even to death."


By Susan Wilkins

"In the beginning, God created man but seeing him so feeble, He gave him the dog" (Toussenel). Less poetically, the paleontologists tell us that 40 million years ago there lived the Miacis. Miacis was a tree climber with a long body, short legs, a long bushy tail with a resemblance to the cat-like civet. In the next 20 million years, Miacis forsook his trees for a ground habitat. His claws lost the power of retracting, his legs grew longer, his back arched into a wheel. He became Cynodictis. Cynodictis still didn't look much like a dog. Cynodictis spent the next few million years becoming Cynodesmus. Cynodesmus had only a glimmering of dog about him. Finally, 15 million years ago Tomarctus walked the earth. He was doglike in appearance, although he still had the long body, long, furred tail, wedge-shaped head, and spoon ears of his ancestors. Tomarctus became in time, Canidae Canis familiaris. It took until about 15,000 B.C.


What the scientists can not tell us is how dog crosses man's threshold? It is my own fantasy that 17,000 years ago, a man happened upon some abandoned puppies. His first impulse would be to kill them. After all wouldn't they grow up to be those pests that followed the camp and scavenged for food. But he spared them, perhaps he felt the charisma that helpless puppies always seem to have. Anyway he took them home to raise. This is just a fantasy, but, how­ ever the dog came to share men's fire, it was not long afterward that man realized that his home had acquired a guardian. Later dog learned to help in the hunt, and when hunting man became stock-rearing man, the dog became the guardian of sheep, cattle, and horses.

We actually know more about the dog when we reach the Neolithic age (6000 or 5000 years B.C.). At this time in Europe, villages were being formed from tribes. Great piles of bone, shells, and garbage collected in these areas. Many of the bones were found to have been gnawed by dogs. These dogs were al­ ways present in every place sharing man's food. A skeleton of one of these dogs was discovered in 1852; he was given a name - Canis familiaris palustris, the Peat Dog. The Peat Dog soon spread through Europe. It was medium-sized, halfway between the jackal and the fox. It had a tapering but not long muzzle, a wide, deep chest, and a slight skeleton. The dog probably looked somewhat like the modern samoyed or spitz. However, the Peat Dog was not the only type of dog alive at this time. The bones of another dog just as old were found in the ancient garbage piles in Switzerland. This was a much larger, stronger dog with a more elongated head, powerful jaws and pointed muzzle. This dog is probably an ancestor of the Celts war dog.

As the Peat dog appeared in Europe, so did a greyhound type dog appear in Egypt . If you ask which came first, the greyhound, saluki, or afghan, the answer would be - no one is sure. We do know that a greyhound type dog was present in about 4240 B.C. because the people were worshipping Set, the grey­ hound with the forked tail. Set continued to appear throughout Egyptian history. In 2600 B.C., greyhounds, along with small lap dogs and large guard type dogs, appeared in the tombs of Tiy. These dogs were there in order to guide their beloved master into the land of the dead. The protector of this realm was Anubis. Anubis had the body of a man and the head of a dog. The Egyptians built a city in his honor and called it Cynopolis. When the citizens of a neighboring city committed the outrage of killing and eating dogs from Cynopolis, Cynopolitans settled the matter in bloody civil war.

From 2100 through 1100 B.C., the pharaohs preferred their cats. They even worshipped them. It seems that new gods pushed out the old. However, the erect-eared greyhounds were used to hunt antelope. For a century and a half during this time period, the Hyksos ruled Egypt, and they brought with them the war mastiff along with the horse and bronze. This dog remained when the Hyksos left. He was the soldier's dog - a devouring dog to be set on the fleeing enemy. The mastiff will be used in this manner through history until modern times. The descendants still guard the flocks of the Turks.

Between 1500 and 1100 B.C., the dog was reinstated in the affection of the Egyptians. Dogs were found not only placed in the tombs of their masters, but also embalmed. The human family shaved their heads and mourned the death of their dogs as well as the death of a human member.

On the other hand, the Israelites had little but contempt for the dog. It is possible that the Egyptians' fondness for the dog might have something to do with this. Of some forty references to the dog in the Bible, almost all are derogatory. Curiously, on the night of the Jewish Exodus, not one dog gave tongue. But that did not seem to make any difference. The term "dog" became the vilest of insults. Of course, the Jewish people were not a hunting people, they were herders of sheep. They did not have to depend on the dog to help find food.

In Persia, the dog was very early considered the best of the animals. The ancients gave their greatest and wisest men the name of "Chan" (the dog). They also bred the great dogs of war - perhaps, the most ferocious of all time. These dogs also had a civil duty - they were the executioners of criminals and traitors. The Persians had the custom of never burying the bodies of the close relations of their seers without first having them torn apart by their house-dogs. As soon as they had the horse, they became fearsome warriors, and with the ravening mastiffs, they invaded the Fertile Crescent from Babylon to Egypt.

In China, little sleeve dogs were being bred as early as 3468 B. C. Chinese emperors also had the mastiff. With these dogs, they hunted down men for sport.

In ancient Mexico, the dog had the role, as in other societies, in mythology of guiding the dead to their last dwelling place. When a man died, his dogs were killed and their bodies placed beside his so that the dead man could reach the other world. Two dogs were present in Mexico at this time. One, of medium size, recalled some of the dogs of Egypt and Greece. The second was smaller and is the ancestor of the present day Chihuahua. The mastiff arrived in Mexico with the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors.

In ancient Greece, the dog was the guardian of the flocks and household. The dog appears in mythology. In the Odyssey, Argus, the faithful greyhound of Ulysses, was abandoned by its master's family when Ulysses was lost. Then, abused and twenty years old, Argus dragged himself to the feet of his master upon his return. No one else recognized Ulysses. Argus died of happiness and Ulysses wept. Also in mythology, Cerberus, the three headed dog, was the guardian of the gates of the underworld. He had to be bribed to let the dead in, so the Greeks buried their dead with money in their mouths.

The Greeks kept large numbers of watch dogs to guard their fortresses. Corinth was guarded by fifty dogs. This citadel was the object of a surprise attack while the soldiers slept. The fifty dogs defended the tower until all but one dog was dead. This last dog ran to the gates and gave the alarm in time for the attack to be repulsed.

Heavy, powerful dogs were introduced into Greece by Xerxes. Later, Alexander the Great brought back a similar kind of dog from India. It is said that one of these dogs was capable of disemboweling a lion and killing an elephant. Alexander had a whole town built in memory of this dog upon its death.

Rome also adored these terrible dogs. The Romans were a soldierly people. They were able to appreciate the military qualities of the dog and made him an integral part of their victories. Devouring dogs were starved for several days before combat and then set on the enemy. No doubt not a few Christians faced these dogs. The blood of these dogs runs in the veins of the large mountain dogs.

The men loved the mastiff; however, the lap dogs became so popular that Julius Caesar asked if Roman ladies had ceased to have children and had dogs instead.

The Romans bred brave dogs no matter if it was a war dog or child's pet. When Pompei was excavated, the form of a dog was discovered lying across a child, as if in a last attempt to protect his charge from the fury of the vol­cano. The engraved silver collar told that Delta, the dog, had once saved his master, Severinos, from a wolf.

As was stated, the Romans took their dogs wherever they marched. They took them to help conquer Gaul. However, Gaul had war dogs no less fearful than the Romans. After the Celts were defeated, it took two days for the Romans to defeat the dogs. The Gauls were also masters of the hunt and had hunting dogs that claimed the Peat dog as ancestor. They did not hunt to capture game, but to watch their dogs perform with ability and speed. Their love of the hunt infected the Romans and their descendants, the French and English.

Europeans had also bred a dog to fight his closest wild kin - the wolf. This dog was vicious only to the wolf; he was the gentlest of companions otherwise. He was even given the job of guardian and playmate of noble child­ren. Visitors to the Welsh village of Beddgelert will be shown a monument to Gelert, the legendary wolfhound of Llewellyn, Prince of Wales. Returning to his castle from the hunt one day, the prince was met by his favorite hound. The hound had blood all over his mouth. The prince was suddenly afraid for his son. He looked for him, but couldn't find him. He killed Gelert in revenge. Alas, only then did he discover his boy alive and safe - a huge wolf at his side, slain by the faithful Gelert.

After Rome fell, the dog was more or less abandoned in the West. The semi-wild dogs were objects of fear and scorn. The word "dog" became an insult and all thieves and murderers were described as "curs". This feeling of terror of the dog owed its origin to the legend of the Cynocephalus. In the tenth sermon of St. Gregory of Nazarene on the "Mysteries of the Gentiles" there is mention of monster men who worshipped the witch Hecate. It is said that she could pacify the most vicious of dogs. The church began to institute rules against the dog. It even forbade priests to have them.

However, the noblemen, with their love of the chase, ignored the church, as they always did when it suited their purpose. From the 5th century on, it was a crime to kill a hunting dog. Even the monasteries eventually started to raise hunting dogs. The Saint Hubert hound was the first big success. This was the ancestor of the Bloodhound. The dogs conquered the church itself when the nobles refused to enter the church to hear mass if their beloved greyhounds could not also. The priest had to come to the square in front of the church to bless them. Out of this grew the tradition of the "laying on of the pack" be fore a hunt.

In the 9th century, the Christian West returned to chaos and dog packs roamed the countryside again. Slowly order emerged from the chaos. This time it was feudal order, and there was nothing a knight liked better than a good hunt or a good war. The dog, as a companion, suited the knight's purpose ad mirably. The dog even wore armor, sometimes this armor was fitted with a torch to burn enemy horses or whoever got too close. The dog to come to the fore was the Bloodhound. The Crusaders took their dogs with them when they went south to free the Holy City. This led to exchanges of dogs between noblemen of various European countries and also to some often felicitous cross-breeding. Through this exchange, a new dog was created - the spaniel.

King Louis IX introduced to Europe the gazehound with which he had hunted gazelle in the Holy Land. This gazehound caused several breeds of dogs to change. In the next several years, four breeds of dogs became defined. The large Alan dog, descended from the mastiff as well, hunted bear and boar. A much smaller dog, classified as the bird dog, flushed out birds for the falcon to capture. They also had a "setter"; this dog cornered game, then "set" down to stay out of the way while the hunters cast nets to immobilize the game. And last, but not least, they had the greyhound to run down their game.

Unfortunately, from the 13th century, man became ever more fond of watching bulldogs bait bulls, bears, and even lions. Bulldogs were still being used in this barbarous way in the 19th century. It is beyond me how a man could watch such a bloody, horrible spectacle. But then man has always had a lust for needless blood-letting.

For the mastiff nothing had changed. They were still being set against men. Even in the 16th century, Henry VIII of England set 500 starving dogs on the enemy. In fact, today, dogs are still involuntarily fighting man's wars for him. Today, the U. S. Army is further developing the dog into an instrument of death by crossing certain breeds for characteristics that are useful in combat situations.

As the feudal states consolidated, the feudal lords gave land to the king for his hunting pleasure as a sign of their fidelity. By the reign of Charles I, there were no fewer than 69 royal forests and 281 royal parks. In these areas only the kings dogs could hunt. Though poachers suffered fierce punishment, they took much game from these preserves by stealth, largely with the aid of Greyhound-like dogs known as "lurchers". These keen-nosed dogs were trained to run silently; if it caught itself in a snare, to chew their way out. It is even claimed they would withhold recognition of their masters if caught poaching.

The English also had a fondness of coursing and Greyhounds. In the 15th century a good coursing greyhound was said to have the head of a snake, the neck of a drake, the sides of a bream, the felt of a cat, and the tail of a rat. The winner in coursing was not necessarily the one which overtook and killed the hare, but the one which made the hare take the most sudden turns in a battle not only of speed, but of reflexes, deception, and skill.

In France, the great, white Royal dogs came to the fore. The blood of these dogs still flow in the veins of French and English packhounds. It was said that they would only hunt stag. Stag hunting and fox hunting on horseback were fashionable during this period. This activity became sport for the rich or noble while providing a good excuse to gallop across the countryside in pursuit of the "pack".

In 1789, all citizens were declared equal before the law in France. The common man, now that he could go shooting, needed a dog. The day of the hound had come and the evolution of the spaniel continued. The English were perfecting the "gun-dog" with long, sturdy limbs; a deep chest; a fine, silky coat; and a keen nose. This was the beginning of the setter lines as we know them today. They also produced a smooth-haired gun dog, the pointer. In 1859, New castle , England , owners exhibited fifty pointers and setters at the first modern dog show. The grace, beauty, and varieties of dogs proudly exhibited at subsequent shows stirred popular interest. Kennel clubs sprang up everywhere.

The terriers, descendants of the dogs that were ratters in the 15th century, came into the limelight as ladies lap dogs as well as the enemy of the fierce rats. Having faced an enraged rat myself, I'm sure these dogs were at least as brave as the great war mastiff of centuries ago.

Queen Victoria had a number of lap dogs and enjoyed exhibiting her pets at London shows. But she would not allow them to spend a night away from home. It is said that upon returning from her coronation, Victoria doffed her ceremonial robes - to give her dogs a bath. As she breathed her last, 64 years later, a beloved Pomeranian kept watch on her bed. Throughout history we have seen dogs as guides to the other world. When I die, if I am not greeted by all the dogs I have known and loved in life, I will be convinced that I have arrived in the wrong place.

No history of the dog would be complete without a word about the wild dogs. They are to be found all over the world - in the Southern Himalayas, in the Sunda Isles, in India, in Sumatra, in Zanzibar, in South America, and finally, in Europe around the Mediterranean. There are few differences between the breeds of wild dogs. They have always lived in packs. They all have wide, quite short, erect ears located on the sides of their heads that are less mobile than those of the wolf or jackal. All except the Cape hunting dog are monochromous being either red, black, yellow, or cream in coloring. This quality of coloration is disappearing in domesticated breeds. Only the Chow Chow can today bear black, red, white, or cream pups in one litter without producing pups with yellow or white markings.

The wild dog we know most about is the dingo. This dog was ancient even in Cicero's time. Perhaps as ancient as the Australian Aborigines that he hunts with. Tribemen rear wild dingo puppies they find in hollow trees as part of their own family. The keen-scented dingo is valuable for tracking then swiftly and silently running down game. After the kill is made, the dingo may turn temperamental to the point of refusing to go any further and expecting his master to carry him on his shoulders. The dingo responds to kindness, and becomes a one man dog, unless, as frequently occurs, the call of the wild be comes too strong and he rejoins a pack. These packs are fearsome things; occasionally killing an entire herd of cattle or sheep for no apparent reason other than just for the fury of killing. For this very reason, the men who have built modern Australia have come to regard the dingo as a fearful enemy.

Perhaps you have wondered how the naked aborigines keep warm on cold desert nights - they "wear" their dogs as cover. A chilly night is known in the Australian outback as a "three dog night"; a "five dog night" is really cold; a "six dog night" is freezing. As you can see, the dingo is a paradox - on one hand he hunts for man and keeps him warm - on the other he is an enemy.

Almost all wild dogs choose to live near man. Are they aspirants for future friendship, or are they descendants of old servants who have regained their independence? We can only guess.

The best way to end this history is perhaps to go back to the beginning. "Soon after the Creation a chasm split the earth in two. Man was left on one side, animals on the other. The four-footed creatures didn't mind this separation from man - all except the dog. He ran up and down whining, seeking a way across. Man heard him and saw the pleading look in his eyes. "Come", he cried. The dog sprang, but the chasm was too wide, only his forepaws struck the far edge. He hung there, struggling in vain to climb up. Man pulled the dog up to safety beside him. "You shall be my companion forever," he said." (Merle Severy). So he has and so he will be.

The Life, History, and Magic of the Dog by Fernand Mery, Grosset & Dunlap, New York , 1968.

The New Book of the Dog by Robert Leighton, Cassell and Co. LTD, London, Paris, New York , Toronto & Melbourne.

Dogs by Paul Hamlyn, Westbook House Fulham, Broadway, London, 1962.

The National Geographic Book of Dogs, Washington, D.C., 1958.


The origin of our breed is shrouded in the mists of history. For years there has been an argument over whether, as a breed, Whippets are two hundred years old or much older. For a long time, the most popular theory was that the breed was between one hundred fifty years old and two hundred years old, and had been bred dawn from Greyhounds with Terrier blood. In the first edition of Mr. Frederick Freeman Lloyd's book, The Whippet and Race Dog, published in 1894, he states that the Whippet "was originally produced by a cross between the Greyhound and Terrier"; in the old days of rabbit coursing in the north of England , English and the other Terriers were used for this pastime. B. S. Fitter, in his book, The Show and Working Whippet, published in 1947, states that miners of Northumberland and Durham produced the Whippet for racing purposes. Fitter claims that the Terrier blood gives the Whippet his gameness and tenacity, the Greyhound blood his speed, stamina and beautiful conformation.

However, as far back as 1907, there was suspicion that the Whippet breed was far older than a few hundred years. In an article by F. C. Hignett on Whippets in The New Book of the Dog, published in 1907, he states that Whippet racing "has been mainly confined to the working classes, the colliers of Lancashire, Yorkshire, Durham, and Northumberland". But he also states that "the Whippet existed as a separate breed long before dog shows were thought of, and at a time when records of pedigrees were not officially preserved; but it is very certain that the Greyhound had a share in his genealogical history, for not only should his appearance be precisely that of a Greyhound in miniature, but the purpose for which he was bred is very similar to that for which his larger prototype is still used, the only difference being that rabbits were coursed by Whippets, and hares by Greyhounds.

W. Lewis Renwick wrote in 1956 on the theory of the Greyhound and Terrier cross, "I do not think that this evidence is strong enough to establish this claim; it seems such an easy way to get the answer, for it is obvious that a Whippet is of Greyhound type (it is just as obvious that the Italian Greyhound is of Greyhound type too), but I can see nothing in the Whippet that points to a Terrier's conformation". He feels that Whippets and Italian Greyhounds are simply reduced Greyhounds. He goes on to say that dogs of the Greyhound type have been depicted by artists for thousands of years and that he is "forced to the conclusion that the only real evidence we have of the origin of our Whippets is to be found in these old works of art."

C. H. Douglas Todd builds on this evidence in his book, The Popular Whippet, published in 1961. He states that "Greeks depicted Greyhound-type dogs on pottery and statues. The smaller type of these dogs were very like the Whippet in size and shape and, indeed, many of them seem to have the typical Whippet rose ear. There is little doubt that the Graeco-Roman 'Group of Dogs' (now in the British Museum), found at Monte Cagnolo near Laneivum, is a beautiful work of art depicting two dogs more like Whippets than any other. Other works of art showing Whippet type dogs are 'Joachim with the Shepards' by Giotto 1350, 'The Light of the World' by Menline 1450, and the 'Vision of St. Hubert' by Durer. He also brings up the very interesting question of why there are never any Terrier throwbacks.

From what I know of the history of dogs, it is a fact that Romans brought Greyhound type dogs to England when they conquered the Celts. The celts, famed for their love of coursing, already had a fine coursing dog. Crosses, planned and unplanned, no doubt took place. I suspect that the Whippet in England grew out of these crosses. Terrier blood might have been introduced very sparingly much later to add gameness under pressure to the breed.

A fact that I find very interesting is that Whippets seem to be getting bigger as a breed. In F. C. Hignett's article, he states that the best weight for a show dog is 17 pounds and for show bitches is 15-16 pounds. For racing purposes, he thinks that dogs between 9-12 pounds and over 17 pounds have the best chance. The October 1937 edition of National Geographic, in the article on Whippets, states that weights vary from 10-23 pounds. The best running weight is 16 pounds, and 16 inches is the height of the ideal show specimen. In the third edition of Freeman Lloyd's book, he feels that racing dogs should be 16-24 pounds; show dogs should stand 18 1/2 inches and weigh 21 pounds; and show bitches should stand 17 1/2 inches and weigh 20 pounds. The standard ap­ proved by AKC on July 11, 1944, states that dogs should stand between 19-22 inches and bitches should stand between 18-21 inches. It seems that our breed is continuing to evolve.

Have you ever wondered why the Whippet is called a Whippet, or why he is called a snap dog? I have uncovered two answers to each question. The name Whippet may have its origins in the words "whip it". This is English slang meaning to move quickly. "To whip it up" often refers to applying the whip to a horse to encourage it to move faster. Whippet may also be a misspelling of wappet meaning a small yelping cur. We all know that Whippets are very noisy while waiting impatiently for their turn to race. F. C. Hignett has a very good answer to the second question. He states that a Whippet being "too fragile in his anatomy for fighting, will "snap" at his opponent with such celerity as to take by surprise even the most watchful; while the strength of his jaw, combined with its comparatively great length, enables him to inflict se­vere punishment at the first grab. It is owing to this habit, which is common to all Whippets, that they were originally known as snap dogs".

Freeman Lloyd states in his book that the name snap-dog refers to a dog "that can catch quickly, and snap at his game. It holds good, too, with his larger brother, the Greyhound, for it is well known that the latter is not a wonderful dog to hold if he gets mixed in a battle, his game being to snap and bite sharply; and this is the case with the Whippet, who, however, will hold on to a towel or cloth with the same firmness as a Greyhound does to a hare".

It would be impossible to write about our breed without a single mention about the Whippet as a companion. He is an incredibly fast race dog, a wilely courser, and beautiful show dog, but he stars as a companion. Whatever else he is, he is certainly a "people dog". He grabs pens away from you while you are trying to write; he helps himself to your dinner (who wants dog food); he curls up on your lap wherever you are (not just one but every Whippet in the house piles on); they all sleep in the same bed with you (under the covers with their heads on your pillow); they pull the covers off you when they are cold; they pull the covers off the bed when they are too hot; they chew their bones all over the house. They are happy clowns when you are happy; and they try their best to cheer you when the world crashes around you. Best of all, they love you for what you are. What more can you possibly ask for?


Todd, C. H. D., The Popular Whippet, Arco Publishing Company, Hew York , 1961.

Freeman-Lloyd, F. and B. S. Fitter, The Whippet or Race Dog, third edition, David McKay Company, Philadelphia.

Hignett, F. C., The New Book of the Dog, Cassell and Company, London, Paris, New York, Toronto and Melbourne, 1907.

Renwick, L., The Whippet Handbook, Nicholson and Watson, London, 1956. The Modern Dog Encyclopedia, The Telegraph Press, 1953.

Whippet, Greyhound "Ch. Real Jam " - S. Woodiwis Owner

The above was dale by R.H. Moore, Circa 1895. Graciously submitted from the collection of Nevin and Kathy Lyon, North
Hollywood, California.

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