Saluki vs. Whippet: Which Is Faster?

Whippet (Canis familiaris) - running through grass
© photosounds/Shutterstock.com

Written by Kyle Glatz

Published: October 30, 2022

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Watching trained dogs compete against one another in drills is a stunning spectacle. Most people forget that while dogs are great pets, they’re also animals capable of incredible demonstrations of finesse and power. The saluki and the whippet are two dog breeds that are renowned for their speed. Today, we’re going to settle the question of which is faster by examining the differences between a saluki vs. whippet and seeing what one would win in a race.

Comparing Saluki vs. Whippet

SalukiWhippet
SizeWeight: 40 to 65 pounds
Height: 23 to 28 inches
Length: 26 to 38 inches
Weight: 25 to 40 pounds
Height: 18 to 22 inches
Length: 25 to 31 inches
Morphology–  Has very long legs and a fairly long neck
– May have silky, medium-length hair on their ears and feathering on their legs
– May also have short hair all over their bodies
– Appears in various colors and markings, including black, tan, chocolate, fawn, golden, red, silver, and more
– May appear black with a variety of colors like silver, tan, or tan and white.
– Often compared to a smaller greyhound in looks
– Known for having a very deep chest, long legs, and a long neck
–  Short, smooth coat
– Various colors including black, blue, cream, white, red, and various combinations of the colors
Speed– 42.8 mph
– Great stamina that would favor this dog over a greyhound in long distances due to increased endurance
– 35 mph
– Fastest dog in their weight class
– Have very fast acceleration when running
Behavior– A high-energy dog that must be frequently engaged in an activity
– Affectionate, loyal dog that is usually good with children and other pets
– Doesn’t make a good guard dog because of friendliness
– Playful, watchful dog that is mildly friendly to newcomers
– Rarely barks
– Reasonably simple to train
– A very active dog that requires a lot of activity
Life Expectancy– 10 to 17 years– 12 to 15 years

The Key Differences Between a Saluki and a Whippet

Saluki standing on a bridge

Salukis are taller and heavier than whippets.

©Sarune Kairyte/Shutterstock.com

The most significant differences between a saluki and a whippet can be found in their size and life expectancy. The saluki is larger than the whippet, weighing up to 65 pounds, standing 28 inches tall, and growing up to 38 inches long. The whippet weighs up to 40 pounds, stands 22 inches tall, and grows about 31 inches tall at its maximum.

Furthermore, the saluki lives between 10 and 17 years while the whippet lives between 12 and 15 years. These differences are not the only ones that exist between these dogs, but they are substantial ones. The potential longevity and larger size of the saluki relative to the whippet will inform our answer about which of them is fastest.

Saluki vs. Whippet: Size

The saluki is larger than the whippet. The average saluki will weigh 40 to 65 pounds compared to the whippet’s 25 to 40 pounds. Moreover, the saluki will stand between 23 and 28 inches while the whippet only grows between 18 and 22 inches in height. Lastly, the saluki measures up to 38 inches in length while the whippet reaches lengths of 31 inches.

The larger size of the saluki helps it reach a high top speed, but the relatively compact nature of the whippet allows for uniquely swift acceleration.

Saluki vs. Whippet: Morphology

The saluki and whippet are two breeds with long legs and necks compared to other dogs in their weight class. The whippet looks like a miniature greyhound with a very deep chest, disproportionately long legs, and a long neck.

The saluki is known for having short fur with medium-length fur on their ears and feathering on their legs, giving these dogs a unique look. However, they may have all short, smooth hair, like the whippet.

The saluki has a variety of potential colors such as black, tan, chocolate, fawn, golden, red, silver, and more. They can also have black as a base color with other colors in the pattern like silver, tan, or even black, tan, and white.

Meanwhile, whippets appear in many colors like black, blue, cream, white, red, and various combinations of the colors listed. These dogs are easily distinguished from one another.

Saluki vs. Whippet: Behavior

Whippet (Canis familiaris) - running through grass

Whippets are playful dogs with a lot of energy

©photosounds/Shutterstock.com

The saluki and whippet are not the most common pet dogs. Still, they have unique personalities. Salukis are known for having a high level of energy that needs an outlet. They’re very loyal and loving dogs, but they are not good guard dogs because of their friendliness toward strangers.

Meanwhile, whippets are playful dogs with a lot of energy. They are quiet and don’t bark often. They can cause trouble if they are not properly trained, but they are trainable. 

Saluki vs. Whippet: Life Expectancy

The Saluki lives between 10 and 17 years, and the Whippet lives between 12 and 15 years. The Saluki has shorter and longer extremes for life expectancy compared to the Whippet, but they can both live long lives with proper care.

Is the Saluki or Whippet Faster?

The saluki is faster than the whippet since it’s capable of running at a speed of 42.8 mph, a speed just shy of the top speed of a greyhound. However, the whippet is the fastest dog in its weight class, and it can run at a speed of 35 mph, making it a very fast dog.

Aside from being the fastest dog in its weight class, the whippet also reaches its top speed very quickly, potentially accelerating faster than any other dog.

Another element of the saluki’s speed is that it can maintain its running speed longer than other dogs. While greyhounds dominate in races that are about half a mile or less, the saluki can push itself to run at high speeds for even longer than that. In a long enough race, it could potentially overtake the greyhound.

All in all, these dogs are different from one another. Yet, one thing is certain: the saluki is the faster animal.

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About the Author

Kyle Glatz is a writer at A-Z-Animals where his primary focus is on geography and mammals. Kyle has been writing for researching and writing about animals and numerous other topics for 10 years, and he holds a Bachelor's Degree in English and Education from Rowan University. A resident of New Jersey, Kyle enjoys reading, writing, and playing video games.

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