What age were you and how did you become involved in the world of Dogs?:
I became involved in the dog world at a very young age via my parents,as my father bred long haired GSD’s and my mother always had a miniature poodle in the house,so I basically grew up with dogs and have actually never had a time in my life when I haven’t lived with at least one dog.
What Breeds of Dogs have you had over the years?
I have lived with quire a few different breeds over the years,as I say as a young child it was miniature poodles and long haired GSD’s,then in the early eighties my father bought me a whippet to go to the stables with me and also keep up with the ponies whilst out hacking,when I left home I had a flat coated retriever and a wiemaraner and then when I met my husband Ryan and bought our first home we took on his old golden retriever and then got a rescue border collie,after that came a harlequin great dane and then the working gundogs…an ESS and another wiemaraner,we also had a rescue jack russell and then came the whippets,which we still have,we have also owned border terriers,a galgo and a basenji alongside the whippets.
What Breeds of Dogs have you got now?
We now just have whippets
What would you consider to be your main breed and the one people associate you with?
What attracted you to this breed?
As mentioned above,my father bought me a whippet in the early eighties and I completely fell in love with the breed,they really are one of the best breeds of dog to share your life with,they are highly intelligent,loyal,loving,clean,easy to train,are very adaptable,don’t really have a doggy smell and don’t cast/shed too much at all.
What advice would you offer to anybody that is interested in becoming an owner of the breed?
Do your homework,read up on as much information about whippets as you can to make sure it is definitely the breed for you and your family,the Kennel Club have great breed information and a list of reputable breeders on their website and without a shadow of a doubt research breeders and when you find one that you think may be suitable for you,don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions,a good breeder wont mind,in fact they will admire you for having done your homework and for asking.
Does the Breed have any specific requirements by way of exercise & grooming?
Whippets are actually a fairly easy breed to have,they will basically take as much exercise as you can throw at them,but they are also massive couch potatoes,so once they have had their walk,they will happily lie up for the rest of the day. Daily roadwork mixed up with free(off leash) running is the ideal exercise regime for the breed,they just love to run so finding a safe enclosed space where they can have a 15/20 minute “blow out” is a must,alongside this a 30 -60 minute road/pavement walk on the leash will maintain long,lean,flat muscle and keep their feet in good condition also.
Does the breed have any specific health tests that should be done before a Dog or Bitch is used at stud or bred from?
We are lucky as whippets are a fairly healthy breed and there are no “required” health testing that needs done prior to breeding,however,as there does appear to be heart issues creeping into the breed…albeit very slowly…we personally have opted to heart test our dogs,as well as eye and ear testing.
How would you sum up the characteristics of this breed and what type of household would they best be suited to?
The whippet breed is what I would call in the horse world an “all rounder”,they can turn their little paws to anything,our own lines are multi functional as we have bred dogs that take part in lure coursing,racing,hunting/working,showing,agility and first and foremost loving family pets. They get on extremely well with other dogs and just want to be around people,they love being involved in whatever you are doing and will cuddle up beside you on the sofa. To be honest,they really do fit into most households,either busy family ones or older retired ones,as long as they can get a daily walk with a free run then they are happy,the only thing that I would say they are not suited to,is being left alone for long periods of time,they are nosy dogs,who want to be involved in “their people’s” lives and activities and love nothing more than being with you.
To keep up to date with all that is going on with Pamela & Ryan and the Mossbawnhill Whippets check out their website here
Photo taken by Paul Morrison.