This section is from the book "All About Dogs - A Book For Doggy People", by Charles Henry Lane. Also available from Amazon: All About Dogs: A Book For Doggy People.
This is certainly, whether quite in his present form and appearance or not, one of the most ancient breeds, and believed to have been kept by our forefathers in the earliest part of the Christian era. It is said to have been introduced into this country in the days of Elfric, Duke of Mercia, and manuscript paintings exist of a Saxon chief, his huntsman and a brace of Greyhounds in the ninth century. Although not generally credited with much more intelligence than to view a hare and run after it until he catches it, or it gets away, I mention later on in this book, some tales of his sagacity which I believe are well authenticated, and will now give a detailed description of the breed: -
WHIPPET GREYHOUND Ch. "REAL JAM!' S.WOODWIS Owner.
Head, narrow and fine, with sufficient muscle; nose should be straight (not curved, many, otherwise good, are spoiled by "Roman noses"); nasal sinuses not developed; eyes full and bright, full of life; senis erect, small, well shaped ears; neck long, slightly curved; chest capacious, plenty of "lung power," deep rather than wide; shoulders deep, narrow at top, like racehorses' shoulders in their position; forelegs straight, well set on, well muscled; forearms, long, strong and muscular; feet compact, and not too long; well arched ribs; wide, large and muscular hips; long, strong, slightly arched back; hocks and knees placed low; coat glossy as satin (many good "performers" however, have been the reverse of this); Colours: white, red, brindle, blue and white, fawn, black, red and fawn, etc., quite a matter of taste. It is thought, by some people, that more great winners have been produced from the blacks, and black and whites, than from any other colours. As far as show winners are concerned, and I have had scores of the breed before me, I am inclined to think brindles, blacks and fawns have been the most often the winning colours.