Balance and Proportion – Karen Lee

Disclaimer: These are from my notes and recollections and any mistakes contained are mine, not the speaker’s.

When you talk about proportions you are talking about ratios. We are looking for a correct, attractive ideal relationship between the parts and the whole. Whippets are an outline breed. Proportion is about ratios, not size.

Ratios are mentioned in the standard:

  • length of forechest to buttocks should be equal or longer than height at the withers
  • tail long and tapering, reaching to the inside of the hock
  • Shoulder blade and upper arm should be equal in length

If you look at a silhouette of a greyhound, whippet and Italian greyhound it should be immediately apparent which is which, even if the images are equal in size. IGs have a shorter back and ribs, greyhounds have a longer back with ribs continuing further to the loin and the whippet is in the middle.

Balance is a harmony of design and proportion. You should be looking at the angulation and you want matching angles front and rear (withers to point of shoulder to elbow and top of pelvis to hip point to knee to hock).

In comparing a race bred vs. show bred whippet you can see the moderate angles, balance and no extreme fall off in the loin of the race bred. The show bred has a deeper chest, more curves and more rear angulation. Straying to far from the moderation of the race bred will result in a decrease in overall speed.