Sometimes referred to as the Longhaired Whippet, this very recent breed, developed largely in the 1980s, has caused considerable controversy since its creation by Walter Wheeler of the Windsprite Kennels in Massachusetts. Wheeler insists that he has developed the breed from individual, pure-bred Whippets that happened to be carrying a dormant long-haired gene. By selectively favouring this condition in a careful breeding programme he now claims to have created a new type of Whippet. A Longhaired Whippet Association has been formed.
This claim is hotly contested by the traditional Whippet breeders, who argue that Wheeler has exploited a breed ‘fault’. Viewed dispassionately, however, the only serious objection, if he eventually stabilizes his new breed, will be if it proves to be either unhealthy or ugly. Since, at present, it appears to be neither, we must reserve judgement until it has been fully established as a pure-breeding line.