The Whippet is a member of the Hound group and specifically a Sighthound. The breed originated in England about the mid 1800's. They were bred to pursue small game such as rabbits for their owner's dinner. In the northern part of the country they became race dogs and "rag racing" was a popular sport in the working man's community. Often referred to as the "poor man's racehorse" the breed grew in popularity. The breed was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1888.