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Whippets also participate in dog sports such as lure coursing, agility, and flyball.The name is derived from an early 17th-century word, now obsolete, meaning to "move briskly".The heart of a Whippet is large and slow beating, often being arrhythmic or even intermittent when the animal is at rest.This sometimes causes concern to the owner, or to the vet not experienced with the breed.
Eventually, the sport evolved and dogs were divided into four groups: those who hunted rabbits, which was not governed by rules; those who coursed hare, for which a set of rules was established; those trained to the rag; and those trained to chase a mechanical lure in a fashion similar to greyhound races.
There is a 1758 painting by Pompeo Batoni entitled Portrait of Charles Compton, 7th Earl of Northampton which features a similar whippet-like dog.
Early specimens were taken from the race track by the dog fanciers of the time and exported around the world.
Whippets were originally greyhounds that were deemed unsuitable for hunting because of their size.
They were returned to their peasant breeders after being maimed so that they could not be used to hunt and break the forest law.
These maimed dogs were bred together and used to catch rats, and hunt rabbits.