Wendy the Whippet is an Amazing Dog!
While her head, heart, lungs and legs are the size of those of a normal whippet, her gene defect means she is “double muscled”.
She weighs 4st4lb – twice as much as she should – and has bulging neck muscles, burly shoulders and haunches like a baboon. And unlike ordinary whippets known for their lithe and narrow frame, this four-year-old pedigree doesn’t just have a sixpack stomach, she has a 24-pack.
A June 2007 New York Times article reports that Wendy and others like her – dubbed “bully whippets” – have become the subjects of scientific testing.
When mutant, muscle-bound puppies started showing up in litters of champion racing whippets, the breeders of the normally sleek dogs invited scientists to take DNA samples at race meets here and across the country. They hoped to find a genetic cause for the condition and a way to purge it from the breed.
It worked. “Bully whippets,” as the heavyset dogs are known, turn out to have a genetic mutation that enhances muscle development.
In spite of her somewhat fearsome appearance, Wendy’s owner claims that she is a friendly animal who “likes nothing better than a good back scratch and isn’t shy about sitting in your lap to ask for one”. And far from living a spartan life as a Russian Army dog, Wendy enjoys a relaxed and healthy life on a farm in Victoria, Canada.