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Ferret body type

ferret body typeIt is easy to describe a ferret body: a long body, short legs, sharp teeth. They are the type of animal you will absolutely recognize if you see one walking down the street on a leash. If you want to recognize them by some official classification, you can do that by the type of fur. By America’s Ferret Asociation there are about 8 fur colors and about 7 fur patterns. That is the official classification and to see what are those official fur colors and patterns check out my post about types of ferrets.

Today I want to talk about one unofficial ferret body classification and that is ferret’s body shape. Just like humans, ferrets can come in different body shapes and ferret lovers decided to make 2 most common body shapes. It is not an official classification so there is a possibility that my classification is different than yours, but we are all talking about the same thing, our beloved ferrets. 🙂

When you see a ferret, you know what you expect. Long body, short legs, fluffy fur and the long tail. Classification for ferret’s body shape is exactly about those things. We are distinguishing our ferrets depending on their length of the body, legs, head shape and depending on their personality. Not every ferret likes to jump, not every ferret is fast as the lightning, or lazy as a sloth and that is all what makes a ferret special.


There are 2 most common ferret body types and they are different in almost every way. We will start from the biggest ferret body type – THE BULLDOG.


The bulldog is a ferret’s body type for big ferrets. European ferrets are slightly bigger than North American ferrets, but that doesn’t mean that all European ferrets are bulldog types, just like it doesn’t mean all American ferrets aren’t.

A bulldog ferret is a ferret with a strong and wide body and by its constitution, it is far bigger than other ferrets. You can see why they are called a bulldog ferret. Male ferrets are bigger than female ferrets, but that doesn’t mean that female ferret can’t be bulldog type of ferret body. You can recognize a bulldog ferret by its short legs and the way it walks closely to the ground. You can almost say it is sneaking through the room. The bulldog type ferret has rounded head with a muscular body. It may look chubby but it isn’t fat because when you grab it you can feel the muscles.

A bulldog ferrets are those big ferrets I have seen in Budapest on the 6th International ferret show. How was on ferret show you can read my post here. Those ferrets are large in body type and some of them are probably a descendant of a ferret which lived on fur farms. People bred big ferrets there to get more fur and that is why their descendants today, are big ferrets. Bigger the fuzzy, more to love. 🙂 Bulldog ferrets are usually lazier than other ferrets, but it doesn’t have to be the rule. Also, due to their constitutions, they aren’t the best jumpers and they mostly rely on their strength.

Now that we have talked about big fuzzies, let’s talk about little fuzzies. The other ferret body shape I was talking about is a Whippet body shape, also known as the greyhound.

ferrets body shape


A whippet is a type of dog made for running with long legs and slim body, muscle on muscle. That dog doesn’t have a gram of fat on it and it has a very active lifestyle. Whippet ferrets are very similar to it. A whippet ferret has a very slim figure, long body and legs and walks around with highly arched back. It is high energetic ferret which loves to run around. You can see similarities between a greyhound or a whippet dog and that ferret body shape.

It is a very good jumper, it can jump high and far, so if you have a whippet, watch out for stuff on the kitchen table. Whippet ferrets are usually very thin, no matter how much they eat. The only way for them to gain weight is during preparation for winter and that is mostly just fluffy winter fur. Their head is narrow, not rounded like bulldog ferrets. Highly energetic, fast, lean and agile are things with which you can describe that ferret body type the best. Whippet ferrets walk around the room like they are tiptoeing, making sure you can’t hear them while stealing socks. The problem is that owners think their ferret is too thin, but a whippet ferret is thin by nature.

If you are wondering if your ferret is too thin, think about it. Was he always this thin? How about the activity? Is he eating OK, playing and sniffing around like before? If on both answers you got an affirmative answer then your ferret is fine the way it is. But, if your ferret lost weight or it is lethargic, visit the vet for a checkup, just to be sure it is OK. You can try to gain weight on a whippet ferret, but it is a long process. If you think it is not really necessary for your ferret to gain weight, don’t. Leave your whippet ferret just the way it is, thin and agile.

I think that a whippet body shape is more common than the bulldog one and I always imagined a wild ferret ancestor like today’s marten or a weasel. When you look at their body, it is a long slim body with long legs and they are very agile. Did you see the weasel’s war dance when it is hunting rabbits? It is extremely fast and agile, in one second jumping in the other running.

It doesn’t matter what ferret body your fuzzy has, what it matters is that it is healthy and happy little carpetshark just like it supposed to be. 🙂

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