Whippets make wonderful all round family dogs but that doesn't mean they're the right fit for every family!
Although we don't have children of our own at Aureate we fully believe and have observed how wonderful whippets can be as family dogs. Their even disposition, gentle nature and loving temperaments can make fabulous companions. That said it's important for any prospective families to have an honest review of where their family and work life is at before expanding the family to include a whippet puppy.
-Puppies of any breed are A LOT of work. Whippets are no exception. If you have extremely young children at home including but not limited to toddlers, you may want to wait a few years before bringing home a puppy. Let's not kid ourselves, children should always be your priority in terms of balance between work and home life. More often than not when families expand, the simplest member, the dog, gets shortchanged. It's not that whippet puppies and babies don't work, a parent's plate is generally already full to overflowing and we do not recommend it.
-Teething Stage: we've discussed on another post recommendations to keep in mind when your whippet is between the age of 12 weeks - 6 months of age. It's important to shape your puppy's experiences with positive reinforcement. If you don't want your sore-mouthed puppy biting you and your children, it's important to discourage negative or hyperactive behaviour from your children. Yes, puppies can be adorable when they're all worked up and zooming around the house, but THAT'S NOT THE TIME to get on the ground and play with them! I REPEAT THAT'S NOT THE TIME TO ENGAGE ON THE GROUND WITH THEM! If you want to get on the ground to play with your puppy, wait until they're calm and relaxed. When you do play, don't use your hands directly, use a toy to interface with the puppy.
-Overstimulated: Just like children, when your puppy is overly tired or worn out they can behave completely the opposite before they crash. They can spin and zoom around unnecessarily and be very mouthy. That's when it's best to recognize these times BEFORE they happen and introduce nap/crate rest breaks so your puppy can rest.
-Never leave your puppy and children unsupervised: whippets are wonderful and loving companions, but it's important that you teach your children to respect their family member's boundaries and read their behavioural cues. That means, it's your job to setup both your children and puppy for success in their relationship.
-Mirroring: Puppies and adult dogs mirror the atmosphere they're raised in. So if things in your life are chaotic and busy, that may not be the ideal time to bring home a new family member, unless you want to perchance raise an anxious dog.
-Securing the Yard/House: Even with an all adult home, it can be trying at times to ensure all the puppy and yard gates are secure. That can be even more so with children in the equation. The number one cause of injury and early death in whippets is motor-vehicle collisions with an escaped whippet.Experienced whippet owner's know you can never be too careful securing your house and yard.