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  • Writer's pictureAureate

Living with Whippets

Updated: Nov 29, 2023

Whippets are an absolute pleasure to live with. First off they’re not a big dog. They’re also not so small they get under your feet. They’re naturally clean and groom themselves like cats. They don’t have that stereotypical “doggy” odour and overall they’re a quieter dog to live with. BUT if you’re looking for a dog that doesn’t bark altogether, try a stuffed animal! Whippets are still dogs after all!

There are some important distinctions to be aware of when owning a Whippet and they have particular needs that MUST be met.

If it’s important to you that a dog is never on your furniture, then absolutely do NOT get a whippet!

Whippets do not have fat padding over their bodies and particularly over their joints. This means when they’re lying down, it can be uncomfortable unless appropriate cushioning is provided. They are natural comfort seekers, so will intrinsically look for the most comfortable seat in the house, which is often the sofa. We cannot stress this enough. If you don’t want a dog on the couch, don’t get a Whippet! They also like to be cozy. Meaning, a lot of Whippet owners find they have far more blankets and throws than they did before owning the breed. Although they’re far heartier than people unfamiliar with them would suspect, in late fall and winter, they are vulnerable to temperature changes (as they do not have a double coat and trace body fat). This means they will require coats, sweaters and fleeces to keep them comfortable and active outdoors.

Indoors, Whippets prefer to be where their people are. Meaning they won't be content knowing you're home yet in a different part of the house if it's inaccessible to them. This is why teaching your young puppy gradually, with consistent crate training, to be confident and self soothe while crated is important. Whippets are affectionate dogs but not tirelessly so. They will often be content with you on the sofa curled up under a blanket while you watch TV or read. They will get up and greet familiar faces when guests are over, but they don't have to be the center of the party. They're happy just to be in the same room. Whippets being sensitive dogs, do best like any dog with a consistent routine, in a non-tumultuous household without significant conflict or ongoing tension. Well bred Whippets and particularly our dogs are not nervous or neurotic. They don't require endless amounts of exercise and often spend most of the day lounging. (Of course, this is excluding the first two years of life during puppy-hood and adolescence). By now, I hope you've taken the time or will read through all of our general education posts about this Breed. One point we cannot stress enough is that WHIPPETS being sighthounds CANNOT SIMPLY BE LET OFF LEASH. Their prey drive is extremely high combined with their keen sense of motion! They'll perilously charge across the street into oncoming traffic or take off after a squirrel on a trail. Once they're out of sight or if they become spooked while running it doesn't take long for a sighthound to become feral. Meaning they won't come running back to you, tail wagging like a lab. This is why its ABSOLUTELY imperative that EVERY Whippet owner invests a great deal of time teaching recall and a solid emergency recall!

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