Gentle (mostly )
Breathtaking at full speed
Fold up small
Lovely short, easy clean coats
They think poking you with their very pointy noses is an acceptable form of communication
They steal your seat as soon as you stand up
They're wonderful little dogs. We got our first just over two years ago. Whippet number three is hopefully joining us late December/early January
They can live with cats, especially if brought up with them from puppies but I wouldn't expect them to ever be trustworthy with cats that aren't "theirs".
They can be let off lead, both of ours go off lead for most of their walks. We keep them on lead around strange dogs (whippets, like most sighthounds, play in a way that isn't always appreciated by other types of dog) and anywhere near livestock. Their recall is great though, it's the single thing we put the most effort into when they're puppies and we constantly reinforce it.
Neither of ours have sensitive stomachs and none of their breeders' dogs do either. I think that's more an individual dog thing rather than a breed thing, at least in whippets.
They're not generally very barky (ours will sometimes alert bark if there's someone at the door but only really if they can be bothered ) but some can be quite whingey. One of ours is a whinger and will whine whenever he wants something or thinks something isn't quite right.
They need a surprisingly little exercise. Ours get between 30 and 60 minutes most days with a couple of longer walks each week. As long as they get a good run off lead they're more than happy with that and will snooze for the rest of the day. They hate rain and if it's raining really heavily we don't bother forcing them out as they'll mope along shivering regardless of how many layers they're wearing. Cold is acceptable as long as they're wrapped up nice and warm though we keep walks in the snow short as their feet get very cold.
As you can tell from little essay I'm a bit evangelical about whippets Seriously though, fab little dogs and I honestly think they're ideal for such a wide range of people.
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Wed 23-Oct-13 10:04:40
Thank you for your reply (I don't know how to do a smiley face!). My main concern is my cats to be honest. One is very confident but the other is not and I don't know if I am expecting too much. Where I live the majority of whippets are working dogs and I am worried that by bringing in a sighthound I am talking a huge risk. Plus most of our walks are in forests and I worry to let it off the lead and it wont come back!
I have wanted a dog and done endless research and now that DH has finally agreed all I can do is find reasons not to have one and full of "what if's"
Other than my above reservations they sound ideal for us. How are they for chewing? Are they calm even as puppies?
Good luck on your whippet number 3. You must love the breed and your post has been really helpful. I am thinking we might have to wait until we are cat free until we think of getting one which could be a while!
No problem whatsoever. I couldn't recommend the breed enough, they're so full of character and just brilliant companions.
One final insight I'd give is their STRONG prey drive and the need for recall training asap. If they see a squirrel or rabbit on the park, they will be a blur on the horizon in no time. This is largely unavoidable if you want to let your whippy off the lead. The only way I've found to counter this (I live in Yorkshire, UK so lots of open fields / woodland) is to let it all happen in a safe environment. Easier said that done though of course!
Well, honestly, recall is a challenge with Whippets due to their strong, independent nature. I always carry a bag of high value treats on every walk, and reward with every successful recall. Mine no knows when she comes back to me (hopefully instantly!) she's rewarded with food.
With regards to their interaction with other dogs, I've never had this problem. As she was integrated with other dogs from a small age ('puppy club', literally the best thing ever!) she seems to have a good inclination of what dogs are approachable or not, steering clear of the larger or more aggressive dogs. Obviously this is just my experience though. Also, they're the fastest accelerating breed in the world, enabling them to escape most dogs if needs be 😂
If you feel like checking some snaps of my whippy out, she's 'loopylunathewhippet' on Instagram. Yes were one of those couples, I apologise.
I own two whips. One girl (1.5 yr old) and one boy (just over a year). Not blood related.
I crate train with the idea that in another year or so, they'll have free reign over the house while I'm at work. I've owned both of them since they were just pups.
I regularly take them to a huge dog park when the weather permits. I live in Minnesota, so it's too cold for them to spend a lot of time outside in the winter months.
In my experience, being at work all day has not been a problem. Although in fairness I did come home at lunch until they were 7 months to let them potty and connect with them at that phase.
My girl is extremely needy! Whines when I'm not actively petting her or snuggling her. My boy loves attention too but doesn't need it. He's the most laid back dog I've ever had. He just wants to relax near me and give me the occaisonal hug/kiss. I don't believe their attitudes are because of their gender though. I'm just trying to illustrate that two whips can have extremely opposite personalities despite being in the same breed.
In the past, they've showed signs of crate rubbing. Kongs helped. But mostly it just boils down to getting enough exercise to release pent up energy. That's where having two whips seems to help out a lot. Those two will wrestle and Chase eachother and make my job as their caretaker easier. In my mind getting a 5km walk would probably be enough to get most of their energy out. Every once in a while you should let them bolt (in a fenced area of course). Watching them run is such a blast. If I think of more stuff I'll come back and add.
I️ have a year and a half old female whippet. We work full time, so she is alone from about 8-5. Crate training her has been easy and she enjoys her space (we have a smaller dog that also likes her space). We live in a house, but I️ can see her adjusting well to any kind of space, as long as she has run time each day.
Pros: She doesn’t bark unless she’s playing She’s incredibly sweet She does well in a crate for a work day Very playful Easily trainable for tricks Very cuddly No bad breath!
Cons: Ours sucks at walking. She prefers sprinting and playing fetch in our fenced in backyard to a long walk. She’s a jumper on people Easily trainable for tricks... if treats are involved. She knows somehow Sheds.... and she’s white so we see it everywhere
Whippets really really need human company. My partner and I work from home and we NEVER would have even considered getting a whippet (much less any other breed) if we had to be away from home 8-10 hours a day.
Of course, it is totally 100% possible to have a whippet and not work from home, but there is more risk to it (emotionally for the pup, financially for you, etc.).
My recommendation would be to not get a puppy if you are away for so long every day. Puppies need a LOT of attention, and it is pretty much a requirement to take a few weeks off work to bond with the puppy and to train it when you first get it.
The only issue is, it can be difficult to find an adult whippet for sale. Most breeders will have a section on their website for adult whippets, but you will have to check often since there will only ever be one available at a time (in my experience). Also, don't even try the animal shelter, you won't find a whippet within 50 miles of the place! :)
That said, getting a whippet was the best thing that's happened to me in... pretty much ever! We love(d) our first whippet so much (she was also our first dog ever, for both of us) we got a second whippet puppy about 6 months later! But again, we both work from home, so we literally spend 24/7 with the dogs.
Just to give you an idea of what kind of exercise our puppies require (individual results may vary):
We don't walk them in the morning, we take them for a quick potty right outside and they go back to sleep until around noon.
At noon, one of us will take them on a 30-40 minute walk.
Between 2:00-3:00 PM we take the older puppy for a short run, no more than a mile and a half on a good day (we started running with her when she was around 6 months).
At around 4:00-5:00 PM, we go on a family walk and we generally go to the dog park. We will spend an hour, on average, at the dog park throwing balls.
Between 8:00-10:00 PM they get super hyper again and we have to either play with them indoors or take them on another walk, depending on the weather.
If we don't do all of this every day, the two of them will get very rowdy and will start targeting the furniture and other things they aren't supposed to mess with. Of course, it is not nearly as bad with just one whippet, the two whippets feed off each other's bad behaviors. But the exercise requirement only increases as the dog ages (and then obviously decreases into old age after a nice long plateau).
I'm sure you'll make the right decision for your situation. Whippets are not only difficult to find, but they are also very expensive (prepare to drop at least $1,000 for your first pup (and if you're lucky, the breeder will give you a discount for the second one!)).
If you do decide to get a whippet, please don't hesitate to use this subreddit for help! Everyone is super friendly here and we all want to help!
EDIT: If you live on the east coast (in the VA, NC, SC region), I can recommend a breeder who has a really cute adult whippet currently available!
Ellen Santos Mattesi
I have a whippet mix named Hazel. We found her, skinny and sickly, and at a rescue shelter. The first thing she did was jump on a bench between my kids and lick inside both of their ears. I was sold. She is so sweet and loving...and fast! She loves the beach. No matter how far she runs, I call her name and she races back to me like a bullet. She is the best dog I have ever had. She sleeps in her bed with a pillow right next to my daughters' beds every night, and doesn't budge until I wake them all up for school. If you have a family, and can get a whippet, you won't regret it.
I adore my whippet Aston Martin. He is truly the easiest and most fun dog I have ever owned. He goes from curled up in a silent ball to a very spirited, comical and companionable pet within seconds. I can't imagine not having him. He is so much fun and beautiful to look at.
We adopted a whippet/bsenji mix (border collie mix according to shelter, but not the vet) was told she was turned in for "behavioral problems"...OMGOSH! What were they thinking?? Brought her home...the most loveable, kind, gentle (might pee occasionally when I pull in the drive) BIG DEAL! she completes our family...even kisses the hamster (maybe just getting her breakfast taste buds ready). She's not kenneled, only chews her toys not furniture. Absolutely the best dog ever.
I had a whippet for 17 years. He was adopted from a shelter that said he had been returned 3 times. He was a clown, but 'whip' smart. Gentlemanly on leash walks, but if could get his pointy nose through the door or gate he was off to the races. Very entertaining for the neighbors watching me in PJs track him through the snow (which he loved) He once stole an entire turkey cooling on the counter. Thunder made him pack up his food bowl and try to escape. Never figured that one out. Miss the fool.
Loads of people do have both whippets and cats. The breeder of our boys have ferrets which the dogs are all fine with. It does take vigilance, I don't think you could ever be complacent with both in the house but equally it's not an absolute no go either.
I wouldn't say they're calm as puppies but they tend to be sprinters even when they're small. Lots of short but very energetic bursts of activity then they conk out for a while. Sprinting round the house is quite a common activity, they need all the practise they can get to master those legs whilst they're growing Neither chewed too badly, there was a tiny bit of gnawing on some furniture and one of them shredded a book but that's not bad going really. They're quite fastidious so not too hard to house train although we found that it's better to have a bit of garden sectioned off for them to toilet in otherwise they'd be doing laps as soon as they got outside
Our youngest is just short of a year old and he's really acting like a proper whippet these days. As I type he's sprawled out on the floor in the sun. Our other whippet (just over two years old) is snoozing away in a little ball on a beanbag I find them very relaxing dogs, there's something very soothing about having them draped over the furniture in an evening!!
We've just got a whippet pup whose 10 weeks old and completely adorable. She's had a lot of attention so far when out and about. She is very affectionate and cuddly, but also quite nervous when she's doing something new.
She is very calm most of the time but does get excited around the children and just spends a lot of time sleeping. She hardly chews at all and is incredibly quiet. I don't think she has even tried to woof yet just whines a bit when she is not happy about something. She's very fast already amazing to watch but I know I'm going to have to train well to come back when called. We are first time dog owners and the vet said it was a good breed for a first dog.
I've done a bit of training so far and she seems to be picking it up really quickly despite what you read about whippets being difficult to train.
We re-homed a whippet from the RSPCA and she is an absolute angel around the house. Just loves to curl up in her bed by the radiator, would rather be on the settee or bed but that's banned in our house (mean mummy!). She's as quiet as a mouse apart from letting us know the postman has been (she goes barking mad for some reason lol)
Never had a problem with our daughter, she's so soft and adorable (the whippet not the daughter!) She's been dragged about a bit and never ever reacted. She's not food orientated either so no aggression there either. My 2 year old is able to hold her lead when we walk to the woods as she's so gentle and never pulls on a lead.
The stress she causes is when we're out. She has tried every way to get out of the garden and take herself for a walk! We walk her once a day (with our elderly lurcher) for about 40 minutes. We've got a large wood near us and it's the only place we feel safe letting her off as she is so fast. Word of warning she has been known to catch the odd squirrel But she does come back eventually (people are used to us hanging around the entrance to the woods). I definitely wouldn't let her off in fields where there is livestock!
Some advice, I would definietly get your whippet insured. We've had a few visits to the vet, due to her escapades when we're out and about. Their skin is very thin and is easily damaged. Never anything major but a few stitches here and there. Mine is also a drama queen so any injections involve alot of squealing, bless her. She was a stray so maybe explains her need for adventures!
Try the rehoming centres, we were very lucky when we found our little one.
There is a whippet rescue called Scruples. They have a facebook page.
I have a whippet, and he is adorable. He is brilliant with the kiddies, even not flinching when my eldest bit his tail!
He has a 30 minute run each day and then spends the rest of the day curled up wherever he can find that is nice and snug (usually under the throws on the sofa, so he gets sat on fairly regularly).
Whippets are notorious thieves, and no food is safe when they are around. Mine will take food out of the little ones hands without a second thought, although he does so very gently. So I just make sure he is in his crate when food is out. It does save on hoovering though.
Whippets can live with cats, very often they wont chase their own cat, but would happily chase any other cat they see.
Recall is vital, and I spent hours training my whippet to come back as soon as I whistled, and it has paid off. I can let him off lead in the park, and know he will not bother other dogs, although I do have to make sure there are no rabbits out as he will chase those and become deaf to recall until they are safely down a hole.
K9 communities is definitely a good place for advice, I would have been lost without it. There are lots of different types of owners on there from those that show to those that work their dogs, with the normal pet owners there as well, so there is a good range of advice.
If you want to know anymore please feel free to contact me.
My Whippet Tim is 7 years old. He was 1 when my son was born so my little boy has grown up with him which has been lovely.
However, please don't boo me because I love him and Whippets are lovely but for me, Tim has been a bit of handful and I'm not really sure that he is suited to a family lifestyle. Basically to cut a long story short, I bought tim from a breeder for £275.00 when I got divorced (my husband wouldn't let me have dog). I've grown up with dogs from the age of 10 so I really wanted to get a dog again. It was just me and Tim for ages, I trained him well, we walked every day and it built his confidence up with traffic (he was really frightened) bikes etc. Then I met my current partner and then by nothing short of a miracle I fell pregnant. Unfortunately, Tim took a back seat and I have always remained very guilty about that.
Saying that, he is good with my son and I also have 4 cats. The most recwent addition is now 7 months old and I cannot tell you just how sweet Tim was with her. He adopted her and it was the sweetest thing I have ever seen!!
He is lovely, wanting to be snuggled up on the sofa at all times, comfort is his number one priority!!
I never leave him alone with my son just in case which I would do no matter what breed.
I also bought a crate for him to stay in whilst he was a puppy whilst I was at work and I went home at lunchtime, this still happens now when my partner goes for lunch. It really helped him have his own space and it stopped him from crying through the night.
Unfortunately, I do not walk him as regularly as I would like and it makes me feel awful really awful.
It sounds like you have a wonderful environment for a dog and Whippets are wonderful, it is just mine I think if he had the choice would like to go back to when it was just me the cats and him all snuggled up!
Please keep in touch and let me know when you get him or her.
My whippet lives with me and my family from the time she was 5 weeks old until her untimely death at 17. She never tore anything up nor growled at anybody, and she got along with our cat and every child she came in contact with. Yes, she could easily sail over the fence, and chasing her was an exercise in futility, but all I had to do was drive the car to her vicinity and open the door for her to dash to the car and hop in. It is a shame I wasn’t a faster learner. Installation of an electric wire was all that was needed to stop the neighborhood wanderings which had earned her the nickname as Zoom Zoom Zoe. She was gentle but she saved us from scorpions. She was forgiving but she was a magnificent watchdog. She was just about perfect and much, much more, and better, than the article paints the breed to be.
I agree with you guys. I find whippets incredibly easy to live with, train, they are so good with children especially very young children. If you understand a whippet then they are so easy to lI’ve with.
And this comment ‘This can lead to them running for 10 miles before finally looking up and realizing they have left you behind.’ My whippets could never run 10 miles! Where did they get some of this information from. I’m sure it’s not from experience!
This article is ridiculous. I own a whippet, and he is the fourth dog I have owned. He is the best dog I could ever want. He has never growled or shown any aggression in his life. He gets along perfectly with my lab, who is one year older than him. He is kind, cuddly, playful, expressive, happy, and a dog everyone loves. Whippets are the perfect kind of dog for any person, unless you have a very small yard and are not willing to exercise your whippet. He is hilarious and constantly makes us laugh with his funny expressions and cuteness. Would never consider any other breed after having him
I want to start off by saying that Whippets are wonderful dogs and can adapt to almost anything. They can be moody and stubborn when not being paid attention to. I'm at work at least 8 hours a day and my whippet is fine during that time. When I get home I do a lot of hiking, jogging, walking, and going to the dog park to try and tire him out. If I don't give him the excercise and attention he loves then he destroys things. See Whippets are big chewers. especially when they have too much energy. If I have things to after work I try to get my mother(who lives close by) to watch him or else i know i will regret it. As long as you spend time with them doing something active they are usually fine.
I'm a single working whippet owner who lives alone. My whippet is the best thing to ever happen to me, hands down. You may need a dog walker in the first year, but mine is quite happy alone all day. I took my dog to work with me for most of the first year, but I understand most people don't have this luxury.
My dog gets about 3 hours of exercise a day, including an hour before work. Keeping this schedule changed my life, for sure, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. I've never had an issue with separation anxiety or destruction and I think lots of exercise was key to that.
So I agree that it can certainly be done, but 2nd the idea to consider carefully, given your age. I was not all that young (though not old) when I got my dog, and I'm glad I waited.
Now the thing I want to do most when done work is to rush home to see and play with my best friend. After work drinks and frequent evenings out were already a thing of the past for me, but dedicating this kind of time to a dog would've been hard when I was younger and I think I would've missed out on a lot of socializing with friends.
Even still, some friends have a hard time with the fact that I refuse to make myself available until after 7:30 or 8 pm on a weekday (which puts most dinners out of the question) because the dog takes priority and NEVER would go out more than one evening in a row. Or generally, more than once week. I don't care though, cuz I get to spend the time with my best friend of all :)