What to get for whippet puppy(3 Posts)
Went to see our new puppy in his breeder's home yesterday and all is well. Gorgeous little whippet is coming our way in a few weeks time. Having had dogs as a kid it's not too new to me but our first as a family. We have a very outgoing alpha boy cat who I am hoping will establish his place as top 'dog' whilst puppy is tiny.
I have books and been lurking on here so I know what an adult sighthound needs (martingale collar, sofa surfer dog, no extendable collar, fleecy coat for indoors and an outdoor coat etc)
Apart from a crate and bed what should I get for puppy coming home? Does he need a puppy sized fleece or will fleecy blankets to carry him around be ok? He will be coming in car on school run so presume crate can be in car and 10YO DS could hold puppy in a blanket in car at first too? What sort of collar for a whippet puppy? (And what is the lovely sighthound collar site I've seen mentioned on here again?). What do I need to get him used to as a puppy - being in a car definitely, but what about a muzzle in the case of visiting a house with cats (I don't want this obviously but would it be better for him to be 'used' to wearing if it became necessary for a short while).
Also your experiences with kids and puppy training. I plan to do a puppy training class - but also want DS(10) to learn about dog discipline alongside me- (as a kid our dogs would never let me walk her but would run home). Part of why we're getting a dog is companionship for DS1 and it's important he feels invested in dog training
As a fellow whippet owner I feel I must start with a dire warning: they're addictive. DH and I only got out first in 2011, by early 2014 we had three of the damn things
I'd recommend joining the FB group 'Dog Training Advice and Support', it's an excellent group and there's also tons of really great information in their 'Files' section about raising puppies.
Socialisation wise, this website is fantastic. It breaks down the different developmental stages of puppies and gives a list of things you should ideally be doing during each. Obviously the breeder should have started with the earlier sections long before your puppy comes home. I'd also recommend the 'Puppy Culture Discussion Group' on FB. Although the Puppy Culture system is mostly designed to be used by breeders there's still lots of good information on there for new owners as well.
I do get my whippets used to wearing collars but I rarely actually use them, for the reasons given in this article. I much prefer a sighthound-safe harness (like the Ruffwear Webmaster or Indi-Dog Houdini Ultra) to use for attaching the lead to.
Getting the pup used to a muzzle is a good idea, it's a useful life skill for them to have as there are all sorts of situations where it might be necessary for them to wear one. Make sure you use a basket muzzle which allow the dog to pant, drink and take treats rather than the fabric ones which hold the mouth shut. You can get lightweight plastic racing muzzles on eBay for just a few pounds which are perfectly fine.
I always start recall training as a priority when a new puppy comes home. All mine have come from the same breeder who had already given them a good foundation in it before they even come to me but I still make sure it's the most trained thing in the early days. I also get them off lead out on walks as soon as they're allowed out. They're much less likely to stray very far when they're really small.
I'd always have him in either a crate or, when he's still tiny, a cat carrier safely strapped in. It's not really safe for your DS to hold him on his lap. Plus it's not uncommon for puppies to be car sick at first (it's worth checking with the breeder whether any of his relatives have been sufferers as it does seem to sometimes run in families) so it's better to have them contained than potentially puking all over someone's lap/the seats/the inside of the door/etc.
Whippets puppies can be absolutely vile, particularly when they're doing wall of death round the living room at bedtime but they start calming down at around 6-7 months
just in time for the teenage phase and by about 18 months in it's totally worth it
Thanks @trioniclettuce - great advice
pretending I haven't seen the bit about the wall of death
Think I will get a puppy harness to start with and make sure to get him used to a muzzle.
His breeder Dora's a lot of showing and so they do travel a lot. He will be doing daily short car journeys which is a good way in.
Good idea about the cat carrier while tiny in the car too.
I've bought 'total recall'. Interesting about getting off lead early while they're still scared to run off. We are urban with quite a few close by parks - but urban parks all have multiple exits so you're never in a properly enclosed space. I think I will ask the other whippet owners I see about this
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