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Whippet - noisy kids or lab / golden?!(42 Posts)
Hi everyone, hoping for some advice from whippet / lab / golden owners and anyone more knowledgable than me! We have decided to get a pup - 2 children age 3 and 4 and 2x large cats. I work from home 2x days a week (that's it, no other days work). We have a small home with small patio but large parks etc nearby. We are looking for a dog with an excellent temperament around children. We adore whippets but our kids can be noisy (as all can). They are respectful and gentle and would never be unsupervised, we grew up with labs so know about the need to keep everyone safe etc. Are whippets truly kid friendly (well bred, well socialised fron reputable breeder?) - we are hoping for a true family dog, one the kids can fully play with / snuggle with safely, or are we better to just go for a lab or golden, the stereotypical family dog? Any insights/ experience much appreciated. Thanks in advance everyone.
Whippets can be good with kids but are generally VERY pain intolerant. Ours bit my then 14yo nephew when he sat on his leg by mistake, and has growled at my dc's several times over the years for doing similar. If you are not comfortable with managing that, then they are not the dog for you.
There is also no way you could 'snuggle' him lol, he hates to be touched, he does love to cuddle next to you though. He was from an excellent breeder and raised with children from a puppy.
I should also add that lots of dogs hate to be 'snuggled', no child should ever be allowed to hug a dog. And that the ages of your children mean you will not be able to leave them unsupervised with the dog for many many years. It is also a given that they will be painfully bitten many times by any puppy and knocked over a lot by a larger one.
Whippets also have a very high prey drive and will easily kill a cat.
Sorry, some of that sounds a bit short. I'm a bit headachey and sleep deprived, didn't mean to sound like a dick.
My whippet is v tolerant but won’t snuggle. Loves our cats but overall not v bright. We love him but sometimes I would prefer a brighter, more reponsive dog like a lab. But glad he isn’t a food-seeking missile like some labs.
We’ve had our whippet since our youngest were 3 and 4 - he was a puppy. He loves cuddles and puts up with a lot of affection. We don’t have cats but he is fine around our ferrets as he’s been used to them since he was little and they play gently. He’s not the brightest dog - I used to have a lurcher and it was smarter - but he is really sweet and the children love him. Also happy to do shortish walks and sleep for hours or to walk for miles.
I’m guessing you are just starting to look. I wouldn’t get a dog with preschool kids. No breed of dog should have to put up with lots of noise or compulsory snuggles! And no one breed is perfect with kids. All puppies mouthe and it hurts.
I would consider grooming too. Labs shed like you wouldn’t believe. And allergies? I’m allergic to goldens. Bigger and shaggier dogs bring in more mud too.
Maybe I should add too, that I have had two dogs from puppies that were from genuinely excellent breeders, really faultless. And neither have been particularly good with children. I also have a rescue who we got at a year old, who came with such a raft of other problems she could only go to a fairly dog savvy home, but they did know from her being in foster that she really loved children, to the point that they thought it would really benefit her to go to a home with kids. And my goodness, she is incredible with kids, I would never leave her unsupervised as to me that an unbreakable rule, but she adores all small people, they are absolutely her best thing. If you want a dog that comes with the closest you can get to a guarantee of being good with kids, then a well assessed rescue will always be a better bet than a puppy of any breed.
Standstilling, my whip is a food seeking missile even from strangers, he is a bloody liability. Was better when he was young, but now he's old (ish) he's a law unto himself.
Thanks everyone, sounds like whippets overall aren't suited to children then. We really would like a proper family pet, by snuggles I mean an affectionate pet, I realise all dogs need space and cuddling them is a no go. Thanks everyone!
My three grew up with a golden retriever. I cannot recommend a GR too highly. They are the most amazing dogs.
Thank you. Yes, I am very taken by them and like that they are nice and robust, generally speaking!
If you’re even remotely near then it’s worth trying to get to discover dogs at Crufts. Ask about grooming, exercise etc needs and how they are as a family dog. Find out the breed club or society for your chosen breed. Never shop online for a dog.
Also remember show labs and working ones are very different.
Thank you. Yes, I did go to crufts this year and fell in love with whippets!
Does it have to be a pup? Lots of whippets in rescues and the staff could probably inform you of any who will be suitable for your family situation. Less GRs in rescues but they are the perfect family dogs! Basically humans in doggy form ime!
We got a mini labradoodle when our daughter was 2 and half. We also have a large cat. We specifically looked at the breeder and found one who had cats and they also had a 10month old so got very used to being battered about. We picked him up a bit later 10 weeks brought our DD with us and watched. All but one of the litter crowded her and jumped. Our baby boy sat back. When DD escapes outside he approached her and sat down waiting for a fuss. He's 10 months and we couldn't have asked for more. He teethed on his toys only. He is mouthy but in a way he will hold an adults hand to fuss his belly, but only adults.
OP you will get lurcher etc pups in rescue. Eg ELGR.
Don’t get a poodle cross. Any cross breed could have the best or worst of each breed. And are a puppy farmers dream. Rescue or get a breed.
Thanks everyone! Impossible to find a rescue / adult whippet that will be ok with our cats it seems so I gave up on that idea! Also v v hard to find a rescue who are happy with 2 young children, small patio etc etc.
My whippet grew up with my youngest .whippety was 1 when baby born.plus 3 older kids..I have to say he was the perfect pet.loving ,gentle,cuddly ,walked well on a lead.i whistle and he came back..I miss him terribly .
ELGR uses foster homes so they can be realistic about their dogs. You may have to wait for a cat friendly one.
A dog and a three year old isn’t ideal. I really would wait.
Whippets are fantastic but can be sensitive with noise and are very prey-driven, so cats can be awkward. They are more like cats themselves and may not take to being manhandled...
For us, personally, the age is ok. He turns 4 end of Jan and the 4 year old turn 5 a week later. We both grew up from babies with dogs and I personally feel that as long as you have the time and the common sense (ie supervision at all times, proper training etc), young children and a dog are fine together. Just my personal opinion! But like I say I only work 2 days a week, both from home and so have plenty of time for training etc. Understand your perspective though.
If I had kids, I'd go Cockerpoo tho.
Whippets are fabulous little dogs which can (and do) make brilliant family pets. I've got three and they're just awesome; incredibly sweet and gentle, very affectionate, but also cheeky, mischievous and a huge amount of fun.
I've no kids but my boys have spent plenty of time around my niece who they've always been absolutely wonderful with, I don't doubt any of them would be completely fine living in a household with children.
They're really flexible when it comes to exercise, going for hours given the opportunity but they'll also happily chill out at home after a quick blast off lead.
They can have an extremely high prey drive which may or may not be an issue for you. They are one, if not the, most trainable sighthound but you do still need to be sensible about when and where you let them off lead. Sighthound "trainable" is also somewhat different to lab or GR "trainable", whippets are rather independent and you generally have to work a bit harder to get them motivated. Mine are all very clever (sometimes too clever ) and pick things up very quickly once they are suitably motivated and really enjoy training as long as it's kept fun.
When brought up carefully around cats (i.e. preventing chasing/play between them and rewarding for calm behaviour around the cats) they are generally fine, at least with "their" cats but don't expect this to extend to other cats and some will even chase "their" cats if they happen upon them outside the house. However good they are together the cats should always have dog proof areas they can escape to and they shouldn't be left with free access to each other when you go out.
I'd recommend trying to find some breeders or owners (have a look on FB, there are tons of breed specific groups) and get meeting as many as possible. It's very common for people to organise regular whippet walks in their areas and I bet they'd all be happy to have prospective owners along for a chat as well.
So nearly 4 not only just three? It’s only months but it does make a huge difference doesn’t it.
I have a wolfhound and cats and it’s fine but needs careful management. Blue cross have great advice in a leaflet online.
Again if you are looking to rescue I would go for one that fosters likeELGR or Black retriever x. Good luck.
Our 3 year old whippet is absolutely amazing and very tolerant of our 14 month old and make a very human like family pet. On the downside he is clingy and needy, always steals the duvet and is food obsessed. Can be destructive in car and house but loves to be crated so we just do that if we go out and have a crate in the car. He does have a pray drive though so not sure how that would work with the cats, although if the cats are big and the puppy is small I'm sure the cats will educate the puppy.
I'd say a whippet but I'm totally biased x