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We may be looking to get a whippet puppy at the end of the summer, and I have been doing quite a lot of research on the breed. I know they have a following on here so I have some questions (if you don't mind)
1. Play - owners refer to them (often) as being bitey when they play - does this cause problems with other dogs in the park?
2. Puppydom - owners often refer to how awful they are as puppies - can you be specific?
3. Coats - are any coat colours prized over others? I like the fawn ones, but am not overly fussed.
4. Male or female - I have seen that the males are meant to be more affectionate - is this true?
5. Exercise - they are generally described as being quite laid back, but that they need a good run each day. I also remember seeing that they are prone to injury - are they better walked in a park than in the woods?
6. Sensitivity - DD is a rather hormonal preteen, so I hope that the dog will be soothing and silky when needed, but also drag her out of the house to the park. Apparently whippets are sensitive, will the odd flounce upset them? We're not a loud or shouty household really, but DD can have the odd outburst.
7. Exercise (again) - Doggo will be with one of us at all times, but may need a dog walker every now and then. Will they be ok with a gaggle of assorted urban breeds?
8. We will be getting a puppy from a breeder as we have a rescue cat. None of the rescues will claim a whippet is 'cat friendly' so no luck for us there. Any experience of introducing a whippet pup to a resident cat? The cat rescue have offered to support us in this, so we should be ok.
I'll preface this by saying I'm horribly biased as I've got three whippets and am currently hankering after a fourth...
1) They can be extremely rough when they play (they're effectively practising hunting behaviours) and they can be very obnoxious when trying to get other dogs to either chase after them or run so they can be chased. You do need to make sure they aren't pestering dogs that don't want to join in and that when they do find a willing playmate things don't get out of hand.
2) Most puppies are complete shits regardless of breed, the only real difference with whippets (and other sighthounds) is that they need to get the hang of those legs and evening zoomies can end up being more like wall of death
3) Not really, they're a very colourful breed and I think everyone has their own favourites. Some colours (mainly blue and black) aren't very popular in the show ring though.
4) I've known plenty of both sexes and I don't think it matters much either way, they're all individuals and I've seen no evidence of any particular traits/personalities being more likely in one sex or the other.
5) I find mine incredibly flexible when it comes to exercise, essentially taking as much as they're given. They're happiest when they have the opportunity for a good sprint and free play every day but they're not climbing the walls if they have to have the odd on lead walk or even a day off. They're actually a lot more robust than they look although they can be a bit prone to cuts if they're crashing about in undergrowth. I don't avoid woods at all with mine but I do tend to stick to open areas until they've had a good run and got the tickle out of their feet, mainly to save my nerves!
6) Some can be overly sensitive and skittish but go to a decent breeder whose dogs have good, sound temperaments (as well as setting them up well for going to their new homes) and you should be fine.
7) Yep, should be no problem.
8) They can live with cats very successfully (and many do) though their lack of desire to chase often doesn't extend to any cats other other than "theirs". Preventing any chasing or play between the two right from the start is preferable, especially if you've got a cat who is likely to run from the puppy. Also always providing escape routes/safe areas for the cat by doing things like using baby gates or providing them high areas the puppy can't reach.
I don't have one, but my parents in law and
5. Theres has had a few injuries as a puppy simply because he's so quick and ripped out a dew claw turning too quickly. He likes a good run/walk but sleeps the rest of the day
8. They have a cat and introduced as a puppy with no problems whatsoever
Its a really lovely dog, cheeky but a great pet.
Thanks both very much - much appreciated!
WRT to dewclaws - some adverts say their pups have them removed - is this a good thing? Neither of my cairns had them taken off.
I've never done it to our dogs and personally wouldn't. The only reason he did it was because when he was a puppy he was running too quickly and didn't slow down when turning.
One more question
9. I understand that they can have rather delicate stomachs- what food would you recommend? Would rather not feed kibble as it seems so boring! Raw would be my preference but not sure if that would be suitable.
Dewclaw removal is pretty standard in whippets, I think more breeders do it than don’t. My preference would be for non-removal but I think I’d struggle to find a breeder who fits my other requirements and doesn’t remove dewclaws.
When looking at breeders make sure you check the inbreeding coefficients of any litters you’re interested in. If the parents are both KC registered and you have their full names you can check using Mate Select from the KC.
9. Raw would be absolutely fine if that’s what you want to feed. The only food related issue I’ve had with mine is that one can have very slightly loose poo if he has too much offal. Mine get a mix of wet food (Millie’s Wolfheart, Forthglade, Nature’s Menu, Lily’s Kitchen, Edgard & Cooper) and dry (Millie’s Wolfheart) plus dog appropriate leftovers and extras like raw eggs, tinned fish, etc.
The All About Dog Food website is a good source of information about foods and they include pre-made raw and cooked diets as well as wet and dry.
ooh that’s a great website Borderline thanks - so many great dog-foods. Maybe a combination of wet and dry would be good, raw can be a bit of a pain to store and defrost. Just need to find my breeder now - very exciting 😄.
Another bias whippet owner here
1. I found mine always played the "bitey face" game with each other - but not with any other dogs - including the other breeds in our house.
2. Puppies are just a nightmare full stop
3. Personal choice!
4. My boys have always been more affectionate than my bitches. My current little bitch is just a cat in a whippet body I am sure of it. Minimal affection. My boys doted on me and loved a snuggle in. I have also found the boys more playful/fun
5. Low maintenance exercise wise. Mine go anywhere - woods, field, beach. They love a good run/burst of energy but really aren't fussed either way if we only get an on lead toddle. Pretty low maintenance in general really. Same on the odd day work has gone pete tong and the whippets have been left longer than usual/I would like - they really aren't arsed and often I get a dirty look for disturbing them and have to carry them out for a wee after they deadweight me.....
6. They have a reputation for being sensitive but I'd say each one is different. Its environment from a pup will shape this. My old boy was quite bold and din't bother about anything. If I accidentally disturb my little bitch in anyway she won't talk to me for a month....(I exaggerate) Having said that..... the other night the OH and I were singing and dancing drunkily in the living room, doing the gay gordons and the like and the dog just slept through it
7. Mine regularly goes with the dog walker - no issues
8. Mine lived with my cat - including introducing older rescues - would not trust them around other peoples cats though - same applies to chickens
My whippet is raw fed. We feed raw complete and it’s really easy, just whip a tub out of the freezer each evening to defrost, serve what you need the next day and stick the rest on the fridge.
His poo’s are never loose and they’re really small and don’t really smell. His coat is super shiny and he was, and still is, a very calm puppy which I do think was helped by the raw feed.
They are awful food stealers so be aware! Cannot leave anything within reach and they can teach further than you realise!
Ours is 12 months old now and an absolute dream. Super cuddly, happy won a quick sprint or a long walk, recall is non existent around other dogs but he is getting better (slowly). Sleeps a lot and is happy being left home alone when needed for up to 6 hours.
Oh and we also have a cat. The dog would love nothing better than to be friends with him but cat will not oblige. Hoping their relationship improves with time! I trust him around my cat but wouldn’t trust him with anyone else’s cat/rabbit/small fluffy dog etc
Op I think you're over thinking everything. Whippets are fabulous pets. You won't regret it.
Ours eats Wainwrights wet food . Never had a problem with digestion and is picture of health. Well behaved dog, very calm .
Just to add, a friend had cats and whippets without a problem.
I have a high prey drive dogs (not whippets) who have arrived as puppies to face a resident cat. The cat wins.
Sorry everyone, didn't realise that there had been a flurry of activity - I really cannot wait?
I may be overthinking @Ooogetyooo but that is kind of what I do, and I want to get it right.
@ Lau123lau I like the sound of your raw food storage/defrosting technique - sounds very do-able.
If you're withing 50 miles of London would you all mind pm'ing me your breeders? It would be so good to get a personal recommendation.
I'm not a whippet fan myself.
Their style of play is quite dreadful, really really rough and can really frighten other dogs.
Aside from that, from what I have heard they are quite sensitive, affectionate, 'cuddly' dogs and the coat looks very easy care. I don't imagine they have much doggy smell.
I’m watching with interest, I’m absolutely desperate for a whippet but dh isn’t keen. I had a boyfriend with one once and she was an lovely dog and completely stole my heart ❤️
Mine are raw fed on a complete mix too. Nutriment and naturaw. Same as pp just let a tub defrost and serve what you need. Small non smelly poos and a very easy care coat. None of mine have ever been interested in playing with or speaking to any other dogs apart from their own kind. They won't even look unless it is another whippet/small lurcher type. Best to overthink than dive right in and make a mistake. they are great pets though
My whippet plays rough but most of the time the only dog at risk of injury is him as he likes to play with bigger dogs. He really is his own worst enemy.
On the plus side he is super affectionate and wonderful with children. He’s also very playful and adores his toys.
They are also pretty sturdy health wise and don’t have much in the way of genetic health problems. Biggest problem is they do tend to need patching up every now and then after i juries as they have such thin coats and run so fast.