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Any Whippet owners out there?(32 Posts)
I am hoping to get a whippet pup at the end of 2020. I've done lots of research and from what I have read I think a whippet is a great choice for us.
But I would love to hear some real life experience from whippet owner the pros and cons, how they are as pets, any top tips or things that took you by surprise.
I got my whippet pup at the end of October and so far he is exactly what I was hoping for.
He's my first dog (I looked after my brothers dogs and my husband grew up with them) so I did a lot of research and he is definitely living up to expectations. From day one slept in his crate downstairs and I slept on the couch for a few nights so I could take him out if needed. He stopped waking after less than a week so I was back upstairs and he settled no problem. Just as whippet owners advised he's affectionate and loves to snuggle up in the evening when the house is quiet, he's clean and was very quick to toilet train - straight in to the garden when we brought him home and only a handful of accidents inside which were my fault for not anticipating his needs. He's great with our two young sons, bitey and giddy in the first few weeks but quickly calmed down once we could start walks outside. His recall has been great on walks too. Did a bit of training at home in first weeks and from first off-lead walk he never strayed far, stayed a few yards away along woodland paths. He wants to play with every dog he sees which can be a challenge to get his attention to recall but he's been pretty good so far. He just amuses us so much and brings so much pleasure, I can't imagine a more perfect dog.
I absolutely adore whippets, I've currently got three and to be honest I can't really imagine owning anything else now
For me the major positives of the breed are their lovely characters (so sweet, loving, funny and mischievous), their flexibility when it comes to exercise (they'll go all day given the opportunity but equally will make do with a quick run when necessary), how clean they are (even in the filthy weather we've had recently a quick rinse with water and they're spotless again), their athleticism (breathtaking to watch) and their nice compact size. They're generally very quiet, one of mine likes to gob off a bit when he's excited (mostly at tea time ) but other than that the odd bark when they're playing is really all they do. They're far more intelligent than they may first appear, mine are excellent problem solvers and very emotionally intelligent as well. They're generally pretty healthy (although can be prone to poor teeth, good dental care such as daily brushing is a must) and are also a lot more robust than they look.
I think the main negative is the prey drive which can be very, very high, even in show bred dogs. My three, all mostly show bred, range from moderate (will chase anything within potential catching range) to absolutely ferocious (will fuck off hunting if he catches so much as a rabbit fart on the wind). I don't find it that big a deal really. A combination of management (being sensible about where and when they go off lead), teaching and reinforcing good impulse control and giving them suitable outlets for their instincts (such as using a flirt pole or taking part in sighthound sports like lure coursing) means mine do get plenty of off lead time.
They can be surprisingly thuggish with other dogs, sighthound play is often very rough and if you do let a whippet run with other dogs you do need to be vigilant, making sure everyone is genuinely happy and nobody is getting overly intense.
I'm struggling to think of any other negatives. They're maybe not great if you like your personal space as they absolutely will not respect it...
I don't like whippets.
For the simple reason that they absolutely terrify other dogs and their owners just don't care.
Whippet 'play' is something else. Seriously.
They chase other dogs as if they were a rabbit, they bite legs, they flip them over, they growl in their face.
It's horrific and worse, the owner will just smile and say awh, they are only playing 😡😡😡😡
For me the major positives of the breed are their lovely characters (so sweet, loving, funny and mischievous), their flexibility when it comes to exercise (they'll go all day given the opportunity but equally will make do with a quick run when necessary), how clean they are (even in the filthy weather we've had recently a quick rinse with water and they're spotless again), their athleticism (breathtaking to watch) and their nice compact size. They're generally very quiet
I would argue that most of this is due to upbringing, not breed necessarily.
My dog (a totally different breed to a whippet) is also 'sweet, loving, funny and mischievous'.
She is also is very flexible re exercise to the point that you can actually skip walks and she doesn't care.
She definitely isn't easy clean so the whippets get that one but she is still amazingly athletic and super, super quiet.
I just think there are plenty of breeds out there that aren't so breathtakingly anti social..
Whippet here who we took to proper training and socialised and who was neutered by 1. He doesn’t do any of the play behaviours described above. He did a bit as a younger dog but we always called him off and we worked very hard on his recall and reinforced it in every walk for a few years. We also found he loves to chase and retrieve a tennis ball. He’s lovely to walk and enjoys off lead time, is very responsive to us and backs off from any dog, no matter what size, if they so much as growl on approach.
I’d argue that for every boisterous whippet there is one that is actually very timid, so you can’t stereotype them.
Frosted Violets you're talking absolute rot.
Ours (had since pup) very highly strung, lovely but very sensitive. Doesn't like cuddles. Needs own personal space. Very cat-like ( will occasionally curl up next to you but if you cuddle-in he will move away. Wants attention only on his terms.
Off lead very playful. Acts 'flighty' and is quite unpredictable I find around other dogs. Just wants to play but can be bitey in his play. We keep him on lead around dogs he doesn't know.
Very easily toilet trained.
Very picky with food.
Recall is good but if overexcited it's hit and miss
We’ve always had whippets and would never have anything else.
They are adorable, affectionate dogs and look beautiful as well.
@frostedviolets what a load of rubbish.
You said yourself you don't like whippets. Have you ever owned a whippet?
I've had a fair few and never experienced any of the behaviours you've described.
Mine all lived with cats, had excellent recall and were perfect family pets. They had little interest in other dogs and had lovely manners.
I have a 14 year old lady, she feels the cold and doesn't like the rain and is basically a cat in disguise.
Thanks everyone. For the most part what you are saying lines up with what I have read. I feel I can for sure meet his or hers needs based on what everyone is saying. And sounds the perfect temperament for our home.
Frosted Violets thank you for an alternative point of view. It sounds like you don't like Whippet owners more than Whippets. I would intend not to be the kind of owner who stands idly by if my pup was being too rough. Our last dog was impeccably trained.
I'm super excited to get our new family member, I just wish it wasn't so far away. My working pattern at the moment means that I can't responsibly get one but that will be changing this year. Exciting times lie ahead!
MaidenMOtherCrone she is lovely. She is a great age for a Whippet!
Thank you Op. Hopefully she'll be with us for a good few years to come. She has no health problems and is doing very well.
what a load of rubbish
you are talking absolute rot
Seen and experienced it numerous times with different whippets!
Most sighthound owners will agree actually that they tend to play 'roughly' and that it can frighten other dogs.
In fact, one of the posters earlier singing the praises of the whippet said pretty much the same!
That they can play roughly and care must be taken to ensure the play isn't getting too 'intense'
You said yourself you don't like whippets. Have you ever owned a whippet?
Why would I like or wish to own a dog breed that bowls over, chases and generally terrorises and terrifies my dog...?
I've had a fair few and never experienced any of the behaviours you've described
Happy for you.
Rough sighthound play is a well known phenomenon.
There was a thread on here recently about a whippet owner upset that her dog was flipping over other dogs in play.
It's not at all uncommon.
It sounds like you don't like Whippet owners more than Whippets
This is true.
I don't blame the dog really I suppose, I blame the owners who allow it.
I don't dispute the whippet's intentions are friendly and they are trying to play with others but for a lot of dogs (and their owners) it's fucking terrifying.
I no longer allow my dog anywhere near loose whippets because to date, I have not met a single one loose that hasn't chased her in a very focused 'predatory' way, growled in her face and/or flipped her.
What dog do you have @frostedviolets
The potential to be antisocial or frightening to other dogs if allowed to behave however they please isn’t limited to whippets. Overly friendly (I.e. pushy and rude) labs and stalking border collies are the main offenders round here.
I find a lot of dogs, of all breeds/types, are very lacking in social graces these days. I think it’s often a combination of misunderstanding puppy socialisation and a general lack of knowledge about dog body language.
I try and avoid pretty much all off lead dogs I see out walking mine unless I recognise them and know they’re not going to be interested in us.
We have a whippet, got her as a pup 3 years ago and absolutely adore her. They are fantastic pets, calm, clean, loving and sociable. We know quite a few and they don't behave as the pp above says. When they play together they play different to when with other dogs but are never too rough and certainly never flipped another dog over.
Ours can be a bit nervous round the house but is happy being left and just sleeps where she fancies and where the warmth is. We take her to the pub and days out and she enjoys that.
Best dogs in my opinion followed by greyhounds.
What dog do you have?
Why is that relevant?
No one should be allowing any dog of any breed to chase, growl at, flip, pin and hold, bite legs and flanks of another dog.
It doesn't matter what the breed the either dog is.
The above isn't isolated behaviour of one errant whippet either.
It's every off leash whippet we've met to date so about 5.
Which obviously is a small amount compared to all the whippets in the world but it's enough for me to keep my distance from the breed.
And yes I absolutely appreciate bad behaviour isn't limited to only whippets, I wasn't suggesting it was.
Just that in my experience their idea of play is insanely rough and very frightening for other dogs.
Which would be fine if their owners appreciated it and kept them away from other dogs.
But the ones I have met don't.
They take the view that as their dog is 'playing' it's totally fine.
It is not fine.
Go on @frostedviolets , what breed do you have?
Go on *@frostedviolets , what breed do you have?*
Tell me why it is relevant and I'll tell you.
Because I fail to see how her breed makes any difference here whatsoever.
She won't be alone in not recognising the aforementioned behaviour as 'play'.
Rough sighthound play is very well known.
I feel you are perfectly illustrating the issue I have with whippet owners to be honest.
I await your explanation as to why my dog's breed is in any way important or relevant here anyway.
The breed you have does have an impact on how you view other breeds.
The breed you have does have an impact on how you view other breeds
I am open to all breeds.
My last dog was a golden retriever and my DHs a Staffordshire bull terrier.
Our current dog was going to be a husky or GSD so very different to both of those breeds, we ended up with a collie, again, very different to all of those breeds.
We'll be getting a second dog soon and he will be an entirely different breed to the above five.
I start out liking all dog breeds and don't judge unless/until they give me reason to.
To date, all whippets I have met off leash have been rude and boisterous and have frightened my dog with their over the top behaviour.
So naturally I now avoid and if someone was to ask me what I thought of the breed I would obviously say I don't like them very much and find their style of play upsets other dogs.
I don't 'hate' whippets or anything, but I don't particularly like them nor trust their behaviour when it comes to other dogs.
I stand by what I said, in my experience their idea of play is insanely rough and scary.
It is never acceptable to allow another dog to frighten another.
The breeds are absolutely irrelevant.
Whether it is 'play' and friendly intentions, still irrelevant.
It is not okay to allow your dog to frighten other dogs.
And many dogs will find intense, focused chasing, biting, flipping over, holding down on their backs, barking and growling frightening, irrespective of their breed.
But unfortunately whippet owners I meet seem to think it is absolutely is okay because their dog is having a nice time.
In any case, I sincerely hope OP enjoys her whippet and hope she is good to her word re not letting it frighten others.
We now have our fourth rescue sighthound. I just cannot imagine a whippet behaving in this aggressive way, so I'm sorry 'frostedviolets' that you've come across this behaviour. That's bound to colour your judgement. Our latest ex-racer greyhound is the most gentle dog I could ever imagine. So much so, after several months we've never even heard him bark. You mention Staffies. They also have a bad reputation due to having the 'wrong' type of owner, but the ones I've known are, again, the most gentle type of dogs.
Was the Golden Retriever your first dog?