Are Whippets Dangerous Dogs?

Whippets are well known for their loving, gentle temperament, they love to be constantly touching their owner and enjoy cuddles and playtime.

I’ve experienced dangerous dogs in the past and let me tell you they are scary to be around.

When I first decided on a dog, I wanted one that’s non-aggressive, loving and is great with the family.

Which is why I decided on a whippet, their love nature is perfect for family life and they have a passion for running too, just like me.

In this post we are going to answer, are whippets dangerous dogs?

To help you better understand whippet aggression and what makes a whippet tick if provoked.

Let’s get to it…

What Are The Signs Of A Dangerous Dog?

Being around a dangerous dog gets your adrenaline flowing, but thankfully there are some signs to look out for which give you the heads up to stay alert and on your toes.

Here are some of the most common signs of a dangerous dog;


A dogs growl is usually the first sign of their aggression, no matter what the circumstances are.

A dog’s growl is a form of communication; it means that the dog is trying to tell you something (usually stay the hell away from the gate!).

Always pay attention to the situation when a dog is growling, as this can mean the dog is in a heightened state of awareness and could be unpredictable if approached.

Eye contact

If a dog that you suspect is dangerous is giving you direct eye contact, this could mean they are about to attack.

A dog can sometimes interpret eye contact as a challenge, this may provoke the dog and make it much more likely that he’ll strike if given the chance.

are whippets dangerous dogs?
Image: Grant Hutchinson

Eye contact in the dog world is used to establish dominance, which is why many dog trainers use this method to keep control of their dog and train him.

Breaking eye contact is a signal of submissiveness; whilst locking eyes is usually seen as a challenge.

Teeth clenching or showing

When a dog clenches its teeth or exposes them to you, this is a sign of aggression that’s meant as a warning.

Many dogs show their teeth when they are preparing to fight another dog, so if a dog is showing you his teeth, it’s wise to back away slowly and avoid contact with him.

Are Whippets Dangerous Dogs?

Whippets are not dangerous dogs whatsoever; they have a loving and gentle personality, which makes them fantastic pets.

I’ve owned many whippets over the years and haven’t had any problems with aggression or attacks.

In fact, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve heard my whippet of eleven years bark.

Whippet aggression is very rare because of their loving nature and temprament.

The biggest danger to people is their wagging tail that can leave welts on you once it gets going and gives your leg a smack.

Whippets are terrible guard dogs that would more likely lick an intruder than make an attack.

These dogs are small, lightweight dogs that have a very small head; they aren’t exactly the scariest dogs in the world either.

What Can Make A Whippet Dangerous?

Any dog has the ability to switch and become dangerous and aggressive at any moment.

Which is why it’s important to be vigilant and fully aware of the situation around any dog at all times.

Here are some triggers that may make your whippet switch into a more dangerous and aggressive dog;


Most dogs are quite territorial and will try to protect their home from an intruder.

This is why it’s common to see dogs of all shapes and sizes barking at the mailman, as they believe he is an intruder coming into the family home.

Whippets will rarely bark, they are very quiet dogs and usually won’t be bothered by a mailman.

are whippets dangerous dogs?
Image: Deanna

However, the times I have seen Bonnie bark is when a friend or family member that she hasn’t seen before has come into our back garden through the gate.

This wasn’t an aggressive bark, but more of a warning and an alert for us to be aware of someone in our garden.

That being said, some whippets could potentially view this as a threat and may show teeth or be aggressive towards an unknown visitor.


Unfortunately, whippets are not exempt to the cruelty and abuse that some humans put dogs through.

Whippets that have lived a life of fear and uncertainty may be more dangerous than a whippet that hasn’t had these experiences.

When a whippet is scared they can become more vocal than they would normally be and can behave in a way that’s not typical for whippets.

This is where you may experience a dangerous whippet, as he may have had a past life full of abuse and misery.


Another trigger for a whippet to become aggressive or dangerous could be if he feels he is in danger.

I’ve had an experience in the past where a much larger, more aggressive dog ran up to my whippet whilst out on a walk, and she felt so threatened and scared that she flipped into fight or flight mode.

She was on a leash at the time so had no option to run, and showed an aggressive side, barking and snarling at the larger dog to protect herself.

This worked a treat and the larger dog backed off, but it made me aware that if a whippet is under threat then they absolutely can defend themselves and scare off larger dogs.

Health issues

Some health issues can cause whippets to become dangerous or more aggressive than they usually would be.

Hormonal imbalances such as hypothyroidism, epilepsy or neoplasia can all cause a whippet to become more aggressive.

Does Age Play A Role In Whether Or Not A Whippet Is A Dangerous Dog?

Yes, the age of a whippet can play a role in whether or not the dog will be dangerous or aggressive.

Puppies are much more playful and full of energy, they eat, sleep, play and that’s the structure of their life.

As a dog gets older and starts to experience life a little more, they can start to have less patience with other dogs, making them more likely to be aggressive.

There are many factors that can influence whether or not a whippet will be aggressive as he ages, such as stress, health problems and the amount of exercise he gets.

That being said, whippets are incredibly low aggression, and generally, as they get older they become relaxed and unphased by events that would make some dogs more aggressive.

What Can I Do If My Whippet Becomes Dangerous?

In the unlikely event that your whippet does start to become dangerous, there are a couple of things you can do.

The best thing you can do for your whippet is to understand him inside and out, his personality, health issues, what triggers him and what doesn’t.

This will stop you from putting him in a situation where he could become dangerous.

This includes knowing how well your whippet has been trained, and where he may need more practice in some areas.

are whippets dangerous dogs?
Image: Darien and Neil

The more you know your dog the more likely it is that he will remain loveable and won’t be aggressive or dangerous.

Other than the above, giving your whippet the best home you possibly can, giving him love, attention and affection are all great ways to keep your whippet happy and healthy.

The chances of your whippet being dangerous or aggressive are very slim, but in some scenarios, you may find your whippet is simply protecting himself from being injured or threatened.

In my eyes, this isn’t the same as being aggressive or dangerous, it’s simply a method of self-defence to protect himself from harm.

Final Thoughts

So are whippets dangerous dogs? No, they are not.

Whippets are incredibly gentle, affectionate breed that loves nothing more than to curl up on the couch with their owner.

They are hopeless guard dogs that won’t protect you should an intruder come into your home.

There is more chance of your whippet licking a home invader than making an attack, so don’t expect him to protect you if you’re in danger.

However, like all dogs’ whippets can hold their own if they are threatened, in fear or protecting their territory.

This is extremely rare and you’ll probably never experience your whippet being aggressive or dangerous in any way whatsoever.  

Whippets are full of love and affection, they aren’t aggressive by nature and don’t like confrontation.

They will typically only snarl or bark if they feel they are in serious danger.

Whilst any dog can be dangerous and aggressive at any moment, a whippet isn’t a likely candidate.

Whippet aggression is very rare and usually only happens if they are under threat or in fear.

They would much rather play, cuddle and relax than hurt anyone.

Hopefully, you’ve learned something from this post and understand a whippets temperament a little more, they are soft as can be and not a dangerous breed.

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