I remember when coming home with my whippet. I was like a mother hen, checking out the house and garden for potential escape routes (she could jump over our seven-foot fence) and anything she could eat (the only thing I found was an unopened bag of cheese puffs).
But once I had her home, she just fit right in without any need for adjustment.
Are whippets friendly dogs? You bet they are! So is it fair to say that all whippets are friendly dogs? Of course not.
They’re just like any other dog breed, so if you get one who that poor socialisation or training, then your experience with them might be awful.
But the same goes for any dog breed as this isn’t specific to whippets.
In this post we’re going to answer a question I get asked regularly, are whippets friendly dogs?
Let’s find out…
Defining The Word Friendly
First, we need to agree on what we mean by the word friendly. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines friendly as “not hostile or suspicious or unfriendly”.
Friendly, in that very general sense, is how I’d describe my dog. She isn’t overly hostile towards strangers and she doesn’t bark at every single person who walks past the house.
She gets on great with our family and loves to play with children and other dogs.
She doesn’t bark constantly, chew the house to pieces or kill/maim other pets in the area.
So you could say that my own dog is friendly.
But I wouldn’t describe her as being especially friendly either given that she’s not overly welcoming of strangers and she gets defensive if other dogs approach her food bowl!
Why Are Whippets Good Family Dogs?
Whippets are good family dogs for a number of reasons, including that they’re laid-back and gentle, but also because they’re athletic enough to keep up with the kids.
They love to run and can do so at incredible speeds, 35mph in fact! This makes the perfect for running around with the kids and tiring them out.
It also means that your children will have an excellent example to look up to when it comes to exercising – something which you should ensure they do too.
Whippets are also good family dogs because they are kind to all who enter their home. They don’t tend to be aggressive or territorial which is great if you have lots of friends and relatives over your house for BBQs.
They even get on well with other dogs, so you only need one whippet for the whole family to be happy.
Of course, there are always exceptions when it comes to dog breeds.
If your whippet is not socialised when they are young, then they might become aggressive when faced with new people or other dogs.
Are Whippets Social Dogs?
Whippets are incredibly social dogs that love nothing more than to be in the company of others.
However, they can be independent and don’t need to be in the same room as you all of the time. They are happy to snooze on their own without getting up your nose!
They take a little while to get used to new faces but after that, they are fine with new visitors.
My whippet Bonnie loves to be around new people and although she’s a little shy at first, when she gets to know them she becomes best friends and loves to see their faces.
Socialising your whippet from an early age is a great way to ensure they become friendly pets. This can be done by taking them to parks, meeting other people, and putting them in new situations regularly to socialise them early.
Are Whippets (Really) Independent Dogs?
Yes! Whippets are very independent dogs that don’t need to be around you all of the time. They enjoy dozing in front of the TV while you work or take part in other activities.
They will even appreciate the time when you leave them alone because they can get on with what they want to do too!
Are Whippets Friendly With Other Pets?
Here is where people can easily become confused about a whippet’s friendliness.
If you’re a regular reader here then you’ll know that whippets have been used for working and hunting dogs for many, many years.
In fact, for centuries, it’s in their DNA to chase prey animals which is why they are used as racing dogs in today’s modern world.
Whippets generally have a very high prey drive, which means they will chase other prey like animals such as cats, rabbits, squirrels, rats, guinea pigs, and much more.
Basically, anything that is moving away from your whippet at speed, your pooch will have a powerful natural instinct to chase that it can’t ignore.
This means they are usually not suitable to live in homes with the above animals, however, if introduced slowly, in a controlled environment, and under very strict circumstances they can learn to co-exist with other prey like pets.
It’s not a good idea to try to introduce an adult whippet to these pets, especially one that has been used as a hunting or racing dog as the chances of a disaster happening is highly increased.
That being said, whippets LOVE other dogs. They will get along great and can even help your other dogs get in shape as your whippet will run rings around them!
Yes, whippets have a natural prey drive which makes them dangerous to some other pets, but that doesn’t mean they are not friendly dogs.
There is sadly not a lot we as whippet owners can do about our whippet’s natural instincts, apart from avoiding confrontations where possible and train our dogs to the highest possible standards.
Are Whippets Friendly With Children?
Whippet and children get along great! Whippets adore children and small dogs and will be gentle around them. Whippets might even get along better with your children than you do!
However, we do not recommend young children who are too young to understand how to handle our loving whippet friends. A child unaccustomed to dogs will pull tails, ears and annoy our dogs which could provoke a nip in self-defense.
If you do have young children then it’s important you teach them how to live with a whippet and what not to do.
It’s also worth noting that whippets and cats can be best friends, I’ve seen this personally many times and it’s something that is possible.
Introducing a young whippet to a cat is best, as if they grow up together they are much likely to become best buds.
If you already have a cat it’s worth noting that whippets are typically OK with them however, there is no guarantee.
As a whole, whippets are incredibly friendly dogs.
They are very social and love to spend time with people, other dogs, and their families.
They can be great companions for children, elderly people, or even those who have disabilities as they are slow-moving enough that they won’t knock anyone down.
However, it’s important to mention there are exceptions to the rule. Some whippets are more excitable than others and they may not be the best for homes with young children.
Similarly, if you have cats at home there is no guarantee that they will get along.
Overall, whippets are very affectionate dogs who love to spend time with their families and are great companions for many different kinds of people.
If you’re looking for a dog that won’t mind being left at home occasionally then this might be an ideal breed for you.
Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed this post and I have answered your question of are whippets friendly dogs?
Yes, yes, and yes!
Thanks for taking the time to read this post and feel free to share it with someone who may find it of value!
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Hello. I’m Luke- the founder of WhippetCentral. I’m somewhat of a whippet nut and have been for most of my life. In that time, I’ve owned and raised numerous whippets. Bonnie is my latest girl; she is currently eight years old and keeps me very busy! Understanding the need for whippet-specific content, I decided to create this blog to share what I have learned and to share my expertise regarding owning and raising whippets – the right way!