Whippets are largely considered great family pets; they have a loving nature and make great companions.
However, that’s not true for all families, as some families are different from others.
Whilst no two dogs of any breed are exactly the same, no two families are exactly the same either, you need to take into account your family’s lifestyle when deciding are whippets good family pets?
For the most part, whippets are excellent family pets, but you’ll need to consider some of the characteristics of a whippet before making this decision.
In this post, we look at the benefits and drawbacks as having a whippet as a family pet and help you decide whether a whippet is right for your family.
So are whippets good family pets?
Let’s find out…
Are Whippets Good With Children?
Whippets are well known for their loving, gentle nature.
No dog should ever be fully trusted around a baby or a young child.
That being said, once your child is old enough to understand how to treat a dog then a whippet is an excellent choice.
Whippets are not nearly as fragile as you might think, and they have a natural affinity for kids.
They are known to be fantastic with children and are incredibly sensitive dogs.
Whippets have an incredibly laid-back temperament, which makes them ideal for kids.
They’re chilled out, patient and love to run free, which will help tire the kids out ready for bed.
You’ll find it hard to tire a whippet out which makes them perfect for keeping the kids entertained for hours on end.
Due to their small size, they are the perfect size for a cuddle, and they love to snuggle in whether it’s in bed or on the couch.
Not only this, but they are super lightweight, which means they won’t typically harm a child should they accidentally get in the path of each other.
Whippets are low aggression dogs, the chance of them ever showing aggression towards you or a child is incredibly low, but of course, there are a lot of variables that can influence this and not every whippet is exactly the same.
Children and whippets are excellent together, they enjoy each others company and have equally matched energy levels to keep them both happy and entertained for hours on end.
So are whippets good with children? Absolutely.
Are Whippets Good With Other Pets?
When trying to decide are whippets good family pets?
You’ll also want to take into account what they are like around other pets you may have in your home.
Whippets have a high prey drive, especially when they are young, which means they have an internal instinct to chase down other animals that may run away from them, such as a rabbit or mouse.
Generally speaking, whippets may clash with cats, but if introduced slowly and in a controlled environment the two pets can get along just fine.
Whippets get along with other dogs just fine; they have a polite and undermining character, which allows them to be friendly with almost any pet.
Whippets are super chilled out, making them a good option for those with other pets; they are also a social breed that loves to be around others.
Can Whippets Be Aggressive?
I have owned many different dogs over my life, and have found that my whippet is the most gentle, soft and most non-aggressive dog I have ever owned.
Whippets by nature and quiet, gentle dogs that don’t like confrontation.
In the 11 years that I’ve owned my whippet, I have seen her snarl once, and bark only a handful of times.
If you’re looking for a guard dog or a protection dog then a whippet won’t be for you, they would let an intruder walk right through your home and would more than likely lick them to death than anything else!
This gentle nature is what I believe makes whippets great family pets, as they can get along with pets, strangers and kids.
Are Whippets Good For Active Families?
If you love to take long walks across the countryside then a whippet is perfect for you, they love the outdoors and need plenty of space to run freely.
Whippets don’t need much more exercise than dogs of similar size, but they do need the chance to run for around 60 minutes per day.
That being said, you will struggle to tire a whippet out, they can run around and play for hours on end without having a break.
These dogs make great companions for those that live on farms or in the countryside, as well as those living in apartments too.
Are Whippets High Maintenance?
Family life is busy, with work; kids and a social life to maintain it can be hard to keep everything in order.
Having a dog that is high maintenance can add stress to your life and cut your precious family time short.
Thankfully whippets are super low maintenance dogs, meaning more time to spend with family as well as your cuddly furry friend.
You should check a whippet’s ears regularly for signs of infections, and ensure that their nails are tripped, not worn down.
You wouldn’t want long nails when you’re running at speeds of up to 35mph.
Whippets also have a short, smooth coat that doesn’t moult much at all, making them perfect for those with allergies.
However, you should ensure to give your whippet the occasional bath, as they love to feel fresh and clean just like us.
Getting your whippet micro-chipped is also a good idea, just to be on the safe side.
Whippets are generally healthy when fed on a nutritious diet, so be sure not to skimp on dog food if you want your whippet to be in good shape.
Check out our post on the best dog food for whippets for some excellent recommendations on dog food.
A whippets frame is not built for added weight and should have two to four vertebrae visible.
An adult whippet will appear skinny in comparison to other breeds, but this is in fact how they are built and means they are in good health.
Can Whippets Be Left Alone During The Day?
Not that you’ll want to leave your whippet, but if you are required to go to work for eight hours a day, can whippets be left alone?
A well trained, settles whipped can be left alone in the house for a maximum of eight hours, however, this isn’t ideal.
Whippets are incredibly social dogs that love to be with company, a young whippet may struggle to be left alone and become anxious if left too long.
Whippets are notorious for having an on/off switch type personality, meaning they are either running around the yard at lightning speeds or they are sleeping.
Wouldn’t it be nice if this on/off switch would accommodate around your work schedule, unfortunately not.
So if you do need to leave your whippet whilst you’re at work, try to get another whippet or pet as a companion, to keep each other company.
This will help your loving companion feel much more secure and less anxious, meaning they will be used to you leaving for long periods during the day.
You should never leave a puppy whippet alone, as their small bladders need to go every three hours or so.
You may want to kindly ask a family member or trusted neighbour if they can pop round every once and a while to keep your whippet company and take them for a walk.
Although grown whippets can be left in the house alone for up to eight hours, it’s not recommended, as they can start to become anxious, and show signs of depression or extreme changes in behaviour.
Crating your whippet is a good idea too; if you want to come home to your belongings still intact then this can be a great way to train your whippet.
However, once your whippet is matured then you can transition into free-roaming, allowing your pet to roam freely around your house.
You can do this by leaving the crate door open when you leave the house, and come back inside every minute or two and praise him/her if they’ve been quiet and calm.
This is a great technique for getting your whippet used to being in the house alone and will train him to be calm when you’re out of the house.
That really depends on the whippet, as well as it’s age and maturity.
It’s not recommended to leave your whippet alone for long periods.
So are whippets good family pets? Absolutely! Whippets are incredible; they are loving, loyal and incredibly energetic.
Are whippets good with children?
Most definitely, they get along with kids just fine thanks to their small build, they’re light enough to play with kids and don’t have the body weight to knock a child over unless running at high speeds.
Whippets are a social breed and love to be in the company of other pets, they can even get along with cats if introduced correctly.
Whether you live in an apartment or house, a whippet can be a great pet for you; they are low maintenance and low aggression dogs.
Can whippets be left alone?
Depending on their age and maturity, yes.
You can even leave your whippet at home if needed, but it’s not recommended until they are mature, and even so, shouldn’t be for over eight hours.
As a whole I believe that whippets are one of the best family pets out there, they are an all-rounder, fun for all of the family.