Are Whippets Good With Babies?

are whippets good with babies?

Having a baby is one of the most beautiful and amazing experiences life has to offer, but it’s not without its challenges as every parent knows.

Bringing a newborn baby into your home with a dog can be quite a nerve-racking experience, what if your dog doesn’t get along with your baby? Or what if your baby doesn’t like your dog?

If you’re reading this post then chances are you have a whippet, which is one of the most caring, loving and loyal pets you could own.

In this post we’re going to go through everything you need to know about whippets and babies and answer the question we get asked on a regular basis, “are whippets good with babies?”

Let’s get to it…

Why A Whippet Is A Great Option For Those With Babies or Children

First, let me reassure you that whippets are incredibly gentle and loving dogs, they’ll generally warm to your baby straight away and be super careful when around your newborn child.

Whippets are highly intelligent dogs and know that a baby is essentially a puppy, so they know that they need to be extremely careful around their new friend. So why is a whippet a great option for those with a baby?

Well, first of all they are very small and elegant dogs that don’t weigh much at all, they don’t run around your house causing havoc and knocking over ornaments, meaning the chances of any accidents are very slim.

Not only that, but whippets tend to get along famously with all family members, not just children.

are whippets good with babies?
Image: Dave Gershkoff

They form long-lasting bonds and can be excellent companions for your baby when they grow older, a bond with a whippet is a bond for life!

As I’ve mentioned, whippets are incredibly affectionate dogs, they’ll snuggle in and keep you warm in the winter months.

Providing you teach your child how to behave around dogs, you’ll have no problem with most whippets as they are gentle and affectionate by nature.

Whippets are very low aggression dogs, I’ve owned many of these beautiful dogs over the years and have only seen them be aggressive a handful of times and all we’re in self-defence in confrontations with other dogs.

Whippets are much more likely to remove themselves from any dangerous situations and find a place to defend themselves with a bark or a snarl.

Whippets are the ideal companions for children, babies and all members of the family, they love like no other and are great for keeping your children fit, healthy and active.

What To Look For In A Whippet 

If you’ve recently had a baby and are looking to bring a whippet into your life, then you’ve made the right choice.

However, there are a couple of things you’ll want to look out for in the whippet you choose to ensure they are compatible with your baby.

Here are some tips on what to look out for when bringing a new whippet home:

Temperament

Before you decide to purchase a new whippet you should make sure you spend plenty of time with them before deciding to bring them home. You’ll want to get a good understanding and feel for their temperament to ensure that they can cope with being in an environment with kids, stress and potentially other pets.

The whippets temperament is generally calm and easy to manage, but an environment with kids can be sometimes stressful for dogs, so you’ll need to be confident that the whippet you choose will be able to cope in a house with children.

Loud noises can sometimes startle whippets, and they can suffer from separation anxiety too, so be sure that a whippet is the right choice of a dog before bringing one into your family home. 

Size

Whippets are generally very small dogs, they’re typically stand around 19 – 21 inches tall which places them in the small category of dog.

Not only this, but whippets only weigh around 6.8 – 14kg, so they’re lightweight too.

Before bringing a whippet home you should check their size and weight and compare it to other dogs in the litter, bringing a larger whippet into a home with a baby may not be the best idea, so opting for a smaller whippet could be a better choice, especially for those with small children.

History

You will also want to look into the history of the whippet you are considering, if they’re from a racing background then they may require a little more exercise than the average whippet.

Finding time to walk your dog whilst you live a busy lifestyle with kids can be tricky, so ensure that you can set aside around 60 minutes to give your whippet the physical exercise he needs each day to be fit and healthy.

If whippets are not exercised enough they can become obese quickly, which is very bad for their bones and joints, so you’ll need to be confident you can exercise your whippet enough before bringing them home to your family.

Breeder

Last but certainly not least is to look into the breeder you’re considering buying the whippet from.

You should only be dogs from a reputable breeder that looks after their dogs the way you as an owner would, they should be kept in clean, safe conditions and have all of their injections before leaving the breeder.

Some breeders are purely in it for the money, so it’s crucial that you thoroughly look into the breeder before buying your whippet as if you don’t you may see your whippet has a lot of health complications down the line such as anxiety and aggression.

Don’t Trust Any Dog With Your Baby

Now that you’ve decided on a whippet and followed all of the above steps before bringing your new pet into your home, you’re on the right tracks to having a companion for you and your children for life.

That being said, I personally would never trust any dog with a newborn baby, regardless of how long I’ve owned the dog and trust them myself.

Babies are very fragile and should never be left alone with any dog, you should always be supervising and ensure you’re in full control of your dog at all times.

This goes without saying, but it’s surprising how many people think that they trust their dog, but accidents can happen, so NEVER trust any dog around your baby. 

What To Consider

Whippets are amazing dogs, they get along with just about anyone and are great for family life. They can keep your children entertained for hours and are perfect for keeping your kids, and pet in shape as they’ll run around for hours without getting tired.

There are a couple of things you should consider before choosing a whippet for your family pet, especially if you have children.

The first is that if you have other pets, especially pets that could be looked at as prey, such as rabbits, cats, rats or mice, then you may want to avoid choosing a whippet. These dogs are notorious for being excellent hunting and racing dogs, and the reason for this is that they were bred for exactly that.

These dogs have a very powerful internal instinct which will see them chase just about any small animal that runs, meaning if you’ve got other pets, there may be conflict in the house which you certainly don’t want or need.

Now, whippets can get along with these other pets, but they need to be introduced very slowly in a controlled environment, and it takes time for them to get used to each other. After all, it’s fighting their natural instinct, so it’s really asking a lot of your whippet to do this.

are whippets good with babies?
Image: Rob J

You will also want to consider the financial implications of owning a whippet, this can be quite expensive as they need a dog bed, dog bowls, dog crate and dog toys to keep them entertained throughout the day.

Thankfully these dogs are quite low maintenance which is ideal for a busy family life with children, but you still need to give your pet the best quality of life possible which means forking out for some toys now and again for your pet. 

Final Thoughts

So, are whippets good with babies? Yes, absolutely! These dogs are naturally gentle, affectionate and very loving, making them the perfect choice for those with small children and babies.

That being said, no dog should ever be trusted around a baby, so ensure you always keep a watchful eye over your pet especially when around children.

Whippets are an excellent choice of family pet as they are playful, don’t need a ton of exercise every day and are incredibly loving.

As your baby grows older with your whippet they will build a bond that is unbreakable, the pair will be best of friends and will likely be inseparable.

Whippets are an excellent choice of dog and I couldn’t recommend them anymore, they’re small and lightweight so are perfect for kids as the chance of an injury is much less than if you choose a larger dog such as a labrador or Doberman.

As a whole you should have no problems with bringing a whippet into your family home with a baby, they will get on just fine and your whippet is intelligent enough to know that your baby is delicate and very precious, so they will be extra careful around your child.

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