Are Whippets Greedy Dogs?

are whippets greedy dogs?

Like almost all dogs, whippets can be greedy pets from time to time. There’s nothing more they love than a cheeky treat under the dining room table when the rest of the family aren’t looking.

But this greed can start to become a problem for some pet owners, it can even get quite embarrassing.

Have you ever had a friend over and they open a bag of crisps only to find that your pooch is giving them the puppy dog eyes from across the room?

Well, I’ve certainly been there a couple of times, with many of my dogs.

In this post we are going to answer “are whippets greedy dogs?”, to help find out why your whippet is being greedy and what you can do about it…

Why Are Some Dogs Greedy?

Greed is something that many dogs show signs of, and it’s something that we’re not exactly sure why it happens.

Some experts believe that dogs came to look at us as a food source after early wolves domesticated themselves.

Wolves came close to human camps and learned that they would be fed scraps, combine this with their natural instincts after a hunt and you would see wolves take anything they can get their hands on.

are whippets greedy dogs?
Images: John Mork

However, our little bundles of joy haven’t been wolves for a long time, so why do they drool at the sight of some leftover chicken?

Well, here are some common reasons why your dog may be being greedy:

Underfeeding

What if it’s not actually greed, and your dog is accidentally being underfed? Well, this can be quite common, especially in whippets.

This is because these dogs burn off a serious amount of calories when they’re out on walks, runs and playing.

These dogs love running and do so at incredible speeds, their small legs can get them running at speeds of up to 35 miles per hour which can be quite taxing for our pups.

You should ensure that the food you’re feeding your whippet is highly nutritious and packed with protein, and be sure you’re not underfeeding him as he will be burning a lot of calories especially if he’s getting lots of exercise.

Too Many Treats

Another common reason for a greedy whippet is perhaps your giving your furry friend too many doggy treats.

Once your dog realises that you gold the golden ticket to the treat cupboard, he’ll likely become more greedy if you keep giving into those puppy dog eyes.

You should only reward your pup with a treat during training if he’s done something good.

Alternatively, on rare occasions that he’s been very well behaved.

Try not to go overboard with the doggy treats as this may be promoting his greed, I know it’s hard as we all love to treat our little ones now and again, but the key is that it’s not frequent. 

Health Problems

In more severe greedy dogs, it could be an underlying health issue which is causing the problem.

Some dogs’ bodies are unable to absorb the nutrients in the food or digest it properly, which means their appetite goes into overdrive and they are essentially hungry all of the time.

If this is the case, it’s not so much that your whippet is being greedy but that he’s actually hungry, but his body isn’t able to digest the food and satisfy his hunger.

If your whippet’s greed is persistent and you’re starting to be concerned, it’s wise that you speak with a veterinarian who will be able to diagnose your pup with any health conditions which may be causing his greed.

A sudden increase in appetite can be a symptom of the below conditions:

  • Reaction to medications
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Diabetes
  • Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency
  • Cushing’s disease
  • Bacteria in the intestines

Are Whippets Greedy Dogs?

Whippets are generally not greedy dogs, however, if you’ve got him into the habit of accepting human food from you quite regularly then they certainly can be.

Whippets are generally quite shy, timid dogs that will eat from their bowl and not sit drooling over your leg whilst you’re eating your lunch.

A dog’s greed is largely dependent on his habits, if you and your family give him regular treats then this can become quite problematic and mean your whippet has come to expect food from you.

As a whole, whippets are not greedy, providing they are not spoiled rotted and have learned that they eat dog food and only get treats for being exceptionally good.

What To Do About A Greedy Whippet

If you’ve ruled out any health conditions for your whippet and want to prevent your whippet from begging at the first sight of a scrap of food, then here is what you can do:

  1. Stop giving your whippet scrap food – This is the first and most important rule to helping your whippet, once they have a taste for human food they will want it over and over again. I’m sure if you were eating the same food every day you’d go crazy for something new, which is where your dog’s at. You need to stop giving your whippet human food altogether, or if you do make sure it’s some meat but only on small occasions.
  2. Commit – This next step is aimed at you as a dog owner, you and your family need to commit to stop giving your whippet treats here and there. This is important if you want to prevent your whippet from being greedy and stop him from begging for food.
  3. Allow your whippet to eat only from his bowl – Don’t give your pup food from your hand, and only allow him to eat his dog food when he’s over his dog bowl. This will get your whippet into the routine of knowing that his food is in his bowl, and not from your hand.
  4. Ensure he has excellent dog food – You need to ensure that your whippet is getting in enough calories to sustain his lifestyle, if he’s out running for hours each day or used as a racing dog then his calories will need to reflect that. You need to feed him on a diet that is healthy, nutritious and full of protein. Check out our best dog food for whippets post for some healthy recommendations. 
  5. Ignore them – I know it’s hard, but you need to ignore your whippet so that he gets the message that he’s not going to get any human food from you either way. Dogs are persistent creatures, so this is going to take some patience, but don’t give in as you’re only setting yourself back to square one by doing this.

Training Your Whippet With Food

Training your whippet puppy with food is a great way to get him to listen and follow basic commands such as “sit”, “stay” and “come”.

This reward system is one way to help get your whippet on the right tracks at the start of his life.

However, when your whippet starts to mature, you should try to remove the food from his training, as this is where you can start to experience problems.

greedy whippets
Image: John Mork

Dogs that have been trained with food whilst growing through adulthood can start to become very stubborn if they suddenly stop receiving their reward.

Not only that, but they will also start to expect you to feed them from your hand, which can lead to a greedy dog in the future.

I train my puppies with treats until they are around 4 – 6 months old, then I start to remove the treats and focus more on commands and gestures to instruct my dog.

This is something you may want to bear in mind if you have a puppy that’s being a little too greedy, maybe it’s part of his training regime so he believes he’s going to be fed.

Final Thoughts

So, are whippets greedy dogs? Not really, but this depends on a lot of other factors such as their owner, training techniques as well as any underlying health conditions which could be causing hunger.

As a whole, whippets are not greedy dogs, they eat their meals per day and are more than happy with that.

As mentioned, you’ll need to ensure your whippet is getting the calories and macronutrients he needs to satisfy his hunger, as if he’s not feeling nice and full after his meals this is where dogs can start to be a little greedy.

It’s also wise to remember that many dogs have come from wolves which used to hunt and forage for their food, back then they would take any scrap of food they could get their hands on.

Now, not all dogs are greedy, but some more than others. As long as you’re not giving your whippet too many treats and feeding him scraps of your human food, and he’s getting everything he needs from his diet then you shouldn’t worry about your whippet being greedy.

Hopefully, you’ve learned a thing or two about this wonderful breed and now have a clear idea of what is greed, and what could be something else.

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