Whippets are notorious for their love of running, affectionate nature and being all-round amazing pets. It’s quite normal for whippets to have a lot of energy, they have small bodies with large muscles and love to let off steam by running.
This is why these dogs are excellent racing dogs, they are aerodynamic, lightweight and their large muscles can catapult them to the finish line in lightning-fast speeds.
Their love for running can often give the perception that they are full of energy and are high maintenance, however, whippets don’t need a lot of exercise each day and are low maintenance dogs thanks to their love for relaxing.
That being said, all dog’s are different and some have more energy than others.
In this post we’re going to answer “are whippets hyperactive dogs?”, to help you understand this breeds energy levels and why they can be so active.
What Does Hyperactive Actually Mean?
First, we need to understand what the word hyperactive actually means. Hyperactive behaviour refers to constant activity, restlessness, aggressiveness and inability to concentrate.
This is when a dog has so much energy that they don’t know what to do with and have a hard time focusing or doing anything other than blowing off steam until they are worn out.
It’s a term that is used to describe unusually energetic behaviour, for example, if a child is very energetic or in a heightened state then they can be described as hyperactive or hyper.
Is Your Whippet Hyperactive or Energetic?
There is a difference between a “hyper” dog and an “energetic” dog, so I’m going to help you understand the difference between the two to help you decide which term fits your whippet best.
An energetic whippet is one that is incredibly active and yet doesn’t feel tired much at all, an energetic whippet is an excellent runner and often does well in long-distance running which is surprising for a whippet.
Energetic whippets have an abundance of energy which is where the word comes from, and they’re often able to keep going and push themselves to the limits in terms of endurance.
Meanwhile, a hyper whippet is one that is also incredibly energetic and hyperactive, this means that they also have a ton of energy and are hard to tire out, but the difference is a hyperactive whippet has an increased state of activity.
This means they are often so “hyper” that they find it hard to concentrate on anything else, which can interfere with training, exercise and much more.
Hyperactive whippets are quite rare, these dogs have a calm personality and often prefer to relax on the sofa watching Netflix with their owner, not losing their minds as they have too much energy.
Whippets are typically placed under the “energetic” category, as these dogs do have a lot of energy and can run at high burst speeds of up to 35mph, whilst being quite good long-distance runners too.
However, it is possible for some whippets to be hyperactive but it’s few and far between, you’ll usually be able to tell if your whippet is hyperactive because of his ridiculous amount of energy as well as his restlessness.
Why Exercise Is Important For Whippets
Whether you have a hyperactive, energetic or even lazy whippet you should still be giving them the exercise they need every day.
Physical and mental exercise is very important for whippets, they need this time to blow off steam by running at full speed, this allows them to not only burn calories which helps keep them slim and in shape but releases endorphins which keep their mental health good too.
As I’ve mentioned above, people believe that whippets need an absurd amount of exercise because of their desire and love for running, but this simply is not the case.
Whippets need around 60 minutes of physical exercise per day to stay fit and healthy, this is because they are small dogs that burn much more calories than larger dogs when running because of their small organs.
Not only that, but these dogs run much more than your average dog, so they’ll naturally burn more calories through running, following scents and playing with other dogs.
If your whippet is not getting enough exercise they can start to develop behaviour problems such as excessive licking, chewing, digging and barking which all links to anxiety.
There’s nothing worse than seeing a whippet go through this as they have a passion and love for running, so they shouldn’t be forced to be cooped up at home all day which results in their mental health deteriorating and them displaying strange behaviour.
As well as mental side effects of lack of exercise, whippets are prone to obesity too.
These dogs can get fat extremely quickly if they are not given proper exercise, obesity in whippets is very detrimental to their health as their small frames are not designed to hold excess fat.
Meaning their joints and limbs are put under unnecessary stress and pressure because of the excess weight, which lowers their life expectancy.
Physical exercise is super important for whippets, it helps keep them mentally sane, physically fit and keep them happy too.
How To Get Your Whippet To Chill Out
If you’ve established that you’ve got a hyperactive whippet, then don’t panic – there are a couple of things you can do to help calm your whippet down.
Here are a couple of ways to chill your whippet out:
Don’t Encourage Excitement
If you’ve got a hyperactive whippet then chances are he will be incredibly excited and fast-paced all of the time. It can be difficult to calm a hyperactive whippet as they are like a little bundle of electricity that is constantly pulsing and running around.
You should not encourage excitement in a hyperactive whippet if you want to keep him calm, don’t “hype” him up or feed his hyperactivity as this will only heighten his hyper state and make it harder to calm your whippet down.
Use Physical Exercise
One of the best ways to calm a hyper whippet is to use physical activity to wear him out.
This takes a lot more exercise than a regular or energetic whippet but is a great way of calming your whippet down and allowing him to recover and recuperate.
This step is all about the right type of exercise, it needs to be mentally and physically stimulating, such as chasing a lure or playing with other dogs, something whippets thoroughly enjoy.
Once they get home from this intense exercise they’ll be exhausted and want nothing more than to chill and relax in their comfy dog bed.
Playing fun games with your hyperactive whippet will stimulate his mind and help him calm down. You should use some dog toys to do this, make him really think about the game you’re playing whether that be frisbee, fetch or command games.
One game I play with my whippets is a game I like to call “Find It”, this is where I hide a toy or item that has my scent on it and Bonnie has to sniff it out and find the toy.
This keeps her engaged and I often find when we get home she’s ready to hit the hay as she’s much more worn out than regular running.
If you do have a hyperactive whippet then you should be more aware of your own energy around your whippet.
If you have to shout at your whippet over and over again to get him to listen to you then you’re just contributing to his hyper state.
If you speak to your whippet in a calm, controlled manner and can calm him down by using your own energy to lower his state, then you’re on the right path to keeping your whippet calm.
You should only need one short word to keep your whippet under control and keep him listening to you, this is done by proper training.
Keeping control of a hyperactive whippet is done by using calm and assertive energy, you do not need to shout or yell at your whippet to get him to listen.
Check yourself and your own energy when dealing with a hyperactive whippet, as often you may be making matters worse without realising it.
So are whippets hyperactive dogs? Generally speaking no. These dogs are super calm and love to relax with their owner whilst stealing snacks whilst you’re not looking.
That being said, some whippets can be highly energetic which means they have much more exercise than the typical whippet. Hyperactive whippets are out there but they are few and far between, you’ll often find that whippets don’t have that much in them and tire themselves out very quickly, which is why they do so well in racing but not long distance.
Whippets are small animals which have burst energy, this allows them to run at very high speeds but only for a short amount of time, whereas the Saluki whippet has stamina and speed thanks to the Saluki genetics.
Hopefully, this post has helped you understand more about hyperactive whippets and what to do if you have one. It’s all about trying to keep hyper whippets calm and using tools, techniques and games to wear them out so they can stay calm.