Can A Whippet Be Left Alone?

can a whippet be left alone?

Leaving your dog alone at home isn’t nice for many of us, but some dogs handle it better than others.

Have you ever wondered what your furry friend is up to whilst you not home?

Bonnie tends to sneak onto the couch even though she isn’t allowed.

Leaving your dog alone can be sad for many of us, but for most dogs, they’ll happily just sleep for a couple of hours until you get home.

Whippets crave the attention and of humans, and they’re very needy dogs.

Leaving some whippets at home can result in noise complaints from neighbours and a chewed couch when you get home.

In this post we are going to answer, can a whippet be left alone?

To help you better understand what your whippets up to when your not home and how they cope with their owner being out of the house.

Let’s get to it…

How Long Can Whippets Be Left Alone?

Leaving your whippet alone should be judged on an individual basis, as some dogs don’t mint it, but whippet separation anxiety is common.

If your whippet is fully house trained, has free roam, doesn’t chew your belongings and doesn’t whine then you may be able to leave him alone for up to eight hours.

However, this is not recommended, as this is a long time for any dog to be left alone, and he may start to experience behaviour changes.

This is only for fully-grown whippets that are completely accustomed to being alone, puppies are a different matter entirely and shouldn’t be left alone.

can a whippet be left alone?
Image: bbartlomiej

Whippets that are grown have larger bladders than puppies, which means they are able to hold it in longer.

Puppies need to use the bathroom once every couple of hours, which is why they shouldn’t be left alone whilst still in this infantile stage.

A general rule of thumb is toilet breaks one hour for every month of age.

For example, if you’re puppy is four months old, he will need to use the bathroom every four hours and so on.

You may want to consider speaking with your neighbours if you’re working long hours and can’t get back to take your puppy out, this will give your pup the chance to relieve himself and also give him some social human interaction. 

Should Your Whippet Be Crated Whilst You’re Away?

Some whippets can be a lot more destructive than others, and if you’re finding that you’re coming home to chewed belongings then it may be an idea to look at crating your whippet whilst your not home.

A crate is not only a good way to ensure your house stays intact, but it also keeps your whippet safe whilst you’re gone.

This is good for mischievous whippets that could sneak out and get up to no good whilst your not home.

Many people are put off by the idea of crating their whippets as they feel sorry for their dogs and don’t want them to be left in a small space all day.

However, keep in mind that a crate can feel like a nice cosy den for your dog that has been properly introduced to the idea.

This is a natural instinct for a dog and they can often enjoy being crated as it gives them their own space to feel relaxed and safe.

Crating your whippet whilst you’re not home can also give you peace of mind whilst you’re at work, as long as you introduce crating correctly and ensure he loves his den then this can be a great thing for both you and your whippet.

What Age Can Whippets Be Left Alone?

So what age can whippets be left alone?

There isn’t really a set age in which you can leave your whippet alone, as this must be judged on an individual basis and can differ from dog to dog.

Every dog matures at a slightly different rate, some will still be destructive from ages two-plus whilst you’re not home, so these dogs shouldn’t be left alone if you don’t want your house ripped to shreds.

However, for the most part, when whippets do start to mature they become a lot more laid back, whippets start maturing from the age of around one to two years, and you’ll notice that they become more of a couch potato than a sofa shredder.

One thing you’ll need to bear in mind is how frequent your whippet needs to use the toilet.

Whippets have relatively small bladders which means they need to use the toilet more than larger dogs, this means you’ll need to be confident that your furry friend won’t start urinating in your home whilst you’re gone.

This is the reason why whippet pups should not be left alone at all, as they have very small bladders and typically need to use the bathroom every few hours.

The rule of thumb to go by here is for every one month of age; they need to be let out in hours.

For example, if your whippet is three months old, he will need to be let out once every three hours to alleviate himself.

Once your whippet matures and starts to understand the house rules you have set, then this may allow you to give him some freedom whilst your not home.

If you’re totally confident that he respects the house rules, is housebroken and is generally sleeping whilst indoors, then this is the time that you can leave him alone at home for a few hours.

You shouldn’t leave any whippet at home for long periods, but some whippets can be left alone at home for up to eight hours at a time, this is not recommended as even the most mature whippet can experience separation anxiety over time.

This just needs to be looked at on an individual basis, as some dogs don’t mind being left alone whilst some get real bad separation anxiety, so use your own judgment with this.

How To Make Your Whippets Time Alone More Comfortable

There are a couple of ways to make your whippets time at home alone more comfortable.

Here are some effective ways to keep your whippet comfortable whilst your not home;

Crate

Using a crate may not be for everyone, some people feel that their whippet should be allowed to have roamed around your home whilst your not home.

However, this can be a disaster for some families that have destructive young whippets, so using a crate can be a fantastic idea.

The key here is to introduce your whippet to the idea of a crate properly so that he enjoys going in there and feels protected and safe.

Give him your t-shirt

I personally leave Bonnie with one of my old t-shirts when I know I’m going to be out of the house for a while.

This helps her feel like I’m still with her as it has my scent all over it, she definitely feels more comfortable with my t-shirt beside her, and it’s a great way to keep her calm and settled whilst I’m not home.

Ask for help from a neighbours

If you’ve got some fantastic neighbours that you can trust in your home, then it may be an idea to ask them to pop round and check on your furry friend every once in a while.

This is a great way to help your whippet feels more comfortable whilst your not home.

They are sociable dogs that love company, so asking a trusted friend or family member to check up on your whippet is a great way to make sure he’s comfortable.

Don’t leave him too long

If you’ve done everything you can to make your whippets time alone more comfortable but are finding that he still is having separation anxiety.

The best thing to do is try to not leave the house for long periods if your whippet is whining and using the bathroom in your home.

This is a sign he’s anxious, and shouldn’t be left home for long periods whilst he’s still feeling like this.

Do Whippets Get Separation Anxiety?

Whippets are incredibly social and loving dogs that need affection and to spend lots of time with there owner.

When you suddenly disappear for hours on end, they can suffer from separation anxiety.

Separation anxiety is when your dog is afraid of being separated from a particular person, usually their owner.

can a whippet be left alone?
Image: Marcus Gier

It’s not only pets that get this; it can be present in children and adults too.

Whippets are particularly prone to separation anxiety as they are very emotionally sensitive dogs; they have strong feelings and are a very affectionate breed.

So how do you know if your whippet has separation anxiety?

There are a couple of signs to look out for, one of the more obvious signs is if your whippet is whining and crying whilst your away.

You’ll usually get reports from the neighbours if your whippet is doing this, or maybe you’ll hear his distressing cry when your about to walk back into your home.

This is a clear sign that your whippet is having separation anxiety and wants to be reunited with his owner.

Another sign to look out for is your dog urinating and defecating; this is common as they feel nervous to be left alone.

If you’re coming home to an unpleasant surprise then this is a sign that he could be having separation anxiety. Other signs include;

  • Pacing
  • Escaping
  • Chewing
  • Digging
  • Destructive behaviour
  • Coprophagia

There are lots of signs to look out for, and you’ll usually be able to tell as when you get home your whippet will be extremely excited to see you (more than usual).

Final Thoughts

So can a whippet be left alone?

That really depends on the whippet in question and on his maturity.

Whippets that are still young and not yet fully grown should not be left alone as they have small bladders and need to urinate more frequently than an adult.

Not only that, but they can be very destructive at a young age and start to experience separation anxiety.

Once your whippet reaches maturity and starts to calm down, chances are you’ll be able to leave him alone for a few hours providing your confident that he understands the house rules.

If you’re hearing reports of whining and coming home to some unpleasant surprises, then chances are he’s suffering from separation anxiety and is not yet ready to be left alone.

You’ve got to use your judgment on this one, if your confident that your whippet will mainly sleep and relax whilst your gone and not cause any damage to your home, then try leaving him alone and see how he handles it.

You could also consider crating you whippet providing you introduce him into this slowly, as this can be a safe place for your whippet to rest whilst your not home.

Some whippets can be left alone for up to eight hours when they are fully mature, although it’s not recommended and can cause behaviour changes in some whippets.

As a whole, most mature whippets can be left alone for a couple of hours, but it’s a good idea to use some home comforts to help him settle whilst you’re out of the house, such as a t-shirt with your scent on it.

Hopefully we have answered your question of can a whippet be left alone and you now know how to comfort your furry friend when you’re leaving for a couple of hours.

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