Do Whippets Bark A Lot?

do whippets bark a lot?

Whippets are well known for their loving nature and ability to run incredibly fast.

In fact, they are the second fastest breed of dog on the planet, being able to run at speeds of up to 35mph.

Whippets were once regarded in high value for their exceptional hunting skills, as they are part of the sighthound family they hunt primarily with their eyesight and speed.

Whippets rightfully earned themselves a spot in the family home for this ability to hunt and put food on the table, but how are they as house pets?

If you’re thinking about buying a whippet but don’t want to annoy the neighbours then you’re in the right place.

In this post we are going to answer, do whippets bark a lot?

To help you understand whether you’ll be in the bad books with the neighbours and if a whippet is right for you.

Let’s look into this further…

Why Do Whippets Bark?

Whippets are not known to be barkers, but like all dogs, they do bark from time to time as it’s their way to communicate with us, and other dogs.

Whilst most whippets are quiet, there are some occasions which your whippet may bark, which we will take a look at below;

Intruder

The few times that I have heard my whippet barking, a couple of which have been because a friend or family member that my whippet has never seen before has walked into my garden.

I was extremely surprised to hear Bonnie bark, but I was also relieved to find that should an intruder come into our home, she would speak up and let me know about it.

Although don’t rely on your whippet to guard the house whilst you’re not home, as they are terrible guard dogs.

It’s also been known for whippets to bark with joy when a member of the family returns home from work, they get incredibly excited and will let off a bark or two with excitement. 

Separation anxiety

Whippets are a social breed that love to interact with both humans and other pets.

If they spend too much alone time they may speak up and let you know that they’re feeling anxious.

do whippets bark a lot?
Image: Grant Hutchinson

Whippets have even been given the name Velcro dogs for their tendency to not leave their owners’ side and stick close by.

If you’re leaving your whippet at home for long periods whilst you’re at home, you may find that he’s whining and barking as distress to let you know he needs company. 

Playtime

If you get your whippet very excited during playtime he may start to bark, it’s a bark of excitement that lets you know he’s having fun and is very happy.

Some whippets may bark at the sight of their favourite toy, whilst some bark at the sight of you taking their leader out of the cupboard as they know it’s time for a walk.

This really depends on the individual dog, as some get incredibly excited whilst some remain calm. 

Attention

If you find that every time your whippet barks you’re running over to him like something is wrong.

You may start to find that he starts to bark more often to get your attention, this is a trap that many whippet owners have fallen into.

Whippets are incredibly intelligent and will sometimes bark to get your attention, as soon as they realise that it leads to a reward or affection they’ll keep doing it over and over again.  

Do Whippets Bark A Lot?

So, do whippets bark a lot? No, whippets rarely bark and are not known for being a vocal breed of dog.

Whippets may bark if they hear a doorbell, see a mailman or want to warn you of a visitor into your home.

Some whippets may whine if they are feeling lonely and suffering from separation anxiety, whilst some are impatient and may bark if you’re holding their toy without throwing it for too long.

In fact, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve heard my eleven-year-old whippet bark, it’s a very rare occasion that only happens in rare situations.

Whippets are an incredibly relaxed and chilled breed, they love to chill and relax on the couch with their owners and aren’t known to have a feisty personality.

Do whippets bark a lot?
Image: Roger Marks

This is great if you live in an apartment or somewhere in which, a dog’s bark could annoy the neighbours.

They make fantastic house pets and may still bark as an alert system to keep intruders away.

How To Minimize Whippet Barking

If you do find that you’ve got a bit of a feisty whippet that likes to bark, then there are some ways to minimize whippet barking.

There are two different types of barks, one that’s acceptable and one that’s annoying.

The annoying bark is one that you’ll want to try and get your whippet out of, especially if you’re living in an apartment close to neighbours.

Not only that, but excessive barking can drive your household crazy and start to tarnish the relationship between you and your whippet.

You want your whippet to feel completely comfortable around you so that he has the confidence to communicate with you, but not so much that he’s doing it for attention and is expecting a reward when he barks.

So what can you do to minimize whippet barking?

Here are some top tips;

Stimulation

One of the biggest causes of nuisance barking is down to the dog having too much build up energy from a lack of stimulation or exercise.

It comes down to boredom, and too much energy, which is a bad combination for any dog.

The good news is that there is an easy fix, simply give your dog more exercise and stimulation so he can burn off some steam whilst out on a walk.

You should try to include exercises that stimulate him too, maybe try investing into a drag lure so that he can chase the lure whilst exercising.

A tired whippet is a quiet whippet, the key to stopping nuisance barking is generally more exercise and mental stimulation.

You could even try hiding treats around the house for him to find, he’ll need to use his nose to sniff them out which is a great way to keep him stimulated. 

Socialisation

Whippets are incredibly social dogs, they love to be around their owner and to play with other dogs.

If you’re having trouble with your whippet barking, then it may be a good idea to socialise him a little more.

You can do this by taking him to a local dog park where he can interact with other dogs, or maybe take him for a walk with a friend or family member’s dog.

Whippets can bark because they are afraid of new people or dogs, so getting him used to the idea of meeting new friends is a great way to reduce his barking.

Reward good behaviour

If you suspect that your whippet is barking to get your attention, the best thing you can do is to ignore it.

This can be hard at first, as many whippet owners fall for the trap of running over to check if he is ok, but this is only making the problem worse.

What I’ve found works well is to ignore the barking, but when he stops, reward him with a treat.

This will get your whippet used to the idea of if he’s quiet he will be rewarded with a treat, over time you should lengthen the amount of time he needs to be quiet before rewarding him.

Never reward him whilst he’s barking, as this will only encourage him to do it more, you need to be careful whilst using this method to only reward him when the barking has stopped. 

Using A Crate To Reduce Barking

Like humans, dogs enjoy having a place where they can relax and feel safe, which is why a crate is sometimes a great idea to reduce barking.

Crate training, when done correctly, can provide your whippet with a safe environment where he likes to go and spend some alone time.

The key to proper crate training is to teach your whippet that the crate is where he can go to feel comfortable and secure, it should never be used as a punishment as he will resent going and this only makes the training harder.

Be sure that there is a comfortable blanket in the crate so that he’s happy to go in there, what I’ve found works is if I place an old t-shirt of mine in the crate.

This helps your whippet feel comfortable and that they are close to you so that they want to go in there and relax.

Ensure that your whippet has had plenty of exercise before placing him in his crate, he’ll need to be sleepy so that he can properly relax whilst in there.

(here are some of the best crates on the market for whippets)

If he’s full of energy and bored inside his crate he may start to feel uncomfortable and this can lead to whining and more annoyance barking. 

Do Different Barks Mean Different Things?

Being aware of the different types of dog bark is important, as a bark is a method of communication and each bark can mean different things.

If you can be aware of the type of bark your whippet is doing, then you’ll be able to work out a solution and plan to make him more comfortable.

Here are some of the common dog barks and what they mean;

Single bark

A single bark may mean that your dog is surprised or annoyed as if to say “what’s up?” or “knock it off”.

This usually happens if you’re teasing your whippet with his favourite toy, he may let off a single bark to say “give me the toy already”.

This isn’t a threatening bark, and you shouldn’t be alarmed from a single bark, it’s common for almost all dogs to do this.

Multiple barks

If your dog is barking multiple times, this indicates that your dog is far more worked up and annoyed.

This can happen if there’s an intruder at home and your dog is trying to warn you of something.

do whippets bark a lot?
Image: Bickie Pickie

It’s common for dogs to bark this way when the mailman arrives at your door or if someone comes through your back garden that they haven’t seen before.

The space between the barks is also worth paying attention too, as the quicker the succession of barks, the more aggressive the dog is feeling.

If the barks are in quick succession then it’s a good idea to back away as he’s very worked up at this point. 

Whining

When a dog whines it’s usually seeking attention from you or when they are feeling anxious.

It’s common for whippets to whine when they are feeling alone and feeling separation anxiety from their owner.

If you leave your whippet alone for long periods then there’s a good chance he may start whining to try and grab your attention and get you to comfort him. 

Final Thoughts 

So, do whippets bark a lot? No, whippets are not a vocal breed and rarely bark.

I’ve heard my whippet barking only a handful of times and most of these occasions were when someone she didn’t recognise came on to our property or when she was in fear of being attacked by another dog.

Whippets are typically very quiet dogs, however, this cannot be said for all as some bark more than others, it needs to be looked at on an individual basis.

Hopefully, this post has helped you understand more about the different types of barks and gave you a clear answer to do whippets bark a lot.

There are plenty of things you can do to minimise the barking of your whippet, but I’ve found the most effective to be mental stimulation and more physical exercise.

When your whippet is tired he is much more likely to want to chill and relax, dogs typically bark out of boredom, so if you can keep him busy he’s much more likely to be quiet. 

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