Do Whippets Like To Be Stroked?

Stroking your dog is something many of us take for granted, it’s an excellent way to not only make your pet feel good but also helps you.

There’s not much that beats the feeling of coming home from a hard day’s work and being greeted by your adorable whippet at the door waiting for a tummy scratch.

Petting your whippet is an excellent stress reliever and helps you establish a bond with your whippet.

But do whippets like to be stroked? Yes, they absolutely love it! But there is much more to discuss on this topic.

In this post, we’re going to go through what you need to know about petting your whippet and give you some top tips on how to do it correctly.

Let’s get to it…

How To Pet Your Whippet Correctly

So how do you pet a whippet correctly? These dogs are very low aggression and rarely ever strike at humans, so it’s quite easy to pet a whippet correctly.

However, there are a couple of things you should know before reaching your hand out to a whippet:

Get Low

Whippets are very small dogs, so it’s a good idea to get low to the ground so you’re at the same height before petting a whippet, especially if the dog is a stranger.

When you do this, the dog feels much less threatened as you’re not at the same height, this is an important part of petting dogs correctly especially if they’re not familiar.


Talking to your dog whilst you’re stroking him is a great way to gain his trust, these animals are incredibly smart and pick up on the tone of your voice.

do whippets like to be stroked?
Image: John Mork

This means that when you’re talking to your whippet in a calm, soft voice he’ll feel much more comfortable and let you pet him. 


Before you decide to pet a whippet you should always first ask permission if it’s not your dog.

If the dog owner is fine with letting you pet their whippet then you should be observant of the dogs tail, this is important for dogs that are not your own as some dogs can be wary of strangers and be standoffish when approached.

If the whippets tail is wagging and you’ve done the above two steps then you’re in good stead to pet the whippet correctly. 

Slow & Steady

You should always ensure that when you’re petting your whippet you’re going slow and steady, this will help him trust you whilst you’re petting him and ensure he’s comfortable in the process.

Start petting on your whippets back before moving to the head, whippets love being stroked on their head from their owners. 


When you’re petting your whippet try to think of it like a mini-massage, this can involve light-scratching too which will satisfy your whippet and keep them nice and calm.

Petting is supposed to be therapeutic for your whippet and is supposed to be beneficial for both of you, so go nice and slow and focus on those sweet spots to ensure maximum effect.

Best Spots To Pet Your Whippet

Most dogs love to be petted, but not all petting is the same as some area’s give more relief and satisfaction than others. So where are the best spots to pet a whippet?

Well, my whippets love nothing more than a good belly scratch, this is an area that dogs are unable to reach themselves so when you stroke their stomach they are incredibly grateful and get a ton of relief.

Individual dogs have preferences where they prefer to be stroked, so it’s important that you find the sweet spots for your whippet and pet him in those locations.

The most common sweet spots for whippets are behind the ears, chest, stomach, under the chin, around the collar line and at the base of their tail.

My Bonnie absolutely loves being petted and scratched at the base of her tail and her chest, these are areas which she can’t reach herself so when I pet her I always give her a good scratch on these areas and she loves it!

This will be different for all whippets so it’s important to try pet different areas and monitor the reactions. You should note that many whippets don’t like to be stroked or petted on the top of their head, muzzle, legs, paws and tail.

It’s really not a good idea to touch a dogs tail as they really don’t like it, so grabbing, stroking or even touching a tail is a big no-no, especially for whippets. 

Why Petting Your Whippet Is Important

Petting your whippet is incredibly important not only for your pooch but for you too.

Touch between you and your whippet can have powerful therapeutic benefits for the both of you, helping you release stress and anxiety, whilst feeling your pup’s fur can help lower your heart rate and blood pressure.

Petting your whippet is also incredible at calming and soothing your pet, it helps them unwind and acts as a reward signal so that they can rest assured that you love them.

Whippets are an incredible affectionate breed, they love nothing more than to be petted by their owner and desire it more and more each time. Petting can be a great way to encourage good behaviour too, which is extremely effective when in the training process or learning your whippet some new tricks.

Giving physical praise through petting, as well as verbal praise with phrases such as “good-boy” can be a great way to help develop your whippet into a well-rounded dog.

Petting your whippet lets them know that you’re happy with them, and it’s a signal to your dog that everything is just fine. 

Reasons To Pet Your Whippet

There are plenty of reasons why you may want to pet your whippet, from displaying some good behaviour that you’re super proud of to just let your pup know that you’re there for him.

Here are some of the most beneficial reasons to pet your whippet:

Health Benefits

One super important reason to pet your whippet is that it has profound health benefits on both you and your dog.

I’ve already mentioned that it can help you release stress, anxiety and lower blood pressure, but petting your whippet can help keep your pet calm, lower their heart rate and increase their mood.

These are all amazing health benefits and even more of a reason to pet your furry friend over and over again to keep you both happy and healthy. 


Petting your dog as a reward is a great way to show your whippet you’re happy with him.

Maybe he’s been super well behaved when out socialising with other dogs, or he might have decided to give you his paw before snapping up a yummy doggy treat.


When it comes to training your whippet, using petting as an effective method to reward your pup is super effective.

how to pet your whippet correctly
Image: Rebecca Delaney

For example, if you’re learning your whippet to sit, and he starts to follow this command then petting him in some of his sweet spots will translate to your pup that you’re happy with what he did, making the training process much easier. 

Feels Good

Another great reason for petting your whippet is simply that it feels good for both you and him.

As mentioned you’ll get some health benefits from petting your pup, but it is also just a nice feeling to pet your whippet.

These dogs typically have short, soft fur which feels amazing, especially if your grooming routine is on point

Builds A Bond

Petting your whippet is an incredibly effective way to help build the bond between you and your pet.

This will help the whippet trust you more which helps with training and is generally a fulfilling feeling to know that your pup loves and trusts you.

Bonding with your whippet is super important and petting is a great tool to help with that, so pet your whippet more if you want to strengthen your relationship. 

When Not To Pet A Whippet

Ok so we’ve talked about the reasons to pet your whippet and how to pet your whippet correctly, but what about times when it’s not a good idea to pet your whippet?

These are quite rare occasions, but you definitely need to be mindful of the times when it’s not a good idea to pet your whippet.

Here are some of the times you should avoid petting your whippet:

  1. In a lot of pain
  2. Highly stressed or anxious
  3. Growling or snarling
  4. Showing aggression
  5. Without permission
  6. Your in doubt

Final Thoughts

Petting your whippet correctly is something that takes time to master, from learning your pets sweet spots to understanding when to avoid petting, it is all a big learning curve and part of owning a whippet.

However, when you start to learn these things, petting your whippet can be a great way to reward your whippet, as well as help you relieve stress from a hard day’s work.

Petting your whippet is enjoyable not just for your pet, but for you too – so try to pet your whippet when you’re feeling a little low to help boost your mood and get you back on top of your day.

Hopefully, this post has taught you how to pet your whippet correctly and now you know which areas your pet enjoys a good scratch, and which areas to stay away from. Now go and pet your pooch to make his day!  

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