Ahh; a jumping whippet. Is that maybe like a Mexican jumping bean? Well, sort of, but not quite.
Today, I’m going to answer that burning question of how high can whippets jump.
First though, I’m going to turn my computer screen away from my little darling Bonnie (Miss Whippet), who is fast asleep by my side.
If by chance she is playing possum, I do not want her to see what I’m typing. You see, Bonnie is not much of a jumper.
I had a golden retriever and a German shepherd that did tend to jump and I had a pretty tough time breaking them of the habit.
Not all visitors to my home relish all of the wet doggy kisses. This can also be dangerous with big dogs and small guests.
Okay, let’s get back on track with the jumping whippets!
How High Can Whippets Jump?
A normal everyday whippet that has a tendency to jump can go as high as 5 feet.
Now, I’m not saying that your whippet will jump that high or not jump higher. It depends on your whippet.
They do have speed behind them to propel them to new heights.
Young whippet puppies can jump puppy gates that range from 17 to 20 inches.
There is a dog named Spitfire the Whippet whose longest jump was 31 feet and can jump as high as 8 feet.
He is a member of Dock Dogs and they are highly trained to perform all sorts of stunts, jumping high into the air to grab balls and then landing in a swimming pool to swim to the other side.
Sounds kind of like the Olympics to me!
How To Train Your Whippet To Jump
If you would like to train your whippet to jump for any kind of competition or even just for play, begin as you would training any new puppy.
You must start by initially bonding with your whippet. Spend time indoors and out just enjoying and getting to know each other.
The stronger the bond the greater the response will be.
Positive reinforcement, whether it be praise, which is best, or treats is a big plus. Dogs love to play and this training will seem like fun.
They will also become more obedient with training. It is never too late to train your dog to jump.
If you’ve already bonded then that’s the best part. There’s still time for older dogs to be trained to jump for different contests.
You know the old saying, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” I don’t know who came up with that one but it sure isn’t true!
When beginning to train your pup, place a pole or stick on the ground and get your dog to jump over it.
Hiking is a great way to train by increasing stamina and gaining strength as your pup jumps over rocks and branches.
This helps them if they are at all fearful of jumping because it’s fun for them and you are right alongside them scampering over the same rocks.
After acquainting them with jumping small hurdles, increase the height of the pole or board.
If you have a helper, they can hold the dog on one side of the pole as you call their name and they will run to you jumping over the pole as they go.
You can also throw a ball over the pole for them to jump the pole and retrieve.
You can slowly raise the bar higher and progress the height steadily. Practice every day for repetition.
This is all around great training and it gives confidence as well as teaching self-control.
What Age Do Whippets Start To Jump
Whippets begin to jump at around 4 to 8 months of age. Some dogs can eventually jump many times their height.
If you are thinking of training your pup for any kind of competition you can start pre-agility training at around 4 months of age.
I would recommend either getting a trainer or ask your veterinarian where you can get advice on the subject.
Speaking to other owners who have whippets in training is a wonderful idea as well as seeking out a local whippet or dog club.
High jumping cannot begin until dogs are older. You should start slowly with bonding, once again, and very low jumping.
You should not begin higher jumping until your whippet is from 12 to 15 months old.
Puppies have growth plates that do not close until at least 12 months. Long bones in the legs grow from puppy growth plates.
They are soft and flexible when the tissue is forming. When new tissue has stopped being produced it will harden or calcify.
Larger dogs take longer for that tissue to harden, sometimes up to 24 months.
Puppies will continue to cultivate muscles and fat just like we humans do. Jumping high too early can cause serious injury to your dog.
Injuries can range from torn tendons to broken bones, not something any of us would want our favourite pals to experience.
Why Would Your Whippet Need To Jump?
Your whippet would need to jump for hunting if you desired that or if you wanted to train them for competition.
Training and competition are great ways for you and your whippet to really connect.
When dogs excel at a competition they are part of a team with their master. Owners and dogs alike can benefit from attending these contests.
Lifelong friendships can be forged for both you and your little whippet and your pup might even gain some new playmates.
These competitions help so much with socialization. Listed below are several different competitions that really suit whippets.
Disc Dog is a competition where the owner throws a disc, which is comparable to a frisbee used by humans.
Dogs catch the frisbee by doing various jumps and flips and are judged by their athleticism as well as accuracy at catching the disc.
Dog agility competitions usually feature three different types of games. Freestyle shows off what a great athlete your dog is with jumping, catching and distance.
Toss and Fetch is rather self-explanatory but dogs are awarded for mid-air catches, which would include more jumping, distance and scoring on how difficult the flips are.
Lastly, there is a long-distance portion of the competition similar to an obstacle course. These three show how dogs can also be great athletes.
Flyball is a competition where dog teams compete against each other as they jump over hurdles.
These hurdles are spring-loaded with tennis balls that pop up, the dog catches them and returns them to their handler. It is a relay for dogs.
Lastly, performing would be another reason to train your whippet to jump. Just like Spitfire the famous Dock Dog, those dogs perform in shows all over.
They are fast and jump high. Some are purebreds and some are mutts. Since it has been proven that the whippet is the most athletic dog on earth, don’t you think they could bring home the gold in any of these competitions?
How High Should My Garden Fence Be?
If you own a whippet then your garden fence should be 5 feet at least and 6 feet to be on the safe side.
To be honest, whippets should always be under surveillance. They are so speedy and quick and were bred to hunt squirrels and rabbits.
If they should see a small animal in your yard, even from behind a fence, there’s no telling what may happen.
They are persistent, fast and can jump. You know your whippet better than I.
I do not have a fence in my yard so my Bonnie is never off-leash except for when we go to the school football field which is fenced with a gate.
There, she can run and yes, jump, when catching tennis balls, to her heart’s content. My yard is too big with far too many little creatures to tempt her.
Will My Whippet Jump My Fence?
The answer is yes your whippet will jump your fence if the fence is not at least 5 feet, and 6 feet would be even better.
Again, you know your whippet better than I. You know if they are a jumper or not.
That is not to say that your cute little huggable pup would not jump a fence.
Anything is possible and when whippets or any dog for that matter sees something they want to chase and grab, instincts kick in. They will jump, climb or maybe even bust it down!
In conclusion, to answer the question, how high can whippets jump, they can jump 5 feet and sometimes higher.
They are the most athletic dog and are one of the fastest breeds on the planet, being able to accelerate at lightning fast speeds.
Jumping is just another athletic trait, so if you think you can work with that trait; go for it.
You just might have a champion in your midst and a lovable one at that! Uh oh! It looked like Bonnie’s one eye was open. Hope she doesn’t get any ideas!