Owning a dog is an exciting journey. Most people, however, have trouble in choosing the right kind of breed and environment when purchasing a dog.
This article gives you a concise introduction to one of the most beloved dog breeds; the Whippet. You will learn about the breed’s history, its peculiar personality traits, its dietary requirements, and most importantly, how to crate train your Whippet puppy.
Most Whippet owners consider this pet to be a wonderful companion. If you follow the suggestions that are presented below, you will also feel the same.
The Whippet is a medium-sized sighthound that was first bred in England during the 15th century. This breed, which is descended from the Greyhound breed is today one of the most beloved dog breeds in America.
The Whippet is a breed for people of all age groups. This particular dog breed loves outdoor activities, making it a favourite for people who embrace an active lifestyle. It is also a very calm dog, making it a well-behaved companion for people who are more laid back.
Some Short Whippet History
The name Whippet has been used to define a dog breed of small stature since the 15th century, though the word itself had existed long before then as a sexist definition of any young woman who was extroverted. The breed was selected either through the breeding of smaller greyhounds or by crossing terriers and greyhounds.
The first Whippet dog on American shores was owned by Mr Charles O. The dog’s name was Jack Dempsey, a name later made famous by a boxing champion. In 1889, a Whippet named Zuber won the inaugural Whippet dog championship.
Whippets have not changed much in appearance over the centuries, though early breeds spotted a wire coat. Since the 1950s however, breeders have preferred dogs with a smooth coat, thus rendering the wire coat extinct.
Whippets have for a long time been the most popular sighthounds. This is mostly due to their speed.
Grown dogs have been known to clock speeds of up to 38 miles per hour. Such speeds made this breed a favourite for hunting enthusiasts on America’s frontiers. The fact that early Whippets preferred the same diets as their owners also added to their popularity.
Ashley is the most famous Whippet of all time. His frisbee performance nationally televised during a 1974 baseball game gave rise to the widely popular sport of dog frisbee.
Apart from frisbee, Whippets also love racing, coursing, and agility exercises. Whippets have few health challenges, age well to about 7 years, and require moderate exercise to keep fit and happy.
A Very Human Dog: Whippet Personality Traits
Each Whippet, like most other dog breeds, has a distinct personality and temperament. Like other dogs breeds, a Whippet’s personality mellows as it grows older.
here are some personality traits common to most Whippets, however, and a brief outline of these will demonstrate to you why this dog breed is so lovable.
Whippets Are Both Introverted And Extraverted
This means that on those occasions when you are busy with homework, or in a meditative mood, your dog will be happy just lazing about on the couch. This same dog will spring into action and become very lively as soon as you want to play.
Whippets Love Comfort As Much As You Do
According to Whippets, the most comfortable spot in the house is right next to you. These dogs will rearrange seat cushions if it means they can snuggle up near you.
Whippets Are The Best-behaved Company You Can Keep
These dogs have a very keen sense of behaviour you desire for them and will do everything to meet your expectations.
A Whippet dog will calmly lie under the table when you have dinner guests, will be quiet when you are doing something important and will be very playful when you want to play.
Whippets Are Ambivalent With Strangers
Some breeds of dogs are quite hostile to strangers. Other breeds are too friendly. Whippets will initially ignore your guests as long you are not threatened. Once they get familiar with a particular guest, they will be enthusiastic about helping you play host.
Whippets Are Not Too Fussy About Their Diet
Feeding your Whippet is a straightforward activity as they will consume most foods that you do. A healthy Whippet diet can consist of table scraps, raw or cooked meats, homemade dog food, or shop-bought treats.
However, you should not leave human food lying on the table as these dogs are also very good food thieves. You should also avoid feeding them directly from the table as this incentivizes begging behaviour.
Whippets need to be given treats only at regular intervals and as a reward for specific behaviours. Disciplining them in this manner makes them less likely to develop negative food habits such as stealing and raiding garbage cans. There are certain foods that you should never feed your Whippet.
Chocolate should never be given to dogs as it is poisonous to them. You should also avoid giving your dog food that has small pieces of bone in it. Small bones can easily choke your dog.
Finally, you must keep your trash out of reach as Whippets are easily attracted to garbage bins.
Whippets Don’t Enjoy Being Alone
It is never a good idea to leave Whippets alone in the house for long periods of time as they get anxious and lonely quickly. If your situation demands that the dog be alone in the house for long periods, then it is best to create her when you are absent.
Crate Training Your Whippet
The best age to start the training is when the dog is 3-4 months old. At this age, the puppy learns appropriate behaviours quickly and keeps those behaviours for the rest of its life.
Therefore if you want to potty train your puppy, or if the puppy will be spending long periods of time alone in the house, you should invest in a crate and train the puppy to use it. The following steps should enable you to successfully crate your puppy.
Choose The Right Size Crate For Your Whippet
Your Whippet will be spending a lot of time in the crate. You thus need to ensure that the crate is as comfortable as possible. The crate should be large enough to allow the puppy room to play in, stand up and move around.
It should also be large enough to accommodate the puppy once it grows to full stature. You should outfit the crate for warmth and comfort by installing a carpet, some toys, and a water bottle to keep the pup well hydrated.
Check out these 5 best dog crates for whippets for some of the best options on the market.
Choose An Appropriate Location For The Crate
A puppy should feel comfortable sheltering in the crate even when you are in the house. It is this important that you place the crate within your living quarters.
A good initial location for the crate is your bedroom. Puppies can get very anxious at night, thus it helps if your puppy knows you are close by when it is dark. Placing the crate near you ensures the puppy doesn’t feel abandoned.
Start Slow And Be Patient
Your puppy will initially be reluctant to stay in the crate. You thus need to start off by creating it for short periods each day and increase the duration as time goes by.
You need to be patient during this process, else the puppy will view the crate as a punishment and never get used to it.
Make It Fun For Both Of You
As this is a long and tedious process, you need to be inventive in how you go about it. Design games centred around the crate and reward your puppy with treats for meeting certain milestones. Feeding the puppy from the crate is another good way to accelerate the acceptance process.
Ensure That Your Whippet Get Regular Bathroom Breaks
Young puppies need to urinate or defecate at least once a night. You should thus plan on taking your puppy outdoors for a few minutes once each night. This will ensure they don’t soil the crate.
You should also give them a small treat before putting them back in the crate after a night call.
Don’t Crate Your Whippet For Too Long During The day
The general rule is to not leave your dog in the crate for more than four hours at a go. Since Whippets require attention and exercise, schedule enough time for these activities and perform them regularly
Choosing the right breed of dog can make a huge difference to your experience of dog handling.
Different breeds have divergent needs and personalities. Similarly, how you treat your dog goes a long way to define this experience. The Whippet is a relatively simple dog to keep.
It adjusts well to your temperament and it does not come packaged with special requirements. This breed can adapt to the lifestyles of the very young or the very old, making it a wonderful pet for all members of the family.
To keep a Whippet does require you to take certain steps as highlighted above. Doing so will ensure that you never regret owning this particular breed of dog.
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Hello. I’m Luke- the founder of WhippetCentral. I’m somewhat of a whippet nut and have been for most of my life. In that time, I’ve owned and raised numerous whippets. Bonnie is my latest girl; she is currently eight years old and keeps me very busy! Understanding the need for whippet-specific content, I decided to create this blog to share what I have learned and to share my expertise regarding owning and raising whippets – the right way!