You have recently decided to acquire a Whippet puppy. Let me congratulate you on an excellent choice of hounds. Whippets make excellent pets. Their athleticism makes them a children’s favourite and their good behaviour makes them a wonderful house pet.
The first thing you will want to do is learn how to potty train your Whippet. The Whippet, due to its trusting nature and keen intelligence should make this process a delight.
But, you do need to remember that like human babies, puppies take time to learn. So, be ready to have lots of fun, and a few frustrating moments as you begin to potty train your Whippet puppy.
Whippet owners appreciate the breed due to its temperament. They bond easily with their owners and are very friendly. This breed has a dual personality, displaying both extroverted and introverted behaviours. This makes them both ideal for the home and for the outdoors.
Living With A Whippet
Like other dog breeds, Whippets take well to home living. They are quick learners, and this, combined with their natural wish to please make this particular breed easy to house train.
In the paragraphs that follow, I explain the steps that you should take if you want to understand how to potty train your Whippet puppy.
Potty-training Your Whippet: Things To Consider
If your Whippet puppy is younger than six months of age, he needs to be potty trained afresh when you buy him.
You should also note that puppies younger than four months of age will not have developed the proper bowel and bladder control. This is simply dog biology. You shouldn’t overreact if your Whippet puppy soils himself, or your couch at this age.
Whippets are naturally clean animals. This is why your Whippet hides his faeces, and why he doesn’t urinate next to his feeding bowl. You need to support this natural tendency and show your puppy that you care about his cleanliness too.
That is why the praise giving that is part potty training your Whippet is so important. It shows your Whippet puppy that you appreciate that he is a clean puppy. It is also why you should make the Whippet puppy’s surroundings as tidy as possible.
If he is waking up to an environment full of dirty clothes, semi-decomposed food scraps, and toys are thrown all over, then he might take the cue that untidiness is appreciated.
Whippet puppies don’t speak English. Neither do babies. What this means is that once you start to potty train your Whippet, you should use a demonstration as much as possible, and connect those demonstrations with certain words.
Thus the Whippet puppy will eventually come to learn your language. What this also means is that initially there will be lots of miscommunication as you begin to potty train a Whippet.
The time to start potty training is on the first day the puppy arrives home.
Whippets have standard periods when they need to eliminate. Biology again. For most puppies, elimination occurs either first thing in the morning, immediately after a heavy meal, after an exciting activity such as a car ride, or last thing at night.
You should plan to walk your dog to his elimination area within 90 minutes of eating his regular meals, or half an hour after drinking water. Whippets love routine. Setting up an elimination schedule will make sure that your Whippet sticks to his lessons for the rest of his life.
Potty training your puppy could be the difference between enjoyment and sheer frustration.
Potty Training Step One: Diet Management.
Most first-time Whippet owners fall into the trap of trying to control how their puppy defecates, without first controlling what the puppy eats. Whippets will eat most foods that humans do.
They will also tend to gorge themselves when given a chance. Since what goes into the mouth must eventually be eliminated, the first step in potty training is diet management.
First, you should make sure that your puppy eats a wholesome diet. Whereas good food is also more expensive, your puppy will benefit from consuming the right quality of food.
Good food guarantees that the puppy stays satisfied longer, thus reducing his urge to scavenge garbage cans. Good food also has a higher nutritional content per serving.
You should always study labels on pet shop foods to make sure that your puppy is eating the right combination of proteins and carbohydrates.
A high nutritional content per serving means your Whippet will absorb most of the meal, and excrete less. Faeces from good food is also easier to handle as it is more likely to maintain solid form.
Though all faeces have a bad smell, the excrement from good food is likely to smell less so. Finally, a puppy that eats well is also a healthier puppy requiring fewer visits to the vet.
Secondly, you need to feed your puppy at regular intervals. Since most Whippets will excrete within 90 minutes of a meal, sticking to a feeding schedule will enable you to also work out your puppy’s elimination time with a high degree of certainty.
Third, don’t feed your dog too many times in a day. Most Whippet puppies will grow healthy on three meals per day. As the puppy matures, you can shift down to two meals a day. A Whippet will be healthy eating meals that you space at eight-hour intervals.
How Much Food Should Your Puppy Consume?
Whereas this depends partly on the size and age of your Whippet, you can tell whether you are feeding him the right amounts by studying his pooping habits.
If your puppy is defecating less than twice each day, he is not eating enough. If on the other hand, he defecates more than thrice a day, you are overfeeding him.
Since potty training also involves urine management, you should always strive to control the amount and schedule of your puppy’s drinking water.
Potty Training Step Two: Elimination
Once you have managed your Whippet’s diet, you can begin to carry out an elimination plan for him. These steps if followed regularly will bring success.
Always lead your Whippet puppy through the same route to the elimination point. This also includes using the same door to exit the house. Whippets love routines, and it is always easier to train them when you follow a standard pattern of behaviour.
It is important that you go with your puppy during his elimination walk as you can then be sure that he is doing it right. Going with your Whippet also helps you make sure that he has voided completely.
Another reason to go with your puppy is so that you can detect stomach ailments and measure whether the puppy is eating the right amount of food.
Once you reach the elimination point, you should give your puppy some semblance of privacy. Often this will involve keeping quiet while he is voiding. Whippets are easily distracted while outdoors, and they will often want to play when they are on avoiding session. Keeping quiet and pretending to ignore your puppy will help him focus on the task at hand.
Use a command word to concentrate the puppy on the task. As stated earlier, Whippets love the outdoors. Thus, your puppy is likely to hold off excreting as long as possible to stay outdoors.
One way to deal with this is to issue is to teach you Whippet to void on command. Choosing a command word is simple. Just choose any word such as “Quick” and only use it when the puppy is wasting time excreting.
Then when your puppy starts eliminating say the command word to him sharply. Don’t say another word until he finishes voiding. Your puppy will soon learn to respond to this command word all the time.
Give praise. Once the puppy finishes excreting or urinating, be sure to praise him by running him down, playing with him, or any other action that makes him feel appreciated. Whippets love to please their owners. Your puppy will thus come to equate successful elimination with pleasing you.
What To Avoid When Potty-training Your Whippet
You should avoid the following actions when potty-training a Whippet puppy.
Never shout at or reprimand your puppy for making mistakes. Potty-training is a learning process for both you and your puppy. As such, be gentle and patient. Instead of shouting at your puppy, use the command word to guide him to the right action.
Never press your puppy’s nose on his faeces. This action destroys any bond that you may have developed with your puppy, and instils fear in him.
Don’t allow your puppy to roam around the house until he is fully potty-trained. This is a recipe for soiled clothing and the beginning of a very trying relationship with your puppy.
Don’t walk your puppy during his elimination time. Since Whippets love outdoors, walking him before he voids incentivize him to hold back on excretion for as long as possible.
Always remember that puppies take time to learn. Be patient and the results will come through.
This section has defined the steps that you need to take to potty-train your Whippet puppy. This journey will be a learning experience not only for the puppy but also for you.
With patience and enthusiasm, you should be able to build a bond with your dog that lasts a lifetime. Enjoy the journey.