When it comes to socialising your puppy, it’s easy to become confused and panicked as you may not know where to start.
In this post, we show you exactly how to socialise a whippet puppy so that they grow up to be friendly, happy dogs that are comfortable around other dogs and people.
This is one of the most important parts of raising your whippet and we can’t stress enough how much you should work with them at this crucial stage.
Let’s get to it…
What Is Socialising?
To begin, we must first explain what ‘socialising’ actually is: Socialising refers to a dog’s general comfort around all kinds of people and other dogs.
It also includes their interactions with them – for example, perhaps the dog is comfortable with other dogs but not so good around people.
We use socialising to refer to both negative and positive experiences. For example, our dog may be comfortable around other dogs but have an aversion to being picked up by people.
Just as socialising is important – so is ‘anti-socialisation’. Not all situations are good for your pup and you should definitely avoid bad situations.
The Importance Of Socialising Your Whippet Puppy
So why is it important to socialise your whippet puppy?
Well, socialisation is important because it helps your pup get used to the world around them.
For example, if a puppy has never seen a person before, they may be frightened of them when you take them out for walks.
This is obviously not good! By getting your pup used to seeing people from a young age, they won’t develop an aversion to them and can begin to enjoy walks more.
There are a couple of types of socialisation that you need to do. These are covered below.
When your whippet pup is little, they will likely be very scared of people. This makes sense as people can be pretty scary with their big hands and loud voices.
However, it’s important that they get used to people at an early age so they can get used to human contact.
It will make it easier for them if you ever need to take them out in public, or even just introduce them to friends and family.
It’s also important that your whippet puppy can be social with other animals, especially household pets. If there are any other animals in your home, or if you have a plan to get another pet in the future, then you need to let them interact with each other.
It’s good for them to play together while they’re young – it can actually strengthen their bond when they get older.
It also means that if they come across another animal in the future, they will be much more confident and less likely to attack.
If you don’t already have a pet, then it’s worth thinking about getting one. You can always get another whippet – or if you want something different, there are plenty of other dogs that make good pets for those who live alone and as part of a family.
Whippets have a tendency to chase things that move quickly, so it’s important to socialise them with vehicles early on.
Cars, buses, and even bicycles can all be great for getting your puppy used to these things.
He might panic at first, but then he’ll learn that being near these vehicles is perfectly safe.
Taking your pup to new locations can be daunting, but it helps him become more adaptable to change.
Different types of buildings, parks, and even sidewalks are all new locations that your pup needs to get used to.
The idea is to introduce your whippet puppy to new surroundings in a way that keeps him calm and makes him feel safe.
When To Start Socialising A Whippet Puppy
You should start socialising your whippet at around 7 – 18 weeks.
Some people will say that you should start from when they’re born, but this can be harmful to them – there’s a chance that it could make their immune systems weak and undefended against diseases.
This is because their mother’s milk will have antibodies in it to protect them while they’re young, so exposure to certain germs and outside factors can be dangerous.
Keeping them at home with just their mother and siblings until they reach 7 weeks is the best way to protect them from diseases and keep them healthy, but after that, you should start allowing them to meet other dogs as well as people so as to prepare them for the world outside.
How To Socialise Your Whippet Puppy
Now we’re going to look at how to socialise your whippet puppy, I’ve listed some of the most effective steps to do this below;
Socialising Your Whippet Puppy With People
When trying to socialise your whippet puppy with new people, you should begin by allowing them to meet visitors in your home, while their mother is present and calm.
Next, you can take them out on walks where they will inevitably come across people walking dogs, this is also a good time to bring them into contact with other people walking alone.
Getting your whippet used to bystanders who aren’t interacting with them is also really important, if they are comfortable with this then it will stand them in good stead for all the public events you will want to take them to later.
If you’ve got friends or family members, allow them to come into your home and meet your puppy, this will get your pup used to new faces at an early age.
It’s also important to introduce your pup to children of all different ages, toddlers and elderly people move very differently, so meeting a variety of people will mean your pup can be “socialised” with lots of different types of people and they won’t be overwhelmed by the wide range we come into contact with.
Your pup also needs to meet adults of all ages, people wearing caps, uniforms, and reflective gear. This will get your whippet used to all of these things so that he doesn’t freak out when he’s around them at an older age.
Socialising Your Whippet Puppy With Animals
When it comes to socialising your whippet puppy with other dogs, the most important thing is not to force it when they’re not ready.
It can take a whippet puppy some time to build up the social skills and confidence needed to get on with other dogs and if you try and push them, the results won’t be good at all, so just leave it alone until they feel comfortable enough to start playing together and become friends.
Take your whippet pup to play parks and on the local field where you may bump into other dog walkers with whippets, this will help them meet new people and pups just like themselves.
If you’d prefer not to take your whippet puppy out of the house then it’s still a good idea to introduce him or her to as many different breeds of dog as possible, at home that is.
There’s no need to panic if they do come across a bigger dog, they are very good at dealing with other dogs, but if you are still anxious about the situation then it’s always best to discuss your feelings with a veterinarian.
It’s also a good idea to introduce your pup to other livestock such as cows, sheep, and horses.
These animals will potentially be around your whippet puppy when he’s older, so it’s a good idea to have him meet them while he’s still young so they don’t spook him.
It’s also important to socialise a whippet puppy with cats and kittens as well because otherwise, you risk the chance of him hurting them in the future due to the whippet’s strong prey drive.
Whippet puppies are generally very good with cats and other small animals, so don’t worry too much about your new puppy winding up your pets.
It can take some time for them to build a relationship with the animal you already have, but they’ll get along if you give them time.
Here are some tips on how to socialise a whippet puppy with cats.
Keep your cat and whippet in separate rooms when you first introduce them…
…and allow the two of them to see each other through a cracked door, but not let your dog touch the cat for his own safety.
Your whippet will probably be very curious about the cat and start sniffing around his/her door, which is a good thing.
After he’s calmed down a little bit, try taking your dog out for a walk and let the cat have access to where you keep him/her.
The idea is to make this process as easy on your dog as possible, and if you’re trying to do this with an older animal it’s probably not going to work.
Once the things are comfortable around each other, let them be in the same room while supervised…
…but keep an eye on them! Better safe than sorry.
Socialising Your Whippet Puppy With Vehicles
Socialising your whippet puppy with vehicles is pretty much carrying on with what you’ve already started.
The idea is to get your dog used to the sound of motors and make it so they don’t startle or run away when they hear one go by.
First, find someplace where there aren’t too many cars (maybe your driveway), and kneel down with your puppy, ensure that their collar is on, and aren’t wearing their winter coat.
Now you just want to sit there for a bit. Eventually, your whippet puppy should get bored or distracted enough that they forget that something scary is in the vicinity and start to relax.
Once they’re comfortable with it not being so scary anymore, follow them around and give them praise and treats.
The next time you try this, make it a little harder by getting closer to the road and having someone drive by, or doing it around other dogs.
Eventually, they will get used to cars, loud noises, and dogs being around them. Then you can set about socialising your whippet puppy to everything else!
Socialising Your Whippet Puppy With New Locations
Taking your whippet puppy to new locations is super fun. However, you have to do it in a safe way.
This can be done by following the same rule as above.
Once they’re used to coming with you on your daily routine, it’s time to be a bit braver and take them somewhere new. Start slowly by sticking close to home, maybe walking near the park or around the block of where you live.
Every day you can go somewhere new, but try to take them out regularly and they’ll soon get used to it.
In conclusion, socialisation for your whippet puppy is incredibly important.
You need to start slowly and go from there as you progress with the training regimen.
Socialising a whippet puppy can be difficult, but it’s totally worth it!
It’s also vital that they socialise with other dogs as well as humans and vehicles.
Hopefully, this post has given you a better insight into exactly how to socialise your whippet puppy and why it’s important.
Thanks for taking the time to read this post and feel free to share it with someone who may find it useful.
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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!