Whippets aren’t easily trainable and quick at picking up things like the German shepherds and border collies. If it’s your first time to own a whippet, training it on various basic commands like staying, sitting, and coming can be a bit daunting, especially if you haven’t a clue where and how to start.
If you’ve never trained a dog before, you might end up questioning your training competence since this type of dog breed is quite different from other breeds when it comes to training. Whippets usually get bored quickly during lessons and tune out completely.
Therefore, to successfully learn how to train your whippet to sit and other commands, you should be highly patient and consistent compared to the interest and zeal you have when training the likes of a German shepherd.
Well, if you didn’t pick up on any clues just yet, don’t worry. This article explores various tips and strategies you can utilize to train your whippet to sit, plus other essential commands and obedience training that will make your pup an obedient and well-mannered canine candidate for your home.
Training Your Whippet To Sit
According to expert animal trainers, there’s no physical force or punishment that can teach an animal to behave obediently. It’s only through effective and practical training approaches that you’ll be able to achieve this task.
It’s easier and quicker to reward the action you want the dog to learn instead of using the traditional methods that emphasize punishment.
Using clicker training helps the owner and the puppy develop a bond that aids easy communication between them.
In simple words, clicker training is a positive reinforcement training that focuses on rewarding your pups when they behave the way you want. The clicker acts as a conditioned reinforcer where your dog associates the clicking sound with a reward after repeatedly hear the clicking.
The working of this technique bases on animals’ learning science, which states that animals are more likely to repeat rewarded behaviours. Thus, instead of fixating on the whippet’s wrong actions and ignoring the little improvements your dog is making during training, clicker training will help you concentrate on the good efforts your dog is making.
If you continuously focus and approve of your puppy’s good doing, it can significantly improve your dog’s behaviour rather than fixating on the wrong things he’s doing.
With a clicker, you can tell the exact time your whippet did the correct thing instead of guessing the actions you liked during a training session.
The clicks will also help your whippet know the exact things he/she got right. For instance, during sitting training, you can click the clicker exactly when your pup’s bottom touches the ground.
This form of training is known to be effective for whippets because they are quite obedient anyway and can easily accept being led if they’re guided gently.
Tips To Successfully Train Your Whippet To Sit
Training your whippet to be obedient isn’t only essential for behaviourism purposes, but also his/her safety. This type of dog breed is either very agile or relaxing and sleeping, making it hard to train them because they get mentally bored and distracted easily.
In order to train whippets successfully, you’ll need to take advantage when they’re more lucid and engaging using short bursts of learning activities. Here are various tips you can use to smoothly and effectively train your whippet basic commands like sitting;
Using A Reward-Based Strategy
This method is the most recommendable and effective method during whippet obedience training. It helps to encourage your dog whenever it acts appropriately. The whole idea here is having your dog believe that he earned the given reward for him to repeat the action in the future.
When using this approach, it’s best to find the most appropriate reward or treat to motivate your dog. You can find something that your whippet adores to enhance his motivation. For example, trying various food treats like cheese cubes, cooked meat, chicken pieces, or sausages to gauge which food really piques his buttons.
If you discover food that your dog adores, then you can use it as its motivator during training. However, not all whippets can be motivated by food. If your whippet is in this category, you can try other methods like finding his favourite dog toy and play with him and the toy for a short while.
Besides motivation, it’s crucial that you be very keen on timing. This method is only practical if you correctly time the moments your dog acts right with a charming and happy response. If you delay, it’ll be hard for your whippet to connect the events, making the training less effective and time-consuming.
Since whippets get bored quickly, it’s crucial that the training sessions be fun, brief, and highly engaging, for example, by using an excited and high-pitched voice. Chatting with the dog during training can also engage your whippet’s interest, thus breaking any form of monotony.
It’s not advisable to wake up your dog or to rouse him from his comfort zone to train; it won’t work. It’s best to use those brief and often moments when your dog is highly active and in the mood to move around.
Focusing On The Primary Commands Method
For easy obedience training, it’s best to prioritize teaching your whippet basic command to ensure his/her safety and acknowledge you as the leader. These commands include come, sit, look, and stay.
How can you train your whippet to sit’, ‘stay,’ ‘come,’ and ‘look’? Here are ways you can train your dog these basic commands;
after discovering the best food motivator for your dog, you should hold it in front of his/her nose during training sessions to get his/her attention. After that, raise the reward slowly in an arc motion over his/her head.
When your dog follows the reward, his/her bottom will touch the ground. Immediately this happens, excitedly say ‘yes’ then give him his reward. Over time, the dog will be anticipating a reward whenever his butts touch the ground.
After several sessions, when your whippet starts to associate the reward with the sitting position, tell him/her to ‘sit’ when you immediately begin moving the reward. Doing this will give the dog a clue to what he/she should do, and with time, it’ll learn the command.
After your dog learns how to sit, the staying command won’t be a big deal. After your dog sits, take a few seconds before giving him his reward, as it stays in that sitting position. In every session, extend this time by a few more seconds as you increase between him and you too.
After several training sessions, the dog will be used to sitting and staying for a while before getting a treat; this is when you can start moving back and tell him to stay, then get closer and offer his reward. In few weeks, your dog will learn the ‘stay’ command.
This command is quite simple to teach. You’ll simply start by telling your whippet to ‘come’ when he occurs to move in your direction, then reward him. The next time, entice him to come towards you, then praise and give him a treat when it comes.
You’ll hold a reward in front of your pup’s nose, then move it slowly towards your nose’s bridge and tell him to ‘look.’ Over time, your whippet will grasp this command.
Training In An Open And Big Space
Training your whippet to sit and be obedient in closed and squeezed environs can be overwhelming and boring to them.
Therefore, it’s best to find an open and spacious training area that your dog is familiar with.
If you realize that your pet is bored with the current training space, you should consider changing it too. Doing this will also help your puppy to understand that obedience applies to all environmental settings, and not just at home.
As much as it’s important not to fixate on the wrong actions your dog do during training, it’s also crucial to let him/her know when acts inappropriately.
For instance, if he doesn’t obey a ‘sit’ command, you can disapprove it by simply saying ‘uh-oh.’ Doing this will help him learn what they should and shouldn’t do.
Never Punish Your Dog
In case your puppy isn’t getting things quickly as you expect, you shouldn’t punish it because it’ll only make him more afraid of you, even if he appears to obey. They’ll be obeying you out of fear instead of true obedience. Once you instil fear into your whippet, it’s near impossible to get it out, so punishment is a big no-no.
Sometimes, you can see how fast your friend’s highly trainable dogs are progressing and grasping commands and start comparing your whippet to them, which isn’t right. It’d be correct to acknowledge that your dog breed is different and slower in learning and progressing.
Therefore, it’d best to be patient and set realistic goals during the whole training period, and believe that you’ll eventually get there, but not with the pace of other dog’s breeds.
Training a whippet to sit can be overwhelming at first, but with the right tips, patience, and training methods, this process is rather straightforward and exciting since you’ll get to bond more with pet more.
Because of your whippet long legs, they don’t exactly enjoy sitting. So the whole process can take a little longer than you may expect, it’s almost uncomfortable for them so you need to bear this in mind during training.
If you’re a beginner, don’t be scared; with the tips and details above, training your whippet to sit and be well-mannered will be relatively easy. Patience is the most crucial virtue that you’ll mostly require to teach your whippet to sit and obey successfully.
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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!