Is A Whippet A Good First Dog?

What makes a good first dog?

It’s hard to know without trial and error, but there are a few character traits to look out for that can help you in your decision.

Whippets bring a lot to the table, they are loving, loyal and get along great with other dogs, but is a whippet a good first dog?

Absolutely! In this post, we are going to answer is a whippet a good first dog? And help you decide if you should, or should not choose a whippet as a first dog.

There is a lot to consider when you’re looking for your first dog, you want to make sure you know what your in for, as some breeds can be harder than others.

Typically speaking a whippet is a great first dog, here’s why…

Why Choose A Whippet?

First, let’s look at the reasons why you should choose a whippet for your first dog, and what makes them a good option for first-time dog owners.

Whippets love company

Whippets are a social breed that loves company, this is great as it means they’ll want to spend lots of time with their owner and you’ll develop a bond like no other.

Whippets also love to in the company of other pets, although you should be cautious when introducing a whippet with a cat, as their prey drive is incredibly strong.

is a whippet a good first dog?
Image by David Mark from Pixabay

If your someone that works from home, or simply has a lot of time on their hands, then a whippet is a good option for you, as they’ll appreciate you spending quality time with them when you’re at home.

Whippets are low maintenance

If you live a busy work life a whippet could also be a good option for you, whippets are relatively low maintenance dogs.

You should check a whippet’s ears for infection once every couple of months, and ensure that their nails are tripped down short, not worn down.

Whippets can run up to 35mph, so when their nails get long it can be very painful for them, so taking your whippet to a groomer once in a while is a good idea.

Whippets also have short smooth fur, and they don’t mould much at all, which is great for those with allergies and it also helps keep your house free from dog hairs.

However, your whippet will enjoy a bath every now and again, as they love to feel fresh and clean.

Whippets are great house/apartment dogs

Whether you live on a large farm or a city apartment, a whippet is a great choice as they don’t need a lot of space.

They love to run, but surprisingly only need around 60 minutes of exercise per day, as they also love lounging around and relaxing.

These dogs have a personality which is a little like an on/off switch, whereas they are either hyperactive and want to be running around playing, or they’ll be hard to budge off the sofa as they enjoy sleeping just as much.

Whippets are great for getting other dogs in shape

If you’re planning on getting a second dog alongside a whippet, this is a great way to keep both of your dogs in shape.

Whippets love to run and play, so combining a whippet and a Labrador will see that your lab gets in shape incredibly quickly trying to keep up with a whippet.

These dogs are natural family pets and are great with children and other small dogs; they make a great addition to the family and help keep everyone fit and active.

Whippets are an intelligent & obedient breed

Whippets are an incredibly intelligent and obedient breed of dog, which make them perfect for first-time dog owners as training them isn’t so difficult.

Training a whippet to recall is usually incredibly easy, but this needs to be assessed on an individual basis.

With a bit of persistence and a couple of well-awarded dog treats, you’ll find your whippet listens to you and is keen to obey you in no time.

Whippets are sighthounds; they were bred to hunt without commands from the hunter.

These dogs are an independent hunter that uses primarily their sight and speed to hunt, they are very intelligent and can learn commands like sit, down and stay very easily.

What Not To Expect From A Whippet

If you’re looking for a dog that’s going to bark and ferociously defend you and your home then a whippet isn’t for you.

These dogs are gentle, and rarely bark. In-fact I can count on one hand the number of times my 11-year-old whippet has barked, it’s not very often.

If an intruder enters your home, a whippet will be more likely to lick the intruder than bite, so if it’s a guard dog your after then pass on a whippet.

Do whippets bark? Very rarely, you’ll probably be able to count on one hand the amount of times your whippet barks.

Whippets won’t be best buddies with cats

Whippets and cat’s typically won’t be best of friends, this is usually the case for younger whippets that haven’t yet matured.

My whippet (Bonnie) would chase cats up until she was around six or seven, now she isn’t interested at all and will actually play with cats.

This isn’t typical for whippets, as they have an instinctive prey drive which will lead them to chase cats and other small prey.

So if you’re a cat owner, then it’s probably not a wise idea to get a whippet, however, if introduced in a controlled environment it can be done.

Training a whipept to recall with a cat in the area can be a little tricky, as their instinct can overpower a lot of training, making it hard for them to concentrate and listen to commands.

Whippets can get seperation anxiety

Whippets love to be in the company of other pets as well as their owner.

So being left on their own for long periods isn’t ideal, and can make them anxious and depressed.

Separation anxiety is common in whippets that are being left by themselves for long periods, and they can experience drastic behaviour changes.

Mature whippets can be left alone for up to eight hours, however, this is not recommended and needs to be judged on an individual basis.

If your whippet is a puppy, then it’ll need to use the bathroom every three hours or so.

It’s not recommended to leave your whippet alone for long periods, especially when it’s a puppy with a smaller bladder.

What Qualities Make A Good Whippet Owner   

Now that we know why whippets make good first dogs, and what not to expect from your whippet, let’s take a look at what type of person a whippet is best suited too.


Whippets make perfect family dogs, as they are gentle, loving and are great with kids.

If you’ve got a family that needs a furry companion then a whippet could be a great dog for you.

These dogs love to run and can do so at around 35mph.

This is great for those with kids as it’ll not only tire your whippet out but also your kids, making bedtimes much easier.

Whippets don’t weigh much either as they have a light, small frame.

So there’s not much risk of your whippet mowing your children over when running.

They are also incredibly low aggression dogs, they rarely bark or snarl, and love affection and attention.


Whippets love to be curled up on the couch with their owner and to snuggle in close.

The perfect whippet owner is someone who is affectionate and loves to be close to their dog, they need love and affection and have plenty to give in abundance.

If you’re not a very affectionate person, then by the time you’ve had your whippet for a few months I can almost guarantee that you will be!

is a whippet a good first dog?
Image by 272447 from Pixabay

They love to show you how loving they are, and love nothing more than being out on a long countryside walk with their owner.


Nearly all dogs love to play and have a good time, and whippets are no different.

Whippets love to run, so playing fetch with a ball or Frisbee is a great way to tire the kids out and keep your whippet entertained.

This is one of the reasons why whippets make great family dogs, as they love to play with kids and tire themselves out.

If you’re a playful person, then you’ll love a whippet, and your whippet will love you too.

Final Thoughts

So is a whippet a good first dog?

Yes, absolutely! Whippets are beautiful dogs that love affection and care; they’re a great companion for people of all age types and love to be around kids.

Whether you live on a large farm with plenty of space to run or a small town apartment a whippet can be a good first dog for you.

Whippets make great first dogs, as they’re an all-rounder, they are great with kids and make the perfect family dog.

Do whippets bark?

Rarely, they are super quiet dogs with a low aggression temperament, making them a greay choice for a first dog.

Don’t expect a whippet to fight tooth and nail to defend your property, as they’ll have more chance of licking an intruder to death than pouncing!

Training a whippet to recall is usually easy, as they’re pretty easy dogs to train with a little patience and well placed dog treat.

If you do decide a whippet is for you, then I recommend checking your local dog kennels, as rescuing a whippet is a great way to find a loving companion that will be forever grateful.

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