Is A Whippet A Guard Dog?

Whippets notoriously famous for their ability to run and hunt, but is a whippet a good guard dog?

Whippets are small animals that have a lightweight body and small head; they are low aggression dogs and rarely bark.

But does that mean they can’t tell a friend from an intruder?

Guard dogs are typically Dobermans or Rottweiler’s or other large dogs.

A guard dog has to have certain traits and generally a high level of training to protect its owner.

In this post we are going to answer is a whippet a guard dog?

To help you understand if you’re furry friend would protect you from an intruder, or run the other way!

Let’s take a closer look…

What Is A Guard Dog?

First, we need to identify exactly what is a guard dog?

A guard dog or watchdog is a dog that is used to guard property or an individual from intruders.

This is not to be confused with an attack dog, as these are dogs that are trained to attack commands and kept for this purpose.

But a guard dog is generally used to scare away any intruder that may be on your land, but is also capable of striking should an intruder get too close.

is a whippet a guard dog?
Image by Capri23auto from Pixabay

Whereas a watchdog is purely there to scare away intruders, and typically won’t strike at an intruder.

Guard dogs come in all shapes and sizes, but they are typically large dogs that have a loud bark and are capable of scaring or forcing an intruder out.

Breeds such as Dobermans, German Shepard’s, Rottweiler’s, Bullmastiff’s and Boxer dogs make excellent guard dogs.

Guard dogs typically live outside and will protect the perimeter of a premises, they are there as a security measure and have the specific purpose of guarding that area.

A premises that is patrolled by a guard dog will usually have a sign that says something along the lines of “beware of the dog”, this gives you a clear indication that there is a dog guarding this area.

Important Traits Of Guard Dogs

Not all dogs can be good guard dogs, they need to have a specific set of attributes and skills that make them fit for guarding an area.

There are certain breeds of dog that naturally have a lot of these guard dog attributes, but some dogs can also be trained to be a great guard dog.

Here are some of the most important traits to look out for in a dog that’s going to be a good guard dog;


A good guard dog is intelligent, he will need to be able to identify who is a friend and who is intruder when individuals come to the gate.

A good guard dog must also have a certain level of obedience, and be able to follow commands such as sit, lay down, stay and heel.

This requires a certain level of intelligence, which is why some breeds simply aren’t up to the task.


Guard dogs need to have a high level of courage as if a threatening intruder comes to the premises, your guard dog will need to stand his ground and now cower away.

A guard dog must be able to face any danger that confronts him, and in most cases, a human will be two times the size of him, so he needs to be brave and back down to nobody.


A good guard dog needs to be scary, and able to give a bark that makes an intruder want to think twice about entering the premises.

Most intruders will turn away if they see a large scary dog protecting the gate, but if there’s a small dog with no bark that’s greeting an intruder then he will walk straight through the gate easily.

A guard dog’s job is to protect the premises and the best way to do this without anyone getting harmed to be and look like a scary dog.


A good guard dog is one that knows exactly where his home is and won’t allow just anybody to come walking in there.

Dogs that strongly identify with their home and are willing to protect it are the ones that do the best jobs at being guard dogs.

is a whippet a guard dog?
Image: Ari Helminen

Territorial dogs will protect their home naturally, which makes an intruder think twice before walking onto your property.


Aggressiveness is one of those traits that is not suited to all dogs, but if you’re looking for a fantastic guard dog then this is a trait you’ll want your dog to have.

However, too much aggression can be a bad thing, but if your dog has the right amount of it this will give him the confidence to tackle any intruder, making him a fantastic guard dog.


A dog that’s alert and aware of his surroundings makes an exceptional guard dog, he needs to be aware of exactly what’s going on around him to ensure no intruder is coming into his home.

Every second counts when an intruder is on your property, so it’s important for a guard dog to be on high alert at all times to protect you and your family.

How A Guard Dog Differs From A Working Dog

Whippets are notorious for their ability to hunt small game such as rabbits and rats.

They have been used to hunt and race across the globe for many years, earning themselves the nickname “the poor man’s racehorse”.

But what’s the difference between a dog that is used for working and a guard dog?

Well, a working dog is designed to be athletic; they are fed on a highly nutritious diet to keep them in tip-top shape so that they can chase down game, usually rabbits or rats.

Working dogs need to be trained to retrieve their catch, as well as be able to jump over obstacles that may get in their way during the chase.

Some people assume that because a whippet or other working dogs can hunt game, it must mean they are aggressive and able to protect their owners?

Well, this is not the case, a whippet has a natural instinct to chase and catch prey, but they are actually incredibly low aggression dogs.

This is different from a guard dog, as guard dogs are there purely to protect their owner or premises from an intruder, so they do have a level of aggression in them to be defensive.

Guard dogs are very different from a working dog, as they have to need to have an aggressive streak that can scare off intruders, whilst working dog’s don’t typically have this attribute.

Is A Whippet A Good Guard Dog?

By this point, you’ve probably already worked out that whippets aren’t going to be the best guard dogs.

They are very low aggression and rarely bark, so they aren’t the best alert systems for intruders.

Whippets are very quiet and elegant dogs that hate confrontation; they would much more likely lick an intruder than make a strike.

A whippet is a very small dog that’s about as scary as a toddler in a batman costume.

There’s a strong chance that they won’t alert you of an intruder and an even smaller chance of them striking.

However, that’s not to be said for all whippets and need to be judged on an individual basis.

is a whippet a guard dog?
Image: andy carter

My 11-year-old whippet Bonnie has become more like a guard dog as she has aged, there’s a couple of times when family friends have walked into our back garden and she’s started barking, not aggressively but more as an alert or warning.

This is very rare behaviour though and has only happened very few times, most of the time she runs right up to them and wants a belly rub.

Are whippets aggressive?

Generally they are not, althugh this needs to be judged on an individual basis as all dogs are different.

So is a whippet a good guard dog? Absolutely not!

Do not count on your whippet to protect you should an intruder come into your home, they are very small dogs that don’t have the power to take on a large human or the courage neither.

A whippet is much best suited to being a working or racing dog, and they do excellent jobs at both, so don’t need the added pressure of being a guard dog too.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of if you’re whippet will protect you from an intruder, and what to expect should you be faced with such an event.

Are whippets aggressive?

No, they are gentle, soft natured dogs that are very low aggression, which isn’t geat if you’re looking for a guard dog.

Do not rely on your whippet to be a guard dog whatsoever; they are incredibly small and gentle dogs that won’t protect you from intruders.

Whippets were made for hunting small game, not humans.

This, of course, needs to be judged on an individual basis, as some whippets can have an aggressive streak in them and be more likely to warn off intruders, but for the most part, whippets make terrible guard dogs.

A guard dog needs to be big, scary and have the power and ability to back it up, they are dogs that will protect their owner from any intruder and are not scared of making an attack.

So is a whippet a guard dog?

No. Whippets make terrible guard dogs and should stick to being amazing pets and lounging on the couch with their owner.

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