Whippet Basic Training: A Complete Guide

whippet basic training

As soon as you get your new whippet you will have to teach him to come to you when you call him, obedience training, and house training.

You will also need to socialise your whippet, establish boundary rules, and set a schedule.

A regular schedule including set feeding times and walks will help your puppy stick to a routine, and he will learn when he will be able to go to the toilet, so he will be less likely to go on the floor, always a bonus!

Obedience training should be one of the first things your whippet goes through, as these commands can be used for other training, and can also later be used when he or she goes through a rebellious stage in their adolescent phase.

One note to keep is that training should last for no more than 20 minutes a day, or else your whippet may get bored or distracted.

This is especially true of whippet puppies, which have a very short attention span.

Getting a new dog or puppy can be exciting for both of you, but it also means that you will have to set aside some time for training and teaching basic commands and obedience.

A new puppy that has no training may become completely out of control and unmanageable. Without any discipline, he may also learn bad behaviours such as chewing items in the house, biting, and even peeing on the floor.

This guide will make Whippet basic training and obedience easy, as it discusses in detail when to start the training, what things need to be taught, and when you can expect results.

As well as that, it will also outline how to teach your Whippet certain commands such as ‘Sit’, and ‘Heel,’ and how to teach recall and house training.

When To Start Training Your Whippet

It is best to start training your Whippet as soon as possible when you first get him. At that time, your Whippet puppy will be at the age of 7 weeks or more, unless you get an adult Whippet.

A Whippet puppy learns much faster and may grasp concepts more easily than an adult dog. However, on the other hand, an adult dog will be more attentive and cooperative during training.

An older or adult Whippet will know more than a puppy, but that doesn’t mean he won’t need training as he gets accommodated in your home. Both puppies and adults need to learn schedules as well as boundaries.

For the most part, it is during early puppyhood that it is the best time to train your Whippet.

This is because during his first few weeks and months a Whippet puppy’s brain is developing, so teaching your Whippet basic training at that time is critical.

It is necessary to teach him a number of various life skills, as some of the things he learns in his young age will determine his behaviour in later life.

Teaching your Whippet puppy as early as possible will also build trust and communication between you and your dog.

Without human socialisation, puppies can grow to be fearful and shy.

Training is a great way to build a bond with your puppy and convey the things you want to teach him.

It also helps establish rules and what actions are unacceptable (such as aggression or biting), which will prevent your puppy from showing problematic behaviours.

Basic Training

Socialisation

One of the most important parts of basic training your puppy can go through is socialisation.

This includes meeting both adults and children, other dogs of different sizes, and a number of other animals.

Improper socialisation or lack thereof in a Whippet puppy can result in shyness, nervousness, and even fear when coming in contact with other humans.

A Whippet frightened by the presence of humans can tremble, withdraw, or even hide when visitors come over.

On the other hand, improper socialisation during puppyhood could result in the complete opposite.

Your Whippet puppy can develop behavioural problem such as aggression toward humans. He could growl at, snap, or even bite anyone they come in contact with.

As well as that, Whippets have a high prey drive, so they are instinctively prone to chasing other animals, especially ones that are vulnerable and smaller than them.

For that reason, socialisation is critical, especially if your household is made up of other small dogs, cats, or even rabbits. The same goes for if you live in an area that has a lot of free-roaming cats.

Socialising your Whippet puppy will make him comfortable with other people and animals, and will help him get used to the presence of animals he might otherwise see as prey.

However, when it comes to humans, Whippets are generally very friendly and social, so they will be more welcoming to strangers than many other breeds.

Aggression in Whippets, both in puppyhood and as adults, is very rare to encounter, so don’t worry too much about this.

Showing Your Whippet Boundaries

In the first few days after your Whippet puppy arrives at your home, he should be introduced to his food and drinking bowl, sleeping spot, and playpen if he has one.

This way he will know where to go to eat, and where he can rest and sleep.

You can show him around the house, and bring him along the boundaries of your garden or yard to show him where the limits are.

If he tries to cross this barrier, you can use negative reinforcement to teach him to stay within your yard, such as making a sudden loud noise.

For instance, you could stomp your shoe or hit the ground with a heavy object, and then firmly say ‘No’.

The loud noise is perceived negatively by your Whippet and may startle him briefly, so he will leave whatever he is doing to focus his attention on you. At that time you can call him over and reward him for his obedience.

Doing this each time your Whippet tries to wander off from your premises can teach him that you don’t want him to cross the boundary of the garden on his own.

This is a very crucial part of Whippet basic training, as it can prevent your dog straying far from home and becoming lost or stepping out onto the road and potentially getting hurt.

However, most often it is still a good idea to set up at tall fence in your garden if you don’t already have one, and keep the gate shut.

This is due to the fact that a Whippet may sight an animal such as a cat or squirrel and go after it because of his natural instincts.

Maintain Schedules And Routines

Another important aspect of training your Whippet is to maintain a schedule and regular daily routine.

What this means is that you should feed him at set times and take him for walks at set times.

Also, he will need to learn to calm down at nighttime when his owners are asleep and can’t give him attention.

Otherwise, he may bark, cry, or become destructive when there is no one around for him.

Teaching your new Whippet a schedule can be helpful if you go to work or have to follow a routine every day, and cannot be flexible when it comes to your puppy’s needs.

You may not have the time to feed him or play with him whenever he demands it, because you simply may be busy.

Obedience Training

Sit

Getting your Whippet into a sitting position is very simple, and one of the easiest commands to teach.

To start off, move a treat over his head toward his back slowly. As he follows the movement of the treat above him, he will tip backward and get into the sitting position.

Reward your Whippet when he sits, and repeat this action a few times, adding the command ‘Sit’.

Stay

Get your dog to sit and then put your hand in front of him suddenly and say ‘Stay’. The hand signal will indicate the action to stay where he is, and to not move anywhere.

This sudden appearance of the hand and your command will likely grab your Whippet’s attention and he may become still and focus on you and the hand for a brief moment.

When he stays still for that few seconds, reward him with a treat. Now take a step back and repeat the same action. Do it a few times, each time moving away further back until you are at the end of the room or yard.

If your Whippet gets up to move or come toward you, start all over again by getting close to your dog while giving the command, and then begin to move away.

Repeat this command several times until your Whippet is comfortable with following the instruction and staying in place.

Down

Get a treat in your hand and move it forward and down to the ground in front of your dog until he begins to lower his body and get down into the lying position.

Reward him only when he has gotten down and stays there, and repeat this a few times using the command ‘Down’.

Heel

Lure your dog with a treat in your hand to come to you, and keep the treat at your heel until he positions himself there.

If your Whippet’s head faces in the wrong direction, swing the treat around in an arc so that your dog turns around with its movement.

Do this a few times, saying your Whippet’s name and adding the command ‘Heel’.

Now begin moving forward a few steps, holding the treat in front of your Whippet’s nose but behind your heel.

Your dog will follow along behind your heel as you move the treat along.

Do this for a few times, and reward your Whippet for not trying to get ahead of you.

Now do it for longer distances, telling your dog to ‘Heel.’ each time. If he begins to outpace you, stand still and lure him back into position at your heel using the treat.

You are now ready to try this outside with a leash, first using a treat and then without one. If your Whippet pulls, you can negatively reinforce your Whippet by gently tugging once at the leash or the collar.

However, you must ensure you have a proper collar for this, as a typical leather collar may squeeze tightly at your dog’s neck.

House Training

Feed your Whippet at set times each day, and after each feeding take him outside shortly after.

If your new Whippet is a young puppy, he will have a small bladder and may not be good at controlling himself.

Taking your Whippet out immediately after feeding will also get him used to going outside after meals, and he will be more likely to stay put because he knows that very soon he will be able to do his business.

When he is outside, either on a walk or in the yard, and he eliminates, remember to praise and reward him for it.

This will help ensure that he learns where you want him to go, and that is outside. He will be more likely to continue this behaviour.

Recall Training

Before beginning recall training, your Whippet puppy must know its name.

This training can start by using a leash, as some puppies or even older dogs tend to wander off. Put your dog in the sit position, move backward a few steps, and call his name, adding the command ‘Come.’

When he comes over to you, reward him. Take the leash off and command your dog to ‘Stay’. Move away a few steps and call your Whippet over again, saying his name and then commanding him to ‘Come.’ Reward him for obedience.

Do this a few times, each time commanding your dog to stay, then moving further and further away, rewarding your Whippet when he listens and comes to you.

Now you can try this in different places to see if your Whippet has learned to listen to your command.

You can do it at home, while you are in a different area of the house, or even in an open field.

Tips For Training Your Whippet

Keep Your Training Sessions Short

When you first get your Whippet puppy, it is important that training does not exceed 20 minutes at a time, as puppies have a low attention span and get bored or distracted easily.

It is best to split training sessions into a few shorter ones spread throughout the day.

Use Positive Enforcement To Reward Good Behaviour

Praise and reward your dog with treats when he does something you want to see.

This will help him realise that you are happy with his behaviour, and he will likely want to do it again.

On the other hand, if your Whippet does something wrong, do not shout or raise your voice.

Instead, you may correct your dog by taking an action such as making a loud banging noise, tugging on his collar once, or putting him away in a room for time out.

Find A Quiet Place

Train your Whippet in a quiet room or place, especially if he is a puppy. Noise, commotion, or things going on around him can be very disrupting and distracting.

They can catch your puppy’s attention and he won’t be able to focus on you or on any commands given.

Feeding Time And Walk Before Bedtime

When teaching your Whippet to follow a routine or schedule, ensure his last meal and walk outside is around half an hour before bedtime, so that he won’t become hungry or have to go outside during the night.

As well as that, he will be tired after the walk, so he will be more likely to stay calm and sleep better.

Consistency And Patience Is Key

Be consistent and patient when it comes to training.

Not every Whippet will learn a command or skill after one try, and you may need to repeat it several times before he learns it.

When To Expect Results

You can start seeing results even when your Whippet is still a puppy.

If you are consistent with training, your puppy will begin learning immediately and manifest the positive behaviours you have taught him within the first few weeks of arrival.

However, at 6 months behavioural problems will most likely return because of the adolescent stage, which means that your puppy could become uncontrollable at times, or immensely stubborn.

During that phase, training is crucial, and should continue for the months following until one year old.

Usually, it is at one year that the majority of Whippets will have matured and become fully trained.

Other Considerations

Even though Whippets are a very intelligent and fast learning breed, some individual dogs may be prone to stubbornness or simply won’t listen. Every dog is different and will learn at a different pace.

If you find that your Whippet acts stubborn during training and learns at a slow pace, it may take much longer than normal to teach him everything there is to know.

Some dogs may even need repeated training after turning one year old.

Alternatively, you may want to seek out the help of a professional dog trainer or bring your Whippet to puppy classes which will look after your dog’s training and save you much time.

Final Thoughts

Whippet basic training, as well as obedience, recall, and house training should start as early as possible after getting your dog.

Puppies have developing minds during the first few months of their life, so this time is crucial for teaching them life skills.

Your puppy may already know some basic things after leaving their previous owner, but after adoption they will need to learn to live in new surroundings, and they may have to get accustomed to a different routine or schedule.

For that reason, it is important to stick to a routine and show your puppy around the place, where his boundaries are, and teach him obedience which will make him more likely to listen to you.

Some Whippets will learn slower than others, but most often a Whippet will be fully trained at around one year old.

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