Whippet Puppy Behaviour: What To Expect

Ahhh, puppies! Who doesn’t love puppies and especially whippet puppies? Bonnie is lounging beside me and I’m sure she’s thinking, “who would even consider any other puppy than a whippet”?!

Puppies are wonderful, warm and cuddly, running and tumbling all over. They make us laugh and at other times exasperate us, reminding us, at times, of toddlers, with stubbornness, while turning a deaf ear to our pleas.

They can try our patience and even though Bonnie would turn her head in shame at the thought, she was quite a rambunctious puppy.

If you are considering a whippet puppy, no need to panic. In the following article, I will explain what you can expect in regards to whippet puppy behaviour and add a few helpful tips.

Puppies Can Be A Handful

Oftentimes you picture puppies as they appear in movies. They are playfully catching a ball or pushing a toy around. Some are lying by a roaring fire as good as gold and with a thoughtful reflective expression. Well, whoever did the screenplay for those movies was clearly in dreamland!

Yes, puppies are sweet and adorable, but there is going to be some work involved in raising one. Just like toddlers, they can be messy, sometimes defiant, unruly and did I say messy? You may find certain “things” in places you could never imagine.

Again, there’s no need to panic or hyperventilate. Puppyhood is short-lived and along with the mess, you will beef up your sense of humour and receive so much more in return; fun, laughter and an excellent furry child that will give you unconditional love. For now, you just need to keep your wits about you!

Behaviour To Expect From A Whippet Puppy

If you had a dog when you were a child, you may think, “I’ve got this,” and assume you’re prepared for a puppy. I don’t mean to burst your bubble but things were different when your mother was there to feed and clean up after your dog and you did some work too.

Like what? Playing with or walking your dog sometimes, when you didn’t have homework, baseball practice, cheerleading, a date?

Getting your very own whippet puppy will be a “little” bit different because you’re in charge now. What behaviour can you expect from your whippet puppy?


When you first bring your whippet home, they will most probably be scared and afraid. They have only known their mother, littermates and any people they came in contact with at the breeder’s.

You are new to them and so is your house or apartment. Your little whippet should have a very own safe and comfortable place just for them in the beginning for experiencing their new home. They will also need much love and reassurance in the coming days.

Potty Time

When your whippet puppy comes to their new home, housebreaking should begin immediately. Puppies can’t hold “it” for very long and should be taken outside every 20 to 30 minutes.

There will be accidents, so be prepared. If you don’t keep a good eye on your pup. you may find poop or pee in very unusual places and stepping in it in the middle of the night can make for an unpleasant experience.

Keeping your whippet in one area will help contain this issue. It’s best if this spot has no carpeting or you may be using a lot of rug cleaner.

Never fear! If you’re consistent with outside bathroom trips and giving plenty of praise for success, it won’t be long before they catch on and let you know when it’s potty time.


When puppies play with other puppies they tend to get a little rough and nip each other. When one yelps, the other knows that this play is a little out of control and they then become gentler.

whippet puppy behaviour
Image: Rodrigo Lopes

Whippet puppies have tiny razor-sharp teeth. If play gets a little out of hand you must say “ow” or ‘no,” so they know they must be calmer and use a light touch.

To have them chewing on your finger as a puppy may seem cute, but it won’t when they’re older. It’s best to discourage this type of behaviour.


Your whippet puppy may chew for many reasons, but when young, it is usually caused by teething.

When your whippet puppy has new teeth coming in they may chew on anything and everything that’s available; a table leg, carpeting a pillow, etc. Yikes! This chewing helps to calm the pain they may feel that accompanies teething.

Always have some dog toys on hand just for this purpose to keep them busy and to soothe their gums. Teething toys are available at pet stores or online and many can be placed in the freezer for some cooling pain relief.


Yes! You read that correctly! Humping. This can be either embarrassing or amusing when witnessed by whippet parents and guests alike, but it is a healthy and normal behaviour for canines.

Sometimes a puppy does this to get attention or when they are excited when guests arrive and this is how their excitement is displayed. Great!

This behaviour does need to be deterred, but not by reprimanding. If your pup wants your attention or becomes overly excited, if you yell or make a fuss, this is still giving attention, even though it’s bad attention. Try to redirect their attention with a toy or by tossing a ball.


Sometimes, just as we humans can have a bad day, so can your whippet puppy. They may be cranky or out of sorts, because of teething or even from their growth process while growing those long legs. Just chalk it off to a very bad day.

When Whippet Puppies Start To Mature

As your whippet puppy grows, they will begin to mature and will usually grow out of many of the behaviours that have caused you to become frustrated.

Your whippet will lose some of that puppy craziness and excitability as they mature and will become more mellow while keeping their playful nature when it’s playtime.

Canines can be considered an adult anywhere from one to two years old, with breeds that are smaller, maturing faster.

Whippets and other breeds will reach physical maturity most likely before they reach emotional maturity. Your whippet should be at their adult height and weight by ten to twelve months, but still may be dabbling in puppy behaviour.

You and your whippet can also suffer through the “teenage” period. which coincides with impending adulthood. They can suddenly become a bit rebellious and stubborn with behaviour that is undesirable; just like a teenager.

Your whippet’s sexual maturity can actually occur around six months which is prior to the other types of maturity.

If you have a female, they can come into season at six months, and oftentimes with the surging hormones, both males and females can exhibit personality and behavioural changes that can be less than desirable.

If you aren’t planning on breeding your whippet, speak with your veterinarian about having your whippet spayed or neutered. Males can be neutered between four and six months and females can be spayed between four and nine months. This will keep raging hormones at bay, resulting in a calmer pup.

How To Cope With A Whippet Puppy

When coping with a whippet puppy it helps to have patience and a sense of humour. Remember, they won’t be a puppy forever. Puppyhood is relatively short-lived.

When first bringing your puppy home, work on the housebreaking and some easy training; teaching what’s good and what’s bad. Do not give your puppy a full run of the house. This can be dangerous as well as a disaster.

Be consistent and firm with everything and no waffling. This creates confusion for your pup and causes disobedient behaviour later on.

Have a routine and stick with it. This way puppy will remember what’s happening now and later.

Between eight and sixteen weeks, it is a good idea to enrol your whippet in training classes. This will not only help you teach them some behaviour and obedience basics but will help them to socialise with other dogs and people.

By four to six months, your puppy will not be as timid, becoming more independent and confident. This period is considered their pre-adolescence.

Be consistent and keep up with your puppy’s training and take your puppy with you as many places as you can for socialisation as well as creating a strong bond with you.

This period is also a good time for spaying or neutering. Speak with your veterinarian about this.

At six to twelve months, this is the period where your “teenager” may “rear their ugly head,” especially if your whippet has not been spayed or neutered.

Keep up with the training and they will need plenty of exercise to help with excess energy and to prevent boredom. Provide toys to keep your pup busy.

Between twelve and eighteen months, your whippet will have grown into their adult self with their own personality, both physically and emotionally.

Although whippets are very docile and calm, during this time period they may try to assert some dominance. You must always remain the pack leader and the one whom your whippet looks to for guidance. Stay firm, be consistent, keep a routine and always keep with the rules of training.

Other Considerations

Among all of the rules and regulations that come with raising a whippet puppy, don’t forget the love. Whippets like nothing more than to cuddle on the couch.

If you allow another “couch potato” this will be good for bonding and helps you and your whippet’s health and well-being as well.

Final Thoughts

What can you expect from whippet puppy behaviour? You can expect some hard work, a little cleanup duty and maybe a few more grey hairs, but the return will be monumental!

With a barrel full of laughs, and a lot of fun and adventure, you’ll be rewarded with so much love and adoration plus a furry child for life. I think Bonnie is happy that I didn’t tell any of her puppy stories!

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