Whippet Temperament: What Are They Like?

If you’re trying to learn more about the whippet’s temperament, then you’re in the right place.

In this post, we’re going to go through everything you need to know about the whippet temperament to help you decide whether this is the right dog for you.

We’re going to start with whippet temperament basics, before getting into specific whippet behaviour and more.

So stick around to learn more about this wonderful breed…

What Does Temperament Actually Mean?

The word temperament is one that often gets confused with other words, such as “temper” or “character”. In a nutshell, whippet temperament refers to how a whippet typically reacts to different situations and circumstances.

The word temperament is more specific to the dog’s emotions and feelings, and whippets, like many other breeds and dogs in general, have a temperament that is unique to them.

Whippet Temperament Basics

The whippet is a medium-sized sighthound that’s most commonly associated with racing. They are incredibly fast runners and have incredible stamina which makes them ideal athletes.

They are an intelligent breed that is very obedient when they have been trained properly. They can be stubborn at times but are relatively easy to train.

The whippet’s temperament is one of their best characteristics, they are friendly and affectionate dogs who love nothing more than cuddles with their owners.

Whippets like to be kept busy or involved in activities that can include racing or taking part in dog sports such as agility.

They aren’t particularly vocal but dogs but will alert you when an intruder is close, but don’t expect them to strike as they certainly won’t.

These dogs are a popular choice for a family pet and contrary to popular belief, whippets don’t require a huge amount of exercise, so keeping one as a pet whippet is easy.

They only need about 30 to 40 minutes of good quality exercise per day which can include playing with toys or having a run around in the back garden.

In some cases, whippets have been known to romp for hours in the garden with their owners.

Also, whippets aren’t destructive dogs, so they won’t ruin your home, even when left alone for long periods of time.

That is if they’re trained properly and are mature in age, puppies may become destructive if left alone, so this is not recommended.

Whippets are also quiet dogs that rarely bark which is great if you live in an apartment or close to neighbours.

Whippets are also an excellent choice for potential dog owners who have allergies as whippets produce very little dander (a major allergen found in dogs).

This is because whippets don’t shed much at all, they have a smooth, soft coat that they maintain very well, meaning they don’t need ridiculous amounts of grooming either.

How A Whippets Temperament Is Created

A dog’s temperament is largely created through genetics and the influence of its parents.

This is why it’s important to always spend some time with the dog’s parents before deciding to adopt a puppy, and speak with the breeder to get a better understanding of how the parent was raised.

Another factor that influences a dog’s temperament is how the dog is brought up, if they’ve lived a happy, comfortable life or if they’ve been mistreated and malnourished.

It’s important to get your puppy from a reputable breeder that takes care of their dogs, this prevents the puppy from having behaviour problems later on in life that can become extremely difficult to get rid of.

The Whippets Temperament

Now that we know how a whippet’s temperament is created, I’ve gone into more detail about whippet temperament as a whole below to give you a better understanding of what most whippets are like:

Even Tempered

As a whole, whippets are very laid-back dogs. It’s hard for them to become frustrated or annoyed even with kids playing around them.

This doesn’t mean you should allow kids or anyone else for that matter to provoke your whippet, but it does make them a safe option for those with kids.

Whippets are very tolerant and easy-going, they don’t really get into fights with other dogs and are generally very friendly dogs.


Whippets are very intelligent dogs which makes them a pleasure to own and train. They pick things up quickly and can start learning basic commands as early as 6-months old.

This also means you should start training whippets young, as it can be difficult trying to retrain an older whippet that has been allowed to develop bad habits.

This level of intelligence can also make them quite crafty too, they’ll often try to steal a treat or two whilst your not looking and many times will get away with it too!

Intelligence will vary from one dog to another, but as a whole, this breed is smart enough to become very highly trained, which is why they do so well as working and racing dogs.

Whippets are also known to take part in agility too, as they are very good jumpers and love to play.


Know for their gentle nature, whippets are likely the most gentle dog breed out there. They will softly take a treat out of your hand without so much as a scratch or spec of moisture on your hand.

However, as they are incredibly speedy dogs you should always be very careful when they are off the leash.

These dogs are capable of running at lightning-fast speeds, meaning they could easily knock an elderly person or child off their feet when running at full speed.


Whippets are incredibly loyal dogs, once you build a bond with them they’ll be your best friend for life.

These dogs thrive off of human attention and positive reinforcement from their owners, whippets that are not given enough love or a consistent routine can become very anxious or depressed.

Anxious whippets will chew on furniture, rip up clothing, scratch at doors, and chew on doorframes, all in an attempt to get some attention from their owners.

When whippets are anxious they will also prevent themselves from sleeping by constantly whining at night, whippets with severe anxiety will even bark and howl throughout the night to get the attention they want.

This is one trait that makes them perfect for young children, as they’ll grow up together and build an unbreakable bond that will last a lifetime.


Whippets are incredibly affectionate dogs, they’ll give you kisses, whines, and perhaps even gently nudge you with their head in an expression of love.

This affection combined with the whippet’s intelligence makes these dogs perfect for family life.

They love nothing more than snuggling up on the sofa with their owner to binge-watch some Netflix and steal a treat or two.


Whippets are one of the most sensitive breeds I’ve ever come across. If they sense that you’ve had a hard day or are in a bad mood, this will also put them in a bad mood and upset them.

They pick up on very subtle emotions and will project them back to you. This means when you’re happy, they’ll also be very happy and playful.

Whippet Temperament Problems

Whippets are certainly not immune to temperament problems. Like all dogs, whippets can be aggressive, frightened, or timid. However, whippets are more likely to suffer from these problems because of their sensitive nature.

A whippet that suffers from fear or anxiety will need an owner who knows how to give them confidence and help them overcome the problem.

Owning an aggressive or grumpy whippet is not fun, so it’s important to work with whippets to make sure they’re not living with fear or anxiety.

Whippets can also be very sensitive, which means it’s important to raise whippets properly. They pick up on subtle emotions and if you were angry, whippets could think they did something wrong and feel like the blame is all theirs.

Tips For A Better Temperament

Ensuring you pick your whippet from a breeder that takes care of their dogs is crucial in ensuring you get a whippet puppy that is a pleasure to own.

They should be brought up in a healthy and happy environment with lots of love and affection. Socialising your whippet is also crucial if you want them to be confident dogs when they grow older.

Often dogs that have not been socialised properly will be fearful or aggressive in situations they are not comfortable in.

This can be a problem if you decide to take your pet somewhere with large crowds or unfamiliar faces, so it’s important to get your pup used to these situations whilst they are still young.

Training your whippet at a young age is crucial if you want to be in control of them when they are fully grown.

It is important that whippets obey your commands, or you might experience some problems when training them or taking them off the lead. Start to train your whippet as early as possible to get them used to working with you.

This will prove beneficial in later years when you’ve got a happy, well-trained whippet that is comfortable in any situation.

Final Thoughts

Whilst whippets are sweet and affectionate dogs, it is important that you show them you’re the pack leader.

If they sense that they are above you in the pack order, then whippets can be very stubborn and sly.

Whippets are always happy to work with their owners if their owner has established themselves as leader of the pack. They will work well with others in a household if they think that whoever lives there is their alpha (leader of the pack).

Whippet’s like to run around, stretch their legs, and race about aimlessly; so make sure your whippet gets these activities during playtime. They may act lazy sometimes but whippets live for running around outside.

Hopefully, you’ve learned something about whippet temperament in this post and now have a better understanding of this breed. Thanks for taking the time to read this post and feel free to share it with someone who may find it of value!

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