Whippet Or Australian Shepherd

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Whippet Or Australian Shepherd

Postby JHazy17 » Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:34 pm

Hey all! So I have narrowed down to two breeds and I’m having a hard time deciding which breed would be best for my family. I have experience with both breeds. Not as my pets but I did work at a veterinarian hospital for 11 years. I understand that they are very different but they both fit our family in their own ways. I’m just wondering if anyone has experience with both and would be able to help give an outside perspective opinion. We aren’t planning on getting another dog until my kiddos are older. We currently have a 8year old lab mix who is wonderful with my kids and is very mellow. Not sure what she is mixed with but she acts like a greyhound but looks like a 75 lb lab. When we get our next dog my kids will be about 4yrs old and 7yrs old. I work three days a week and gone for about 8hrs on those days. I want a dog to do either agility or flyball with, go on short jogs in the morning and occasional short hikes with the family. I’m not sure if our somewhat active lifestyle is enough for a Aussie. And do whippets bark at strange noises or when someone is at the door? I’m not looking for a dog to protect the family but I do really want a dog that would warn our family of something.

-less hyper
-good with kids
-short hair
-Smaller so easier to bring places with the family
-okay with just a walk on days we aren’t able to do much
-needs to stay on a leash
-can be more fragile
-not a good guard dog

Australian Shepherd:
-great with kids
-not as fragile
-can do well off-leashed when trained
-barks at strangers
-long hair
-more energy
-more health concerns within the breed
-may not do well on busy days we can’t get out and do things

Thank you all for your thoughts and opinions! And no o do not want another lab. I’ve had two so far and I dislike their doggy smell. No matter how clean and indoors I keep them! Not a deal breaker but something I hope to avoid if possible. I also want to add that I have been wanting a whippet for years! Ever since I met two that came into the veterinarian hospital many years ago. I just loved their personality
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Re: Whippet Or Australian Shepherd

Postby Aerosmum » Thu Mar 21, 2019 4:51 am

Hi JHazy17,

I don't have experience with Aussies but my previous dog was a border collie, so there are some similarities. And my current dog (still a puppy) is a whippet. So speaking from limited experience, I have found:

Whippets are definitely less hyper as adults, but whippet pups can be equally energetic and destructive (just a consideration).

Whippet hair is so short that it pretty much requires zero maintenance. It also means less shed hair everywhere and no doggy smell. My long haired border collie's coat required a LOT of maintenance. I had to get him professionally groomed monthly to strip his coat, in addition to regular washing and brushing. And he still left hair EVERYWHERE and had a doggy smell if not bathed regularly.

Whippets can be recall trained effectively with a lot of training - like any dog. And if not, you can still let them off leash at fenced dog parks or other safe places.

Also, my whippet is much better with kids than my BC. My border collie reluctantly tolerated kids, my whippet loves them.

Finally, all dogs are individuals and while people do make generalisations about breed personality traits - you may end up with a dog who is very different to the 'norm'. For example, my border collie was LAZY, not at all interested in fetch and I never once saw him trying to 'herd' anything haha! So just be prepared that you are choosing an individual, with it's own unique personality and it won't be a cookie cutter copy of every other whippet or aussie.

Good luck. And whatever breed you choose, I'm sure you'll have a loving companion and faithful friend.
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Re: Whippet Or Australian Shepherd

Postby GrandmaB » Thu Mar 21, 2019 12:55 pm

Let me see: you've always wanted a whippet and now you are posting on a whippet message board....hmmm... Seems you are pretty far gone. Let me suggest that you spend some time at a dog show meeting with breeders of both types of dogs, and maybe even spending some time with owners of the two breeds, as you have time to consider your choices. You are appropriately doing your homework, and ultimately the right decision for you will be obvious to you. As someone who worked while having a whippet puppy (to age two) I had to dash home to let her out and play or have her in doggy day care when that was not possible. A young dog will get verrrry bored alone for long periods, so take that into account. All the dogs mentioned -including your labs - have one thing in common, in that they are quite devoted companions, sure to enrich your life.
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Re: Whippet Or Australian Shepherd

Postby PAWhippets » Fri Mar 22, 2019 11:46 am

Welcome! We've never owned anything but Whippets and then more Whippets, since after the "breed match" things told us a Whippet was the breed for us and we asked "What on Earth is that??" and then found out, and then meet some, we fell in love and never considered anything else. But the other posters have made some good points, most especially that they are all individuals. What I did want to mention is that you may be mistaken in thinking Whippets are fragile. They really are quite sturdy hounds, and if you ever watched them, say, lure coursing, you would be amazed at the way they can tumble and roll and then (while you'd think they must have broken something) usually get back up and continue as if nothing had happened. True, they have thin skin that can tear, which can be an issue, and they love to run fast without always looking they're going, which can also occasionally get them in trouble. But overall, unlike an Italian Greyhound, for example, they are anything but fragile. Good luck choosing the right breed!

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Re: Whippet Or Australian Shepherd

Postby Greybeard » Fri Mar 22, 2019 3:40 pm

About 40 years ago, when I was first married, my wife and I had a Whippet called Prince.

One night our house was broken into. We were both at home, asleep in bed, so I suppose it was a 'home invasion' rather than a burglary. Anyway, a considerable amount of our property was carried out of the house (several journeys would probably have been required) but not a squeak out of Prince.

The following morning, while we were waiting for the Police to arrive, I took Prince for a walk. He was always a friendly dog, but there was a man lurking nearby who Prince seemed unusually eager to greet. I thought this strange. The man lived close by, but I'd never talked to him or introduced him to Prince. I mentioned this to the Police, and told them where this character lived. They smiled, and said they knew him well, and would pay him a visit.

He was indeed the villain, and he was arrested after the Police found items in his house linking him to 22 burglaries.

Lousy guard dog, Prince, but not a bad detective.
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Re: Whippet Or Australian Shepherd

Postby JHazy17 » Sat Mar 23, 2019 12:42 am

Thank you everyone for your thoughts and shared experiences. I’m starting to come to the conclusion that a whippet really is the right dog for my family. I have always wanted one for years and I honestly can only picture me with a whippet. I’ve always wanted two dogs though so maybe I’ll get another breed that will bark at a intruder! Haha. I feel a Aussie and a whippet together wouldn’t be the best mix. How are whippets if raised with a bit smaller dog. Say 15-25lbs?
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Re: Whippet Or Australian Shepherd

Postby MichelleM » Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:12 pm

Owner Experience - Both the Whippet and the Australian Shepherd are good for new owners, but the Whippet is a slightly better choice.
Children - Both the Australian Shepherd and Whippet are great with children.
Grooming - The Whippet is very easy to groom. The Australian Shepherd has high grooming requirements.
Barking - The Australian Shepherd bark/howls frequently. The Whippet has a low tendency to bark.
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