Advice needed on Whippet suitability

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Advice needed on Whippet suitability

Postby Suze-Sammy » Sat Aug 04, 2018 8:25 pm

Hi. I have recently decided to get a puppy, I’m a single mum of a 7 year old. I’ve had German Shephards in the past but as I now live in a smaller house have decided on a smaller breed. Having done lots of research a whippet sounds perfect. However, I do have some concerns and am looking for some advise.. I work 3 days a week for 4 hours and obviously my daughter is at school, would a whippet be ok with being left for this amount of time. We live opposite a very large park and would be walking our dog mornings before work and afternoons when home. Obviously the health and happiness of the dog is my top priority

Thank you in advance for your help. X
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Re: Advice needed on Whippet suitability

Postby GrandmaB » Tue Aug 14, 2018 11:17 pm

I would suggest that you and your 7 year old visit with some whippets and get to know them. They are not German Shepherds, and certainly are not always going to try to please you. Nonetheless, you have done your homework, and have narrowed you interest to whippets. They can be very flexible, and it depends on the dog, but the hours you mention are well within a whippet's stay at home alone range. Once they pass puppyhood, they mostly sleep when home alone. If you can find a breeder who lives near you, that person could both introduce you to the breed and give you support. Going to a dog show is another way to meet a whippet, and I'm sure your child would have a good time looking at all the dogs. Good luck and let us know how your search is going.
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Re: Advice needed on Whippet suitability

Postby chelynnah » Fri Aug 24, 2018 12:55 pm

GrandmaB's advice above is perfect!!

If you were to approach me for a whippet (I don't have any available, just a hypothetical) your work hours wouldn't put me off. That's well within what a whippet can handle. I'd just want to know your plan for the first few weeks while puppy adjusted to the schedule, and I'd warn you of all the naughty whippet things. As puppies they are a handful! Very creatively naughty and destructive. Yes there are good ones, but I prefer to prepare people for the worst. You daughter will need to keep her toys picked up or lose them to the teeth of the whippet puppy (that's pretty much an any puppy thing, but whippets are especially skilled at destruction when they want to be).

Training a whippet or sighthound is very different than training other breeds. They're very clever and do catch on quickly, but they don't care for tons of repetition. They are not in it to please you, they are all about what's in it for them. Once the novelty has worn off they'll decide you know they can do it and quit. Don't push them to that point. Always stop on a positive before they're ready.

Off Leash is a hot topic. Whippets are sighthounds. They will never have perfect recall. They can have good and great recall, but if they see something move (rabbit, leaf, paper bag, cat) their brain shuts off and instinct kicks in and they're GONE! All the recall and road sense that they might otherwise show is out the window. And they're fast. You need to be prepared for this.

We walk either in enclosed areas, or areas well away from roads. No offlead outside the house. Even the ones I would absolutely think I could trust 100 percent are not allowed to go from the car to the house off-lead. No open doors to the open outside. If something flits past the front door in their field of vision they'll be off through it before you even register. Your 7yo will need to know that doors need to be shut.

Sorry, I'm tired at the moment so my brain isn't functioning well. But these are just some of the points I tend to touch on with potential owners.

Whippets are a great breed and awesome with kids, but they're very different than your standard breed.

Read the board (especially some of the archived threads -they may be old, but there's some great info there), and ask questions. We're happy to help if we can.

Wendy J (Chelynnah Whippets)
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