My Whippet Will Not Come Back to Me

by Callum Daley
(Warrington)

I have a 13 month old whippet and he will not come back to me.

This behavior is dangerous and frustrates me.

I've tried treats, I've tried everything but nothing seems to work.


ANSWER - RECALL DOS AND DONT'S

Dos

- Start your lessons in an enclosed space or use a long line on your dog.

- Call your dog by name but also with other signals like clapping or whistling.

- Assume an “inviting” body posture by crouching and opening arms.

- Use a cheerful and happy voice tone.

- Reward with treats and squeaky toys.

- Recall often during your walks.


Dont’s

- Never walk toward your dog when recalling, walk away from him.

- Don’t call your whippet in a harsh voice.

- Don’t call your dog only to go home or for something he doesn’t like.

- Never, ever punish your dog when he comes back even if he took his sweet time before obeying.








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Indipendent Whippet

by Jacy Westrip

My whippet puppy, 10 months, used to always cuddle me in bed and now he has slowly moved away, what seems to be the problem?

ANSWER:

Maybe it is not a problem at all, maybe it is just too warm in the bed for your pup or your whippet just needs some privacy.

Some would consider this behavior a blessing, have a look at “sleepless nights” at the bottom of this page

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Whippet Snaps at Small Fluffy Dogs!

by Liz
(Brisbane,QLD)

Please help - we have a very gentle and loving whippet who we have just adopted at the age of three as a neutered, ex-showdog.

We've been trying to socialize her and give her a decent run at the dog park - she's quite timid and will never approach other dogs but nervously lets them come to her.

My concern is that whenever there's a small fluffy dog running past, she chases them with what seems to be an instinctive drive rather than playfulness.

I now never leave her off the lead with smaller dogs in sight for fear of what she might do if she caught one.

Is it too late to socialize her with other dogs? Should I be muzzling her at the dog parks to let her off the leash (& for my piece of mind)?

ANSWER:

No, I don't think it is too late to socialize her, just be very careful while you work at it.

As you have noticed the prey drive can be very strong in whippets and you don't want any accident!

If your whippet takes the muzzle well, this could be an option while you are training her to respect small dogs.

Your whippet is still young and I am sure she will learn fast, it just will take patience and commitment.

Good luck with your training!

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How to Stop Whippets Chasing Small Animals

Hello,

I have just put a deposit on a blue whippet dog pup for my boy.

My question is this: is it right that I have read here and there that once a whippet starts chasing it will ignore all commands and do its best to kill whatever small animal it decided to chase?

If this is correct, what is the best way to curb this behaviour?

Also I would like to add that your whippet site is the most informative I have viewed so far, with information given being from obvious experience.

Our pup is from a working/poaching line. Will look forward to your valued opinion.

Regards

Greg and Elijah.

ANSWER

First of all, congratulation for your excellent choice. You won’t be sorry that you selected the whippet breed. These dogs are a real delight to live with.

Yes, it is in the whippet nature to chase and possibly kill small pray. I was able to stop one of my whippets while she was after an adventurous pet bird but I suspect my other dogs wouldn’t have obeyed in the same situation.

Obedience training will help but the best insurance against these accidents is a leash. Whenever you don’t want your whippet to chase animals, keep him on a leash.

I let my whippets off leash when we walk in traffic free areas and let them chase game to their heart’s content. They never venture very far from me and seldom catch anything.

Thank you for your appreciation of our website and welcome to the whippet world!

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Whippet Dog FAQ: Jumping on People

by George Gallagher
(Scotland)

We have a whippet puppy aged 4 months and he was house trained within 2 weeks and when left alone for hour he does not touch anything in the house.

We love him dearly but the one problem with him is when anyone calls in to the house he jumps all over the visitors and won’t give them any peace.

He does the same outside to anyone passing or stopping to say how lively he is.

We find it all a bit of embarrassment having to tell people he is just being friendly.

He is great every other way but we need your help and advice please.

ANSWER:

Your puppy is very young and a little excitement is to be expected.

Whippet pups are so friendly and people oriented that they can get easily overexcited when meeting visitors or people in the street.

Sadly, when they grow up their enthusiasm has to be curbed because even a medium size dog can easily hurt a child or an elder person.

Meet your visitors with your dog on the leash and ask them to ignore the dog completely (not even looking at him) and with folded arms until he settles down.

When he is reasonably calm, ask him to sit. Only then the visitor can pet your dog. If the madness starts again, repeat the procedure: ignore the dog and look away with folded arms if he misbehaves and pet him only if he is calm.

I know, this procedure requires to train the visitors more than the dog but it is very effective and maybe at the beginning you can ask the help of an understanding friend.

Another method is using a spray bottle filled with water to startle your whippet and discourage him from jumping up.

The last resort (to be used with caution and only with adult dogs) is to bend a leg and kick (gently) the dog in the chest with your knee when he jumps up.

Make sure your puppy gets enough exercise and give him some basic training. A dog who had a chance to release excess energy is more likely to behave calmly and obediently.


All the best

Elda

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Whippet Dog FAQ: Jumping

by Dan
(Illinois)

Do whippets like to jump up at people when they get excited?

ANSWER
Just like most dogs, whippets tend to jump on people when they get excited.
It can be annoying and dangerous, even a medium size dog can hurt a child or an elder person.
First of all you'll have to ask your visitors to ignore the dog until he settles down.
Train your pup to meet people calmly while keeping him on the leash and correcting the dog if he tries to jump.
You can also use a spray bottle filled with water to startle your whippet and discourage him from jumping up.

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Whippet Soiling the House at Night

by Georgie
(London)

Bertie

Bertie

My year old whippet often soils the house at night.

We always take him out at about 10pm before he goes to bed, and even when he relieves himself on his walk he still sometimes also does one in the night.

He is confined to a room at night, he is hardly ever left alone during the day, no other dogs have been into the house recently.

He usually has 2 meals a day, one in the morning and one at around 6pm. He hasn't been neutered yet because his behaviour isn't a problem at all.

We have 2 young children and another about to arrive, he seems to love the children, is very gentle with them and thinks he's part of the family.

He seems a very happy and well adjusted dog. He has lots of daily exercise and goes several times during the day on his walks.

When I come down in the morning to find he has soiled the house, I scold him and he looks very sorry and shameful, he definitely knows he's done wrong.

Up until 2 months ago it was a very rare occurrence, he was completely house trained and he still never ever goes in the house during the day, but now it's happening more and more at night, maybe 3 times a week.

He is up to date with his worming. Any ideas?

ANSWER:

The solution to your problem is probably crate training.
At least at the beginning keep your dog’s crate close to your bed so you can intervene if you dog has an emergency during the night.


You could also anticipate your dog’s last meal of the day at 4.00 pm to give him time to digest before the night.

Good luck!

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Housebreaking your Whippet

Are whippets difficult to house train? Can they be trained to a litter box?

ANSWER:

Whippets are rather easy to toilet train, especially if you use a crate and you house and crate them at the same time.

I never tried to use a litter box. As far as I know litter box training is especially successful with small dogs. I whippet might require more space than what a litter box can offer.

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Selectively Housebroken?

by Travis
(Pittsburg, KS)

I have a whippet/lab cross, Tera, that is 9 months old.

She is very well house trained at my house, going to the door like my other lab does when she needs to go.

However, at my parents house, Tera will just squat down and go on the carpet.

Any reasons for the selective house training and how we might fix that there?

ANSWER:

Hello Travis!

Sorry for taking so long to answer your question but as an honorary Santa's Little helper I have been very busy these last weeks.

Finally on Christmas morning the tension is down and I find a little time to sit down to answer your question.

I hope that in the meantime your dog's bad habits haven't caused a family breakdown.

Young dogs may find a new house, different smells, situations and rules confusing and your dog's response is nothing unusual.

The answer to this relapse in toilet training is to start all over again!

If you haven't started your dog to crate training, this is the perfect time to do it.

Click on the link to read more about it, get a crate and start the program now.

It will turn out to be very useful especially if you travel, the crate will become your dog's special place and will help her cope easily with the stress of traveling and being in new places.

Good luck and Merry Christmas!

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4 -5 year old whippets behaving riskily (out of character)

by Kurt Geyer
(Melbourne, Victoria, Australia)

I have a very docile (usually) and loving Whippet, Piccolo, who is nearly 5 years old.

Like all Whippets he has very little road sense, and although I have trained him to obey stop and go commands, of late he is exhibiting risky behavior around roads. I have put him on his lead to ensure that I don't loose him.

My question is that I read somewhere that Whippets of this age have a behavioral spike or change. Is this so? And if so, what do I need to watch out for?
Cheers
Kurt

ANSWER:

I haven’t noticed any notable behavioral change around that age in my dogs, except for a general mellowing down.

Notoriously most dogs go through a difficult (especially for us) time when they get out of puppy hood and are about to become adults, before and around their first year.

It is wise to put your whippet on the leash around cars, it takes only few seconds for an accident to occur.

If you notice a rebellious mood in your dog, I suggest you read this excellent and entertaining book about the relationship with our dogs and general training. It can give you a new insight to your dog’s behavior and excellent training tips.

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Whippet Separation Anxiety

by Pamela
(Huntsville)

We have a 2 1/2 male whippet, happy and healthy until left at home alone.

He is walked so he can eliminate and pee before we leave. We now block him from the lower level door and the upper door and close all doors but his room. Upon return he has either been good or has peed somewhere in the house.

He will not eat and he is allowed a minimal level of water while we are away. For example we went away for 1 hour today, he went out for his business before we left and we returned to a puddle of pee on the hardwood.

Are we allowing him too much freedom or not providing the right environment?


ANSWER

From what you say it seems more a training problem than separation anxiety.

Is your whippet crate trained?

I think starting house training all over with the help of a crate may solve your problem.

Good luck!

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Whippet Exercise and Cars

Is a Whippet okay to be off leash, or will she take off after anything that moves?

ANSWER:

Whippets have very strong prey drive and will chase squirrels, cats and rabbits with gusto.

They are also very attached to their owner and tend to come back quickly when called.

The important thing is not to unleash a whippet in a high traffic area because like most dogs they are not reliable around cars and accidents happen in a blink of an eye.

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Whippet Dog FAQ: What to Do When a Dog Eats Poop?

My whippet puppy is 11 months old and she started about 1 month ago eating poop.

We feed Proplan Puppy Chow. Someone said this is not nutritious enough and changing to a higher grade food would solve the problem.

What is your opinion on the best dog food for a whippet? And what to do about this nasty habit?

ANSWER:

Coprophagia (this is the technical name of this behavior) is certainly an unpleasant habit but not uncommon in puppies and adult dogs.

The first thing to do would be to check with your vet that your dog eating poop is not caused by any underlying condition or a nutrition deficiency.

If it turns out to be a behavioral problem, you can add to your puppy’s food products like For-bid or Deter. These products taste good when eaten but terrible after digested and work in most case to break the habit.

To teach your dog not to pick up faces and garbage, click here to open a page about the ”tug of war game”, an extremely useful and fun puppy training game.

For more info about the training of the garbage hound, click on this link.

For more info about dog nutrition, click here.

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Whippet Dog FAQ: Sleepless Nights

I have a 2 year old male whippet dog - owned for 1 year.

Evenings are cool in room (60 degrees). Too cold for whippet to be on top of bed and under covers too hot. So, he gets in and out all night long. When out, he takes the covers with him.

I haven't slept in weeks. If I lock him out he whines, he needs to be by my side. I tried putting a sweater on him at night, and all he does is rant and rave until he finally tangles himself up in the sweater!

No, he's not crate trained. He hates it. I was crating him when I first got him and came home to blood everywhere. He had tried to chew his way out of the crate damaging his teeth/mouth.

ANSWER:

Your dog, in perfect whippet style, has smartly taken over the situation. You need to get back in control of your bed!

It is not too cold (especially if you offer warm padding) for your whippet to sleep in a crate.

You’ll need to seriously and patiently crate train your dog. Start with the crate close to you and your bed, few minutes at the time and with the door open. Place comfortable padding inside and if necessary add toys or food to encourage your dog to stay inside.

Exercise your whippet daily and start a training program at home or in a local school. A worked out and disciplined dog is a lot more likely to relax and let you have your well deserved sleep at night.


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Training an Older Rescued Whippet

by Laine
(Australia)

I have seen a whippet at the local shelter who was confiscated from its owner because it was left outside tied up for most of its 5 years. I am wondering if this dog would be trainable and how hard would it be.

I have a 10yr old whippet who is very obedient and I would like to be able to walk them both off lead.

Also, I noted when I was there that the whippets were attempting to climb the wire fence, do they do this as a rule? I know my own can jump a 5" fence.

This is a very small whippet more the size of an Italian Greyhound, I guess it is because it has not be looked after well, it is very thin.

I am considering adopting this fellow, but as my dogs live inside I would want him to become house trained. They have a dog door to the back garden.
Would appreciate some advice. Many thanks

ANSWER:

Before considering to adopt a new dog, I would check that your older whippet and the other dogs would accept him easily.

You could have them meet on a neutral ground like a dog park and, if it is possible, walk them into the house together and watch closely their reactions.

If your resident dogs accepts the newcomer, I would say that your patience and dedication are the only limit to what the rescued dog can learn.

If you are worried that the new dog might be nervous of unattainable, ask the people that take care of him now. Certainly they had a chance to observe him and evaluate his temperament.

Whippets do not tend to climb fences, they are marvelous jumpers and can be escape artists but as far as I know they are not especially keen on fence climbing.

I hope this little rescued whippet has a second chance and finds a "forever family" soon.

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Stressful Whippet Walking

by Dave
(Ireland)

My whippet, Mouse, strains on the leash and howls as soon as he see's another dog.

He lives with a terrier, a collie and another whippet.

We've tried to get his attention but once he sees the dog that's it, he thinks "playtime".

It's getting to the stage where we have to go somewhere where there are no other dogs.

ANSWER:

Probably you need to shift your dog's attention on you instead than on other dogs.

To capture his attention, try to play and exercise with your whippet alone and then have some training sessions with him on the leash.

Have a look at this page about leash training .



I found this book by Cesar Millan extremely helpful to establish a sound relationship with our dogs.

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Whippet Squirrel Madness

by Ray Feldman
(Palo Alto, California)

Tigger's new collar

Tigger's new collar

My 10 month old neutered whippet, Tigger, after initially pulling very hard, has finally learned to walk with a slack leash.

However, all bets are off if he sees a squirrel or other small creatures.

He will lean into a taut leash his body quivering with excitement and ignore all efforts to distract him including his favorite treats.

If I haven't had time to take up the slack, he will leap forward until he hits the end of the leash with such force that he'll do a somersault.

Although he has a wide hound collar to absorb some shock to his neck, I'm concerned that he'll injure himself. Any suggestions?

ANSWER:

A very strong prey drive is what makes a whippet such a fantastic racing and coursing dog.

Your dog is just doing his job when he is chasing small animals and you cannot teach him to fight his instincts, they are the result of hundreds of years of careful selection.

Even if you do not plan to compete with your whippet, his hunting abilities can be a great asset in some instances for example when all your neighbors complain about a rodent invasion and your home is miraculously pest free.

The best you can do is make sure your dog is safely on leash near traffic areas and be alert when you walk him. Cars are the biggest threat to your dog's safety.

If your whippet has a reliable recall and the area is safe, he can enjoy a little chase.

Squirrels are fast to climb on trees, they will soon be out of your whippet's reach and your dog will come back to you panting and with a satisfied look in his eyes.

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Lunging Whippet

by Linn
(Torrance, CA)

Hi Elda,
Thanks for your advice, we'll be sure to try that.

We also have another question, we are trying to walk her on the leash and she will suddenly lunge and launch herself vertically spinning on the end of the leash.

We will stop and try to get her back under control. We look around and do not see anything that caused the commotion. She will do it again somewhere along the walk.

What did we do wrong? Or what is she trying to tell us? Could you please help? We would like to teach her how to walk on leash nicely, any tips would be greatly appreciated?

Thanks Elda!


ANSWER

She is just a young puppy and some (or a lot) of erratic bahavior on leash is to be expected.

If she pulls on the leash, turn and change direction until she starts paying attention to your lead.

Talk to her while walking and reward good behavior with small treats.

Be patient, whippet pups are well known to look more like wild broncos than dogs!

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Whippet Dog FAQ: How do I train my whippet to heel?

by Kathy
(Winnipeg, Canada)

We have adopted a dog who appears to be between 12 and 24 months. I have been trying for five weeks to train her to heel and we are not making any progress. I've tried a haltee, I've tried treats. What else can I do?

ANSWER:

Dog training can be frustrating and patience is the most important training tool.
Watch this video for tips about how to teach a dog to heel.
Dogs are finely tuned to their handler’s feelings and if you are tired and upset so will be your dog.
Don’t train if you feel angry: step back, relax and go back to training only with a confident and positive attitude!

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Running Mad

by Linn
(Torrance, CA)

We just got a 6 months old whippet puppy and she loves to bark at any dogs that she sees.

We do understand that she just wants to say hi but how can we control her barking?

Also, she enjoys greeting us when we get home by running around back and forth like mad.

How can we discourage her not to do that and in the same token, show her that we enjoy seeing her as well?


ANSWER

Your whippet puppy is obviously full of energy and the first thing you must do to curb her behavior is to make sure she gets enough exercise and playtime.

To stop her from barking to other dogs, offer her a distraction when you meet another canine. A little treat or a toy will do the trick and don't forget to praise good behavior.

When you arrive home show her a treat but actually give it to her only when she calms down and sits.

Keep in mind that your arrival is a very emotional moment for your pup, the highlight of her day and some commotion is to be expected.
You are her favorite humans!

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