This whippet training technique will be of great help if your dog, despite being fed the best quality dog food, turns out to be a great garbage hound.
I know, I am not alone with this whippet training problem.
Our elegant, refined, beautiful whippets sometimes hide a dirty little secret.
Not only they are fantastic racing and companion dogs, they can also be the most passionate and persistent garbage hounds that I know of.
Certainly, whippets are not the only ones in the canine world to indulge in rubbish but they seem to be especially keen on eating trash like there is no tomorrow and they are often incorrigible in their terrible taste.
No matter how complete and balanced we try to make our whippet's diet, how much we spend in the best rated dog food or the time we invest in making our own dog food, still our whippets seem to find the fine smell of trash inebriating and irresistible.
A lot of my training with Lola was focused on the command "leave it!" and we have achieved almost professional perfection until she finds that terribly tempting bit that sends months of whippet training to waste.
When she is on leash she has no choice but to be obedient, unfortunately once off leash she knows very well that I have no way to enforce my command.
Nevertheless I found a solution to this unpleasant problem.
The vast amounts of money spent in my kids' toys gave me the knowledge to use the power of a water gun for training.
I found my ideal water blaster, not too big (I don't want to hurt or terrify my whippet) and not too small (I must be able to use it at a distance), I equipped it with a strap and we set off for a walk with my charged weapon.
Keeping Lola on leash, as soon as she opened her mouth to eat an unmentionable something, I squirted her with the gun.
She was duly startled and I like to think that she didn't understand where the water was coming from.
Only a couple more squirts when she approached garbage or feces and she would sniff them cautiously and then leave them without any further ado.
This method is cheap, humane and works like magic!
A few points to remember when you start the training of your little garbage hound:
Very important, the squirt of water must be used appropriately and exactly at the moment your dog is about to bite the succulent (yuk!) bit.
If you associate the command "leave it!" with the squirt, soon your whippet will respond also to your voice command alone.
Water Gun Size
Choose a water gun of appropriate size.
One too big can be dangerous if you hit your dog from a short distance, it is not handy for walks and can erode any respect you might still have from your neighbors who see you not only as someone who talks to dogs but now also as an adult walking around with kids' toys.
On another hand, a small water gun may not reach your whippet at a distance and can be ineffective.
As Goldilocks might say, perfection is in the middle.
Have fun and good luck with your whippet training!