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Whippet - Temperament & Personality

Source: PetWave, Updated on July 16, 2015


Whippets are lean, muscular speed machines who have an almost split personality. At home, adult Whippets are quiet and docile animals who are quite content to curl up on the couch all day long. But when you get a Whippet out into the yard, they come alive and appear to have enough energy to power six dogs twice their size. They are sprinters, and can reach top speeds of 35 miles per hour. Whippets are excellent companions for single people, as they aren't overly needy and can be left alone during they day. Their sensitive nature can make them unhappy in large families with lots of children as chaos make Whippets anxious. They are also good dogs for empty nesters who enjoy the company of dogs, but do not like the rowdy rambunctious of some breeds.

Activity Requirements

Though they love to run and are prone to unprompted laps around the house or yard, you don't need to be a runner yourself to raise this breed. Whippets should be allowed to run several times a week, but they are not built for endurance activities. A few sprints around the yard or track and a Whippet is done for the day, happily retiring to his bed for some rest and relaxation. They are fine city dwellers, as long as they are allowed to get to a park for regular sprints. Other than that, regular walking will keep the Whippet happy and healthy. Their size and quiet natures makes them suitable for some apartments, but there should be enough room to accommodate random fits of running.

Taking your Whippet to the lure course where he can run at top speed is an excellent way to keep him in shape and meet his exercise requirements.


Whippets are sensitive, docile animals who need to be treated gently at all times. They are hardly ever aggressive, and tend to freeze up when another dog postures towards them. Treating a Whippet harshly can cause them psychological harm, as they are incredibly sensitive dogs. Gentle consistency and lots of praise and treats are all you need to train a Whippet Though they are independent, they pick up on tasks fairly quickly. They are naturally well-behaved so training is usually quite easy, even for first time dog owners.

Socialization is a big part of raising a well-adjusted Whippet. They are naturally shy, so you need to socialize them early and often to understand that new people, new situations and new noises are nothing to fear. Extreme fearfulness in dogs is very hard on both dog and owner.

Behavioral Traits

Through they are gentle and quiet around the house and look like they couldn't hurt a fly, Whippets have a very strong prey instinct. This means cats, small dogs, birds, rabbits and squirrels are in peril around an unleashed Whippet. This breed is best as the only pet in the house, and when outdoors should always be leashed or in a fenced yard. This protects the other animals but also keeps your Whippet safe.

If you can not provide your Whippet with enough exercise, he will let you know by chewing anything he can get his mouth on. Whippets are not destructive chewers by nature, and if you are coming home to messes, it's simply your dog telling you he needs to run more often.

Whippets grow up to be very quiet and dignified, but as puppies they can be out of control. Exercise is especially important in the puppy years, but be prepared to live with hyperactivity for about two years until he mellows out.

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