Ask any Whippet owner this question and my guess is they’ll all respond in the same way: yes, Whippets are affectionate… and extremely so.
This affection is reflected in the American Whippet Club’s description of Whippets as having a “natural attachment to people” and that they’re “prone to become very attached” to their families.
What follows is my understanding of why Whippets are one of the most affectionate breeds on the planet!
Table of Contents
- Why Are Whippets So Affectionate?
- Is An Affectionate Whippet A Happy Whippet?
Why Are Whippets So Affectionate?
In part, it’s likely that a Whippet’s affection for its family has its origins in their breeding. Although technically working dogs bred for their speed and ability to catch small game for the dinner table, Whippets were never historically kennelled and expected to live outside the home.
Whippets typically lived in the home when not at work, unlike many other working dog breeds that might also serve as guard dogs.
Furthermore, the Whippet love of comfort and warmth (they don’t have coats built to protect against harsh elements) means Whippets seek out contact with their family members. This includes snuggling up to them in their beds underneath the covers, if they’re allowed.
Whippets make excellent organic bed warmers!
Because Whippets are very clean and non-smelly dogs that don’t require frequent bathing (unless they regularly roll in something nasty), many Whippet owners are happy to share their beds with their little hound.
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Perhaps this further increases the human-canine bond, making Whippets more affectionate with their families.
Is An Affectionate Whippet A Happy Whippet?
I would say so. It’s unlikely that any dog treated badly will be happy and affectionate: more likely they’ll be nervous and potentially aggressive.
A happy and affectionate Whippet will likely always want to be near you… perhaps even on you when you’re sitting on your favourite comfy chair! Moreover, because they thrive in the company of their families, Whippets don’t like to be left alone at home for long periods.
A happy, loved and loving Whippet that has proper exercise and play (at least an hour each day) will sleep a lot. As a consequence, some people believe that Whippets are lazy… but this is definitely not the case.
Although the Whippet temperament can make them seem a little aloof in certain situations, though of course friendly, in my experience Whippets are a very loving and affectionate dog breed.
Although Whippets can be a little reserved around people and dogs they don’t yet know (early socialisation helps), they treat those they know with a similar degree of affection as their families… not quite the same, but similar!
This is one of the reasons why Whippets make good family dogs: assuming you care for a Whippet correctly, they’re an affectionate, loyal and generally contented breed.
Given they are so affectionate, coupled with the fact that Whippets are not aggressive and don’t bark much, in general they don’t make great guard dogs!
There are exceptions of course: my Whippet Misty is a real barker / howler when someone she doesn’t know approaches our front door!
However… she’s the most affectionate dog I know!
Are you a Whippet owner or have you been? How affectionate do you feel Whippets are? Please leave a comment below to tell me.
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