Are Whippets aggressive? We could say that all dogs have the potential to be aggressive if they’re placed in a position where they feel they need to defend themselves.
It’s also fair to say that any dog can become aggressive without proper care, training and socialisation.
Some breeds, such as Pit Bulls, are perhaps more prone to aggression than others. So are Whippets naturally predisposed to aggression than other dog breeds?
Are Whippets Aggressive by Nature?
No, Whippets are not aggressive by nature. In fact, the opposite is true: Whippets are extremely loving and gentle dogs.
They can become over excited, and that can manifest in rough play and barking. To be honest though, Whippets seldom bark… but they do growl. At least my Whippet does if she sees someone approaching the front door while staring out of the window!
I’d say on balance that aggression is one of the least likely traits you’ll find in a Whippet.
Of course, as with any dog breed, you could certainly make a Whippet aggressive if you don’t provide adequate care and training or if you treat them badly. But by nature Whippets are not aggressive… ask any Whippet owner.
In my own experience I’d say they can be a little bullyish with smaller dogs when they play and chase, but this is likely the sighthound prey drive kicking in rather than an overt aggressive streak in the Whippet breed itself.
Similarly, Whippets will chase small animals such as squirrels and cats since this too is in their sighthound nature. This isn’t aggression though, it’s instinct… and it’s one of the characteristics they were bred for.
What If Your Whippet Has Aggressive Tendencies?
If you have a Whippet that has a tendency towards aggressive behaviour, I’d suggest the following:
1. Take them to a trainer or specialist in canine behaviour to see if you can identify why your Whippet is aggressive and understand how to train the tendency out of it.
2. Socialise your Whippet in a safe environment. This might mean formal training or it could be gradually introducing your Whippet to other dogs in an environment it feels safe in, such as your home.
3. Keep your Whippet on a leash in situations where you feel they might become aggressive. If you’re out walking and your Whippet finds socialising with other dogs difficult, always put them on a leash to prevent aggressive tendencies resulting in a dog fight.
4. Always be aware of your surroundings when you’re outside walking your Whippet. This is not only helpful if you’re concerned about aggression, it also helps to avoid injuries like Whippet skin tears.
5. Don’t encourage rough play that’s likely to make your Whippet aggressive.
Want to know more about Whippets? Check out these helpful posts…
- Information about the Whippet Breed
- Are Whippets Lazy?
- Do Whippets and Cats Get Along?
- Are Whippets Hypoallergenic?
Do you believe Whippets are aggressive or do you see them as kind and loving? Why not drop me a comment below and tell me what you think?