I’ve visited several web forums about Whippets, where the topic of apartment living has generated different opinions. Since there’s disagreement on this, I thought I’d add my own take on whether or not Whippets are good apartment dogs.
It’s not surprising that this topic is discussed so widely. Whippets are the 59th most popular dog breed on the planet, according to The American Kennel Club. Indeed, I’ve witnessed the growth in Whippet popularity in my own lifetime.
When I was growing up, it wasn’t unusual to see Whippets, but they were clearly not as popular as they are now.
Nowadays, I regularly meet Whippet owners either when I’m out on a dog walk with my Whippet Misty, or even when I walk around my local shopping area.
Years ago, these encounters were less usual.
Since Whippets are such a popular breed and given that apartment living too has become the norm, it’s unsurprising that people want to know if Whippets make good apartment cohabitants.
Table of Contents
- Are Whippets Good Apartment Dogs?
- What Should You Consider If You Live in an Apartment and Want a Whippet?
Are Whippets Good Apartment Dogs?
It seems apparent that many people feel that Whippets are not good apartment dogs. I understand this sentiment since Whippets need:
- A place where they can run free off the leash.
Traditionally apartment life, perhaps on paper at least, does not offer Whippets these vital elements to keep them happy, healthy and ultimately non-destructive at home.
Whippets need exercise, somewhere to run and sniff around off lead and they thrive in the company of others.
So for me, Whippets can be good apartment dogs… but with some hard caveats.
What Should You Consider If You Live in an Apartment and Want a Whippet?
For many people who live in an apartment and can’t commit to certain responsibilities, a Whippet would NOT be a good dog choice.
A Whippet might be restricted to a certain degree living in an apartment, so you should be able to at least commit to:
- Giving your Whippet exercise for at least an hour each day, preferably somewhere they can run off lead.
- Never leaving your Whippet in the apartment alone for more than 4 hours.
- Making sure you socialise your Whippet from a young age.
Of course, in our post covid-19 world many of us are now able to work from home more easily. This means you could be around to spend time with your Whippet so it doesn’t get lonely and become destructive.
It simply isn’t fair on any dog to be left alone for long periods, especially if they don’t have much room to manoeuvre in a small apartment.
Whippets also need somewhere they can run unrestricted by a lead. Whippets are speed wizards and they need to burn off energy by sprinting after things, playing chase and enjoying “zoomies“!
If you live in an apartment and don’t have good access to a safe and enclosed space within which your Whippet can run, it’s unlikely your Whippet will get the exercise it needs.
Walks around your neighbourhood on the lead are good, but they won’t provide the sufficient level of intense activity Whippets need.
The final thing to note is that Whippets grow in confidence when they’re socialised correctly. This means introducing them to new sights, sounds, people and other dogs as early as possible.
An unsocialised Whippet may become more wary and less able to cope with new situations and new people / dogs. Apartment living in this scenario might make a Whippet less confident.
Although Whippets aren’t aggressive by nature, any dog that’s fearful may feel a need to protect itself by barking, showing its teeth or nipping.
I don’t speak from experience, since I live in a house with an enclosed garden. I also have good access to many safe and enclosed areas where I can walk my Whippet and let her off the lead with confidence she won’t get into any trouble with vehicles, etc.
That said, I don’t live in a palatial home, and I imagine that some people living in apartments have the same square footage (or more) than my house.
In my view, of course the more space any dog has to roam around at will (including enclosed outdoor areas) the better. However, whether or not Whippets make good apartment dogs really does depend on you more than the space you have at home.
If you can commit to not leaving a Whippet alone too long and make sure you give it plenty of exercise where it can run freely, an apartment is just as as good for Whippets as any other home.
Do you live in an apartment? Do you also own a Whippet? Why not tell others about your experiences by leaving a comment at the bottom of the page?
- Do Whippets Make Good Pets?
- Are Whippets Affectionate?
- Can Whippets and Cats Live Together?
- Are Whippets Good Family Dogs?