If you’ve read my post about Whippet temperament, you’ll know that Whippets are a very loving breed that require companionship. In truth they can be a little bit needy! As a result, some people ask me if Whippets can be left alone at home and if they suffer from separation anxiety.
Like most dog breeds, Whippets can be left alone. However, it’s not something you should permit for long periods of time.
In this post, I’m going to talk about separation anxiety. Do Whippets suffer from it and how long you can really leave a Whippet at home on its own?
Table of Contents
- What is Canine Separation Anxiety?
- Can Whippets Be Left Alone?
What is Whippet Separation Anxiety?
Separation anxiety can affect any dog breed. As the name suggests, it’s a condition where a dog feels anxious and stressed when it’s left alone, separated from its family.
Normally, this type of stress occurs when a dog is left alone because its family members are out. Perhaps they’ll be at work or school during the day and don’t have anyone to spend time with their dog as a result.
The symptoms of canine separation anxiety vary, though most of them relate to disruptive or destructive behaviours, such as:
In my experience, Whippets can certainly suffer from separation anxiety. Although Whippets can be independent thinkers, this doesn’t mean to say they don’t relish the company of their family. In fact, Whippets are excellent pets and they love hanging around with their human companions.
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So… Can Whippets Be Left Alone?
Whippets are hounds (sighthounds) and as such are used to being together in packs. As a rule then they tend to prefer company and dislike being alone.
With proper socialisation and training, a well adjusted adult Whippet can be left alone. However, many canine experts don’t recommend leaving any dog for more than 8 hours.
Let’s not forget that even a well-adjusted dog can still get up to mischief if they’re left too long to their own devices. They can easily get bored and turn destructive.
For me though, 8 hours is way too long a period to leave a Whippet alone. When we go somewhere we can’t take our Whippet Misty, we never leave her for more than 4 hours.
Misty stays in the house when we’re out. To leave her longer than 4 hours we feel is unfair: she’ll need a bathroom break if nothing else!
Additionally, if we’re going to leave her alone for a few hours, we make sure she has a walk beforehand. This helps to prep her for a snooze while we’re out. Whippets need exercise just like any other dog and a good run is a great way to dissipate a potential excess of energy!
If you own more than one dog, this might make Whippet separation anxiety less of an issue: leaving them together at home alone may result in less distress.
Whippets that have another canine companion will probably not feel the separation from their owners so keenly. That said, even if separation anxiety isn’t a problem in this scenario, you might still return to a messy home if you leave them alone upwards of 4 hours!
What About Leaving Whippet Puppies Alone?
Whippet puppies are a totally different ball game. You simply can’t expect a puppy to be able to cope with being alone for long periods.
So if you’re planning on buying a Whippet puppy anytime soon, you have to remember it’ll need the security of having someone with them until it grows in confidence.
Such confidence only comes with time and training and I would never advocate leaving any puppy alone at home for several hours.
Separation anxiety aside, Whippet puppies need far more frequent bathroom breaks than an adult and so you’ll need to be around to let them outside. Leaving a Whippet puppy alone for a number of hours will likely cause it distress and result in your home being used as a toilet.
All dogs suffer separation anxiety if they’re left alone at home for too long. In my experience, Whippets tend to be more susceptible to stress when their family is not at home than some other breeds.
Adult Whippets can be left alone for a reasonable amount of time. Some people say that you can leave a Whippet for a maximum of 8 hours, but for me and most other Whippet owners I know, 8 hours is too much. I’ve never left my Whippet at home alone for so long.
There have been very few occasions where we’ve left Misty alone for more than 4 hours… not because she couldn’t last, but because we feel it isn’t fair on her.
As with any other dog breed, owning a Whippet is a responsibility you have to face up to.
With proper care and training, Whippets can be left alone and be comfortable with it. However, any dog will become distressed if they’re left alone for too long.
Are you a Whippet owner? What are your thoughts about leaving a Whippet alone? Please let me know in the comment section at the bottom of the page.