As Whippets are sighthounds with a strong urge to chase after animals, they don’t necessarily get along well with other pets. In my own experience, Whippets and cats in particular may struggle to have a close relationship. But what about dogs? Do Whippets get along with other dogs? Or do Whippets prefer their own company?
If you hadn’t guessed already, I am a huge fan of Whippets and Whippet mixes… actually all dogs in the Sighthound family. However, the “poor man’s Greyhound” will always be my favourite.
Today I’m answering a question someone’s recently emailed me: are Whippets sociable and do they behave well around other dogs?
This post is my response to that question.
Table of Contents
- Whippet Personality
- Do Whippets Play Well With Others?
- How to Ensure Your Whippet is Sociable?
- Related Posts
The Whippet Personality
As a general rule Whippets are a friendly and loving breed… especially when it comes to their families: this is one of the reasons why Whippets make good family pets.
Whippets can be a little aloof around strangers (humans and other dogs) but that doesn’t mean to say they’re unfriendly… they’re just a little reserved. For the most part, when they get to know new people and dogs they’ll be friends for life.
Neither are Whippets aggressive. Although of course any dog can become feisty under the right conditions, in general Whippets Are more likely to run away from trouble than confront it.
You might not want to take a Whippet as a guard dog, though Whippets bark very well, contrary to popular belief!
Whippets enjoy lots of close contact with their families and will quite happily be your shadow… assuming they’re not snoozing on your furniture.
Whippets aren’t lazy, but if well exercised and entertained (Whippets love to play) they will be happy to rest up for much of the day.
Find out more about the Whippet temperament & personality.
Do Whippets Get Along With Other Dogs?
The answer to this is… it depends, since we can only ever speak in general terms about any dog breed.
As I’ve mentioned, Whippets can be a little independent and reserved around people and dogs they don’t know. However, as a general rule, once accustomed to new friends they will be perfectly happy around them: though happiness can be subjective!
My Whippet Misty is a little different to the general Whippet population in these terms… and this is partly down to us I feel. Misty is very reserved around new dogs and even once she gets to know them she can still be stand-offish.
On the other hand, this is Misty’s individual personality. We’ve had Misty from a puppy: she’s always been with us and so has not had the same experiences as an adopted Whippet perhaps.
My feeling is though that we didn’t socialise her as properly as we might have when she was very young. We did take her to puppy training with other dogs, but she was always quite reserved even then.
Additionally, our feeling now is that we took her to training classes for too short a time. We should have continued her training for longer, and also perhaps made a greater effort to integrate her with other dogs more than we did when she was a puppy.
How to Ensure Your Whippet is Sociable
I’m not sure that you can guarantee anything in terms of a dog’s ability to be sociable. Like us, dogs are individuals with their own individual quirks and foibles. Of course all breeds have certain tendencies personality-wise, but every dog is different.
One thing you can and should do to help Whippets feel more comfortable around other dogs is to socialise them as much as you can, at as early an age as possible.
Taking your Whippet to training classes and introducing them to lots of other dogs from a young age will probably help as much as anything.
10 Ways to Socialise Your Whippet
When we consider dog breeds we tend to generalise about their temperament and sociability, since most breeds have a general disposition that applies to the majority. However, individual dogs can of course vary.
As a general rule, Whippets do get along with other dogs, even though they may be a little reserved around them at first.
Socialising your Whippet with other dogs is hugely important… and in my experience, the earlier the better.
Do you own a Whippet or a Whippet cross? Does your Whippet get on well with other dogs? Please leave a comment at the bottom of this page to let me know.
- How Fast Do Whippets Run?
- What Foods Can Dogs Eat?
- How Long Do Whippets Live?
- Are Whippets Easy to Train?
- Things to Consider When Looking for Whippet Puppies
- Are Whippets Good Dogs for First Time Owners?
- Why Do Whippets Sleep Under Covers?
- Whippet Colours and Markings
My whippet is socialized when he was young but He was bullied by a few dogs when he was a puppy and so he does not feel comfortable around unfamiliar dogs in the park. He also hates when unfamiliar dogs put their paws on his back.
He doesn’t mind my iggy but he is too rough when he plays with my iggy. I have a cat as well and he cannot suppress his chasing mode unless he doesn’t feel well.
Alexine Saunders says
I have a mixed breed, lots of Whippet in her. Her favorite thing is going to the dog park and playing with the dogs there, all breeds!
We have a Whippet Cocker cross boy. We’re trying to find more of the Whippet element. Should we be doing (or not doing) something? Thanks.
My lovely whippet Nigel has loads of friends – his best friend is a Great Dane!
The best bit of advice I was given was to let Nige be a dog and play with other dogs. It made a huge difference in his wellbeing and behaviour to the point where I think it made him a much happier dog.
We adopted a Whippet cross (probably Collie Whip) but due to his history he is quite frightened of other dogs… but after meeting them several times he does recognise them as friends.
Hi we have two Whippets and a Weimaraner and they they get on great. We are just about to bring a new puppy Weimaraner into the gang with another Whippet in November.
I have had no problems with other dogs, one just teasing other dogs to try and catch me, but no chance! The other is ball motivated does not care about anything else. The Weimaraner… she is boss and mum!
Wow Martin… it sounds like your hands are full already! And you’re about to welcome two new friends into the pack!